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The Role of Students' Perceptions of Classroom Climate in Predicting Academic Motivation and Assigned Grades in Middle School Mathematics

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The Role of Students' Perceptions of Classroom Climate in Predicting Academic Motivation and Assigned Grades in Middle School Mathematics
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DAVIS, SUSAN E. ( Author, Primary )
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2008

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Classroom environment ( jstor )
Classrooms ( jstor )
Educational environment ( jstor )
High school students ( jstor )
Learning ( jstor )
Learning motivation ( jstor )
Mathematics ( jstor )
Motivation ( jstor )
Student motivation ( jstor )
Students ( jstor )

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University of Florida
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Copyright Susan E. Davis. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
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12/18/2004
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THE ROLE OF STUDENTS' PERCEPTIONS OF CLASSROOM CLIMATE IN
PREDICTING ACADEMIC MOTIVATION AND ASSIGNED GRADES IN MIDDLE
SCHOOL MATHEMATICS















By

SUSAN E. DAVIS


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ARTS IN EDUCATION

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2004


































Copyright 2004

by

Susan E. Davis

































To my husband, Jack.















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to extend my gratitude to Dr. Heather Davis. Dr. Davis contributed to

this project from its inception, providing me with the concepts and data extracted from

her larger study. Her assistance in developing the project, guiding the research process,

teaching me how to manage large data sets, and translating findings into words was

invaluable to me. I would like to express my gratitude to my committee members, Dr.

Tina Smith-Bonahue and Dr. Randall Penfield. Dr. Smith helped me gain focus and

perspective while working on this project. Her advice and editing skills were

indispensable and much appreciated. Dr. Penfield's guidance throughout the analysis

provided me with greater insight into statistical procedures as well as realizing the

implications of the findings. I would like to extend a special thanks to Dr. Patricia

Ashton who lent her time and attention during my defense. Finally, I would like to thank

my husband, Jack, and son, Jim for their patience and support. They have encouraged me

throughout my education and I could not have achieved so much without their love

behind me
















TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................................................. iv

LIST OF TABLES ........... ...................... ........... ......... .................. .. vii

LIST OF FIGU RE S ........................................ ............ .............. .. viii

ABSTRACT ........ .............. ............. ...... .......... .......... ix

CHAPTER

1 IN TRODU CTION ................................................. ...... .................

2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ........................................ ......................... 3

C classroom C lim ate.................. ...... ... ...... .... ........ .. .............. ... ..............4
Role of Belongingness in Classroom Climate, Motivation, and Achievement.....5
Contribution of School Climate to Classroom Climate, Achievement, and
M o tiv atio n .............................. ... ........... ....... ...... .. ........... ...............6
Teacher Contribution to Classroom Climate, Achievement, and Motivation.......7
Student Contribution to Classroom Climate in Relation to Motivation and
Achievement ............................... ... ............ ......... ............ 10
Gender Differences in Classroom Climate....................................................... 12
Domain Differences in Classroom Climate............................... ............... 13
Developmental Differences in Classroom Climate ..........................................14
C apturing C classroom C lim ate................................................................ ............... 15
S u m m ary ...................................... .................................................. 16
P u rp o se ............................................................................ 1 6

3 M E T H O D O L O G Y ........................................................................ .......................18

P a rtic ip a n ts ......................................................................... 1 8
M e a su re s .................. ...................................................... ................ 19
C classroom C lim ate ........................ ............ .............. ...........19
M o tiv atio n ...................................................... ................ 2 0
G rad es ................................................................................................ .... 2 1
P ro cedu res ..................................... .................. ................................................2 1
A n a ly sis ..............................................................................2 2
C reatin g C om p o sites ..................................................................................... 2 3









Statistical A analysis ........................ ............ ............... .... ....... 23

4 R E S U L T S .............................................................................2 5

D e scrip tiv e D ata ................................................................................................... 2 5
M o tiv atio n ..................................................................................................... 2 6
A chievem ent ..................................................... ........... .. ...... 28

5 D IS C U S SIO N ............................................................................... 3 1

Perceptions of Classroom Climate and Motivation .................................................32
Classroom Climate and Achievement ............................................. ............... 33
Im p lic atio n s ...........................................................................3 5
L im stations and Future Studies........................................................................ ... 38

APPENDIX REGRESSION EQUATIONS ....................................... ............... 41

L IST O F R E F E R E N C E S ........................................................................ .....................48

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E TCH ..................................................................... ..................53
















LIST OF TABLES

Table page

1 M eans and Standard Deviations...................................... ......... ......... 25

2 M motivation Full M odel. .................................................................... ..................26

3 Regression for End of Year Motivation : Final Model .............. ...................27

4 Regression for Achievem ent: Initial M odel .................................... .................28

5 Regression for Achievement : Revised Model............... ......... ..................29
















FIGURE

Figurege

1 B aselin e M otiv action ........................................................................ ...................4 0















Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Education

THE ROLE OF STUDENTS' PERCEPTIONS OF CLASSROOM CLIMATE IN
PREDICTING ACADEMIC MOTIVATION AND ASSIGNED GRADES IN MIDDLE
SCHOOL MATHEMATICS

By

Susan E. Davis

December 2004

Chair: Tina Smith-Bonahue
Major Department: Educational Psychology

The purpose of this study was to determine if middle school math students'

perceptions of classroom climate could predict their end of year academic grade point

averages and reported levels of end of year motivation. Students were asked to rate their

mathematics class on perception of order and organization as well as perception of rule

clarity and fairness of enforcement. Students also rated how much they valued learning

math and how well they expected to perform in the class. Results of this study indicated

students reported a significant decline in motivation in mathematics at the end of the

year. Students who rated classrooms as more orderly and organized tended to achieve

higher grades and report higher levels of end of year motivation. Students who perceived

rule policies as clear and fair reported higher levels of end of year motivation. There were

no effects for rule clarity on grade achievement.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

As a first year graduate student, I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Heather

Davis as a research assistant. Dr. Davis had been examining the role of student-teacher

relationships among middle school students. As part of this extensive study, Dr. Davis

collected a wide range of information concerning middle school students, in a

comprehensive effort to understand the many impacting variables on academic success.

Among the variables, were students self-report of values and expectations of academic

success, their perceptions of school climate, classroom climate, and parent and peer

relationships, as well as their perceptions of their relationships with their teachers. By

exploring the values and expectations of the teachers, their perceptions of students'

success, their perception of school climate, and their perceptions of their relationships

with students, this larger study focused on constructing relationship models to explain the

variables impacting student-teacher relationships in middle schools in relation to student

success.

While working with these data sets, Dr, Davis would discuss the data with me and

answer questions I had regarding the implications each of the measures. During these

discussions, I became interested in how these variables impact student performance in

schools. Of greatest interest to me, was the construct of classroom climate. In the past, I

have had teachers and classrooms that remain prominent in my memory of school. Those

teachers made a difference to me, motivating me to out-perform my previous

performances. Along with this unexpected excellence, came the realization that learning









was worthwhile and satisfying, intrinsically. Because of the memories of those most

prominent experiences, I was driven to wonder what specific qualities figure most

prominently in positive academic experiences. The data collected in this larger study

gave me an opportunity to explore these qualities.

Of the many questions I had, I wanted to understand how classroom variables

affected student outcomes and if these outcomes were measurable in actual grade

achievement. Classrooms that are orderly and organized, in which rules and expectations

are fair and consistent, closely resemble my thoughts on classroom factors that would

facilitate personal growth and academic success. Therefore, I decided to pursue these

constructs of classroom climate. When discussing possibilities with Dr. Davis, she urged

me to consider other factors involved, such as students' expectations for success and the

value they place on learning and achievement. In order to understand the effects of

classroom climate on achievement, I realized that I would have to factor in and control

for individual levels of motivation. It was then that I wondered if classroom climate

would also affect motivation levels. By using existing data from Dr. Davis' larger study,

I decided to pursue this topic as well. In researching academic domains correlated with

classroom climate scales, I selected math classes, since traditionally methods of

instruction appeared to rank highest in correlation to the constructs of Order/Organization

and Rule Clarity (Moos & Trickett, 1974). Finally Dr. Davis and I arrived at this study,

which examines the predictive role of classroom climate on achievement and motivation.














CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

Focus on educational outcomes has increased in the past decade with statewide

high stakes testing and nationwide school accountability programs. In an effort to

improve the academic success of students, it has become necessary to examine all

components of the educational process in order to maximize the effectiveness of

instruction within the classroom. Demonstrated to enhance the learning process and

affect academic outcomes (Kunc, 1992; Osterman, 2000) classroom climate has been

emerging as an important component of education (Haertel, Walberg, & Haertel, 1981).

The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of classroom climate on motivation

and achievement. In order to understand and measure its effects, this study will examine

the roles of the school, the teacher, and the individual student as they contribute to

classroom climate in relation to student motivation and achievement. In examining role

of classroom climate and motivation on academic achievement, this study seeks to

answer two questions. First, if individual levels of motivation are controlled for, will

students who perceive a more positive classroom climate score higher grades than those

with less positive views? Second, if controlling for initial levels of motivation, will

students with more positive perceptions of classroom climate report feeling more

motivated at the end of the year?

In the following sections, this study will define classroom climate and describe the

contributory components comprising classroom climate in relation to motivation and

learning. The contribution of school climate to classroom climate will then be considered









as it relates to student motivation and achievement. This study will examine how

teachers contribute to classroom climate through their own qualities and experiences

(Crohn, 1983) and how students contribute to classroom climate with personal

characteristics affecting how they interpret classroom climate (Chapin & Eastman, 1996).

Contributions of student motivation to perceptions of classroom climate in relation to

achievement (Alspaugh, 1998) will also be examined. Because individual motivation has

been found to impact achievement, it will be necessary to understand its effects in order

to clarify the roles of motivation and classroom climate on achievement.

Because this study is interested in students' perceptions of classroom climate on

achievement and motivation for mathematics, possible differences will be considered for

gender, developmental age, and preferences for math. Finally, the impact of perceptions

of classroom climate on achievement and motivation will be examined. In order to

understand the impact of classroom climate, it must be first understood.

Classroom Climate

Wang, Haertel, and Walberg (1993) described classroom climate as encompassing

all the socio-psychological dimensions of classroom life. This included common interest

and the pursuit of common goal achieved through focused, organized and well planned

lessons. The physical arrangement of the classroom furniture, the availability of resource

materials, length of the class period (Chapin & Eastman, 1996), and type and pace of

instruction (Wang et al., 1993) were also considered to influence the climate of the

classroom. In sum, all events and influences within the classroom, including classroom

management, comprised the construct of classroom climate (Gottfredson & Gottfredson,

1989).









Classroom climate encompassed the level of task difficulty (Wang et al., 1993),

individual values, and interpersonal relationships (Gottfredson & Gottfredson, 1989).

Review of the literature suggested that individual values and level of task difficulty were

important determinants of student motivation to achieve (Wigfield, 1994). Therefore, in

order to understand the role of classroom climate on student achievement it was

necessary to understand the role of motivation in classroom climate as well as on

academic outcomes.

The next section will review how fundamental needs to belong to a community,

school, and classroom affect perceptions of classroom climate as well as motivation and

achievement.

Role of Belongingness in Classroom Climate, Motivation, and Achievement

Baumeister and Leary (1995) posited that the need to belong is a fundamental

human motivation. Belongingness, or the feeling of relatedness to others, has been

suggested as an influential factor in academic outcomes owing to its importance in

behavioral and socio-emotional development (Deci, Vallerand, Pelletier, & Ryan, 1991).

Belongingness has been correlated with lower rates of emotional distress, drug abuse,

violent behavior, criminal behavior, suicide, and school dropout rates (Battistich & Horn,

1997; Resnick et al., 1997). Deci and colleagues (1991) suggested the need for a sense of

belonging, was so important that not meeting these needs could adversely affect

development, motivation, and performance.

Beyond the community of family and peers, belongingness has been directly linked

to student motivation and engagement within the school (Kunc, 1992; Osterman, 2000).

In a study by Goodenow (1993a) belonging and support was demonstrated as having

significant effects on motivation and achievement in individual subjects. Levels of









classroom belonging were significantly associated with motivation-related measures

indicating values for academic classwork and expectancies for success (Goodenow,

1995). Children who reported feeling involved within the school community were more

likely to report a stronger sense of identity, a greater sense of autonomy, a better ability to

self-regulate their behavior, a greater tendency to respect authority, with a lesser

propensity for engaging in deviant or negative behavior (Johnson, Lutzow, Strothoff, &

Zannis, 1995; Kunc, 1992; Osterman, 2000).

While the importance of belongingness has been suggested by many to be critical

to the development of cognitive and emotional process of students, research also showed

that needs for belongingness were largely disregarded by schools (Kunc, 1992; Osterman,

2000). According to Kunc, schools were more likely to believe that the meeting of

emotional needs should or did occur within the home community of family and peers.

Students with unmet or greater needs, therefore, might be less likely to experience

belongingness within the school community.

Because the fundamental need to belong, and how it is promoted in the schools,

effects the climate of the school and the individual students level of motivation for

achievement, the next section will review the effects of school climate as it contributes to

classroom climate, motivation and achievement.

Contribution of School Climate to Classroom Climate, Achievement, and
Motivation

The extent to which a school community promotes belongingness has been

demonstrated to affect outcomes in student development, motivation, and achievement

(Kunc, 1992; Osterman, 2000). Studies found that schools rated high in the

encouragement of student interrelationships, providing for feelings of safety and security,









attention paid to morale, parent and community involvement, and in structure and

organization reported less drop out rates, higher attendance records, greater levels of

student engagement and motivation, and improved student educational outcomes

(Alspaugh, 1998). Alspaugh suggested the significance of school climate was the degree

to which policies and practices support or endorse these qualities. The relationship

between school climate and student performance and student motivation was strong but

indirect, retaining its influence across grades (Fyans & Maehr, 1987).

Directed by policy and practices, the school community, consisting of teachers,

students, and administrators, along with individual values and expectations, comprise the

school climate. Rather than for their unique style of teaching which may contradict with

the traditions within the school, prospective teachers tended to be hired for their

congruity with school administrators' expectations (Hamilton, 1983). Therefore, school

climate indirectly affects classroom climate through the adopted policies and practices of

the teachers. Ellis (1996) proposed that these practices were brought into the classroom

and became components of the students' immediate community, the classroom

environment.

