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Student-Report Measures of School Climate: A Dimensional Review

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Abstract

School climate is a broad, multi-dimensional construct that represents the quality and character of school life. Although many student-reported measures of school climate are available, less is known about the specific dimensions assessed by various measures. Using three comprehensive models of school climate as a guide, a systematic literature review of school climate measurement tools was conducted with two main questions. First, which dimensions are identified and measured in published studies of student-reported school climate? Second, what overlap in studies of student-reported school climate measures exist with the model dimensions? Results from the review of 18 school climate measures largely supported five dimensions (safety, relationships, teaching and learning, institutional environment, and school improvement processes) with at least three dimensions present within all reviewed measures. The discussion elaborates on the dimensions and sub-dimensions assessed in these tools, implications for failing to measure the sub-dimension of respect for diversity, and a new sub-dimension titled academic orientation that emerged from overlap in measurement tools.

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Notes

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    See jangle fallacy (Kelley, 1927) in which constructs are treated as different although the only known distinctions between these constructs are their diverging labels.

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This article followed the authors’ university policies and processes for completion of this study. This article was not funded through any external sources.

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Correspondence to Brittany M. Lewno-Dumdie.

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Lewno-Dumdie, B.M., Mason, B.A., Hajovsky, D.B. et al. Student-Report Measures of School Climate: A Dimensional Review. School Mental Health 12, 1–21 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12310-019-09340-2

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Keywords

  • School climate
  • Student perceptions
  • Dimensions
  • Systematic literature review