Date of Award

Spring 5-9-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Policy Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Jami Berry

Second Advisor

Dr. Terry Sapp

Third Advisor

Dr. Helen Wang


This study examined teachers’ perceptions of school climate as it relates to subject area in an elementary school setting. For the purpose of this dissertation it is important to distinguish between two different groups: Homeroom Teachers refers to teachers in core subject areas traditionally evaluated through standardized tests, and Special Area Teachers refers to teachers in areas that are not tested with standardized tests such as art, music, and physical education. The inquiry included four teachers from one elementary school whose student population closely mirrored the demographics of the school district as a whole. The qualitative and quantitative data included school climate data and teacher perception data. The school climate data was collected from the Georgia School Personnel Survey administered as part of the College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI) included in Race to the Top. The teacher perception data was accumulated through semi-structured interviewing. The survey results revealed special area teachers feel less connected to and less supported by other teachers. Several responses within the semi-structured interviews suggested that although the results of the School Personnel Survey for the selected elementary school were very favorable and suggested a very positive school climate, the relationship between special area and homeroom teachers was not necessarily symbiotic.

The results of the research constructed a microcosm description of how perceptions of homeroom teachers and special area teachers differed on the subject of school climate.