Conference Countdown
San Diego, Calif.
October 30 - November 1, 2015
  • membership
  • my account
  • help

    We are here to help!

    1703 North Beauregard Street
    Alexandria, VA 22311-1714
    Tel: 1-800-933-ASCD (2723)
    Fax: 703-575-5400

    8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday

    Local to the D.C. area, 703-578-9600, press 2

    Toll-free from U.S. and Canada, 1-800-933-ASCD (2723), press 2

    All other countries (International Access Code) + 1-703-578-9600, press 2

  • Log In
  • Forgot Password?


Conference on Educational Leadership

Conference on Educational Leadership

Connect with the top leaders, develop your leadership skills, and leave empowered with new ideas to put into practice in your school or district

Learn more and register.



ASCD respects intellectual property rights and adheres to the laws governing them. Learn more about our permissions policy and submit your request online.

Policies and Requests

Translations Rights

Books in Translation

School Culture and Climate


ASCD's A Lexicon of Learning defines school climate and school culture as:

The sum of the values, cultures, safety practices, and organizational structures within a school that cause it to function and react in particular ways. 

Some schools are said to have a nurturing environment that recognizes children and treats them as individuals; others may have the feel of authoritarian structures where rules are strictly enforced and hierarchical control is strong. 

Teaching practices, diversity, and the relationships among administrators, teachers, parents, and students contribute to school climate. 

Although the two terms are somewhat interchangeable, school climate refers mostly to the school's effects on students, whereas school culture refers more to the way teachers and other staff members work together.

What the Experts Say

Hear what ASCD's authors and experts have to say about school climate and culture.