Ashley Boal and Jonathan Nakamoto—WestEd
This study examined the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme’s (PYP) impact on school climate within public elementary schools in California. School climate refers to the ways in which a school fosters safety, promotes a supportive academic, disciplinary and physical environment, and encourages and maintains respectful, trusting and caring relationships throughout the school community. The study used a combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies: interviews and focus group data from eight case study sites across the state based on indicators of strong PYP implementation; and growth curve modelling analyses to determine whether the trajectories of PYP schools on the school climate outcomes changed post-authorization. This study found numerous improvements to school climate that participants at all or most of the case study schools attributed to the PYP. Participants at every school reported increased focus on social emotional learning and the whole child, and the use of transdisciplinary instruction and teacher collaboration because of the PYP. The quantitative data showed small, but statistically significant, improvements post-authorization on six school climate outcomes: perceived safety, caring relationships, fairness, parent involvement, bullying and victimization.