Dimension A: School plan for effectiveness
Does your school pursue the following cognitive student outcomes?
• curiosity and willingness to learn .• dedication to learning .• a positive‚ critical attitude .• taking initiative .• independent studying .• concentration .• a high achievement motivation .
Does your school pursue the following affective student outcomes?
• student responsibility for own learning‚ social behavior‚ fellow students‚ the environment .• social functioning: showing solidarity‚ being interested in others‚ being able to play and work together‚ showing respect and tolerance‚ social skills .• values: development of an individual set of values‚ accepting the values of society‚ ability to change values in a rational way‚ show courtesy and being friendly .• the acceptance of one’s own and others’ feelings .• the acceptance of one’s own restrictions .• a feeling of safety .
Dimension B: Physical environment: classroom and school
Do your classrooms meet the following criteria?
• student work displayed on classroom walls .
• furniture that is clean‚ intact‚ and well adapted to the size of students .• pleasant temperature .• no unnecessary materials or student tables .• tidy classroom‚ learning materials‚ and teacher’s table .• learning materials looked after by the teacher .
Does your school meet the following criteria?
• schoolyard divided for younger and older students .• proper supervision before school‚ during breaks and after school .• waste-paper baskets emptied regularly .• no trash in the schoolyard .• schoolyard separated from the street .• playing materials safe for children and lawns‚ sandboxes etc. well-kept .• tidy corridors and canteen .• individual lockers for students .• school sufficiently illuminated .• student work on walls .• students assisting in the maintenance of the school .
Dimension C: Teacher behavior
Do the teachers create a relaxed classroom climate?
• showing a relaxed attitude and not acting superior .• creating a safe atmosphere .• making students feel free to ask and answer questions .• encouraging students to engage in discussion .• fostering a positive attitude in the class and student-teacher cooperation .
Do the teachers show interest in all students and provide positive feedback?
• not showing sympathy or antipathy for individual students .• involving all students in the learning processes and valuing student participation positively .• not stigmatizing students when they answer questions incorrectly .• handling incorrect answers in a positive way and valuing student effort .
Do the teachers guard discipline and structuring?
• students know the classroom rules and sanctions after breaking the rules .• the teacher acts according to the rules when students break the rules .• when given assignments students know what they are expected to do .• student absence is registered .• achievement‚ progress‚ and socio-emotional development is registered .
Do the teachers stimulate self-discovered learning?
• the teacher is not impatient when students do not answer immediately .• the teacher provides a rich learning environment and stimulates learning by discovery .• the teacher stimulates group discussions and guards the participation of all students .• the teacher is not constantly talking .
Do teachers model what they expect their students to do?
• the teacher shows respect for all students .• the teacher creates an atmosphere of community .
Dimension D: The school’s system
Does your school have clear agreements about pedagogical behavior of teachers and behavioral rules for students?
• there are written school agreements about the pedagogical behavior of teachers .• agreements concern the way teachers interact with students‚ the way students interact‚ discipline‚ interpretation of the rules‚ punishment‚ reinforcement‚ feedback to students .• the timetable sets some time aside for social-affective outcomes .• behavioral rules for students are written statements known to students and parents .• there are sanctions when students break the rules and parents are informed about these .• sanctions are used whenever necessary .• the school is alert to problem behavior or students and has a policy (for bullying‚ discrimination‚ truancy‚ criminal behavior‚ breaking classroom rules) .
Does your school enhance affective outcomes?
• teachers have sufficient knowledge about the social-emotional development of students‚ behavioral problems‚ learning problems‚ gifted students .• the school is alert to the training of pedagogical skills of students .• the school pays extra attention to minority students .• the school pays attention to pedagogical contents in materials .• the school uses grouping procedures to enhance affective development .
Does your school evaluate pedagogical behavior?
• the school evaluates pedagogical behavior of teachers .• there is a policy on the pedagogical climate in the school .• the social-emotional development of students is registered frequently and systematically .
Does your school have essential internal and external contacts?
• the principal actively supports the pedagogical behavior of teachers .• the principal pays attention to the communication between teachers .• the parents are informed about the pedagogical policy of the school .• the school pays attention to the home situation of students .• parents are content about the school and the way the school acts towards the students .• the school has contacts with relevant institutions such as support services‚ special education‚ health services‚ police‚ social services .
Note: The checklist is divided into four dimensions and can be used by schools to find out their strong and weak points. Healthier schools will have more positive answers‚ while negative answers identify the particularly weak areas on which a school may want to begin working. A completely healthy school falls short in no dimension. For more information on this instrument‚ please consult the following resource:
Freiberg‚ H. Jerome (Ed.). (1999). The Role of School and Classroom Climate in Elementary School. School Climate: Measuring‚ Improving and Sustaining Healthy Learning Environments. Philadelphia: Taylor & Francis Inc.