Date of Award

8-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Jerry Willis

Second Supervisor

Nancy Kavanagh

Abstract

This quantitative study assessed the school climate and teacher morale of 8 of 11 elementary schools in one urban school district in the Lower Hudson Region of New York State. Instruments used to gather the perceptions of prekindergarten to sixth-grade classroom teachers were the Organizational Health Inventory (OHI-E) for elementary schools and the Purdue Teacher Opinionaire (PTO). Sub factors on the OHI-E were institutional integrity, collegial leadership, resource influence, teacher affiliation, and academic emphasis. Factors on the PTO were rapport with principal, satisfaction with teaching, rapport among teachers, teacher salary, teacher load, curriculum issues, teacher status, community support, school facilities and services, and community pressures. The inferential statistics used in the data analysis included t tests, Kruskal-Wallis ANOVAs, planned comparisons using chi-square analyses, and Pearson’s r . The OHI-E revealed that overall school health in the district and schools should not be based solely upon an overall health index, but should take into account individual sub factors. The PTO revealed that overall teacher morale in the district and individual schools was relatively consistent and positive as a result of teachers’ relationships with their respective principals. Principals supported teachers despite the many challenges faced in the district. Elementary principals instilled a sense of pride and enthusiasm in their buildings, encouraging teachers to exhibit these attributes in their schools. Areas of moderately low morale were related to the quality of school facilities and services, and lack of community support. Current challenges and data provide a platform for further discussion between all stakeholders.

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