Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)

Degree Level



Curriculum and Instruction


Tom Smith

Committee Member

Ed Bengtson

Second Committee Member

Janet Penner-Williams


Achievement, Climate, Culture, Leadership, School


The purpose of this study is to determine how different public-school teachers and staff perceive school climate at an achieving public middle school. The research sought to find relationships between teacher sub-groups and other staff members, and how they perceived the school climate, either negatively or positively. The researcher believed that there would be a positive perception of school climate, which coincided with high student achievement. Additionally, it was believed that there would be no relationship between teacher types or demographics, and how the climate would be perceived among the different groups. This paper also presents a review of the current literature and the limitations of these studies. The last section of the paper describes the personal experiences and frameworks that could potentially influence the study. The proposed study used a mixed methods approach using quantitative and qualitative methods to seek understanding of the relationships from a case study approach. This study sought to understand the following research questions: What perceptions of school climate exist within a school with high student achievement; and how do different teacher and staff member groups perceive school climate within a school with high student achievement? Answers to the following sub-questions were also sought: Do selected demographic factors have an effect on teacher perceptions of school climate; and do differences exist in how sub-groups of teachers and staff members within the same school perceive climate? The study incorporated the Organizational Climate Description Questionnaire for Middle Schools (OCDQ-RM) by Hoy (1998) as the quantitative climate instrument. For the qualitative data, the researcher asked a series of 12 open-ended questions. A total of 53 questionnaires were returned out of 67 (rate of 79%). A total of 6 interviews were conducted. Several sub-group comparisons were made and several groups had significant differences in how they perceived the school climate on various dimensions of the OCDQ-RM. Of all the group comparisons with significant differences, the reading group compared to the all-other participants group had the most significant differences with 4 of the 8 climate dimensions. Some primary conclusions or explanations for the reading group’s perceptual differences were that they are highly monitored by administrators and instructional facilitators, the students as a whole are behind in reading to begin with, and reading is a high-stakes tested area. Other group differences and explanations are provided as well.