Date of Award

1996

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Kofi Lomotey

Abstract

This study examined the relationship of individual student achievement with four variables--school social climate, race, gender, and socioeconomic status. Each of these variables was expected to be significantly related to student achievement. Student achievement was measured by the LEAP sores (averages of mathematics, language arts, and writing components of the test). School social climate was measured by the Brookover (1969) school social climate questionnaire. Researchers have searched for years for an explanation of the differences in student achievement levels. The differences in student achievement levels were noted as early as the 1800's, and many studies have been done linking various variables to student achievement. Climate is one of the variables that researchers have linked to student achievement. Yet, few researchers look at school social climate as defined by the Tagiurian typology as a variable affecting student achievement. Furthermore, few researchers look at factors that affect individual achievement of students (using the individual student as the unit of analysis). In this study, it was predicted that school social climate, gender, race, and socioeconomic status would be predictors of individual student achievement. Statistical analyses support the hypotheses. However, the relationship between individual student achievement and each of the variables is marginal. Race was the greatest predictor of student achievement accounting for only 1.4% of the variance. All other variables in the analysis were found to be contributors to individual student achievement. Yet, very marginal relationships exist. Case studies were also conducted in four schools to further investigate the relationship of school social climate, socioeconomic status, race, and gender to individual student achievement. Across schools, the students possessed characteristics, demonstrated behaviors, and gave responses that confirm patterns in the data. These patterns confirmed that relationships exist with student achievement and race, gender, socioeconomic status, and school social climate.

ISBN

9780591035407

Pages

239

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