School Climate: The History of the Concept, Approaches to Defining, and Measurement in PISA Questionnaire

  • Tatiana Chirkina HSE University
  • Tatiana Khavenson HSE University
Keywords: PISA, schoolclimate, educational measurement, modern test theory, confirmatory factor analysis


School climate is a significant factor of educational achievement. However, relevant research in Russia is difficult due to the absence of instruments. The paper peeks into the histor y of the notion of school climate, discussing approaches to defining the term. It also describes the most widespread questionnaires used to measure school climate and provides an analysis of their components. The empirical study is based on the student questionnaire used by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which should ideally allow measuring a number of school climate aspects. A psychometric analysis based on the methods of confirmatory factor analysis and modern test theory reveals that the structure of school climate indices is different from what questionnaire designers expected it to be. It can not be clearly determined whether the questions reflect the school climate indicators that the questionnaires were supposed to measure. Some statements are worded in such a way that most school students should either agree or disagree with them, without showing any difference in their attitude toward the subject. The scale is unbalanced for the majority of items. The article suggests making some specific steps to improve this instrument.


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How to Cite
Chirkina, Tatiana, and Tatiana Khavenson. 2017. “School Climate: The History of the Concept, Approaches to Defining, and Measurement in PISA Questionnaire”. Voprosy Obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no. 1 (March), 207-29.
Education Statistics and Sociology