Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

James E. Sweeney


The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of teachers regarding school climate and their perception as to the principal determinants of climate. The results represent the attitudes and beliefs of 32 randomly selected high school teachers in a midwestern city;The study took place between August 1986 and June 1987. A qualitative approach was employed using interviews as the primary data gathering technique. A total of 32 secondary school teachers were interviewed. The subjects were randomly selected from a group of 200 volunteers from six urban public high schools. Analysis revealed seven prevalent themes which help us to understand school climate. Of these seven listed below, the first two appear to be most influential: (1) The principal is the prime mover in establishing a school climate. (2) The extent and nature of staff cohesiveness exert a strong impact on school climate. (3) Support for teachers from the principal was reported to be an important source for climate satisfaction. (4) Community perceptions and parental support are important factors in influencing school climate. (5) Key leaders among the staff play an important role in shaping school climate. (6) The impact of central offices, school board directors and local politics is often perceived negatively. (7) Teachers tend to perceive a negative shift in climate over the past decade;The results of this study are presented in three journal articles. Liberal use of direct quotations help describe the perceptions and opinions of the teachers.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Jeffrey Steven Winter



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

112 pages