High Quality Learning Environments

The term “high quality learning environment” encompasses both the school culture and school climate. It generally means the same as “positive or quality learning environment.”

Educational research has consistently demonstrated that high quality learning environments, characterized by a positive school culture and climate is associated with academic achievement, effective risk prevention efforts and positive youth development (National School Climate Center, 2013).

In order for students to effectively learn, schools must create and provide a culture and climate that is hospitable to learning and engagement (Barth 2001).

What does a high quality learning environment look like?

High quality learning environments are characterized by:

  1. Physical and psychological safety;
  2. High levels of trust and collaboration;
  3. Solid understanding of the effects of poverty;
  4. Positive school, family, home and community relationships;
  5. Needs-based approach for all students;
  6. Engaging and relevant curriculum;
  7. Student voice and engagement;
  8. Effective transitions;
  9. Attention to student attendance and mobility; and
  10. Appropriate behavioral interventions.

(Adapted from Parrett and Budge, 2012)