Along with the promotion of school climate, teachers contribute their own personal

characteristics to classroom climate, which impacts student motivation and achievement.

To gain a better understanding of the role of the teacher in relation to motivation and

achievement, the contributions of teacher characteristics will be examined.

Teacher Contribution to Classroom Climate, Achievement, and Motivation

Classroom climate variables involving teacher characteristics have been described

by Chapin and Eastman (1996) as teaching methods, clear goals, and standards,

vocational relevance, and appropriate workload. According to Haertel, Walberg, and









Haertel (1981), positive classroom climates enhanced deeper rather than surface learning

approaches. A surface approach to learning or reproductive learning has been described

as reliance on the routine, memorization of materials. These more traditional approaches

to learning allowed the student to recite facts and figures, with little interpretation.

Deeper approaches to learning were those in which the teacher prompts the student to

make connections of the new material with previous knowledge or with different aspects

of that knowledge (Dart, Burnett, & Purdie, 2000). Dart (1998) suggested teachers could

promote deep approaches to learning by creating classroom climates that were safe and

supportive, with ample opportunities for exploration and experimentation. Clear and

structured rules (Keyser & Barling, 1981), predictability and clarity (Anderson, Stevens,

Prawat, & Nickerson, 1987), and teacher support (Osterman, 2000) were also found to

promote deeper, rather than surface, approaches to learning. Additionally, explicit

learning objectives, guided student practice, appropriate instructional pace, frequent

assessment and positive feedback (Wang et al., 1993) with frequent opportunities for

active engagement and participation (Keyser & Barling, 1981) promoted deeper

approaches to learning. These positive classroom climates not only enhanced learning

approaches, they were consistently correlated with higher achievement in a variety of

educational outcomes (Haertel et al., 1981).

Other characteristics found to impact student success were expectations and

behaviors of the teacher (Crohn, 1983) and teacher creativity (Denny & Turner, 1967).

Direct influences, such as the frequency and quality of student-teacher interactions, were

also found to impact student success (Juarez, 2000;Wang et. al., 1993). Jacobson (2000)

suggested that teacher student relationships could promote student motivation and









increase students' values for success through positive rapport and establishing supportive

learning environments. In a study by Goodenow (1993a), teacher support was strongly

correlated with expectancy and values for student success.

While many studies have examined the role of relationships, other studies have

concluded that elements of the instructional style, assignments, and degree of

competitiveness promoted within the classroom were key determinants of educational

outcomes. In a study involving 3rd and 4th grade students, Anderson and colleagues

(1987) demonstrated the importance of the predictability of the task environment.

Among his conclusions, he found learning was enhanced when teachers structured the

classroom environment in a predictable and comprehensible manner. Specifically,

teachers should provide explicit structures of information regarding the predictability, the

consistency and relevance of tasks as well as providing students with a sense of control

over their outcomes (Anderson et. al., 1987). Orderly and organized classrooms allowed

for more emphasis on instruction and less in control, thereby increasing the amount of

time spent on the lessons (Proctor, 1984). Other factors affecting teaching and learning

included appropriate workload, clear goals, and consistent standards (Townsend & Hicks,

1995).

In addition to these elements of classroom environment, the role of interclass

competition was suggested to have an impact on academic success. While in most

studies, a cooperative environment has been shown to enhance educational outcomes

(Fraser, 1986) and attitudes (Zahn, Kagan, & Widaman, 1986), other studies have

suggested that competition, in certain academic areas may, in fact, increase student

productivity and learning ability (Dunn & Harris, 2002).









Not only have teacher characteristics been found to contribute to classroom climate,

motivation, and achievement, individual student characteristics have been found to

mediate the effects of classroom climate on achievement and motivation as well. The

next section will be review how the students contribute to classroom climate.

Student Contribution to Classroom Climate in Relation to Motivation and
Achievement

Review of the literature suggested each individual brings into the classroom his or

her own personal characteristics as well as previous educational history and experiences.

Some of these characteristics included their sense of well-being, self-efficacy beliefs

(House, 2002; Jackson, 2002), self-concept (Crohn, 1983), sense ofbelongingness

(Goodenow, 1995; Osterman, 2000), as well as their satisfaction within social activities

(Townsend & Hicks, 1997) and interpersonal relationships (Osterman, 2000).

Just as students may differ in their personal characteristics, such as interest and

knowledge, self-ability, and locus of control, so may their interpretation of the learning

environment, which shapes their approach learning (Chapin & Eastman, 1996). For

example, in a study of classroom motivation, Greene (1983) found classes containing

more motivated students were perceived to have greater involvement, order and

organization, and task orientation. Deci, and colleagues (1991) suggested teachers who

supported active student engagement with mathematical concepts and who promote

personal construction of math ideas may encourage more autonomy and independence in

students, thereby increasing intrinsic interest in math.

Students' evaluation of their learning environment was found to be guided by their

individual values and expectations for success (Eccles, 1983). Wigfield, and colleagues

(1992) found that as early as the second grade, children have developed values for school









activities as well as beliefs about their performance abilities. Although younger children

tended to overestimate their abilities (Winfield, 1994) and engaged in tasks based upon

personal interest, motivation for engagement was recognized early (Wigfield, Eccles, &

Rodriguez, 1994).

Eccles' (1983) model of expectancy-value system assumed that an individual's

belief in, and interpretation of, an event were more influential on his behavior than the

event itself. According to Eccles and colleagues (1983), the value an individual placed

on task engagement related to level of interest, or intrinsic value, how important it was

perceived to be, attainment value, and how useful it was perceived to be, utility value.

They further suggested that the cost of engaging in a task, which excluded engagement in

other, more desirable activities, affected the level of motivation to engage. Additionally,

competency beliefs, or how well one predicts performance level, mediated the motivation

to engage. From this perspective, students with high expectations and values for success

might be more likely to engage in academic tasks with higher motivation to achieve while

students with lower expectations and values for success might be more likely to avoid

academic tasks, which would result in lower achievement.

Likewise, Townsend and Hicks (1997) found students who reported more social

satisfaction reported higher value and lower task cost associated with mathematic and

language curricula. Classroom climates that promoted individual goal setting and

provided choices for students were judged to be more encouraging by middle school

students (Pintrich et al., 1994). Classrooms reporting variations in the use of learning

strategies, valued effort, and fostered positive feelings toward learning were found to be

more successful in promoting mastery of subject material (Ames & Archer, 1987).









Perceptions of teacher support were positively associated with instructional techniques

that featured mastery and learning goals (Wentzel, 1995). Other studies found that the

degree to which students' feel they are cared about mediate academic performance

(Goodenow 1993b; Haertel 1996; Wentzel 1995).

Although individual values and expectations for success were found to impact

students' motivation and achievement, elements in classroom climate were different for

boys and girls. Goodenow (1993a) found that teacher support was found to have a

stronger association with expectancy and value for girls while boys were more likely to

be influenced by peer support. Because of gender differences in motivation, the next

section will examine the potential gender differences in perceptions of classroom climate.

Gender Differences in Classroom Climate

Gender differences have been found in classroom climate ratings (Townsend &

Hicks, 1995) with girls viewing classroom climate more favorably than boys (Goh &

Fraser, 1995). Girls were more likely to favor a cooperative learning atmosphere (Owens

& Barnes, 1982) in which positive social interactions provided a means of student

support rather than individual competitiveness (Slavin, 1991). Because girls may be

more likely to engage in behavior that is consistent with cooperative learning styles

(Charlesworth & Dzur, 1987), Gardner, Mason, and Matyas (1989) found they were more

likely to benefit from this type of classroom structure than boys. Specifically, in areas of

mathematics and language activities, girls' outcomes were more affected by climate

factors than boys', with girls having more success in cooperative goal structured

environments such as language curriculum (Townsend & Hicks, 1997). Because the

domain in which the climate is perceived may mediate successful outcomes in relation to

climate classroom, the effects of domains will be considered in the next section.









Domain Differences in Classroom Climate

Fraser (1993) found that classroom environment variables might actually

differentiate among different curricula. Different components of classroom climate were

found to correlate with success in different academic areas (Moos & Trickett, 1994).

Deci, Spiegel, Ryan, Koestner, and Kauffman (1982) suggested teachers who support

active student engagement with mathematical concepts and promote personal

construction of math ideas may encourage more autonomy and independence in students,

thereby increasing intrinsic interest in math. Conversely, a study on the effects of

competition upon mathematical achievement determined that competition actually

enhances learning in areas of math computation, concepts and applications (Dunn &

Harris, 2002). While Dunn and Harris (1998) found no evidence that climate influences

mathematical achievement in 4th grade students, Goh and Fraser (1995) not only found

consistent associations between climate and outcome, but also found that in areas of

mathematics, while boys performed better, girls rated classroom environment more

favorably than boys.

The perception of the learning environment may also affect the quality of

educational outcomes (Dart, 1998; Fraser, 1986). Providing a caring and supportive

environment was determined to be a necessary component in academic success (Juarez,

2000). Positive classroom climates have been associated with higher achievement

outcomes for students in schools rated as having more positive climates than those with

less positive outcomes (Alspaugh, 1998). For high school chemistry students, classroom

climate variables have been accountable for a substantial variance in cognitive and

affective outcomes beyond the characteristics of the student (McRobbie &Fraser, 1993).

Specific variables in classroom climate, such as class activities, instructor skill, and the









extent of critical demands were found to mediate academic outcomes for students

(Hoffman, 1979). In studying the effects of domain differences, however, Wigfield and

Eccles, (1992) found these differences change as children grow older. The next section

will examine the possible effects of students' development in perceptions of classroom

climate.

Developmental Differences in Classroom Climate

While belongingness, family, teacher, and peer support play an important role in an

individual's values and expectancies, the impact of these supports diminish with age.

Goodenow (1993) discovered a decline in the impact of these factors from 6th grade to 8th

grade and concluded that previous external influences on concepts of these constructs

may begin to be replaced the more internalized concepts and self-efficacy beliefs. Fyans

and Maehr (1987) also reported a shift in influence from family, to school to peer as

children aged from 4th to 10th grade. With older students, academic experiences, such as

prior knowledge, successes, and failures were found to play an important role in their

current perceptions of values for learning as well as how successful they expect to be

(Jacobson, 2000). Jacobson, suggested students with previous success in a subject may

feel more confident and have a higher sense of self-esteem and self-efficacy, which may

support a better expectation of future achievement. Those with negative experiences may

feel devalued, reluctant to participate, with less motivation than their counterparts.

Therefore, while individual motivation plays an important role in achievement, it may be

changeable across grades. These findings suggested the effects of students' perceptions

of classroom climate might be susceptible to grade level differences. In order to

determine the effects of classroom climate perceptions, however, it must be measurable.

The next section reviews scales designed to measure perceptions of classroom climate.









Capturing Classroom Climate

Scales not only differ in terminology, but also on focus, according to the authors'

definition of classroom climate (Fraser, 1979; Moos, 1974). According to Moos (1974),

climate refers to a group phenomenon relating to the social and psychological atmosphere

of any social setting. Within this social climate, there exist four dimensions:

Relationships, Personal Development, System Maintenance, and System Change.

Relationships refer to the type and intensity of relationships and include teacher-student,

student-student, and staff-staff It reflects the extent to which individuals within the

environment are involved, helpful, and supportive as well as the quality of openness

within the relationships. Personal Development includes competition with emphasis on

academic achievement and describes the basic direction in which personal growth and

self-enhancement tend to occur. System Maintenance includes organization and

orderliness within the classroom. Rule clarity, teacher consistency, and clarity of

expectations are among the factors encompassed in this dimension. System Change

refers to the manner and facility of change within the classroom as well as advocated

variety within activities and creativity in student thinking. From these basic dimensions,

a variety of scales were developed to assess classroom climate. The Classroom

Environment Scale (CES) is one assessment scale, developed by Moos, to assess the

social climate of the classroom environment in grades 7-12 (Moos & Trickett, 1973).

The CES is based upon the four dimensions of climate and focuses on student interest

and participation, interclass room relationships, the measurement of support within the

environment, emphasis on task completion, the degree of task difficulty, the factors of

interclassroom competition, the clarity of rules and expectations, the enforcement of rules

and expectations, as well as how the overall environment is organized and managed. In









addition, student contribution to creativity and planning, regarding class activities, is also

considered.

Summary

School communities have been found to exert influence upon the classroom in

addition to the influences of teachers and students. The policies and practices of the

schools have been found to direct how the educational process is addressed within the

classrooms. Within the classrooms, teachers have been found to bring unique perspective

into the learning environment through teaching philosophy as well as student-teacher

interaction. Additionally, each student has been found to enter the classroom with their

own expectations and values, competency beliefs, and learning preferences developed as

a result of their unique experiences. These perspectives may be different for girls versus

boys and may be subject to change in response to academic domain and developmental

age. These findings from the literature suggested in order to measure the effects of

classroom climate on motivation and achievement, it will be necessary to include the

influence of gender and grade differences for this study, as well as students' self-ratings

of motivation at the beginning of the school year.

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationships among classroom climate,

motivation, and achievement. Classroom climate has been described as encompassing all

the socio-psychological dimensions of classroom life (Wang et al., 1993). Students in

this study were asked to rate their perceptions of mathematics classroom as to the degree

of order and organization present in the class as well as how clear and consistent they

perceived the rules to be. Motivation has been described as encompassing the expectancy

of success and the value placed on that attainment (Wigfield & Eccles, 1992). Students









were asked to rate their levels of motivation in math class at the beginning and end of the

year. Achievement was measured in end of year in numerical points, ranging from 0 to

100. Because the literature regarding motivation, achievement, and classroom climate

ratings suggested students may vary by gender, age (Fyans & Maehr, 1987; Goodenow,

1993a), and the individual characteristics they bring to the classroom (Biggs, 1993;

Chapin & Eastman, 1996), this study attempted to control for these variables.

