New tool for assessing learning climate

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A new tool has been developed for teachers and schools to assess various contributors to well-being during learning.

The social relationships that exist within the classroom and any learning environment within school education strongly contribute to the psychological well-being of pupils as well the development of their personal and social competence.

A new report acknowledges that the system of values, relationships, structures, attitudes and communication modes existing in a school community has a crucial impact on the development of pupils’ social and emotional competences.

‘A formative, inclusive, whole-school approach to the assessment of social and emotional education in the EU’ concludes its analysis by providing a formative assessment tool that may be used to assess various contributors to well-being during learning on the basis of teachers’ and students’ evaluations.

The tool consists of nine indicators – each with a number of statements – assessing the quality of the learning climate:

  • cultural responsiveness and inclusion;
  • sense of safety, including prevention of, and protection from, bullying;
  • positive classroom management;
  • caring teacher-student relationships;
  • supportive peer relationships;
  • collaboration, including collaborative learning;
  • active student engagement in meaningful learning activities;
  • challenge and high expectations for all learners;
  • student voice, including student participation in decisions.

The tool can help teachers and students to identify strengths and targets for improvement in each area, and it may be adjusted by teachers according to the nature of their group.

Teacher and student responses can be integrated to provide a more comprehensive and holistic evaluation of the learning climate, which can guide a collaborative effort by the teacher(s) and students to transform the climate into a more socially and emotionally enabling one.