School Climate & School Size: Implications for the Role of the School Psychologist

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Maxner, Nadine
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Mount Saint Vincent University
Grade Seven, Eight and Nine students shared their perspectives on school climate and participation in extracurricular activities using quantitative and qualitative methods. Students attending both large, urban schools (N = 60) and small, rural schools (N = 32) completed the School Climate Inventory and School Participation Inventory. A subset of volunteer students (N = 5) were interviewed via the School Climate Interview Schedule, which more fully explored the survey items. Quantitative results indicated that Grade Eight small school participants had significantly more positive perceptions of school climate than all other participants. Results further indicated that small school respondents participate significantly more in extracurricular activities, specifically athletics, cultural activities and student government activities. Qualitative responses indicated that participants feel supported in school and for the most part, enjoy the manner in which they are taught. Implications include the need for school psychologists to become more visible within the schools that they service and be flexible in their models of service delivery.
Urban schools , Rural schools , Qualitative Research , Quantitative Research