Moos (1979) defines school climate as the social atmosphere of a setting
or "learning environment" (p. 81) in which students have different experiences,
depending upon the protocols set up by the teachers and administrators.
Moos divides social environments into three categories:
- Relationship, which includes involvement, affiliation with
others in the classroom, and teacher support.
- Personal growth or goal orientation, which includes the personal
development and self-enhancement of all members of the environment.
- System maintenance and system change, which includes the orderliness
of the environment, the clarity of the rules, and the strictness of the teacher
in enforcing the rules.
Moos (1979) advises that "although the specific types of educational environments
needed depend in part on the types of people in them and on the outcomes
desired.... [at least] we need to focus on relationship, personal growth,
and system maintenance and change dimensions in describing, comparing,
evaluating, and changing educational settings." (p. 96)
With regard to family involvement, this definition of climate indicates that
schools with positive climates do the following:
- Allow families to participate and develop
relationships with the faculty
and staff as well as with other families.
- Contribute to the personal growth of families in terms of their knowledge
of child development and parenting skills as well as their own self-esteem.
- Encourage families to have a say and be an integral part of decision
on issues affecting their children's education.
Date posted: 1996
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