School Climate and Learning

It has been shown through numerous studies that students in schools with caring, supportive school climates have higher academic achievement and better socioemotional health than do students in an atmosphere that is less warm and responsive to their needs.

In an exhaustive analysis of related research conducted by the Search Institute, it was found that a caring school climate is associated with:

  • Higher grades, engagement, attendance, expectations and aspirations, a sense of scholastic competence, and fewer school suspensions, and on-time progression through grades. (19 studies)
  • Higher self-esteem and self-concept. (5 studies)
  • Less anxiety, depression and loneliness. (3 studies)
  • Less substance abuse. (4 studies)

Clearly it would behoove the national education community to work toward the goal of creating caring climates in all our schools.