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The meaning of social climate of learning environments: some reasons why we do not care enough about it.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Special Education.
2010 (English)In: Learning Environments Research, ISSN 1387-1579, E-ISSN 1573-1855, Vol. 13, no 2, 89-104 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this paper is to analyse reasons underlying the neglect of social climate in education. It discusses the relevance of the concept of social climate in learning environments: presenting evidence of its effects; its importance in special needs and inclusive education; presenting existing differences between settings; discussing the contribution of social climate to teachers’ professional autonomy. The arguments support the view that social climate is an essential factor in educational processes and make incomprehensible the scarce attention reserved to it in educational policy, research and teacher programs. Indications of neglect in the Swedish context are presented. The resistance towards the concept of social climate is related to a) dualistic and hierarchic views; b) characteristics of bureaucratic systems; c) reductionist interpretations; d) difficulties in handling and evaluating social values and goals; e) post-modern criticism of scientific knowledge and psychology. Implications for counteracting reductive interpretations and meeting resistance and criticism are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2010. Vol. 13, no 2, 89-104 p.
Keyword [en]
social climate, learning environments, educational research, social climate, learning environment, interpersonal relationship, teacher education
National Category
Social Sciences Pedagogy Psychology
Research subject
Education; Special Education; Psychology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-29878DOI: 10.1007/s10984-010-9072-9OAI: diva2:235761
Social climate, participation and learning, VR 2008-4733FAS 2001-2078

Open access from the publisher website Partially supported by a grant from the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research, registration No 2001-2078 and by a grant from the Swedish Research Council, Registration No 2008-4733.

Available from: 2009-09-17 Created: 2009-09-17 Last updated: 2013-10-10Bibliographically approved

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Allodi Westling, Mara
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