A recent study conducted within public elementary schools in California, USA. explored the impacts of The International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) to school climate.
"School climate refers to the way a school fosters safety, promotes a supportive academic, disciplinary and physical environment, whilst encouraging and maintaining respectful, trusting and caring relationships throughout the school community." - National Center on Safe and Supportive Learning Environments (2019).
Considering the coalition and previous research on the PYP that suggests the programme may have positive impacts on the numerous outcomes, the IB research team explored how the PYP may conform to school climate connotations above.
Qualitative research methods involved the collection of interview and focus group data from eight different survey sites at schools across the state of California, USA. The data revealed various improvements to school climate from PYP students, including an increase in social and emotional learning, use of transdisciplinary instruction and teacher collaboration.
In addition, some 16years-worth of data was collected and analysed by the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS). The study reveals nine school climate outcomes which are assessed using the CHKS. When assessing the changes in school climate following the PYP authorization, eight out of nine school climate improvement outcomes were met, whilst six out of nine statistically significantly improved school climate outcomes were met post-authorization of the PYP schools.
Although the PYP was not initially designed for the intervention of school climate, the case study participants recognized the programme’s principles and supportive learning resources have a positive contribution towards the promotion of school climate.