Positive learning climate

Positive learning climate is a research-based measure from the Tell Them From Me surveys. It is a source of evidence linked to What Works Best and the School Excellence Framework.

What is it?

Positive classroom climate relates to positive student behaviour in the classroom. It is concerned with the extent to which students internalise the norms and values of the classroom. These are reflected in students’ adherence to the formal and informal rules of the classroom, the effectiveness of classroom management strategies, and in the relationships between students and teachers.

The Tell Them From Me surveys ask students about the behaviours they encounter in classrooms across the school, as an indication of the norms and values of the school. Students are not asked about a specific subject or teacher. The results are reported as students’ average score for positive learning climate.

Why is it important?

A positive learning climate is related to students’ academic achievement and wellbeing. Students are more likely to be intellectually engaged when classroom and school learning climates reflect effective use of learning time, positive teacher-student relations, and positive disciplinary climates. Classroom disruptions impact academic achievement; therefore, schools should strive to create orderly classrooms that facilitate a positive disciplinary climate.

School improvement links

School Excellence Framework element What works best theme
Effective classroom practice Classroom management

Resources

Evidence base

DiPrete, T. A., Muller, C., & Shaeffer, N. (1981). Discipline and order in American high schools. Washington: Statistical Information Office.

Dunleavy, J., Milton, P., & Willms, J. D. (2012). Trends in intellectual engagement. “What did you do in school today?” research series: Report number three. Toronto: Canadian Education Association.

Ma, X. & Willms, J. D. (2004). School disciplinary climate: Characteristics and effects on eighth grade achievement. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 50(2), 169-188.

Rutter, M. (1983). School effects on pupil progress: Research findings and policy implications. Child Development, 54(1), 1-29.

Willms, J. D., Friesen, S., & Milton, P. (2009). Transforming classrooms through social, academic, and intellectual engagement. “What did you do in school today?” research series: Report number one. Toronto: Canadian Education Association.

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Image: This explainer has been produced in collaboration with The Learning Bar.

Explainers of the Tell Them From Me measures have been produced in collaboration with The Learning Bar. The Tell Them From Me measures are provided by, and remain the intellectual property of, The Learning Bar. The explainers can also be found online within the Tell Them From Me portal. Tell Them From Me and TTFM are trademarks of The Learning Bar.

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