University of Tasmania
whole_GradyNevilleBrian1994_thesis.pdf (10.47 MB)

Images, metaphors and climates : an investigation of relationships between teachers' images of their schools, their perceptions of work climates, and students' perceptions of classroom environments

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posted on 2023-05-27, 00:23 authored by Grady, NB
There are two major purposes of the study. The first is to explore associations between students' perceptions of their classroom psychosocial environments and their teachers' perceptions of their school climates. The second is to investigate relationships between teachers' images of their schools, on the one hand, and perceptions they and their students have of their relevant school climate or classroom environment on the other. These purposes are translated into three specific research questions. In order to throw some light on why students experience considerable stress as they negotiate the transition between Primary and Secondary schooling, the questions are investigated across the Grades 5 - 8 range. The research questions are answered through employment of three paper-and-pencil questionnaires: 1) School Level Environment Questionnaire, which was developed originally by Fraser and Rentoul and later refined by Fraser and Fisher; 2) My Class Environment which was developed specifically for this study, but which was based upon Learning Environment Inventory (developed originally by Anderson and Walberg) and My Class Inventory (a simplified version of Learning Environment Inventory); and 3) Images of Schools through Metaphor which was developed as part of the study and which is quite innovatory in concept and form. The sample for the study proper was representative of the Tasmanian educational enterprise in many respects and consisted of more than 4,000 students and 162 teachers and classrooms in 48 schools. Other subjects, who were involved because some Principals took the opportunity to embark on a whole school audit in conjunction with the study, provided data which were also employed to validate/revalidate the questionnaires. The thesis concludes that the questionnaires were satisfactory tools to answer the three research questions, although suggestions are made for their improvement. In broad terms, it is demonstrated that teachers' perceptions of Student Supportiveness, in particular, are related positively to students' perceptions of their classroom environment (and hence to the quality of student learning). Similarly, teachers' images of their school which are concerned largely with cooperation and ceremony are shown to be associated positively with a range of classroom environment and school climate perceptions. Other images, such as those concerned largely with suppression, are shown to be related negatively with many of these environment/climate aspects. Associations between the teachers' and students' perceptions of the various climate/environment scales and the images teachers have of their schools are shown to differ somewhat at the Primary and Secondary levels, and these differences point to a number of implications for school leaders, especially concerning tighter coupling of core aspects of Secondary schools.


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Copyright 1993 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Includes bibliographical references (leaves 141-150). Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 1994

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