A Message From the Chair

Hello. This is my first year as Chair of the AERA School Climate and Culture Special Interest Group (SIG). Many thanks to the previous leadership, the founding members, and those who have left the SIG in such good shape.

My goals for the coming two years are that 1) we grow our membership and visibility and 2) clarity our domain and purpose. I feel that these goals can be met by first demonstrating the critical place and need for Research into School Climate and Culture in the national effort to improve schools, and second by creating a forum for communication among members and other interested educators. By way of this effort, we have created an interactive bulletin board for members to dialogue.

My professional journey has led me to the belief that there is nothing more vital to the success of schools than the quality of their school climate. Moreover, I believe that as other reform trends begin to fall out of favor (due to lack of efficacy), school climate and culture will emerge as increasingly critical areas of attention. Like you, who work and conduct research into schools, I see those schools that take an "intentional approach" to creating practices, policies and environments that promote a positive, equitable, learner-centered, and emotionally safe climates are more successful in their other measures of achievement and performance. I submit that without a high quality school climate, efforts at school improvement will be limited and ultimately ineffectual, and furthermore that a high quality school climate is not as much a consequence of good education as it is a primary cause/catalyst.

I invite you to read and respond to the thoughts being shared on our SIG community bulletin board, and look forward to taking part in the dialogue. I invite you to survey our website (at the Alliance for the Study of School Climate - ASSC) and provide me with the links to your sites. We will post them at the ASSC resources link.

I am excited about the future of our SIG, and look forward to a successful Annual Conference and meeting you in Montreal.


John Shindler, Ph. D.

KH A2045, Division of Curriculum and Instruction

California State University, Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA 90032