In past studies, classroom climate ratings were compared to mean grade

achievement. To date, little or no research has centered on class grades, in relation to

classroom climate ratings. This study will examine the relationship between students'

perception of classroom climate with academic outcomes and end of year motivation in

mathematics. Specifically, this study proposes:

* Students' higher or more positive ratings of the Order/Organization and Rule
Clarity scales of CES (Moos & Trickett, 1973) will predict higher academic
outcomes

* Students' higher or more positive ratings Order/Organization and Rule Clarity
scales of CES (Moos & Trickett, 1974) will predict end of year motivation














CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

Participants

Data for this study were collected as part of a larger, school-wide case study in a

rural middle school (Davis, 2001). The middle school was situated in a predominately

agricultural county. Participants included 860 of the 1,100 students in the 6th, 7th, and 8th

grades. Of the 860 students, 425 were boys and 435 were girls. Additionally, 45

teachers, including 28 homeroom teachers, also participated. At each grade level,

students are divided into two teams of five teachers for their core classes of English,

reading, mathematics, social studies and science. Within the larger study, multi-method

data were collected simultaneously throughout the year. Survey data were collected at

four time points from the students and three time points for the teachers over the 1999-

2000 school year.

The purpose of this study is to examine the students' perception of classroom

climate as it predicts academic outcome in mathematics in 6t, 7th and 8th grade at time

point four, at the end of the school year. Additionally, this study examines the effect of

classroom climate perception as it predicts motivation levels at the end of the academic

year. For this study, 342 students (N= 169 boys, N=173 girls, N= 81 6th grade, N= 135

7th grade, and N=125 8th grade) were selected on the basis of participation across all time

samples.









Measures

Classroom Climate

The Classroom Environment Scale (CES) was developed by Moos and Trickett

(1973) to assess students' perceptions of the learning environment in junior and senior

high school classrooms, grades 7-12. The development of the CES was based on the

theory that there are four basic dimensions of social climate: relationships, personal

development, and system maintenance and the physical environment. Each of these

dimensions exerts a directional influence on behavior, for example learning and

achievement in the classroom. System Maintenance measures the extent to which the

environment is organized, orderly and clear in expectations. The System Maintenance

dimension includes the subscales of Rule Clarity and Order and Organization. Rule

clarity measures the degree to which the teacher presents clearly defined classroom rules,

ensures the students' understanding of these rules, and the consistency with which the

teacher enforces these rules. Order and organization measures the emphasis on students

behaving in and orderly, quiet and polite manner and the overall organization of

classroom activities and assignments.

Data for this study were originally collected as part of a larger study encompassing

the role of social context on students' motivation, learning, and achievement. Rule

Clarity and Order/Organization were two measures that helped define the properties

involved in student-teacher interactions and relationships (Davis & Davis, under review).

The standard methods of mathematical instruction are generally organized into

presentation then practice of new mathematical concepts in primary and secondary

schools. Because of this widely accepted instructional style, mathematical curriculum is

found to be most highly correlated with these subscales. Therefore, these two dimensions









were the focus in the assessment of classroom climate. Classrooms rated high on

organization and clarity has been found to correlate with better educational outcomes.

Therefore, by focusing on these, it may be possible to determine if students' perceptions

of classroom climate can predict their level of mathematical achievement.

A shortened form of the CES was administered encompassing these two

dimensions, with 10 items measuring the qualities of Order/Organization and 10

measuring the qualities of Rule Clarity. The 20 item survey included questions such as

"The Math teacher is consistent in dealing i ith students who break the rules" and "Math

is well organized" and was completed across the domain of math as well as the domains

of English, social studies, science, and reading. This study focuses on the classroom

climate assessment of mathematics.

The test-retest reliability of the CES was determined using 52 students within a 6-

week interval. Reliability was reported as .85 for Order and Organization, and .72 for

Rule Clarity (Moos & Trickett, 1994). An internal reliability analysis conducted for each

scale in this study revealed an internal reliability of .80 for System Maintenance, .65 for

Order and Organization, and .74 for Rule Clarity.

Motivation

To measure domain-specific motivations, items were drawn from the self-efficacy

and intrinsic scales of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ:

Pintrich & DeGroot, 1990). Items on these scales were developed to evaluate students'

perceived confidence and ability to perform in middle school and junior high school. For

this study, items were slightly altered in order to evaluate domain specific motivations.

Questions such as "I ihinuk i hIt we are learning in class is interesting" were changed to

"I ihiluk ii ht we are learning in math class is interesting." In addition, three items were









eliminated due to similar wording. Internal consistency estimates for this subscale were

reported at r = .89 (9 items) for the expectancy of success and r = .87 for the value of

academic success (9 items) scales (Pintrich & DeGroot, 1990). Our findings revealed

internal consistency estimates ofr = .83 for expectations of success (8 items) and r = .82

for value of success (7 items).

Grades

Grades were measured by numerical points, scored 0 through 100, assigned to the

students at the end of the year for mathematics. All grade data were collected at the

completion of the study.

Procedures

Passive parental consent for survey participation was obtained for initial

recruitment of each student. After notifying parents of the nature of the school-wide

project, the purpose of the study, and the types of questions to be asked, parents were

asked to respond only if they did not want their child to participate. Assent was also

obtained from each student.

Students were asked to complete surveys in class at four time points throughout the

school year (time 1 = beginning of year, time 2 = midpoint of year, time 3 = early spring,

time 4 = end of year). All survey items were rated on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from

1-Never true to 5-Always true. Students were allowed to complete the surveys at their

own pace, with make up sessions arranged for those students who were unable to

complete the surveys during class or students who were not present during the original

administration times. For this study, time point 1, beginning of the year, and time point

2, end of the year, were considered.









The CES (Moos& Trickett, 1973) abridged form measuring students' perception of

classroom climate on the System Maintenance and Change dimensions was administered

during class at time 3, in the early spring. Data for motivation were collected at time 1,

for the dependent variable motivation 1, at the beginning of the school year. Data for end

of year motivation were collected at time 4, for the dependent variable motivation 3.

Data on the students' grades were collected at the end of the year.

Analysis

Data from Classroom Climate (Moos & Trickett, 1973) scales were entered into a

text file and imported to SPSS (10.0 for Windows). An integrity check was performed to

ensure the accuracy of the data. In order to address unavailable data, a correlational

relationship was established among each item with all other items within the same grade

level and domain. Each item was then examined to compare the strongest correlation of

inner-item ratings. For example, ratings for item 1 might be strongest for items 5, 9, 15,

and 17 within the 6th grade math surveys. These four strongest correlations were summed

and averaged to produce a predicted value for the missing response. Owing to the

strength of the correlation selected, these values were considered the best estimate with

greater predictability for individual item response. Because unavailable responses were

rare, these imputed values were not anticipated to affect the overall outcome of the items

rated.

Data files were sorted by descending order using the student identification number

with the order of variables listed in the same sort sequence. Initially, data for climate,

motivation, and grades were entered into imputed files. Data were merged by

identification number per each domain, matching cases listwise. In rare instances, cases

with duplicate numbers were identified and cross referenced with their original hard









copy, corrected, and re-entered. Cases that did not have matching cases in the other files

were excluded from analysis (e.g. listwise deletion). Once the files were merged, data for

math domain were selected for the purpose of this analysis.

Creating Composites

In order to maintain consistent direction of response analysis, items whose wording

reflected an opposite direction of strength in perception of quality rating were reverse

coded. For example, item 8 on the classroom climate scale asks Math hardly ever starts

on time. Students responding with a 1 indicate that they always disagree; therefore, the

response reflects that math always starts on time. Items such as these were recorded to

represent "one" to reflect a strong absence of the quality being perceived and "five" to

indicate a strong presence of the quality being perceived. Data for motivation were

entered using the same procedure. The actual grade point averages, collected at the end

of the year, were entered into an SPSS file for each participant.

Observations with multiple omissions across all three measures were excluded.

Coefficient alpha was used as an estimate of reliability. For the System Maintenance

scale, the value equaled .80, and for Order/Organization, the value equaled .74.

Using frequency and descriptive statistics, composite data were screened for

missing values, normality, and outliers. A composite score was computed for each

subscale to create variables for Order/Organization and Rule Clarity by averaging scores

across items.

Statistical Analysis

The independent variable, classroom climate, was examined in relation to the

dependent variable of achievement and motivation. A univariate analysis of variance

between subjects was run on the classroom climate subscales to evaluate homogeneity of









student ratings of classroom climate across teachers. Results indicated the Rule Clarity

and Order/Organization subscales exhibited differences in teacher ratings. Because this

study was interested in patterns of students' perceptions, scores were standardized to

control for the influence of actual teacher differences.

For each analysis, two multiple-regression models were examined, one for

classroom climate with achievement and one with classroom climate and motivation.

The first model included the interactions of gender and grade on Order/Organization,

Rule Clarity, and motivation 1. Non-significant interactions were dropped, one at a time,

from the regression equation. Analyses were then conducted to examine the linear

relationship between the five predictive variables of Order/Organization, Rule Clarity,

beginning of the year motivation 1, gender, and grade level with end of year motivation 3

and end of year achievement (see appendix A).

For each analysis, an omnibus test of the proportion of explained variation in each

response variable by the predictive variable in combination was calculated. Using semi-

partial correlations, the unique contribution of each variable was considered.
















CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

Descriptive Data

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between students'

perceptions of classroom climate with end of year motivation in mathematics and

students' perceptions of classroom climate with academic outcomes in mathematics. By

controlling for student ratings of motivation at the beginning of the year, as well as

gender and grade differences, this study proposed:

* Higher ratings of Order/Organization and Rule Clarity scales of the CES (Moos &
Trickett, 1973) will correlate positively with higher academic outcomes.

* Higher ratings of Order/Organization and Rule Clarity scales of the CES (Moos &
Trickett, 1973) will correlate positively with higher ratings for end of year
motivation.

Table 1. Means and Standard Deviations
6t grade 7th grade 8h grade
Total
Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls

End of Year Motivation 3.94 4.01 3.76 3.65 3.46 3.58 3.70
(.70) (.61) (.73) (.83) (.75) (.68)
(.75)

End of Year Achievement 85.07 87.08 85.16 86.41 75.89 84.30 83.78
(7.28) (7.26) (9.77) (13.74) (13.16)
(8.41) (11.16)
Perception of Classroom 2.93 3.00 3.09 2.97 2.82 3.03 2.97
Order/Organization (.45) (.49) (.51) (.56) (.67) (.54)
(.57)
Perception of Classroom Rule Clarity 3.27 3.45 1.56 1.46 3.12 3.28 2.57
(.57) (.58) (1.88) (1.74) (.71) (.69)
(1.51)
Baseline Motivation 4.05 4.09 3.96 3.82 3.54 3.82 3.85
(.49) (.68) (.74) (.77) (.84) (.64) (.73)

N=45 N=36 N=61 N=74 N=62 N=63
N=341












Motivation

Regarding motivation, this study proposed students' higher ratings of

Order/Organization and Rule Clarity scales of the CES (Moos & Trickett, 1973) would

positively correlate with higher self- reported ratings of end of year motivation for

mathematics. Data analysis began by testing a full model in Time 1 (baseline) by gender

and grade level.

Table 2 displays findings based on the initial model run. This model accounted for

35.8 % of the variance (F(342.9)= 16.75, p<.000). Table 2 demonstrates interaction of rule

clarity by grade to be significant. To teat for interaction effects, post hoc analysis using

multiple regression, revealed the effects to be non-significant. Interactions were dropped,

yielding a revised model for predicting end of year motivation.

Table 2. Motivation Full Model.
Model B t value p value r R F p

End of Year Motivation .599 .358 16.75 .000

Perception of Classroom 0.236 3.474 0.001*
Order/Organization
Perception of Classroom Rule 0.104 2.238 0.026*
Clarity
Gender -0.112 -0.343 0.732

Grade 0.241 0.649 0.517

Baseline Motivation 0.360 5.135 0.000*

Gender/Order Interaction -0.415 -1.355 0.176

Gender/Rule Interaction -0.046 -0.190 0.849

Gender/Motivation Interaction -0.157 -0.483 0.629

Grade/Order Interaction -0.294 -0.930 0.353

Grade/Rule Interaction 0.573 2.135 0.034*

Grade/Motivation Interaction 0.069 0.238 0.812

Note. Denotes significant difference at p < .05









The final model for end of year motivation in table 3 explained 35 % of the

variance in end of year motivation (F(342,5)= 30.10, p<.000) .

Table 3 Regression for End of Year Motivation : Final Model
Model B value p value r R F p

End of Year Motivation .592 .350 30.102 .000

Perception of Classroom 0.153 3.278 0.001*
Order/Organization
Perception of Classroom Rule Clarity 0.095 2.116 0.035*

Gender -0.450 -1.889 0.060

Grade -0.136 -3.009 0.003*

Baseline Motivation 0.376 5.865 0.000*

Gender/Baseline Motivation Interaction 0.459 1.886 0.060

Note. denotes significance at p < .05 Note. Gender differences approach significance

As anticipated, a significant positive relationship was also found between end of year

motivation and students' ratings of perceptions of classroom Rule Clarity, perceptions of

classroom Order/Organization. These findings suggested students who perceived their

classroom as more orderly and organized with fair and explicit rules tended to report

higher levels of motivation at the end of the year.

Differences by gender and baseline motivation approached significance (p = .06)

When comparing gender, these findings suggested boys may have somewhat lower

competency beliefs and/or value math less at the beginning of the school year than girls.

Differences by gender and end of year motivation approached significance ( p=.06) with

girls reporting higher levels of motivation at the end of the year when comparing across

grades. However, when comparing all the boys' and girls' ratings of motivation in

middle school mathematics, overall, there were no significant differences (Figure 1).










Lastly, findings revealed significant differences in end of year motivation based on

grade level suggesting students report different levels of motivation across the 6t, 7th, and

8th grades. Students in 6th grade reported the highest levels for motivation in mathematics

while the 8th grade students reported the lowest level of end of year motivation towards

math. This finding supports earlier research that, although values and expectations for

math remain constant in relative to rankings of other domain in terms of importance and

usefulness, such as reading and English, motivation towards mathematics decline as

children grows older (Wigfield et al., 1994).

Achievement

Regarding achievement, this study proposed students' higher or more positive

ratings of the Order/Organization and Rule Clarity subscales of the CES (Moos &

Trickett, 1973) would predict higher academic achievement in mathematics at the end of

the school year. Data analysis began by testing a full model in Time 1 (baseline) by

gender and grade level. Table 4 displays findings based on the initial model run.

