Kit Harris, ASCD Research

ED Pulse Poll Results: What Do You Feel Should Be the Primary Goal of Improving School Climate?

ASCD continually seeks to provide solutions to the challenges that face educators of all levels. Recently the ASCD SmartBrief ED Pulse poll asked about the important topic of school climate.

A new report on school climate (PDF) discusses creating a holistic framework for education reform, with school climate as the center. The report states that "[s]chool climate—the totality of factors that affect a learning environment—is talked about much less often ... despite research showing that a school's climate, whether positive, negative, or somewhere in between, is connected to the level of students' engagement in their course work and, consequently, to student success."

These ASCD SmartBrief readers felt that the primary goal of improving school climate is to create a climate conducive to teaching and learning (79 percent). Following this, far fewer mentioned that they desired an improvement in school climate to foster social and emotional learning (13 percent). The other reasons were selected as the primary goal far less often. These were to

  • Make students and staff feel safe (5 percent)
  • Ensure students are well-behaved (2 percent)
  • See that bullying rarely occurs (1 percent)

This survey question was included in ASCD SmartBrief, a free daily e-mail news service that provides summaries and links to major education stories and issues, which has more than 200,000 subscribers. Using ED Pulse, the weekly online poll, data was collected from 696 readers, starting on August 22, 2013. Online surveys do not provide a random sample, as participants are self-selected, meaning that a margin of sampling error cannot be calculated or quoted. In addition, the population and sample are limited to those with access to computers and an online network. However, online surveys have been shown to produce results that have proven to be reliable predictors of outcomes, including election results. If you have a question on education that you would like to see addressed in a future ED Pulse poll, feel free to submit it in the comment section below, along with any other comments.

Kit Harris is the marketing research lead at ASCD. The quantitative and qualitative research work done is in support of strategic initiatives in marketing, membership, product/program/service development, and conferences/meetings. Harris started her career in Chicago at a marketing research firm, then moved to D.C. to serve as the research director at an advertising agency, Earle Palmer Brown & Associates. Prior to coming to ASCD, she ran her own research firm.

Comments (1)

Jeremy Churchill

September 18, 2013

I am sending my two lovely boys at Creme De La Creme, base from what I have checked they have the best facilities from art rooms, library, to outdoor park. I feel they have everything that makes a place perfectly conducive for learning, but I am still not sure whether the beauty of this facility motivates or distract my kids from learning.

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