Our Classroom Climate Questionnaire: Building a Culture of Learning

Our Classroom Climate Questionnaire

NSI’s Classroom Climate Questionnaire (CCQ) provides an economical and effective way to gather student feedback about their experiences of the learning environment. The CCQ offers a valid and reliable means to assess features of the learning environment (related to relationships, delivery and assessment) that are important determinants of a range of affective and cognitive outcomes. 

The CCQ offers a meaningful framework to help teachers plan targeted improvement efforts, initiate discussions with students about learning (metacognition), and work with students to improve and co-construct the environment.

A Focus On Developing Positive Classroom Climates

Classroom climate is the tone, atmosphere, or ambiance created through interactions between the teacher, the students, the learning content, and how it is delivered and assessed. It is the classroom climate that provides the context (or sets the stage) for teaching and learning. 

At the Heart of Classroom Climates

The classroom climate sets the stage for teaching and learning. At its heart, a welcoming and supportive classroom climate relies on the teacher to promote feelings of connectedness and belonging which are enhanced when teachers:
  • Build positive, trusting relationships with students.
  • Model and establish standards for interpersonal behaviours.
  • Establish rules and routines that encourage autonomy and predictability.
    • The classroom climate is also influenced by decisions about:
      • Teaching strategies.
      • Tasks (including the level of challenge and relevance to the student).
      • Assessments.
      • Expectations for success.

Relationships with Student outcomes

Stong consistent evidence suggests that positive classroom climates are related to improved:
  • Motivation.
  • Engagement.
  • Self-regulation.
  • Enjoyment of class.
  • Academic achievement
The classroom climate also influences the levels of student:
  • Autonomy.
  • Disruptive behaviour.
  • Disaffection.
  • Self-control.
  • Reflection.

Using the CCQ as a Framework for Collaborative Inquiry:
Building a Culture of Learning

Shared Practice

As teachers engage with the CCQ and the NSI processes, teachers share their struggles and successes, engendering a collective sense of achievement.

Building a Culture of Trust

NSI’s processes involving the CCQ develop trust between teachers through exploring and sharing their practices with colleagues.

Building Social Capital

The use of the CCQ encourages shared learning and expertise between teachers, building professional and social capital while exposing unacceptable practices.

Engaging in Critical Self-Reflection

Processes involving the CCQ encourage teachers to engage in critical self-reflection as part of the improvement cycle.

Encouraging Innovative Practice

Engaging with the CCQ and NSI processes encourages innovative practice in classrooms, a prerequisite for a culture of improvement.

Evidence of Addressing the AITSL Standards

Engagement with the CCQ provides teachers with evidence of engaging with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (AITSL).

Increasing Pride and sense of Community

Sharing experiences and engaging in transparent conversations, engenders pride and a sense of community.

Supporting the Aboriginal Cultural Standards Framework

The CCQ and NSI processes align with and support the Aboriginal Standards Framework, including the relationship, leadership, teaching, learning environment, and resources standard.

Supporting the OECD’s Seven Principles of Learning

The use of the CCQ supports the seven principles of learning by promoting learning environments that: place students at the centre through co-construction and active participation; promote positive relationships and caring teachers in tune with students’ needs; encourage the recognition of individual differences and make learning relevant and meaningful to students; and promote the use of meaningful assessment and rich feedback.