Table 4 Regression for Achievement: Initial Model
Model B t value p value r R F p
End of Year Achievement 0.442 0.196 8.866 0.000
Perception of Classroom 0.172 2.608 0.009*
Order/Organization
Perception of Classroom Rule 0.089 1.885 0.060
Clarity
Gender 0.338 1.032 0.303
Grade -0.685 -1.877 0.061
Baseline Motivation 0.202 2.912 0.004*
Gender/Order Interaction -0.149 -0.495 0.621
Gender/Rule Interaction -0.036 -0.148 0.882
Gender/Motivation Interaction 0.002 0.007 0.995
Grade/Order Interaction 0.291 0.936 0.350
Grade/Rule Interaction -0.082 -0.263 0.792
Grade/Motivation Interaction 0.328 1.142 0.254
Note. denotes significance at p < .05 Note. Grade differences approach significance

This model accounted for 19.6% of the variance (F(342,l0)= .8.9, p<.000). Post hoc

analysis tests for interaction using multiple regression, dropping each interaction, one at a









time, revealed the effects to be non-significant. Interactions were dropped, yielding a

revised model for predicting end of year motivation. The final model predicting end of

year motivation, gender, math grades, and baseline motivation with perceptions of

Order/Organization, Rule Clarity is presented in Table 5.

Table 5 Regression for Achievement: Revised Model
Model B t p r R F p
value value
End of Year Achievement .433 .188 18.836 .000
Perception of Order/Organization 0.168 3.533 0.000*
Perception of Rule Clarity 0.079 1.756 0.080
Gender 0.221 4.548 0.000*
Grade 0.168 3.754 0.000*
Baseline Motivation 0.151 3.312 0.001*
Note. denotes significance at p < .05

This model explained 16.8 % of the variance (F(342,4)= 18.8, p<.000). Findings

indicate a significant positive relationship between achievement and students' ratings of

Order/Organization. Students who perceived the classroom as more structured and

organized tended to earn higher grades than students who did not.

A significant negative relationship was found between baseline motivation and

achievement. These findings suggested the students who reported lower levels of

motivation for math at the beginning of the school year achieved higher grades than those

who did not. However, student levels of motivation decline when comparing across

grades while achievement improves. When comparing 6th grade students to 8th grade

students, motivation levels tend to decline and achievement in mathematics increases.

Therefore, when combining grade levels, these findings may suggest the overall rate of

decline in motivation is greater than the overall rate of increase in achievement. .

However, this study did not address the level of achievement and motivation across

grades. The negative relationship is not expected for within grade comparisons









Gender differences were found to be significant for achievement. Girls tended to

earn higher grades at the end of the year than boys (Table 1). These findings do not

support earlier studies that suggest boys tend to have higher achievement in math for

middle school students (Goh & Fraser, 1995).

Lastly, there were significant differences in achievement by grade level.

Achievement in 8th grade was significantly lower for boys and significantly higher for

girls (Table 1). Because this study did not address the level of math difficulty across

grades, future studies are needed to examine the role of grade and math performance in

middle school.














CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among classroom

climate, motivation, and achievement. Classroom climate has been described as

encompassing all the socio-psychological dimensions of classroom life (Wang et.al.

1993). Students in this study were asked to rate their perceptions of mathematics

classroom as to the degree of order and organization present in the class as well as how

clear and consistent they perceived the rules to be. Motivation is described as

encompassing the expectancy of success and the value placed on that attainment

(Wigfield & Eccles, 1992). Students were asked to rate their levels of motivation in math

class at the beginning and end of the year. Achievement was measured at end of year in

numerical points, ranging from 0 to 100. Because the literature regarding motivation,

achievement, and classroom climate ratings suggest students may vary by gender, age

(Fyans & Maehr, 1987; Goodenow, 1993a), and the individual characteristics they bring

to the classroom (Biggs, 1993; Chapin & Eastman, 1996;), this study attempted to control

for these variables.

This chapter presents a discussion and interpretation of the results of the study as

they relate to previous findings in the area of classroom climate and motivation, as well

as the research questions and hypotheses. It also addresses the implications of the

findings. The chapter concludes with a discussion of future directions for research and

limitations of the current study.









Perceptions of Classroom Climate and Motivation

The first goal of this study was to determine if students who rated perceptions of

classroom climate higher on would report higher levels of motivation at the end of the

year than students with lower ratings. For end of year motivation levels, results of this

study indicated that students who rated classroom climate as higher in rule clarity and

order/organization also tended to report higher levels of motivation at the end of the

year. These findings supported the literature, which suggested positive classroom climate

promotes students' expectations and values for success.

In this analysis, there were no statistically significant differences between males'

and females' ratings of motivation in middle school mathematics. However, while boys

reported higher levels of motivation for math at the beginning of the year, girls tended to

report higher levels of motivation towards math at the end of the year. Because the

literature suggested boys have higher competency beliefs, with higher task values, and

greater expectations for success for math (Wigfield & Eccles, 1992), it was expected

ratings of motivation for math, boys would report higher ratings at both time points.

However, literature also suggested that values and expectations associated with math

decline for both boys and girls (Wigfield et. al., 1998). These findings bring interesting

questions about gender differences in motivation. While motivation declines for math for

girls and boys, these findings suggested the decline might be somewhat more pronounced

in males during middle school. Another possibility may be recent trends in math

competency suggesting the gender gap in math is narrowing (Townsend & Hicks, 1997).

A third possibility may be girls were reported to be more sensitive to classroom climate

(Goh & Fraser, 1995). Therefore, girls' declines in competency beliefs, values, and

expectations for math may be more responsive to positive classroom climate. Future









studies may wish to address the differential role of gender and motivation as it pertains to

middle school mathematics.

Early motivation, as anticipated, was a significant factor in end of year motivation

levels for girls and boys across grades. Findings revealed students who entered the

classroom with higher expectations and values for success in math reported higher

expectations and values for success in math at the end of the year than those who did not.

There were also grade differences in ratings of motivation. In all grades, students

who perceived their mathematics class as more orderly and organized tended to achieve

higher than those who did not. However, while 6th grade students' perception of rule

clarity and fairness did not affect their self-ratings of motivation at the end of the year,

students in the higher-grade levels, who rated higher levels of both the Rule Clarity and

Order/Organization factors of classroom climate, expressed higher levels of motivation

at the end of the year.

Classroom Climate and Achievement

This second goal of this study was to determine whether students who rated

perceptions of classroom climate higher on subscales of Order/Organization and Rule

Clarity would achieve higher grades than students with lower ratings. Results of this

study indicated in middle school mathematics, students who perceived the classroom, as

being more orderly and organized tended to earn higher grades than students who did not.

These findings support earlier findings by Williams and Somers (2001), in which the

orderliness of the classroom contributed significantly to test scores in mathematics and

language. Overall, students' perceptions of Rule Clarity, in which the rules are clearly

defined and fairly executed, were not a significant factor in terms of predicting math

achievement. These findings suggest that students' perform better in math with a









classroom that is structured with organized lessons. However, students' perceptions of

the fairness of rules, how clearly and defined they are, do not predict higher achievement.

Middle school students' experiences are reported to become less intimate and more

anonymous than elementary school. Eccles, Midgely, and Adler (1984) suggested middle

schools to be larger and more impersonal. Therefore, these results suggested students in

middle school may be unaware of teacher bias in the enforcement of rules or did not

perceive them to be an important component of their individual success.

Findings revealed a negative relationship of students' early ratings of motivation

for math achievement. These findings indicated students entering the classroom with

higher expectations and values for success for math earned lower grades at the end of the

year.

Gender was a factor in achievement, with girls earning higher grades in math than

boys. Literature has suggested girls are more sensitive to classroom climate scales and

tend to yield higher ratings while males perform better in climates that are more orderly

and organized (Goh & Fraser, 1995). Results from this indicated no significant gender

differences for ratings of classroom climate but did indicate higher achievement for

females over males in end of year math achievement. These results do not support earlier

findings which indicated boys have higher achievement in math (Townsend & Hicks,

1997). Reasons for these differences were considered to be a result of declines in

motivation for math (Wigfield, & Eccles, 1992), social attitudes reflecting math as a

nontraditional female domain, or classroom bias in the promotion of math achievement

for girls. One reason for higher achievement for girls in middle school may be a

reflection of the change in social values for math. Recent trends in research suggested









the gap in gender differences for math achievement might be narrowing. Another

possibility for gender differences in math achievement may be due to girls' sensitivity to

classroom climate, which was observed in this study with the increase in girls' motivation

for math at the end of the year. Therefore, while in this study, girls and boys were

analogous in their perceptions of rule clarity and order/organization, achievement for

girls may be more positively effected by positive classroom climates.

Findings did show a difference in middle school students' achievement as they

progress to grade levels. These results suggested that students tended to achieve higher

grades as they achieved higher-grade levels. One possibility may be students entering

middle school tended to have lower performances across domains. Students in the sixth

grade were prone to declines in school engagement in a study by Simons-Morton and

Crump, (2003). While declines may be influenced by the transition to middle school

(Eccles et al., 1993), academic performances were demonstrated to rebound, improving

as students' adjusted to their new environment and rose to higher grade levels (Wigfield,

Eccles, &Rodriguez, 1998). Because this study did not address differences in math

curriculum, reasons for improvement in achievement by grade level might be addressed

in future studies.

Implications

In past decades, classroom climate has been established as a salient aspect of

student learning and well- being. The construct of classroom climate has been considered

a critical factor in students' emotional and intellectual development. Gottfredson and

Gottfredson (1989) explored the positive influential role of safety, morale, personal

security, and classroom orderliness on academic performance, attendance, and dropout

rates among elementary, middle, and high schools. Studies indicated that establishing a









positive classroom climate increased attendance and student involvement (Mayer &

Mitchell, 1993; DeYoung, 1977). Creation of classrooms with a positive climate has

been indicated as a buffer to many current problems in the academic arena. Mayer and

Mitchell (1993) suggested that creating positive classroom climates in which positive

feedback, structured tutoring programs, with clearly defined rules resulted in reducing

dropout rates, increasing attendance and increasing on task behavior. Other variables in

the learning environment impacting academic success included feelings of support within

the classroom, teacher availability, and feelings of belonging, safety and caring (Hayes,

Ryan, & Zeller, 1994) which affected the students' perception of the quality of life within

the classroom (Dunn & Harris, 1998).

Biggs (1993) suggested while students may bring a preferred approach into the

classroom, but that the classroom climate can hinder or promote their preferences. These

approaches have been found to determine whether the student learns on a superficial level

or achieves mastery. Findings of this study indicated students with higher ratings of

classroom climate performed better and were more motivated than those who did not.

Interesting questions are: are better students more sensitive to classroom climate or do

students do students perform better because they are better able to identify elements of

the classroom that assist with learning?

Because perceptions of classroom climate have been significantly associated with

higher achievement and motivation in this study, implications for School Psychology are

many. First, classroom climate scales may be used to understand the experience of the

individual within the classroom. In assessing the individual, it will be helpful to gain an

understanding of the student within his classroom. Using classroom climate scales as an









assessment tool provides an opportunity to assess students' perception these experiences.

Using these results may help design better interventions within the classroom to improve

students' achievement outcomes. Additionally, just as children may be explicitly trained

in social skills to recognize social cues, students at risk for academic failure may benefit

with explicit training in recognizing classroom supports that may be obscure to students

with low ratings of classroom climate. Students' with lower ratings may then be able to

benefit from positive classroom climates.

Second, because the positive effects of classroom climate have been demonstrated

in this study to be related to students' achievement and motivation, teachers may find

having structured and organized lesson plans, with fair and consistent enforcement of

rules may improve student learning. With current emphasis on accountability for

teachers regarding students' educational success, teachers may find that promoting a

positive classroom climate will increase productivity through high student motivation and

improve academic grades through enhanced student learning. Additionally, teachers who

implement classroom practices designed to promote a positive classroom climate may use

the climate assessment as a means of assessing the success of the programs or as a means

of facilitating changes within the classroom.

Finally, the assessment of perceptions in classroom climate may help understand

the changes in students' perceptions of their educational experiences. For example, in

this study, students' perceptions of Order/Organization were associated with higher

motivation and higher achievement. Rule clarity, however, was associated with higher

motivation but did not effect achievement. Closer examination of the data revealed

differences in effects of rule clarity on achievement for different grade levels. These









results indicated developmental differences in the effects of classroom climate. By

assessing classroom climate as a means of understanding developmental change, a greater

understanding of students' needs within the classroom may be achieved in order to

improve academic outcomes.

Limitations and Future Studies

Findings of this study revealed perceptions of classroom climate to be

significantly associated with higher achievement and higher motivation levels in middle

school mathematics students. Because this study involved a large sample of middle

school students, findings may generalize to other middle school students. Additionally,

because this study controlled for gender, grade level and initial levels of motivation, the

impact of classroom climate on achievement and end of year motivation may be more

clearly indicated. Therefore, although students' enter the classroom with values and

expectations for success in mathematics, the classroom experience relating to positive

classroom climates may be important for student success.

Although the sample for this study was large, a limitation of this study might be

the sample was taken from a predominantly white, rural middle school. Research has

demonstrated the effects of positive classroom climates in rural middle schools were

analogous to racially mixed urban middle schools. However, future studies may wish to

replicate these findings to determine if actual grade achievement and motivation levels

can be predicted by classroom climate in urban schools.

Another limitation was the focus of this research, which did not include

perceptions and ratings from other academic domains. Findings in this study may not

generalize to domains where subscales of classroom climate of Rule Clarity and

Order/Organization are not highly correlated. Research has indicated positive effects for









classroom climates rated high on scales of Order/Organization and rule clarity in all

domains (Juarez, 2000). However, future studies may wish to replicate the predictive

role of classroom climate on achievement and motivation in other domains.

A final limitation in the focus of this study was it sought to examine the predictive

quality of positive classroom climate for middle school students. Because findings

indicated different effects of ratings of Rule Clarity for 6th grade, future studies may wish

to examine classroom climate for each grade, separately, to determine if the effects of

classroom climate are stable across grade level.

Future studies are needed to determine the predictive effects of positive classroom

climate as it pertains to individual student achievement and self-ratings of motivation in

elementary schools. Because initial levels of motivation are found to be associated with

previous classroom experiences, promoting positive classroom climates early may help

students develop higher motivation for academic engagement. Additionally,

understanding the role of classroom climate may facilitate changes within the classroom

that promote learning mastery. With the current emphasis on educational accountability,

higher achievement outcomes associated with positive classroom climates are promising.








