Sense of belonging, well-being, positive education, international school, identity, values and experiences.
The Aim: The sense of belonging is considered one of the basic human needs, supporting engagement in education and increasing wellbeing. Yet, very few studies have attempted to enhance levels of students belonging in school, which is what the current study aimed to do. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of a classroom-based, peer intervention aimed to enhance students’ sense of belonging
Method/Rationale: An experimental study was carried out with 55 fourth and fifth grade students, aged nine to eleven, at an international school in France. Two measures were used in the current study: The Psychological Sense of School Membership (PSSM), which measured students’ sense of belonging, and the Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale (MSLSS) evaluating their life satisfaction. Data were collected from the experimental and waiting group before, immediately post intervention and a month later.
Findings: Results of the full-scale tests demonstrate statistically significant growth in mean values in both the PSSM school belonging measure and the MSLSS student life satisfaction measure. Statistically significant growth was also found when the peer group questions were separated from the overall scale, but not in the friendships’ subsection of the MSLSS.
Limitations: Future studies should consider a larger sample and an experiment with students from at least two schools.
Conclusions: Results provided evidence for the effectiveness of an intervention to enhance school belonging and student life satisfaction.