Study shows positive classroom climate can decrease suspensions

10 months 15 hours 31 minutes ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 10:10:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
By: Lanitta Collier, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - MU Professor Francis Huang wants schools to rethink suspensions and embrace a positive learning environment.

Haung conducted a survey to see the overall relationship between student behaviors, the likelihood of suspensions and overall school climate.

He examined 75,000 students from 310 schools across Virginia.

In the survey, the results showed that fighting and bullying were the most powerful predictors of receiving a suspension and a positive learning environment was associated with a reduction in a student’s likelihood of receiving a suspension.

Suspensions are known to single-out disruptive students by removing them from the school for at least a half a day, but less than the remainder of the year.

In this study, Huang studies the loss in school engagement, increased risk of dropping out and higher chances of incarceration due to suspension.

"The removal of a student ultimately hurts the student more than their behavior," he said.

Huang believes that a positive school climate should be a two-way street between the administration and its students. 

“A positive climate is one where educators and administrators create clear expectations for students, practice consistent discipline and display supportive behavior," he said.

His study breaks down the importance of promoting a student's well-being through student-teacher relationships. When students understand what is expected of them, they feel a mutual support and respect for authority.

The expectation is also placed on teachers to give equal treatment to every student. 

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