Term of Award

Fall 2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Jason LaFrance

Committee Member 1

Teri Denlea Melton

Committee Member 2

Dan Rea

Abstract

The purpose of this correlational, quantitative study was to examine the magnitude and direction of the relationship between collaborative school culture and school achievement in rural, economically disadvantaged middle schools utilizing a 6, 7, 8 grade configuration. Survey data was collected from 263 teachers representing 12 rural, economically disadvantaged middle schools in the state of Georgia. Data collection tools included the Learning Community Culture Indicator (LCCI) 4.0 survey developed by Williams, Matthews, Stewart, and Hilton (2007) and the Georgia Criterion Referenced Competency Test (GCRCT).

The study generated data from 12 middle schools regarding the overall functionality level of their collaborative school culture, individual elements indicative of collaborative culture, and the presence of formal professional learning communities. Study results from Pearson’s product-moment correlations revealed no statistically significant relationships between overall school scores on the LCCI 4.0 and school achievement. Additional correlational analyses examined the relationship between individual elements of collaborative culture and school achievement, and findings indicated a statistically significant relationship between school achievement in the area of mathematics and the element identified as common mission, vision, values, and goals. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) 2 was utilized to compare functionality levels of collaborative culture and school achievement, and findings did not reveal any statistically significant results.

The study did not support the need for formal professional learning communities in schools as a prerequisite for highly functioning collaborative culture. Characteristics of highly functioning collaborative school cultures were identified within the research. While the study resulted in limited statistically significant findings, it may suggest an association between school achievement and collaborative school culture that bears future consideration.

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