School climate and student affective needs : a descriptive study of four junior high schools

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Koran, Carol Marie
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, AB : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 1989
Research has demonstrated that school climate has a significant impact on several student outcomes. Positive school climate is associated with the development of positive self-concept in students, increased feelings of attachment and commitment to the school, and overall satisfaction with the school experience. This study described the school climate of four urban junior high schools, with specific attention to climate factors related to the affective development of students. The sample consisted of 506 Grade 9 students. Students' perceptions of their school's climate were measured with a standard climate questionnaire, the Effective School Battery. In addition, the principals of each school were interviewed in order to provide additional insight into the school's philosophy of education, school policies, and other aspects related to affective school climate. The data collected was used to determine if junior high schools exhibited school climates which addressed the affective needs of their students. The student responses indicated generally positive feelings about their schools. The fours schools rated high to average in the areas of Safety, Planning and Action, Clarity of Rules, Extra-curricular Program, and Student Influence. Areas in which the majority of schools rated below average or low included Respect for Students, and School Rewards. Interviews with principals revealed that affective development was considered to be an important component of junior high education. In addition, principals tended to support the findings from the student surveys. The findings illustrate that these schools have generally positive school climates as perceived by the students. Students feel comfortable and secure in the school environment, are aware of the rules guiding their behavior and tend to be involved in a variety of school activities. The areas which schools need to improve include increasing positive reinforcement and rewards for students, and ensuring that students feel they are treated with respect and dignity in their interactions with school personnel.
xi, 113 leaves ; 28 cm.
Junior high school students -- Alberta -- Lethbridge , Junior high schools -- Alberta -- Lethbridge , Dissertations, Academic