School climate is created through the combined culture of the adults and students within a school – both the culture they share as an organization and the diverse cultures they bring from home. This study compared the school climate of two elementary schools, one urban and one suburban, by measuring 179 fourth and fifth grade students’ and 65 teachers’ perceptions of their schools’ ethical climates. The Elementary School Ethical Climate Index (ESECI) was utilized to factor perceptions into teacher to student, student to teacher/learning environment, and student to student interactions. For each of the ESECI subscales, two-way analyses of variance (ANOVAs) were conducted with a respondent factor (student or teacher/staff) and a community type factor (urban or suburban). While both the urban and suburban schools reported positive perceptions of school culture by students and teachers, the urban teachers were significantly less positive than their suburban peers in student to teacher/learning environment and student to student interactions, and also significantly less positive than their urban students. Results emphasize the importance of evaluating the culture of the school in an intentional, thorough manner by asking all groups for perceptions of school climate and utilizing what is uncovered to strengthen the sense of community.
Keiser, Kay Anne and Schulte, Laura E., "Seeking the Sense of Community: A Comparison of Two Elementary School's Ethical Climates" (2009). Educational Leadership Faculty Publications. 5.