The relationship between student and teacher perceptions of the organization climate of their school

Robert Joseph John Phelan, Fordham University


The study sought to determine whether a distinct organization climate permeates the elementary school organization from the principal down to the students. This research asked, "Is there any correlation between how a teacher and that teacher's students perceive the organization climate of their school?" Nine elementary schools in Bergen County, New Jersey, were selected for this study. Six were public schools, two were parochial schools, and one was a private school. The Likert Institute's Profile of a School Questionnaire was administered to 47 teachers and to 909 students. T tests for variability were run between groups of teachers and groups of students divided on the basis first of schools and then of classrooms. There were three major conclusions based on the results of this study: (1) Elementary schools do have distinct organization climates. When the scores that expressed the teachers' perception of the school's organization climate were compared, the differences between groups of schools were significant. (2) There is a relationship between the student and teacher perceptions of the organization climate of their school. Schools that teachers found to be significantly more participative were found by their students to be significantly more receptive. (3) When classrooms replaced schools as the basis for comparison, the observations based on the schools were reinforced. When divided by schools, the teachers' perceptions of their school's organization climate were significantly different in all subscales except Teacher Job Satisfaction. Between groups of classroom teachers there was a significant difference in all subscales including Teacher Job Satisfaction. There were several more precise observations. Teachers who found their principals more open to teacher participation were in turn considered more enthusiastic--more friendly, attentive, interested, and caring by their students. Their students also seemed to love learning and enjoy school significantly more. The teachers' perception of the organization climate that the principal established seemed to influence how the students perceived their teachers, their schools, and learning itself.

Subject Area

School administration|Elementary education

Recommended Citation

Phelan, Robert Joseph John, "The relationship between student and teacher perceptions of the organization climate of their school" (1998). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9839516.