School of Education
Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)
School Climate, Rural, Education, Perceptions, Achievement
Dolegowski, Matthew James, "Rural Teachers’ and School Leaders’ Perceptions of School Climate and Student Achievement in Math and Reading: A Multiple Case Study" (2022). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 3568.
The purpose of this multiple case study was to investigate teachers’ and school leaders’ perceptions of how school climate affects student achievement in math and reading at rural schools. The conceptual framework guiding this study was Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) ecological systems theory intertwined with the U.S. Department of Education’s School Climate Surveys (EDSCLS) (2019) school climate model to influence student academic achievement. Purposeful criterion sampling was used to select 13 teachers and school leaders from two rural schools in Western New York. Data was collected through a survey, teacher interviews, and school leader interviews. The data was triangulated and analyzed using open coding, categorical aggregation, and a cross-case synthesis to identify five themes relating to the research questions across multiple sources. The five themes included building strong relationships, social-emotional learning, empowering leadership, differentiation, and positive reinforcement. The results of the study revealed teachers and school leaders perceived school climate domains (engagement, safety, environment) affect student achievement in math and reading at rural schools.