Date of Graduation
This study examined the relationships between and among the three variables of communication style of the public school principal in West Virginia, school climate, and student achievement. Demographic variables included sex of the principal, school level, school size, and socioeconomic status. The population of this study consisted of Kâ€“12 teachers from 350 different public schools in West Virginia who were surveyed regarding their perceptions of the communication style of their principals and the climates of their schools. Data on student achievement, sex of the principal, school level, school size, and socioeconomic status were also collected. Multiple regression and Pearson correlations were used to analyze the data. This study established a link between the principal's communication style and school climate. The relationship between passive communication and school climate indicates that where principals exhibit communication which is friendly, attentive, and relaxed, the teachers perceive their schools climates as being positive. In addition, the principal's communication style communicator image positively correlated with climate indicating the importance of the principal's overall communication to the teacher's perception of school climate. The findings also showed a positive correlation between the school climate subscale of respect and student achievement which supports the literature on effective schools in that school climate relates to student achievement. However, in contrast to current literature, the overall school climate was not found to relate to student achievement. Furthermore, the communication style of the principal was not found to relate to student achievement. This may be due to the fact that socioeconomic status in Vest Virginia's public schools is such a powerful variable that neither the communication of the principal nor the school climate has been able to influence student achievement. The school level was found to negatively correlate to school climate indicating that the school climate was more negative in schools of higher levels than it was in elementary schools. Since this study did establish a relationship between communication and climate and the literature on effective schools establishes the link between climate and student achievement, further study between communication and student achievement is recommended.
Roberts, Linda Sue, "The relationship of the communication styles of public school principals in West Virginia and their schools' climates to student achievement." (1998). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9660.