What is Classroom Culture?

Ginger Abbot

Feb 19, 2023

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Developing culture is a buzzword in the workplace. Most people are familiar with management teams instilling an ideology to frame the work and attitude of the office. A concept like this is translatable to the classroom, where instructors can construct an atmosphere of their choosing for an ideal learning environment. 

Because learning development methods can become trendy, we will analyze the relevance and benefits of developing classroom culture and whether the implementation is worthwhile.

What Is Classroom Culture?

Culture in a classroom is unique for every teacher. If the teacher wants to create an atmosphere of trust, they will incorporate measures to cultivate that feeling for students. If the teacher wants a culture of discipline, it will look different. However, most define classroom culture by a few common threads:

  • Promoting growth mindsets instead of fixed mindsets.
  • Encourage the students to give feedback and the teacher to provide helpful feedback.
  • Foster an accepting, inclusive environment for community and learning.

These classroom qualities support the intellectual growth and emotional development. If students don’t feel comfortable with their teacher or in the space, they will likely not flourish because they feel creatively stunted or unable to be vulnerable.

Suppose students feel equally empowered to speak and participate in activities while respecting the teacher’s rules and regulations. In that case, it’s likely a basis of a solid classroom culture is in place. 

How Do You Develop Classroom Culture?

The first way is always to remain open-minded. Developing classroom culture may be a time-consuming process that gradually solidifies over time. So, it’s crucial to prepare expectations. 

Teachers may need to experiment with various methods of positive reinforcement or delegating discussions. Because classrooms offer seemingly endless development opportunities, it may feel impossible to align each one to an ideal classroom culture.

To prevent this overwhelm, create a theme for the culture — freedom, joy, or knowledge. Then, every decision the instructor makes can be inspired by that theme. Having a foundation inform every decision will make the classroom culture more cohesive naturally over time.

When considering activities and classroom structures to design the environment with the classroom culture in mind, teachers have countless options, only limited by their creativity. If a teacher wants to create a kinder atmosphere, they could consider a shout-out wall, kindness chains, or gratitude journaling. 

Teachers can design lesson plans around what they want to flourish, such as developing more group activities for a great sense of togetherness.

It’s also vital to consider the students’ opinions regarding classroom culture. Teachers could have weekly classroom meetings to discuss their feelings about the room and how lessons unfold. Welcome criticism and honesty because this unfiltered feedback could be the springboard for robust classroom culture.

Why Is it Essential for Learning?

The most significant hope a teacher can have for their students is they leave every having learned. It’s even better if they discover more than the material in the textbooks — but if they understand more about themselves as people and how they interact with the world. Classroom culture ensures a chance of this happening.

Because creating a classroom culture can promote comfort and connection through a welcoming environment, it can also have these other effects:

  • Better emotional management
  • Higher self-esteem through tangible, self-driven goal-setting
  • Increased empathy for all types of people, regardless of background
  • Greater focus on quality, positive relationships
  • Improved decision-making skills

Finding opportunities to improve other skills in students will increase self-confidence and independence as they engage with assignments and group interaction. 

High self-regard reinforces itself when students have a more profound respect for the teacher, and subsequently the school, if they associate it with a place of belonging and growth. Students with a positive view of the educational institution will glean more in their studies and development.

Building Long-Lasting Classroom Culture

Classroom culture is ever-changing and constantly adapting to the students and teachers within the walls. The culture may remain the same as long as the teacher is there. It may shift depending on the student makeup. It could change weekly depending on student needs during that part of the curriculum or that phase in life. 

Classroom culture is a practical mental framework for understanding students’ and teachers’ relationship with their environment and how actions and stimuli influence their learning ability. Instilling a classroom culture could take varying degrees of effort, but all of the facets of developing one are worth a try.

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