40




Gender Differences in Motivation


1


0.8


0.6


0.4



0.2
---girls
5 oAIF---r g I
--- boys
V 0


-0.2


-0.4


-0.6


-0.8

End of Year Motivation


Figure 1. Baseline Motivation














APPENDIX
REGRESSION EQUATIONS

Multiple Regression Equations


How much is motivation predicted by classroom climate, controlling for gender, grade,
and initial motivation ?

Y = Motivation

YM= bo + biXi + b2X2 + b3X3 + b4X4 + b5X5 + b6 X6(X3X) + b7X7 (X3*X2)+
b8X8(X3*X5) + b9X9(X4*X1) + b1o X1o(X4X2)+ b1 X11(X4X5)

Xi = Classroom climate : order/ organization
X2 = Classroom climate: rule clarity
X3= gender
X4 = grade
X5 = motivation time 1
X6 = gender order/organization
X7 = gender rule clarity
Xs = gender motivation
X9 = grade* order
X10 = grade*rules
X11= grade*motivation


Omnibus Test of Predictive Variables for Motivation Full Model

(k= 11)
Sample Size:

Ho : R2 (YM/XlX2X3X4 X5X6 X7X8 X9X10 X11) = 0

FM7= 7R2 (YA X3X4X5 X6 X7 X9X10 Xl1)
(1- R2 ( YM/X1X2X3X4X5X6_X7X8 X9X10 X) / ( N k-1))









Tests of Interaction

Ho : R2 (YM/X1X2X3X4 X5X6 X7X8 X9X10 X11) = 0

FM R2 (Ym/XlX2X-X4X X6 XX6 8 X9Xo1 Xll1)
(1- R2 ( YM/X1X2X3X4X5X6 X7X8 X9X10 X11)/ ( N k-1))



Ho : R2 (YM/XlX2X3X4 X5X6 X7X8 X9Xo0) = 0

FM = R2 LY/XiX2X3X4XX6 X7~ X9Xl o_)
(2- R2 ( YM/XlX2X3X4X5X6 X7X8 X9X0o) / (N k-1))


Ho : R2 (YM/XlX2X3X4 X5X6 X7X8 X9 X1l) = 0

F = R2 (YA/XX2X3X4 X5X6 X7Xs~ X-1)
(1- R2 ( YM/XIX2X3X4X5X6_X7X8 X9 X1 )/( N k-1))


Ho : R2 (YM/XlX2X3X4 X5X6 X7XS X10 X01) = 0

FM = R2 (/XiX2X3X4 XX6 XX-8 X10 Xl 1)
(3- R2 ( YM/X1X2X3X4X5X6 X7X8 X10 Xl1)/ ( N k-1))


Ho : R2 (YM/X1X2X3X4 X5X6 X7 X9X10 X11) = 0

FM R= (Ym/XiX2X3X4 X5X X X9X10 XI11)
(4- R2 ( YM/X1X2X3X4X5X6 X7X8 X9X10 X11)/ ( N k-1))


Ho : R2 (YM/XlX2X3X4 X5X6 X8 X9X10 X11) = 0

FM R2 (Ym/XiX2X3 XX XX6 X iX9Xo1 X11)
(5- R2 ( YM/X1X2X3X4X5X6 X8 X9X10 X11)/ ( N k-1))


Ho : R2 (YM/XiX2X3X4 X5 X7X8 X9X10 X11) = 0

FM R2 (Ym/XiX234X53 X X XX9X0 Xl1)
(6- R2 ( YM/X1X2X3X4X5 X7X8 X9X10 X1) / ( N k-1))









Omnibus Test of Predictive Variables for Motivation Revised Model

(k= 6)

Ho : R2 (YM/XIX2X3X4 X5X8) = 0


FM = R2 (YA/Xl3X 4 X5X8)
(1- R2 ( YM/X1X2X3X4X5X8) / ( N k-1))



Tests of Individual Coefficients:



Ho: Bi = 0, if i=

Txi = R2 (Y/XIX2X3X4 X5) R2 (Y /XX4X
(1- R2 (Y,/XIX2x3X4x5 ) / (N k-l))




Calculate Semi-Partial R2


Ho: ( YM ( X/ X2X3X4X5 X8 ))


FA = R2_Y,/XIX2X3X4 X5 X R (X1/ /X2X3X4 X5 X
(1- R2 ( YM/ XX2X3X4 X5 X8 )/ (N k-))


Ho: ( YM (X2/ X1X3X4 X5 X8)) = 0

FM = R (Y/ I X2X3X4_X__ X )- R2 (X/ X1XX4 X5
(1- R2 ( YM/ X1X2X3X4 X5 X8) / (N k-))




Ho: (YM (X3/ XlX2X4 X5 X )) = 0

FM = R (YM/ XXX3X4 X5 X) R2 (X3/ XX2X4 X5 X8
(1- R2 ( YA/ XX2X3X4 X5 X8) / (N k-l))











Ho: ( YM (X4/ XX2X3 X5 X8) = 0

FM = R2 (YM/ XlX-X3X4 X, X)- R2 (X4/ X-X13XX
(1 R2 ( YM/ X1XX3X4 X5) / (N k-l))



Ho: ( YM (Xs/ XiX2X3 X4 X8) = 0

FM = R2 (Y X1~X3X4 X5 X8- R2 (X5/ XIX2X3 X4 Xs,
(1 R2 ( YM/ XX2X3X4 X5 X8) / (N k-l))

Ho: ( YM (X/ XIX2X3 X4 X5) = 0

FM = R2 (YM/ XIX2X3X4 XXS)- R2 (X/ XX2X3 X4 X5
(1 R2 ( YM/ XX2X3X4 X5 X8) / (N k-l))


Multiple Regression Equations


How much is achievement predicted by classroom climate given gender, grade, and
motivation ?

YA = Classroom Achievement

YA = bo + blX1 + b2X2 + b3X3 + b4X4+ b5X5+ b6X6 (X4*Xi)+ b7X7(X4*X2)+
b8X8(X4X3) + b9X9 (X5Xl)+ bloXio(X5X2)+ bllXll(X5X3)


Xi = Classroom climate : order/ organization (smorder)
X2 = Classroom climate: rule clarity (smrules)
X3 = motivation time 1 (motl)
X4 = gender
X5 = grade
X6 = gender order/organization
X7 = gender rule clarity
Xs = gender motivation
X9 = grade* order
Xio = grade* rules
X11 = grade* motivation









Omnibus Test of Predictive Variables for Achievement Revised Model

(k= 11)

Ho : R2 (YA/XlX2X3X4 X5X6X7 XsX9X1oXil) = 0

FA = R2 (YA/XX2X3X4 X5sXX7-X9XIoXil
(1- R2 (YA/X1X2X3X4 X5X6X7 X8X9XoX11) / ( N k-1))


Tests of Interaction


Ho : R2 (YA/XlX2X3X4 X5X6X7 X8X9XoXil1) = 0

FA = R2 (YAX X2X3X4 X5X6X7 XX9XIoX11)
(1- R2 (YA/XIX2X3X4 X5X6X7 X8X9XoX11) / ( N k-1))

Ho : R2 (YA/XlX2X3X4 X5X6X7 XsX9Xo1) = 0

FA = R2 (YA/Xl1X X4 X5X6X7 X9X10
(1- R2 (YA/XlX2X3X4 X5X6X7 X8X9X0) / ( N k-1))

Ho : R2 (YA/XX2X3X4 X5X6X7 X8X9X1) = 0

FA = R2 (YA/X1X-X3X4 X5X6X7 X9X1X)
(1- R2 (YA/XlX2X3X4 X5X6X7 XX9X11) / ( N k-1))


Ho : R2 (YA/XX2X3X4 X5X6X7 XsX1oX11) = 0

FA = R2 (YA/ X2X3X4 5X6X7 XXloXl1)
(1- R2 (YA/XIX2X3X4 X5X6X7 X8gXoXI1) / ( N k-1))


Ho : R2 (YA/XlX2X3X4 X5X6X7 X9XIoX11) = 0

FA =R2 (YA/XlX2X3X4 X5X6X7 XX1oX1)
(1- R2 (YA/XlX2X3X4 X5X6X7 X9XIoX1) / ( N k-1))


Ho : R2 (YA/XX2X3X4 X5X6 X8X9X1oX1) = 0

FA = R2 (YA/X1X-X3X4 XsX6 X&X910oX11
(1- R2 (YA/XIX2X3X4 X5X6 X8X9XoX11) / ( N k-1))










Ho : R2 (YA/XIX2X3X4 X5X7 X8X9X10X11) = 0

FA= R2 (YA /X1XXX4 X3X7X8XX11XO1 )
(1- R2 (YA/XIX2X3X4 X5X7 X8X9X10X1)/ ( N k-1))



Omnibus Test of Predictive Variables for Achievement Revised Model

(k= 5)

Ho : R2 (YA/XIX2X3X4 X5) = 0


FA = R(2 (YA/X1XXX4 5)
(1- R2 (YA/X1X2X3X4 X5)/ (N k-1))



Test of Individual Coefficients:


Ho: Bi = 0, if i=
Txi = R2(Y/ XlX2XX3X4 X)- R2 X 2/ X2X4 X-1
(1- R2 (YA/ XX2X3X4 X5)/ (N k-l))

Ho: B2 = 0

FA = R2 (Y XlX2X X4_X)- R2 (YA/ X1_3X4 X
(1- R (YA/ XiX2X3X4 X5)/ (N k-l))

Ho : B3 = 0

FA = R2 Y/ _X2X13X4 X)- R2_(Y/ X_1X4 X)
(1- R (YA/ XiX2X3X4 X5)/ (N k-l))

Calculate Semi-Partial R


Ho: ( YA (Xi/ X2X3X4 X5)) = 0

FA = R2 (Y/ XiX2X3X4 X5 R2 (X/ X1X3X4 X5)
(2- R ( YA/ X1X2X3X4 X5) / (N k-l))


Ho: ( YA (X2/ X1X3X4 X5))










FA = R2 (Y/ X2X3X4 X5)- R2W (X2/1Xi 4 X5)
(2- R2 ( YA/ XX2X3X4 X5X6X7) / (N k-l))


Ho: (YA (X3/ X1X2X4 X5)) = 0

FA = R2 (YA/ X 3X~23 X4 R2 (X/ XIX2X4 X5
(2- R2 ( YA/ XX2X3X4 X5) / (N k-1))


Ho: ( YA ( X XXX2X3 X5)) = 0

FA = R2 (Y/ XX3X4 X51- R2 (XJ XiX2X X5)
(1 R2 ( YA/ XX2X3X4 X5) / (N k-))

Ho: ( YA (X/ X1X2X3 X4)) = 0

FA = R2 (/ X2X3X4X-)- R2 (X5/ XIXX X4)
(1 R2 ( YA/ XX2X3X4 X5) / (N k-l))















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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Susan Davis graduated from the University of Florida in 2001 with a Bachelor of

Science degree in psychology. She is currently a graduate student in the University of

Florida school psychology program and plans to graduate in May of 2006. Susan lives in

Gainesville with her husband, Jack, and son, Jim.




Full Text

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THE ROLE OF STUDENTS PERCEPTI ONS OF CLASSROOM CLIMATE IN PREDICTING ACADEMIC MOTIVATION AND ASSIGNED GRADES IN MIDDLE SCHOOL MATHEMATICS By SUSAN E. DAVIS A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN EDUCATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2004

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Copyright 2004 by Susan E. Davis

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To my husband, Jack.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to extend my gratitude to Dr. Heather Davis. Dr. Davis contributed to this project from its inception, providing me with the concepts and data extracted from her larger study. Her assistance in developing the project, guiding the research process, teaching me how to manage large data sets, and translating findings into words was invaluable to me. I would like to express my gratitude to my committee members, Dr. Tina Smith-Bonahue and Dr. Randall Penfield. Dr. Smith helped me gain focus and perspective while working on this project. Her advice and editing skills were indispensable and much appreciated. Dr. Penfields guidance throughout the analysis provided me with greater insight into statistical procedures as well as realizing the implications of the findings. I would like to extend a special thanks to Dr. Patricia Ashton who lent her time and attention during my defense. Finally, I would like to thank my husband, Jack, and son, Jim for their patience and support. They have encouraged me throughout my education and I could not have achieved so much without their love behind me iv

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iv LIST OF TABLES............................................................................................................vii LIST OF FIGURES.........................................................................................................viii ABSTRACT.......................................................................................................................ix CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE..............................................................................3 Classroom Climate........................................................................................................4 Role of Belongingness in Classroom Climate, Motivation, and Achievement.....5 Contribution of School Climate to Classroom Climate, Achievement, and Motivation..........................................................................................................6 Teacher Contribution to Classroom Climate, Achievement, and Motivation.......7 Student Contribution to Classroom Climate in Relation to Motivation and Achievement....................................................................................................10 Gender Differences in Classroom Climate..........................................................12 Domain Differences in Classroom Climate.........................................................13 Developmental Differences in Classroom Climate.............................................14 Capturing Classroom Climate.....................................................................................15 Summary.....................................................................................................................16 Purpose.......................................................................................................................16 3 METHODOLOGY.....................................................................................................18 Participants.................................................................................................................18 Measures.....................................................................................................................19 Classroom Climate..............................................................................................19 Motivation...........................................................................................................20 Grades..................................................................................................................21 Procedures...................................................................................................................21 Analysis......................................................................................................................22 Creating Composites...........................................................................................23 v

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Statistical Analysis..............................................................................................23 4 RESULTS...................................................................................................................25 Descriptive Data.........................................................................................................25 Motivation...........................................................................................................26 Achievement........................................................................................................28 5 DISCUSSION.............................................................................................................31 Perceptions of Classroom Climate and Motivation....................................................32 Classroom Climate and Achievement........................................................................33 Implications................................................................................................................35 Limitations and Future Studies...................................................................................38 APPENDIX REGRESSION EQUATIONS...................................................................41 LIST OF REFERENCES...................................................................................................48 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................................................................53 vi

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LIST OF TABLES Table page 1 Means and Standard Deviations...............................................................................25 2 Motivation Full Model.............................................................................................26 3 Regression for End of Year Motivation : Final Model...........................................27 4 Regression for Achievement : Initial Model............................................................28 5 Regression for Achievement : Revised Model.........................................................29 vii

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FIGURE Figure page 1 Baseline Motivation.................................................................................................40 viii

