Learners are deeply known as individuals and are part of a learning community that is positive, secure, and open to all backgrounds and perspectives.

The principle of Community focuses on the environment in which learning occurs and emphasizes the importance of students being deeply known as individuals and experiencing a learning environment that is positive, secure, and open to all backgrounds and perspectives.

Community Look Fors

belonging, community

Learners feel and demonstrate that they are part of a community with shared values and beliefs, as well as appreciation for each individual’s unique ideas, perspectives, and backgrounds.

joy, community

Learners experience positivity, warmth, and joy in the school.

equitable engagement, community

Learners voice ideas and perspectives freely and equitably, ensuring each individual is an active contributor to the community.

connectedness, community

Learners have positive relationships with both peers and with adults who act as role models and provide learners with emotional support when needed so that learners feel seen, heard, safe, and known.

upholding norms, community

Learners understand and uphold norms to maintain physical and emotional safety and predictability in the learning environment.

These subconcepts were informed by literature on school and classroom climate. Climate is often broken into three categories: emotional, organizational, and instructional (Pianta, La Paro, & Hamre, 2008). While each of these categories is covered in the C2D2 Framework, the focus of the Community principle is largely the emotional climate, or how students feel within the environment, and to a lesser extent, the organizational climate, or how learning time and learning spaces are structured. These topics are essential to the development of a positive climate and subsequently to learning because emotions play a role in governing both behavior and cognition (Appleton et al., 2008; Immordino-Yang & Damasio, 2007).

More specifically, negative emotions such as anxiety or insecurity can inhibit interest, enjoyment, and engagement in school while feelings of psychological safety, trust, confidence, and happiness can promote these positive outcomes (Curby et al., 2009; Wentzel, 1998; Woolley et al, 2009). Fostering a positive climate is supported by meeting a student’s need for closeness to others and their need for feelings of competence and control regarding how to be successful in school (Appleton, Christenson, & Furlong, 2008).