Principal-Teacher Interaction and Primary School Climate in Trinidad and Tobago

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George Gowrie


The research focused on the extent to which selected dimensions of principal and teacher behaviour could be measured and classified within the framework of one of the more recent models for measuring primary school climate - the Organizational Climate Description Questionnaire (Rutgers Elementary, the OCDQRE). The model is a modification and updated version of the original Organizational Climate Description Questionnaire (OCDQ) developed by Halpin and Croft (1963). A research team at Rutgers University evaluated the original OCDQ as a measure of school climate. New items were generated and tested. The findings suggested that this revised instrument was a valid and reliable measure of primary school climate. The study recognized that the concept of school climate is a loosely-defined global construct with considerable variation in its measurement as well as the multidimensional variables of principal, teacher, student, parent and the wide community as climate constituents (Katz and Khan 1966, Anderson 1982). However, for the purpose of the study, school climate was limited and defined as a set of measurable properties of teacher - teacher and principal- teacher relationships based on their collective perceptions in the school setting. The following questions were considered important to the study: To what extent is the OCDQ - RE model a reliable measure of primary school climate in Trinidad and Tobago? Which primary schools in the sample could be classified as open, closed engaged and disengaged when teacher and principal behaviour mean scores were combined?

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