Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Education, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Kathleen Sullivan Brown, Ph.D.


Cody Ding, Ph.D.

Carole Murphy, Ed.D.

Kenneth E. Owen, Ed.D.


Education reformers have long sought to apply scientific framework analysis to engineer the ideal system in which both students and teachers are highly successful. Grounded in the evidence based theoretical framework of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), many academicians and practitioners are now focusing on determinants of school structure and supportive learning environments to bolster students’ enjoyment of school, which supports increased positive outcomes. The Abbreviated School Climate Survey (Student Version) (Ding, Liu and Berkowitz, 2011) instrument was designed to explore student perspective of school climate as an indicator of student outcomes based on seven variables. The purpose of this study was to determine how the construct of "Structured Supportive Environment" correlates to students’ enjoyment of school, using the seven-factor variables of the Abbreviated School Climate Survey, in a sample of two (2) traditional and two (2) charter public middle schools in Missouri (N=729). Using Structured Equation Modeling, the analysis demonstrated a strong positive correlation of the measured factors on enjoyment of school, thus supporting the reliability and validity of the Abbreviated School Climate Survey in measuring and predicting the effect of students’ perceptions of school climate factors on outcomes. Given the strong correlation of these school climate factors—both organizational and socioemotional—on student outcomes, it should be these factors, rather than discrete standardized test scores, that should drive education policy and assessment of school quality. Future studies could use this instrument to measure the effect of school climate factors on student outcomes, including academic, social and economic aspects.

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