Healthy schools : determining the factors that influence staff perceptions of school climate and culture in the Foothills School Division

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Hoffart, Gary
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2003
This study investigated perceptions about the healthiness of schools held by the teaching and support staff employed within the Foothills School Division. Four schools were chosen because they represented a cross section of the facilities, staff demographics, and grade configuration within the Division. Participants were asked to identify factors that they perceived to affect the healthiness of their school, with particular reference to elements of culture and climate. They were asked to respond within a developed conceptual framework consisting of four elements: ecology (physical and material aspects of an organization), milieu (characteristics of the organization's members), social system (pattern of the relationships among the people and groups), and culture (the norms, beliefs, values, and meaning of people). Of 160 questionnaires sent out, 55 were returned, a return rate of 34.4%. Staff members were given one month to complete the questionnaire. Analysis of the data revealed that staff in the Foothills School Division perceive their schools to be healthy places in which to work. Respondents consider natural light a positive enhancement to working in the building. They also indicate that demonstrations of individual, mutual and public respect are important. Differences in perception in regards to the four elements occurred between high school, middle school, and elementary school respondents. High school staff reported more favorably on cultural elements than did those representing midschool or elementary groups. Midschool respondents identified caring and support elements as most important. Elementary respondents identified leadership and school vision as the most important elements.
xi, 108 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm. --
School environment -- Alberta -- Evaluation , Educational sociology -- Alberta , Education -- Alberta