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Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Education THE ROLE OF STUDENTS PERCEPTIONS OF CLASSROOM CLIMATE IN PREDICTING ACADEMIC MOTIVATION AND ASSIGNED GRADES IN MIDDLE SCHOOL MATHEMATICS By Susan E. Davis December 2004 Chair: Tina Smith-Bonahue Major Department: Educational Psychology The purpose of this study was to determine if middle school math students perceptions of classroom climate could predict their end of year academic grade point averages and reported levels of end of year motivation. Students were asked to rate their mathematics class on perception of order and organization as well as perception of rule clarity and fairness of enforcement Students also rated how much they valued learning math and how well they expected to perform in the class. Results of this study indicated students reported a significant decline in motivation in mathematics at the end of the year. Students who rated classrooms as more orderly and organized tended to achieve higher grades and report higher levels of end of year motivation. Students who perceived rule policies as clear and fair reported higher levels of end of year motivation. There were no effects for rule clarity on grade achievement. ix

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION As a first year graduate student, I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Heather Davis as a research assistant. Dr. Davis had been examining the role of student-teacher relationships among middle school students. As part of this extensive study, Dr. Davis collected a wide range of information concerning middle school students, in a comprehensive effort to understand the many impacting variables on academic success. Among the variables, were students self-report of values and expectations of academic success, their perceptions of school climate, classroom climate, and parent and peer relationships, as well as their perceptions of their relationships with their teachers. By exploring the values and expectations of the teachers, their perceptions of students success, their perception of school climate, and their perceptions of their relationships with students, this larger study focused on constructing relationship models to explain the variables impacting student-teacher relationships in middle schools in relation to student success. While working with these data sets, Dr, Davis would discuss the data with me and answer questions I had regarding the implications each of the measures. During these discussions, I became interested in how these variables impact student performance in schools. Of greatest interest to me, was the construct of classroom climate. In the past, I have had teachers and classrooms that remain prominent in my memory of school. Those teachers made a difference to me, motivating me to out-perform my previous performances. Along with this unexpected excellence, came the realization that learning 1

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2 was worthwhile and satisfying, intrinsically. Because of the memories of those most prominent experiences, I was driven to wonder what specific qualities figure most prominently in positive academic experiences. The data collected in this larger study gave me an opportunity to explore these qualities. Of the many questions I had, I wanted to understand how classroom variables affected student outcomes and if these outcomes were measurable in actual grade achievement. Classrooms that are orderly and organized, in which rules and expectations are fair and consistent, closely resemble my thoughts on classroom factors that would facilitate personal growth and academic success. Therefore, I decided to pursue these constructs of classroom climate. When discussing possibilities with Dr. Davis, she urged me to consider other factors involved, such as students expectations for success and the value they place on learning and achievement. In order to understand the effects of classroom climate on achievement, I realized that I would have to factor in and control for individual levels of motivation. It was then that I wondered if classroom climate would also affect motivation levels. By using existing data from Dr. Davis larger study, I decided to pursue this topic as well. In researching academic domains correlated with classroom climate scales, I selected math classes, since traditionally methods of instruction appeared to rank highest in correlation to the constructs of Order/Organization and Rule Clarity (Moos & Trickett, 1974). Finally Dr. Davis and I arrived at this study, which examines the predictive role of classroom climate on achievement and motivation.

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CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Focus on educational outcomes has increased in the past decade with statewide high stakes testing and nationwide school accountability programs. In an effort to improve the academic success of students, it has become necessary to examine all components of the educational process in order to maximize the effectiveness of instruction within the classroom. Demonstrated to enhance the learning process and affect academic outcomes (Kunc, 1992; Osterman, 2000) classroom climate has been emerging as an important component of education (Haertel, Walberg, & Haertel, 1981). The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of classroom climate on motivation and achievement. In order to understand and measure its effects, this study will examine the roles of the school, the teacher, and the individual student as they contribute to classroom climate in relation to student motivation and achievement. In examining role of classroom climate and motivation on academic achievement, this study seeks to answer two questions. First, if individual levels of motivation are controlled for, will students who perceive a more positive classroom climate score higher grades than those with less positive views? Second, if controlling for initial levels of motivation, will students with more positive perceptions of classroom climate report feeling more motivated at the end of the year? In the following sections, this study will define classroom climate and describe the contributory components comprising classroom climate in relation to motivation and learning. The contribution of school climate to classroom climate will then be considered 3

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4 as it relates to student motivation and achievement. This study will examine how teachers contribute to classroom climate through their own qualities and experiences (Crohn, 1983) and how students contribute to classroom climate with personal characteristics affecting how they interpret classroom climate (Chapin & Eastman, 1996). Contributions of student motivation to perceptions of classroom climate in relation to achievement (Alspaugh, 1998) will also be examined. Because individual motivation has been found to impact achievement, it will be necessary to understand its effects in order to clarify the roles of motivation and classroom climate on achievement. Because this study is interested in students perceptions of classroom climate on achievement and motivation for mathematics, possible differences will be considered for gender, developmental age, and preferences for math. Finally, the impact of perceptions of classroom climate on achievement and motivation will be examined. In order to understand the impact of classroom climate, it must be first understood. Classroom Climate Wang, Haertel, and Walberg (1993) described classroom climate as encompassing all the socio-psychological dimensions of classroom life. This included common interest and the pursuit of common goal achieved through focused, organized and well planned lessons. The physical arrangement of the classroom furniture, the availability of resource materials, length of the class period (Chapin & Eastman, 1996), and type and pace of instruction (Wang et al., 1993) were also considered to influence the climate of the classroom. In sum, all events and influences within the classroom, including classroom management, comprised the construct of classroom climate (Gottfredson & Gottfredson, 1989).

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5 Classroom climate encompassed the level of task difficulty (Wang et al., 1993), individual values, and interpersonal relationships (Gottfredson & Gottfredson, 1989). Review of the literature suggested that individual values and level of task difficulty were important determinants of student motivation to achieve (Wigfield, 1994). Therefore, in order to understand the role of classroom climate on student achievement it was necessary to understand the role of motivation in classroom climate as well as on academic outcomes. The next section will review how fundamental needs to belong to a community, school, and classroom affect perceptions of classroom climate as well as motivation and achievement. Role of Belongingness in Classroom Climate, Motivation, and Achievement Baumeister and Leary (1995) posited that the need to belong is a fundamental human motivation. Belongingness, or the feeling of relatedness to others, has been suggested as an influential factor in academic outcomes owing to its importance in behavioral and socio-emotional development (Deci, Vallerand, Pelletier, & Ryan, 1991). Belongingness has been correlated with lower rates of emotional distress, drug abuse, violent behavior, criminal behavior, suicide, and school dropout rates (Battistich & Horn, 1997; Resnick et al., 1997). Deci and colleagues (1991) suggested the need for a sense of belonging, was so important that not meeting these needs could adversely affect development, motivation, and performance. Beyond the community of family and peers, belongingness has been directly linked to student motivation and engagement within the school (Kunc, 1992; Osterman, 2000). In a study by Goodenow (1993a) belonging and support was demonstrated as having significant effects on motivation and achievement in individual subjects. Levels of

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6 classroom belonging were significantly associated with motivation-related measures indicating values for academic classwork and expectancies for success (Goodenow, 1995). Children who reported feeling involved within the school community were more likely to report a stronger sense of identity, a greater sense of autonomy, a better ability to self-regulate their behavior, a greater tendency to respect authority, with a lesser propensity for engaging in deviant or negative behavior (Johnson, Lutzow, Strothoff, & Zannis, 1995; Kunc, 1992; Osterman, 2000). While the importance of belongingness has been suggested by many to be critical to the development of cognitive and emotional process of students, research also showed that needs for belongingness were largely disregarded by schools (Kunc, 1992; Osterman, 2000). According to Kunc, schools were more likely to believe that the meeting of emotional needs should or did occur within the home community of family and peers. Students with unmet or greater needs, therefore, might be less likely to experience belongingness within the school community. Because the fundamental need to belong, and how it is promoted in the schools, effects the climate of the school and the individual students level of motivation for achievement, the next section will review the effects of school climate as it contributes to classroom climate, motivation and achievement. Contribution of School Climate to Classroom Climate, Achievement, and Motivation The extent to which a school community promotes belongingness has been demonstrated to affect outcomes in student development, motivation, and achievement (Kunc, 1992; Osterman, 2000). Studies found that schools rated high in the encouragement of student interrelationships, providing for feelings of safety and security,

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7 attention paid to morale, parent and community involvement, and in structure and organization reported less drop out rates, higher attendance records, greater levels of student engagement and motivation, and improved student educational outcomes (Alspaugh, 1998). Alspaugh suggested the significance of school climate was the degree to which policies and practices support or endorse these qualities. The relationship between school climate and student performance and student motivation was strong but indirect, retaining its influence across grades (Fyans & Maehr, 1987). Directed by policy and practices, the school community, consisting of teachers, students, and administrators, along with individual values and expectations, comprise the school climate. Rather than for their unique style of teaching which may contradict with the traditions within the school, prospective teachers tended to be hired for their congruity with school administrators expectations (Hamilton, 1983). Therefore, school climate indirectly affects classroom climate through the adopted policies and practices of the teachers. Ellis (1996) proposed that these practices were brought into the classroom and became components of the students immediate community, the classroom environment. Along with the promotion of school climate, teachers contribute their own personal characteristics to classroom climate, which impacts student motivation and achievement. To gain a better understanding of the role of the teacher in relation to motivation and achievement, the contributions of teacher characteristics will be examined. Teacher Contribution to Classroom Climate, Achievement, and Motivation Classroom climate variables involving teacher characteristics have been described by Chapin and Eastman (1996) as teaching methods, clear goals, and standards, vocational relevance, and appropriate workload. According to Haertel, Walberg, and

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8 Haertel (1981), positive classroom climates enhanced deeper rather than surface learning approaches. A surface approach to learning or reproductive learning has been described as reliance on the routine, memorization of materials. These more traditional approaches to learning allowed the student to recite facts and figures, with little interpretation. Deeper approaches to learning were those in which the teacher prompts the student to make connections of the new material with previous knowledge or with different aspects of that knowledge (Dart, Burnett, & Purdie, 2000). Dart (1998) suggested teachers could promote deep approaches to learning by creating classroom climates that were safe and supportive, with ample opportunities for exploration and experimentation. Clear and structured rules (Keyser & Barling, 1981), predictability and clarity (Anderson, Stevens, Prawat, & Nickerson, 1987), and teacher support (Osterman, 2000) were also found to promote deeper, rather than surface, approaches to learning. Additionally, explicit learning objectives, guided student practice, appropriate instructional pace, frequent assessment and positive feedback (Wang et al., 1993) with frequent opportunities for active engagement and participation (Keyser & Barling, 1981) promoted deeper approaches to learning. These positive classroom climates not only enhanced learning approaches, they were consistently correlated with higher achievement in a variety of educational outcomes (Haertel et al., 1981). Other characteristics found to impact student success were expectations and behaviors of the teacher (Crohn, 1983) and teacher creativity (Denny & Turner, 1967). Direct influences, such as the frequency and quality of student-teacher interactions, were also found to impact student success (Juarez, 2000;Wang et. al., 1993). Jacobson (2000) suggested that teacher student relationships could promote student motivation and

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9 increase students values for success through positive rapport and establishing supportive learning environments. In a study by Goodenow (1993a), teacher support was strongly correlated with expectancy and values for student success. While many studies have examined the role of relationships, other studies have concluded that elements of the instructional style, assignments, and degree of competitiveness promoted within the classroom were key determinants of educational outcomes. In a study involving 3rd and 4th grade students, Anderson and colleagues (1987) demonstrated the importance of the predictability of the task environment. Among his conclusions, he found learning was enhanced when teachers structured the classroom environment in a predictable and comprehensible manner. Specifically, teachers should provide explicit structures of information regarding the predictability, the consistency and relevance of tasks as well as providing students with a sense of control over their outcomes (Anderson et. al., 1987). Orderly and organized classrooms allowed for more emphasis on instruction and less in control, thereby increasing the amount of time spent on the lessons (Proctor, 1984). Other factors affecting teaching and learning included appropriate workload, clear goals, and consistent standards (Townsend & Hicks, 1995). In addition to these elements of classroom environment, the role of interclass competition was suggested to have an impact on academic success. While in most studies, a cooperative environment has been shown to enhance educational outcomes (Fraser, 1986) and attitudes (Zahn, Kagan, & Widaman, 1986), other studies have suggested that competition, in certain academic areas may, in fact, increase student productivity and learning ability (Dunn & Harris, 2002).

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10 Not only have teacher characteristics been found to contribute to classroom climate, motivation, and achievement, individual student characteristics have been found to mediate the effects of classroom climate on achievement and motivation as well. The next section will be review how the students contribute to classroom climate. Student Contribution to Classroom Climate in Relation to Motivation and Achievement Review of the literature suggested each individual brings into the classroom his or her own personal characteristics as well as previous educational history and experiences. Some of these characteristics included their sense of well-being, self-efficacy beliefs (House, 2002; Jackson, 2002), self-concept (Crohn, 1983), sense of belongingness (Goodenow, 1995; Osterman, 2000), as well as their satisfaction within social activities (Townsend & Hicks, 1997) and interpersonal relationships (Osterman, 2000). Just as students may differ in their personal characteristics, such as interest and knowledge, self-ability, and locus of control, so may their interpretation of the learning environment, which shapes their approach learning (Chapin & Eastman, 1996). For example, in a study of classroom motivation, Greene (1983) found classes containing more motivated students were perceived to have greater involvement, order and organization, and task orientation. Deci, and collleagues (1991) suggested teachers who supported active student engagement with mathematical concepts and who promote personal construction of math ideas may encourage more autonomy and independence in students, thereby increasing intrinsic interest in math. Students evaluation of their learning environment was found to be guided by their individual values and expectations for success (Eccles, 1983). Wigfield, and colleagues (1992) found that as early as the second grade, children have developed values for school

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11 activities as well as beliefs about their performance abilities. Although younger children tended to overestimate their abilities (Winfield, 1994) and engaged in tasks based upon personal interest, motivation for engagement was recognized early (Wigfield, Eccles, & Rodriguez, 1994). Eccles' (1983) model of expectancy-value system assumed that an individual's belief in, and interpretation of, an event were more influential on his behavior than the event itself. According to Eccles and colleagues (1983), the value an individual placed on task engagement related to level of interest, or intrinsic value, how important it was perceived to be, attainment value, and how useful it was perceived to be, utility value. They further suggested that the cost of engaging in a task, which excluded engagement in other, more desirable activities, affected the level of motivation to engage. Additionally, competency beliefs, or how well one predicts performance level, mediated the motivation to engage. From this perspective, students with high expectations and values for success might be more likely to engage in academic tasks with higher motivation to achieve while students with lower expectations and values for success might be more likely to avoid academic tasks, which would result in lower achievement. Likewise, Townsend and Hicks (1997) found students who reported more social satisfaction reported higher value and lower task cost associated with mathematic and language curricula. Classroom climates that promoted individual goal setting and provided choices for students were judged to be more encouraging by middle school students (Pintrich et al., 1994). Classrooms reporting variations in the use of learning strategies, valued effort, and fostered positive feelings toward learning were found to be more successful in promoting mastery of subject material (Ames & Archer, 1987).

