How a Positive School Culture Impacts A Child’s Personality
This article discusses the factors that constitute a positive school culture, and the different ways in which a child’s personality is influenced by it.
School culture is a broad term, which encompasses a multitude of things. The fundamental beliefs, shared values and norms, attitudes, rituals and ceremonies, and written and unwritten rules that influence the way school functions, are all part of school culture. It also includes the way the members of the school community interact with one another. School culture is generally categorized as a positive culture and negative culture. Several attempts have been undertaken to define the various aspects of positive and negative school culture with a view to developing strategies for improving them.
Firstly, let’s discuss a few characteristics that make up a good school culture. In a positive culture, there are many interactions among the members, and these interactions are defined by respect, openness, and positivity. The successes of students as well as teachers never go unrecognized. The physical, and also emotional, the safety of the students, teachers, administrators, and support staff is of utmost importance. A positive school culture celebrates diversity in all its forms; be it racial, linguistic, or ethnic diversity. All students, including minorities and students with disabilities, have equal access to learning opportunities. Relationships among the staff members are collaborative and productive, and the teachers model positive behaviors for their students.
The impact of positive school culture and climate extends far beyond the academic achievements of the students. Though there is a clear link between the school and classroom climate and the learning outcomes achieved by the students, the benefits of a nurturing culture are not only limited to it. Positive school culture has an impact on the students’ overall well-being, and their personality development. As it is well-known that the environment to which a child is exposed shapes their personality, the experiences of growing children in a school setting definitely play a part in the development of their personality. Here we discuss a few aspects of a child’s personality that are directly influenced by the school culture.
Social emotional development
As a positive school culture promotes healthy interactions among school members, it influences the development of the students’ social skills and their emotional intelligence. Both these things are extraordinarily important for the long-term wellbeing of a child. Students with good social and emotional management skills are more likely to graduate from college, perform better at job interviews, and achieve greater professional success. Social emotional skills are required for building healthy relationships, hence they benefit the students’ personal lives as well. As social skills are developed through interactions, the schools where teachers interact with children in a respectful manner, and students are provided opportunities for learning to communicate effectively, the children learn to interact positively, build relationships, connect with others, and disagree gracefully. School cultures that value diversity enables students to work effectively in work environments having employees from diverse cultural backgrounds.
A school is not just a place for learning to read and write. Children are spending a large part of their day at school, and hence the school has a role to play in the character building of children. Lessons on basic values should definitely be made a part of the school curriculum, but students primarily learn these values – like integrity, kindness, and respect – in environments where these values are exhibited by all those around them. Children tend to acquire these behaviors through social learning, i.e. by observing and imitating others. Furthermore, debates about moral and social issues make students think about who they are, and what are their values and beliefs.
Not being able to cope effectively with the various academic and personal issues that a child might experience can lead to serious mental health disorders in adolescence. In a poor or negative school climate, students tend to experience higher levels of anxiety. This is because one of the reasons of anxiety experienced by students in a school setting is the lack of social connectedness, and interactions that are marked by disrespect. A positive school culture, on the other hand, contributes to the mental wellbeing of the students by reducing the levels of anxiety that they go through. Also, the problem-solving approach promoted in such environments teaches the students to seek solutions to their problems. A positive school climate makes students feel that they are not alone, and that they can ask for help in case they need it. A school culture which emphasizes and provides facilities for extracurricular activities make the students better able to manage the stress associated with their academic requirements. In this way, the school culture has an impact on the mental health of the students.
Author Bio: This article has been written by Andy George, an educationist at write my assignment – A-OneAssignments.com, whose aim is to help schools build policies that focus on the all-round development of children.