Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Direct and Indirect Impact of Perceived School Climate upon Student Outcomes

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Direct and Indirect Impact of Perceived School Climate upon Student Outcomes

Article excerpt

Abstract

This research aims at investigating and comparing the direct and indirect impact of children's perceptions of school climate upon their academic performance and socioemotional adjustment. A model was developed in which children's perception of school climate was considered as the independent variable and student academic performance and socioemotional adjustment as the dependent variables. Within this model, three mediating variables were selected which were children's perceptions of parental involvement, academic motivation and student academic engagement. The mediators indicate three broad categories, i.e., school, home and student-specific variables, which facilitate comparing the significance of their role in the model. Data was collected from 324 students from Grades 7 and 9 and only the complete data from 268 cases (girls=126, boys=142) was analyzed. Two independent models were tested through path analysis. Findings revealed differential roles of the selected mediators for the student outcomes. This study presents a significantly useful model to understand the impact of school climate and provides baseline information for the implementation of the National Education Policy (2009), which focuses upon the improvement of learning environment of the schools. On the basis of findings, conclusion and recommendations have been presented.

Keywords: perceived school, climate mediators' impact, student academic, engagement academic performance, socioemotional adjustment

1. Introduction

Research reported various factors linked to student academic performance and adjustment such as interest, self-efficacy, learning, open communication with parents, school engagement, teacher effectiveness, evaluation systems, school environment, physical facilities, acceptance in school, student extrinsic motivation with high level of intrinsic motivation, teacher consultation , academic support by teachers and quality of interaction with parents and teachers (Studsrod & Bru, 2012; Olwatimilehin & Ovoyele, 2012; Wormington, Corpus, Anderson, & College, 2011; Chaturvedi, 2009; Ghazi, Azam, & Khan, 2009; Simons-Morton & Chen, 2009; Ochoa, Lopez, & Emler, 2007; Long, Monoi, Harper, Knoblauch, & Murphy, 2007; Adeyemo, 2005). These factors can be categorized under three broad categories mostly referred as student-specific variables, family background related and school related variables.

The three broad areas remain controversial factors for student outcomes across the research literature. Effect of schools emerged as an important area of organizational research and linked to student outcomes with the pioneer work by Colemen (1961, 1972). Coleman's studies revolved around relationship between social processes support systems in schools and achievement, importance of family background when compared to schools for achievement and the impact of school social system in public and private schools. It is noteworthy that a study by Coleman et al. (1966) lead to controversy about importance of school climate and socioeconomic factors, which triggered further studies in this area.

Findings regarding the comparative importance of school climate and student background vary across research the literature. Bulach, Malone, and Castelman (1995) found significant relationship of both school climate and socio-economic status with student academic achievement. Whereas, Kiamanesh (2005) found that self-concept and home background variables are more important for mathematics achievement for both girls and boys while school climate variables carried no significant contribution. Nichols and Nichols (2012) did not find school climate perception related differences for parents and children when data from high performing and low performing schools on mathematics and language was compared. Thus, research does not consistently report the same factors responsible for student academic performance and socioemotional adjustment. …

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