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12 Perceptions of teacher support were positively associated with instructional techniques that featured mastery and learning goals (Wentzel, 1995). Other studies found that the degree to which students feel they are cared about mediate academic performance (Goodenow 1993b; Haertel 1996; Wentzel 1995). Although individual values and expectations for success were found to impact students motivation and achievement, elements in classroom climate were different for boys and girls. Goodenow (1993a) found that teacher support was found to have a stronger association with expectancy and value for girls while boys were more likely to be influenced by peer support. Because of gender differences in motivation, the next section will examine the potential gender differences in perceptions of classroom climate. Gender Differences in Classroom Climate Gender differences have been found in classroom climate ratings (Townsend & Hicks, 1995) with girls viewing classroom climate more favorably than boys (Goh & Fraser, 1995). Girls were more likely to favor a cooperative learning atmosphere (Owens & Barnes, 1982) in which positive social interactions provided a means of student support rather than individual competitiveness (Slavin, 1991). Because girls may be more likely to engage in behavior that is consistent with cooperative learning styles (Charlesworth & Dzur, 1987), Gardner, Mason, and Matyas (1989) found they were more likely to benefit from this type of classroom structure than boys. Specifically, in areas of mathematics and language activities, girls outcomes were more affected by climate factors than boys, with girls having more success in cooperative goal structured environments such as language curriculum (Townsend & Hicks, 1997). Because the domain in which the climate is perceived may mediate successful outcomes in relation to climate classroom, the effects of domains will be considered in the next section.

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13 Domain Differences in Classroom Climate Fraser (1993) found that classroom environment variables might actually differentiate among different curricula. Different components of classroom climate were found to correlate with success in different academic areas (Moos & Trickett, 1994). Deci, Spiegel, Ryan, Koestner, and Kauffman (1982) suggested teachers who support active student engagement with mathematical concepts and promote personal construction of math ideas may encourage more autonomy and independence in students, thereby increasing intrinsic interest in math. Conversely, a study on the effects of competition upon mathematical achievement determined that competition actually enhances learning in areas of math computation, concepts and applications (Dunn & Harris, 2002). While Dunn and Harris (1998) found no evidence that climate influences mathematical achievement in 4th grade students, Goh and Fraser (1995) not only found consistent associations between climate and outcome, but also found that in areas of mathematics, while boys performed better, girls rated classroom environment more favorably than boys. The perception of the learning environment may also affect the quality of educational outcomes (Dart, 1998; Fraser, 1986). Providing a caring and supportive environment was determined to be a necessary component in academic success (Juarez, 2000). Positive classroom climates have been associated with higher achievement outcomes for students in schools rated as having more positive climates than those with less positive outcomes (Alspaugh, 1998). For high school chemistry students, classroom climate variables have been accountable for a substantial variance in cognitive and affective outcomes beyond the characteristics of the student (McRobbie &Fraser, 1993). Specific variables in classroom climate, such as class activities, instructor skill, and the

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14 extent of critical demands were found to mediate academic outcomes for students (Hoffman, 1979). In studying the effects of domain differences, however, Wigfield and Eccles, (1992) found these differences change as children grow older. The next section will examine the possible effects of students development in perceptions of classroom climate. Developmental Differences in Classroom Climate While belongingness, family, teacher, and peer support play an important role in an individuals values and expectancies, the impact of these supports diminish with age. Goodenow (1993) discovered a decline in the impact of these factors from 6th grade to 8th grade and concluded that previous external influences on concepts of these constructs may begin to be replaced the more internalized concepts and self-efficacy beliefs. Fyans and Maehr (1987) also reported a shift in influence from family, to school to peer as children aged from 4th to 10th grade. With older students, academic experiences, such as prior knowledge, successes, and failures were found to play an important role in their current perceptions of values for learning as well as how successful they expect to be (Jacobson, 2000). Jacobson, suggested students with previous success in a subject may feel more confident and have a higher sense of self-esteem and self-efficacy, which may support a better expectation of future achievement. Those with negative experiences may feel devalued, reluctant to participate, with less motivation than their counterparts. Therefore, while individual motivation plays an important role in achievement, it may be changeable across grades. These findings suggested the effects of students perceptions of classroom climate might be susceptible to grade level differences. In order to determine the effects of classroom climate perceptions, however, it must be measurable. The next section reviews scales designed to measure perceptions of classroom climate.

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15 Capturing Classroom Climate Scales not only differ in terminology, but also on focus, according to the authors definition of classroom climate (Fraser, 1979; Moos, 1974). According to Moos (1974), climate refers to a group phenomenon relating to the social and psychological atmosphere of any social setting. Within this social climate, there exist four dimensions: Relationships, Personal Development, System Maintenance, and System Change. Relationships refer to the type and intensity of relationships and include teacher-student, student-student, and staff-staff. It reflects the extent to which individuals within the environment are involved, helpful, and supportive as well as the quality of openness within the relationships. Personal Development includes competition with emphasis on academic achievement and describes the basic direction in which personal growth and self-enhancement tend to occur. System Maintenance includes organization and orderliness within the classroom. Rule clarity, teacher consistency, and clarity of expectations are among the factors encompassed in this dimension. System Change refers to the manner and facility of change within the classroom as well as advocated variety within activities and creativity in student thinking. From these basic dimensions, a variety of scales were developed to assess classroom climate. The Classroom Environment Scale (CES) is one assessment scale, developed by Moos, to assess the social climate of the classroom environment in grades 7-12 (Moos & Trickett, 1973). The CES is based upon the four dimensions of climate and focuses on student interest and participation, interclass room relationships, the measurement of support within the environment, emphasis on task completion, the degree of task difficulty, the factors of interclassroom competition, the clarity of rules and expectations, the enforcement of rules and expectations, as well as how the overall environment is organized and managed. In

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16 addition, student contribution to creativity and planning, regarding class activities, is also considered. Summary School communities have been found to exert influence upon the classroom in addition to the influences of teachers and students. The policies and practices of the schools have been found to direct how the educational process is addressed within the classrooms. Within the classrooms, teachers have been found to bring unique perspective into the learning environment through teaching philosophy as well as student-teacher interaction. Additionally, each student has been found to enter the classroom with their own expectations and values, competency beliefs, and learning preferences developed as a result of their unique experiences. These perspectives may be different for girls versus boys and may be subject to change in response to academic domain and developmental age. These findings from the literature suggested in order to measure the effects of classroom climate on motivation and achievement, it will be necessary to include the influence of gender and grade differences for this study, as well as students self-ratings of motivation at the beginning of the school year. Purpose The purpose of this study is to examine the relationships among classroom climate, motivation, and achievement. Classroom climate has been described as encompassing all the socio-psychological dimensions of classroom life (Wang et al., 1993). Students in this study were asked to rate their perceptions of mathematics classroom as to the degree of order and organization present in the class as well as how clear and consistent they perceived the rules to be. Motivation has been described as encompassing the expectancy of success and the value placed on that attainment (Wigfield & Eccles, 1992). Students

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17 were asked to rate their levels of motivation in math class at the beginning and end of the year. Achievement was measured in end of year in numerical points, ranging from 0 to 100. Because the literature regarding motivation, achievement, and classroom climate ratings suggested students may vary by gender, age (Fyans & Maehr, 1987; Goodenow, 1993a), and the individual characteristics they bring to the classroom (Biggs, 1993; Chapin & Eastman, 1996), this study attempted to control for these variables. In past studies, classroom climate ratings were compared to mean grade achievement. To date, little or no research has centered on class grades, in relation to classroom climate ratings. This study will examine the relationship between students perception of classroom climate with academic outcomes and end of year motivation in mathematics. Specifically, this study proposes: Students higher or more positive ratings of the Order/Organization and Rule Clarity scales of CES (Moos & Trickett, 1973) will predict higher academic outcomes Students higher or more positive ratings Order/Organization and Rule Clarity scales of CES (Moos & Trickett, 1974) will predict end of year motivation

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CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Participants Data for this study were collected as part of a larger, school-wide case study in a rural middle school (Davis, 2001). The middle school was situated in a predominately agricultural county. Participants included 860 of the 1,100 students in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. Of the 860 students, 425 were boys and 435 were girls. Additionally, 45 teachers, including 28 homeroom teachers, also participated. At each grade level, students are divided into two teams of five teachers for their core classes of English, reading, mathematics, social studies and science. Within the larger study, multi-method data were collected simultaneously throughout the year. Survey data were collected at four time points from the students and three time points for the teachers over the 1999-2000 school year. The purpose of this study is to examine the students perception of classroom climate as it predicts academic outcome in mathematics in 6th, 7th and 8th grade at time point four, at the end of the school year. Additionally, this study examines the effect of classroom climate perception as it predicts motivation levels at the end of the academic year. For this study, 342 students (N= 169 boys, N=173 girls, N= 81 6th grade, N= 135 7th grade, and N=125 8th grade) were selected on the basis of participation across all time samples. 18

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19 Measures Classroom Climate The Classroom Environment Scale (CES) was developed by Moos and Trickett (1973) to assess students perceptions of the learning environment in junior and senior high school classrooms, grades 7-12. The development of the CES was based on the theory that there are four basic dimensions of social climate: relationships, personal development, and system maintenance and the physical environment. Each of these dimensions exerts a directional influence on behavior, for example learning and achievement in the classroom. System Maintenance measures the extent to which the environment is organized, orderly and clear in expectations. The System Maintenance dimension includes the subscales of Rule Clarity and Order and Organization. Rule clarity measures the degree to which the teacher presents clearly defined classroom rules, ensures the students understanding of these rules, and the consistency with which the teacher enforces these rules. Order and organization measures the emphasis on students behaving in and orderly, quiet and polite manner and the overall organization of classroom activities and assignments. Data for this study were originally collected as part of a larger study encompassing the role of social context on students motivation, learning, and achievement. Rule Clarity and Order/Organization were two measures that helped define the properties involved in student-teacher interactions and relationships (Davis & Davis, under review). The standard methods of mathematical instruction are generally organized into presentation then practice of new mathematical concepts in primary and secondary schools. Because of this widely accepted instructional style, mathematical curriculum is found to be most highly correlated with these subscales. Therefore, these two dimensions

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20 were the focus in the assessment of classroom climate. Classrooms rated high on organization and clarity has been found to correlate with better educational outcomes. Therefore, by focusing on these, it may be possible to determine if students perceptions of classroom climate can predict their level of mathematical achievement. A shortened form of the CES was administered encompassing these two dimensions, with 10 items measuring the qualities of Order/Organization and 10 measuring the qualities of Rule Clarity. The 20 item survey included questions such as The Math teacher is consistent in dealing with students who break the rules and Math is well organized and was completed across the domain of math as well as the domains of English, social studies, science, and reading. This study focuses on the classroom climate assessment of mathematics. The test-retest reliability of the CES was determined using 52 students within a 6-week interval. Reliability was reported as .85 for Order and Organization, and .72 for Rule Clarity (Moos & Trickett, 1994). An internal reliability analysis conducted for each scale in this study revealed an internal reliability of .80 for System Maintenance, .65 for Order and Organization, and .74 for Rule Clarity. Motivation To measure domain-specific motivations, items were drawn from the self-efficacy and intrinsic scales of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ: Pintrich & DeGroot, 1990). Items on these scales were developed to evaluate students perceived confidence and ability to perform in middle school and junior high school. For this study, items were slightly altered in order to evaluate domain specific motivations. Questions such as I think what we are learning in class is interesting were changed to I think what we are learning in math class is interesting. In addition, three items were

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21 eliminated due to similar wording. Internal consistency estimates for this subscale were reported at r = .89 (9 items) for the expectancy of success and r = .87 for the value of academic success (9 items) scales (Pintrich & DeGroot, 1990). Our findings revealed internal consistency estimates of r = .83 for expectations of success (8 items) and r = .82 for value of success (7 items). Grades Grades were measured by numerical points, scored 0 through 100, assigned to the students at the end of the year for mathematics. All grade data were collected at the completion of the study. Procedures Passive parental consent for survey participation was obtained for initial recruitment of each student. After notifying parents of the nature of the school-wide project, the purpose of the study, and the types of questions to be asked, parents were asked to respond only if they did not want their child to participate. Assent was also obtained from each student. Students were asked to complete surveys in class at four time points throughout the school year (time 1 = beginning of year, time 2 = midpoint of year, time 3 = early spring, time 4 = end of year). All survey items were rated on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1-Never true to 5-Always true. Students were allowed to complete the surveys at their own pace, with make up sessions arranged for those students who were unable to complete the surveys during class or students who were not present during the original administration times. For this study, time point 1, beginning of the year, and time point 2, end of the year, were considered.

