School climate and students' early mathematics learning: Another search for contextual effects

Katerina Bodovski, Inbal Nahum-Shani, Rachael Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K)-a large, nationally representative sample of US elementary school students, we employed multilevel analysis to answer the following research questions: (a) Does students' mathematics achievement growth in grades K-3 vary among schools? (b) To what extent does school academic and disciplinary climate explain variation in mathematics achievement growth among schools? (c) Towhat extent do students' and schools' demographic characteristics explain this variation? While previous studies have examined the effects of school climate on student achievement in middle school and high school, the present study is focused on the effect of school academic and disciplinary climate on students' mathematics learning in the first 4 years of schooling-from fall of kindergarten to spring of third grade. We found that students' mathematics achievement growth varies significantly among schools and that students' improvement in mathematics achievement over time was higher in schools characterized by a stronger climate, above and beyond students' and schools' demographic characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-234
Number of pages26
JournalAmerican Journal of Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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