What is a positive classroom climate?
The term 'classroom climate' refers to the way students feel in the classroom, and how they experience the atmosphere. It all comes down to the students' perceptions. One key aspect of a positive classroom climate is the sense of a strong rapport and good interpersonal relations between the instructor and students, and among students themselves. In addition, there is also a more didactic component, where the positive atmosphere is created through a strong learning environment with sound teaching methods. Research (Barr, 2016) has shown that the perception of the classroom climate influences students' motivation and degree of participation. In a positive classroom climate, students are more motivated and open to activation. This means that a positive climate has a positive impact on student learning.
How can you foster a positive classroom climate?
- Social measures
As an instructor, you have several opportunities to create good interpersonal relationships with your students, and among students. These are all about getting to know your students, making sure your students have a chance to get to know each other and allowing them to get to know you.
- Didactic measures
A strong learning environment and good teaching can help create a positive atmosphere in the classroom. Some factors that can be part of a strong learning environment and thus contribute to a positive classroom climate are: encouraging activation, ensuring clarity in your learning environment and allowing students to participate in choices about the learning environment.