School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


James Swezey


School Climate, Teachers’ Perceptions, Low Income, Multimethods, Ecological Systems Theory, Authoritative School Climate


Education | Educational Leadership


The purpose of this applied study was to further understand the problem of teachers’ perceptions of school climate in low income schools and to formulate a solution to address the problem using both qualitative and quantitative data gathered from teachers. The problem was that factors outside of the scope of control of teachers and administrators have the potential to affect school climate because teachers use multiple factors to gather and make a decision on their perception of their building’s school climate, and educators and researchers must understand these multiple facets in order to suggest improvement. In Chapter One, the researcher provided the reader with a background of school climate, the relevance of the study, proposed research questions, and important definitions to understand when working with school climate. This research aimed to answer the central question of how to improve school climate at Yellow Lane Elementary School, a low income school. Sub-questions included factors that teachers use to determine school climate, proposed solutions by the teachers, and the teachers’ perception of the impact of the student population has on the school climate. Chapter Two provided a theoretical framework for the research and summarized and analyzed the current literature. Chapter Three proposed the research design for this applied study that includes quantitative survey administration and qualitative data collection of interviews and focus groups. Chapter Four analyzed and described the results of the data gathered from the qualitative and quantitative methods. Chapter Five presented a solution to address the problem of low school climate at low income schools.