The effects of school-wide interventions on school climate

The effects of school-wide interventions on school climate

By Sooyeon Byun, Johns Hopkins University

Charlton and colleagues reviewed various types of school-wide interventions promoting students’ and teachers’ perception of school climate regarding engagement (quality of relationship), safety (the absence of aggression, bullying, and violence), and environment (quality of physical school environment). Only peer-reviewed studies published between 1989 and 2019 were included in this review.

The total of 26 studies (28 papers) were identified, including 18 studies on elementary students, 7 studies on middle school students, and 2 studies in mixed school settings. More than 60% of the studies were randomized controlled trials. The included programs were categorized into five subcategories: social–emotional learning, schoolwide positive behavioral interventions and supports, bullying prevention, community development, and teacher working conditions programs. Among the five subcategories, effect sizes for Schoolwide PBIS (a behaviour management approach) (ES=+0.61, 95% CI = [0.39, 0.83]) and SEL (ES=+0.48, 95% CI = [0.17, 0.79]) were the largest, followed by community development (ES=+0.42, 95% CI = [0.13, 0.71]), and bullying prevention programs (ES=+0.27, 95% CI = [0.14, 0.40]). A single study on a teacher working conditions program didn’t show any discernable effects on school climate. Although the effect sizes are not large, this study supports the idea that schoolwide interventions can improve school climate.

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