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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Andra Mara Zommers
Doctor of Education
Department: Educational Leadership, Research and Technology
Title: Climate in Catholic Schools: A Comparative Study of Three
Types of Organizational Structures
Dr. Van Cooley, Chair
Dr. Jianping Shen
Dr. Margie Geasler
Date: Monday, March 16, 2009 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
3210 Sangren Hall
This study examines American Catholic schools’ organizational structures and their relationship with school climate through use of the national data from Schools and Staffing Survey 2003-04 by the National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education. The research focuses on the statistical assessment of Catholic school teachers’ perceptions of climate within three organizational structures. Another aspect of the research is the principals’ perception of climate within each of the organizational structures. Lastly, the study investigates whether teachers’ and principals’ perceptions of climate differ.
A weighted one-way ANOVA was run to investigate whether or not the type of Catholic school could be distinguished by teachers’ and principals’ perception of climate. A two sample t-test was conducted on each of the climate characteristics to determine whether or not the perceptions of the teachers and principals varied within each type of Catholic school. General descriptive information about each of the climate characteristics was also presented in response to the research questions. The results of both of the ANOVA analyses and each of the t-test analyses varied between each of the climate characteristics: teacher job satisfaction, teacher absenteeism, teacher influence on curriculum decisions, teacher influence on professional development decisions, teacher influence on discipline decisions, and teacher influence on budget decisions. Some of the climate variables revealed statistically significant differences between the three types of Catholic schools or between the teachers and principals, while others did not, warranting further discussion on each variable’s effect on climate.
This study provides support to previous literature on what affects climate in Catholic schools. It adds to the body of knowledge in the field of Catholic school structures and their relationship to school climate. The findings of this study provide quantitative evidence at a national level for educators, administrators and policy makers in their efforts to enhance climate and improve Catholic school restructuring efforts.