Title

The Relationship between Classroom Climate Variables and Student Achievement

Date of Award

2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department

Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Patrick Pauken

Second Advisor

Marlene Boas (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Mohammed Darabie (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Judy Jackson May (Committee Member)

Fifth Advisor

Rachel Vannatta Reinhart (Committee Member)

Abstract

The purpose of this mixed methods study was to first analyze quantitative data to identify if a relationship existed between classroom climate variables and student achievement. The quantitative data were taken from Progress Book software in a Northwest Ohio school district. Data from Progress Book was chosen to be analyzed because the studied district may use data from Progress Book, namely class grade average, to make decisions regarding the effectiveness of teachers. Additionally, data regarding the use of postings to Progress Book may be used by the studied district to make decisions about technology use in the district.

Next, four teacher participants were chosen from the quantitative data as effective teachers. The four participants were observed and interviewed to ascertain the instructional strategies effective teachers use to engage students learners in their classrooms to increase student achievement and decrease office removals. The use of research-based practices was also explored.

Significant negative correlations of Class Grade Average with Postings on Progress Book, Number of Assignments, and Percent of Students on an IEP were found within the course data. A significant positive correlation between Class Grade Average and Class Size was also found. Within the teacher data set, a significant negative correlation between Class Grade Average and the Percent of Students on an IEP was established. All correlation coefficients were weak and indicate limited practical significance.

The qualitative analysis resulted in the finding that while the quantitative data showed all four participants were effective, some were more effective than others based on the instructional techniques used within their classrooms. The targeted research-based practices were not observed being consistently used across the classrooms.

There is a need to develop knowledge about what classroom climate variables can impact student achievement. The findings of the current study showed that classroom and school factors such as teacher effectiveness can influence student achievement. The present study reflects the need to consider professional development in the area of research-based instructional practices. In addition, caution should be taken when using one quantitative measure as the sole means of evaluating teacher effectiveness.