Social identity in schools: Enhancing leadership, learning and well-being"

Date & time

4–5pm 31 March 2015




Professor Kate Reynolds

Since 2007 ANU Psychology has been involved in a research partnership with the ACT Education and Training Directorate. The project is focused on the role of group processes in explaining and shaping behaviour and well-being in schools. More specifically, it examines relationships between school climate (norms, structures, practices), school identification (psychological connection to the group) and school outcomes (e.g, student engagement, academic achievement, well-being, aggression, job involvement, work health). Positive school climate is one factor that is repeatedly demonstrated to relate to educational and well-being outcomes. School identification is included based on the social identity perspective and is argued to help explain how positive school climate impacts on individual functioning and behaviour.  It is through the psychological processes of social identification that staff and students come to feel part of the in-group and internalise the norms, values and beliefs the define the group and therefore seek to uphold the norms (be model members), provide and benefit from group support, and have a greater sense of meaning and purpose.  Over 10,000 students and 2,200 staff have been involved, with all public schools in the ACT completing the survey since 2014.  In this presentation the theoretical model and key results of the project will be outlined.  The aim is also to discuss the ongoing challenges of the research-policy interface, the impact of the project on government policy and leadership practices in schools, and the importance of theories of human behaviour within the educational context. 

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