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Abstract

The study of classroom climate and community has been a hallmark of communication education research for several decades (Dwyer et al., 2004). This wealth of meaningful research has provided scholars and instructors an abundance of practical strategies and knowledge to help develop and strengthen classroom climate and community. Moreover, this research has illustrated the relevance and need for a positive classroom climate and community within our educational institutions. The impact of creating a community-oriented classroom climate was documented by Dwyer et al. (2004), who found that, “Fostering a positive climate and sense of community for students in educational settings has been linked with retention and academic success” (p. 265). Considering the notable educational value of this initiative, the importance of developing a supportive classroom climate becomes apparent. Recognizing the necessity of community development to student success, this essay describes the key elements of classroom climate and community, presents a unique activity to begin building community in the classroom, and concludes by discussing an extraordinary student bond forged through community development in one of our courses.

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