The importance of having a good schooling environment cannot bemore emphasized. Students spend majority of their time in the schoolingenvironment, and the type of environment that a school has established plays acrucial role in the positive academic, social and emotional development of astudent. It is an environment where students need to feel safe, supported andcomfortable all the time. Their experiences in the schooling environment hasthe power to shape and change their outlook and views of life. School climate is defined as the effect that it has on thestudents. This can be shown through the existing and pressing conditions thatare present within the school.
It is a mixture of beliefs, values andbehaviours of students, teaching staff, leaders and parents, level ofindependence, leadership styles and job satisfaction.The current atmosphere in the school, which is usually dictated bythe leaders, affects the perception of teachers and students about the school therebyaffecting their attitudes and values towards school and work.School climate constitutes of three dimensions, namely: physical,social and academic dimensions.
Physical dimension includes how the structureand size of the school is presented, the student to teacher ratio, howeffectively the resources and tools are handled and the safety and securityfeatures of the school.The social dimension includes the following components: How fairlyand equally each student is treated by the teachers and staff, the level ofcompetitiveness and social comparisons amongst students, how much the studentsand teachers participate in decision making processes and lastly the quality ofrelations amongst all member in the school.Whereas the academic dimension includes the following components:the expectations teachers have for student achievement, their quality ofteaching, how they asses the progress of each student and the feedback theygive to parents about the progress of the student. Persistent positive school climate has been linked to positivestudent development, learning, academic achievement, effective risk preventionand health promotion, high graduation rates, low dropout rates, and teacherretention.
(University of nebraska-lincoln | web developer network, 2018)School culture refers to the beliefs, values and assumptions sharedamong individuals across the school. It may at times also refer to a sense offamily and community that is shared amongst the individuals across the school.This is often characterized by how they treat each other, the level on whichthey go to make others feel included and appreciated as well as the traditionsand customs that encourage collaboration and unity. School culture is also a set of rules or conduct to abide by.
Thistells students what kind of behaviour and attitude is encouraged and valued andwhat kind isn’t.School culture has three levels. The transrational level: This iswhen values based on beliefs, moral insights and ethical codes are observed astheoretical. On this level there are few schools that make it known exactlywhat their values are. Although students are taught in a particular at privateschools thereby making an exception to this level.
The rational level: This is when values are seen and grounded andwithin a social context. This is the level on which most school portray theirvalues either through curriculum objectives, rules, norms or whatever methodthe deem ideal.The subrational level: This is when values are not metaphysical norare they grounded but rather values are based on a personal preference. On thislevel teachers can handle matters with their own personal beliefs and values.
For a positive school culture, sixelements are necessary: a strong leadership b student centeredness c positiveclimate d community involvement e academic focus.School culture has the ability to affect student achievement. Thisis seen through the environment at the school.
There are some school where theteachers have a firm belief in the core values of the school system and they goto great lengths to create an atmosphere that is based on those core values.These types of teachers help create an atmosphere that encouragesperseverance, confidence and provides a sense of belonging to all studentsbecause no student is thought of poorly. They help and encourage each studentto have a future aim or goal which then further helps them to believe morefirmly in themselves and have an action plan to achieve their goals.