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22 The CES (Moos& Trickett, 1973) abridged form measuring students perception of classroom climate on the System Maintenance and Change dimensions was administered during class at time 3, in the early spring. Data for motivation were collected at time 1, for the dependent variable motivation 1, at the beginning of the school year. Data for end of year motivation were collected at time 4, for the dependent variable motivation 3. Data on the students grades were collected at the end of the year. Analysis Data from Classroom Climate (Moos & Trickett, 1973) scales were entered into a text file and imported to SPSS (10.0 for Windows). An integrity check was performed to ensure the accuracy of the data. In order to address unavailable data, a correlational relationship was established among each item with all other items within the same grade level and domain. Each item was then examined to compare the strongest correlation of inner-item ratings. For example, ratings for item 1 might be strongest for items 5, 9, 15, and 17 within the 6th grade math surveys. These four strongest correlations were summed and averaged to produce a predicted value for the missing response. Owing to the strength of the correlation selected, these values were considered the best estimate with greater predictability for individual item response. Because unavailable responses were rare, these imputed values were not anticipated to affect the overall outcome of the items rated. Data files were sorted by descending order using the student identification number with the order of variables listed in the same sort sequence. Initially, data for climate, motivation, and grades were entered into imputed files. Data were merged by identification number per each domain, matching cases listwise. In rare instances, cases with duplicate numbers were identified and cross referenced with their original hard

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23 copy, corrected, and re-entered. Cases that did not have matching cases in the other files were excluded from analysis (e.g. listwise deletion). Once the files were merged, data for math domain were selected for the purpose of this analysis. Creating Composites In order to maintain consistent direction of response analysis, items whose wording reflected an opposite direction of strength in perception of quality rating were reverse coded. For example, item 8 on the classroom climate scale asks Math hardly ever starts on time. Students responding with a 1 indicate that they always disagree; therefore, the response reflects that math always starts on time. Items such as these were recoded to represent one to reflect a strong absence of the quality being perceived and five to indicate a strong presence of the quality being perceived. Data for motivation were entered using the same procedure. The actual grade point averages, collected at the end of the year, were entered into an SPSS file for each participant. Observations with multiple omissions across all three measures were excluded. Coefficient alpha was used as an estimate of reliability. For the System Maintenance scale, the value equaled .80, and for Order/Organization, the value equaled .74. Using frequency and descriptive statistics, composite data were screened for missing values, normality, and outliers. A composite score was computed for each subscale to create variables for Order/Organization and Rule Clarity by averaging scores across items. Statistical Analysis The independent variable, classroom climate, was examined in relation to the dependent variable of achievement and motivation. A univariate analysis of variance between subjects was run on the classroom climate subscales to evaluate homogeneity of

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24 student ratings of classroom climate across teachers. Results indicated the Rule Clarity and Order/Organization subscales exhibited differences in teacher ratings. Because this study was interested in patterns of students perceptions, scores were standardized to control for the influence of actual teacher differences. For each analysis, two multiple-regression models were examined, one for classroom climate with achievement and one with classroom climate and motivation. The first model included the interactions of gender and grade on Order/Organization, Rule Clarity, and motivation 1. Non-significant interactions were dropped, one at a time, from the regression equation. Analyses were then conducted to examine the linear relationship between the five predictive variables of Order/Organization, Rule Clarity, beginning of the year motivation 1, gender, and grade level with end of year motivation 3 and end of year achievement (see appendix A). For each analysis, an omnibus test of the proportion of explained variation in each response variable by the predictive variable in combination was calculated. Using semi-partial correlations, the unique contribution of each variable was considered.

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CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Descriptive Data The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between students perceptions of classroom climate with end of year motivation in mathematics and students perceptions of classroom climate with academic outcomes in mathematics. By controlling for student ratings of motivation at the beginning of the year, as well as gender and grade differences, this study proposed: Higher ratings of Order/Organization and Rule Clarity scales of the CES (Moos & Trickett, 1973) will correlate positively with higher academic outcomes. Higher ratings of Order/Organization and Rule Clarity scales of the CES (Moos & Trickett, 1973) will correlate positively with higher ratings for end of year motivation. Table 1. Means and Standard Deviations 6th grade 7th grade 8th grade Total Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls End of Year Motivation 3.94 (.70) 4.01 (.61) 3.76 (.73) 3.65 (.83) 3.46 (.75) 3.58 3.70 (.68) (.75) End of Year Achievement 85.07 (7.28) 87.08 (7.26) 85.16 (9.77) 86.41 (8.41) 75.89 (13.74) 84.30 83.78 (13.16) (11.16) Perception of Classroom Order/Organization 2.93 (.45) 3.00 (.49) 3.09 (.51) 2.97 (.56) 2.82 (.67) 3.03 2.97 (.54) (.57) Perception of Classroom Rule Clarity 3.27 (.57) 3.45 (.58) 1.56 (1.88) 1.46 (1.74) 3.12 (.71) 3.28 2.57 (.69) (1.51) Baseline Motivation 4.05 (.49) 4.09 (.68) 3.96 (.74) 3.82 (.77) 3.54 (.84) 3.82 3.85 (.64) (.73) N=45 N=36 N=61 N=74 N=62 N=63 N=341 25

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26 Motivation Regarding motivation, this study proposed students higher ratings of Order/Organization and Rule Clarity scales of the CES (Moos & Trickett, 1973) would positively correlate with higher selfreported ratings of end of year motivation for mathematics. Data analysis began by testing a full model in Time 1 (baseline) by gender and grade level. Table 2 displays findings based on the initial model run. This model accounted for 35.8 % of the variance (F(342.9) = 16.75, p<.000). Table 2 demonstrates interaction of rule clarity by grade to be significant. To teat for interaction effects, post hoc analysis using multiple regression, revealed the effects to be non-significant. Interactions were dropped, yielding a revised model for predicting end of year motivation. Table 2. Motivation Full Model. Model B t value p value r R F p End of Year Motivation .599 .358 16.75 .000 Perception of Classroom Order/Organization 0.236 3.474 0.001* Perception of Classroom Rule Clarity 0.104 2.238 0.026* Gender -0.112 -0.343 0.732 Grade 0.241 0.649 0.517 Baseline Motivation 0.360 5.135 0.000* Gender/Order Interaction -0.415 -1.355 0.176 Gender/Rule Interaction -0.046 -0.190 0.849 Gender/Motivation Interaction -0.157 -0.483 0.629 Grade/Order Interaction -0.294 -0.930 0.353 Grade/Rule Interaction 0.573 2.135 0.034* Grade/Motivation Interaction 0.069 0.238 0.812 Note. Denotes significant difference at p < .05

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27 The final model for end of year motivation in table 3 explained 35 % of the variance in end of year motivation (F(342,5) = 30.10, p<.000) Table 3 Regression for End of Year Motivation : Final Model Model B t value p value r R F p End of Year Motivation .592 .350 30.102 .000 Perception of Classroom Order/Organization 0.153 3.278 0.001* Perception of Classroom Rule Clarity 0.095 2.116 0.035* Gender -0.450 -1.889 0.060 Grade -0.136 -3.009 0.003* Baseline Motivation 0.376 5.865 0.000* Gender/Baseline Motivation Interaction 0.459 1.886 0.060 Note. denotes significance at p < .05 Note. Gender differences approach significance As anticipated, a significant positive relationship was also found between end of year motivation and students ratings of perceptions of classroom Rule Clarity, perceptions of classroom Order/Organization. These findings suggested students who perceived their classroom as more orderly and organized with fair and explicit rules tended to report higher levels of motivation at the end of the year. Differences by gender and baseline motivation approached significance (p = .06) When comparing gender, these findings suggested boys may have somewhat lower competency beliefs and/or value math less at the beginning of the school year than girls. Differences by gender and end of year motivation approached significance ( p=.06) with girls reporting higher levels of motivation at the end of the year when comparing across grades. However, when comparing all the boys and girls ratings of motivation in middle school mathematics, overall, there were no significant differences (Figure 1).

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28 Lastly, findings revealed significant differences in end of year motivation based on grade level suggesting students report different levels of motivation across the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. Students in 6th grade reported the highest levels for motivation in mathematics while the 8th grade students reported the lowest level of end of year motivation towards math. This finding supports earlier research that, although values and expectations for math remain constant in relative to rankings of other domain in terms of importance and usefulness, such as reading and English, motivation towards mathematics decline as children grows older (Wigfield et al., 1994). Achievement Regarding achievement, this study proposed students higher or more positive ratings of the Order/Organization and Rule Clarity subscales of the CES (Moos & Trickett, 1973) would predict higher academic achievement in mathematics at the end of the school year. Data analysis began by testing a full model in Time 1 (baseline) by gender and grade level. Table 4 displays findings based on the initial model run. Table 4 Regression for Achievement : Initial Model Model B t value p value r R F p End of Year Achievement 0.442 0.196 8.866 0.000 Perception of Classroom Order/Organization 0.172 2.608 0.009* Perception of Classroom Rule Clarity 0.089 1.885 0.060 Gender 0.338 1.032 0.303 Grade -0.685 -1.877 0.061 Baseline Motivation 0.202 2.912 0.004* Gender/Order Interaction -0.149 -0.495 0.621 Gender/Rule Interaction -0.036 -0.148 0.882 Gender/Motivation Interaction 0.002 0.007 0.995 Grade/Order Interaction 0.291 0.936 0.350 Grade/Rule Interaction -0.082 -0.263 0.792 Grade/Motivation Interaction 0.328 1.142 0.254 Note. denotes significance at p < .05 Note. Grade differences approach significance This model accounted for 19.6% of the variance (F(342,10) = .8.9, p<.000). Post hoc analysis tests for interaction using multiple regression, dropping each interaction, one at a

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29 time, revealed the effects to be non-significant. Interactions were dropped, yielding a revised model for predicting end of year motivation. The final model predicting end of year motivation, gender, math grades, and baseline motivation with perceptions of Order/Organization, Rule Clarity is presented in Table 5. Table 5 Regression for Achievement : Revised Model Model B t value p value r R F p End of Year Achievement .433 .188 18.836 .000 Perception of Order/Organization 0.168 3.533 0.000* Perception of Rule Clarity 0.079 1.756 0.080 Gender 0.221 4.548 0.000* Grade 0.168 3.754 0.000* Baseline Motivation 0.151 3.312 0.001* Note. denotes significance at p < .05 This model explained 16.8 % of the variance (F(342,4) = 18.8, p<.000). Findings indicate a significant positive relationship between achievement and students ratings of Order/Organization. Students who perceived the classroom as more structured and organized tended to earn higher grades than students who did not. A significant negative relationship was found between baseline motivation and achievement. These findings suggested the students who reported lower levels of motivation for math at the beginning of the school year achieved higher grades than those who did not. However, student levels of motivation decline when comparing across grades while achievement improves. When comparing 6th grade students to 8th grade students, motivation levels tend to decline and achievement in mathematics increases. Therefore, when combining grade levels, these findings may suggest the overall rate of decline in motivation is greater than the overall rate of increase in achievement. However, this study did not address the level of achievement and motivation across grades. The negative relationship is not expected for within grade comparisons

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30 Gender differences were found to be significant for achievement. Girls tended to earn higher grades at the end of the year than boys (Table 1). These findings do not support earlier studies that suggest boys tend to have higher achievement in math for middle school students (Goh & Fraser, 1995). Lastly, there were significant differences in achievement by grade level. Achievement in 8th grade was significantly lower for boys and significantly higher for girls (Table 1). Because this study did not address the level of math difficulty across grades, future studies are needed to examine the role of grade and math performance in middle school.

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CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among classroom climate, motivation, and achievement. Classroom climate has been described as encompassing all the socio-psychological dimensions of classroom life (Wang et.al. 1993). Students in this study were asked to rate their perceptions of mathematics classroom as to the degree of order and organization present in the class as well as how clear and consistent they perceived the rules to be. Motivation is described as encompassing the expectancy of success and the value placed on that attainment (Wigfield & Eccles, 1992). Students were asked to rate their levels of motivation in math class at the beginning and end of the year. Achievement was measured at end of year in numerical points, ranging from 0 to 100. Because the literature regarding motivation, achievement, and classroom climate ratings suggest students may vary by gender, age (Fyans & Maehr, 1987; Goodenow, 1993a), and the individual characteristics they bring to the classroom (Biggs, 1993; Chapin & Eastman, 1996;), this study attempted to control for these variables. This chapter presents a discussion and interpretation of the results of the study as they relate to previous findings in the area of classroom climate and motivation, as well as the research questions and hypotheses. It also addresses the implications of the findings. The chapter concludes with a discussion of future directions for research and limitations of the current study. 31

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32 Perceptions of Classroom Climate and Motivation The first goal of this study was to determine if students who rated perceptions of classroom climate higher on would report higher levels of motivation at the end of the year than students with lower ratings. For end of year motivation levels, results of this study indicated that students who rated classroom climate as higher in rule clarity and order/organization also tended to report higher levels of motivation at the end of the year. These findings supported the literature, which suggested positive classroom climate promotes students expectations and values for success. In this analysis, there were no statistically significant differences between males and females ratings of motivation in middle school mathematics. However, while boys reported higher levels of motivation for math at the beginning of the year, girls tended to report higher levels of motivation towards math at the end of the year. Because the literature suggested boys have higher competency beliefs, with higher task values, and greater expectations for success for math (Wigfield & Eccles, 1992), it was expected ratings of motivation for math, boys would report higher ratings at both time points. However, literature also suggested that values and expectations associated with math decline for both boys and girls (Wigfield et. al., 1998). These findings bring interesting questions about gender differences in motivation. While motivation declines for math for girls and boys, these findings suggested the decline might be somewhat more pronounced in males during middle school. Another possibility may be recent trends in math competency suggesting the gender gap in math is narrowing (Townsend & Hicks, 1997). A third possibility may be girls were reported to be more sensitive to classroom climate (Goh & Fraser, 1995). Therefore, girls declines in competency beliefs, values, and expectations for math may be more responsive to positive classroom climate. Future

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33 studies may wish to address the differential role of gender and motivation as it pertains to middle school mathematics. Early motivation, as anticipated, was a significant factor in end of year motivation levels for girls and boys across grades. Findings revealed students who entered the classroom with higher expectations and values for success in math reported higher expectations and values for success in math at the end of the year than those who did not. There were also grade differences in ratings of motivation. In all grades, students who perceived their mathematics class as more orderly and organized tended to achieve higher than those who did not. However, while 6th grade students perception of rule clarity and fairness did not affect their self-ratings of motivation at the end of the year, students in the higher-grade levels, who rated higher levels of both the Rule Clarity and Order/Organization factors of classroom climate, expressed higher levels of motivation at the end of the year. Classroom Climate and Achievement This second goal of this study was to determine whether students who rated perceptions of classroom climate higher on subscales of Order/Organization and Rule Clarity would achieve higher grades than students with lower ratings. Results of this study indicated in middle school mathematics, students who perceived the classroom, as being more orderly and organized tended to earn higher grades than students who did not. These findings support earlier findings by Williams and Somers (2001), in which the orderliness of the classroom contributed significantly to test scores in mathematics and language. Overall, students perceptions of Rule Clarity, in which the rules are clearly defined and fairly executed, were not a significant factor in terms of predicting math achievement. These findings suggest that students perform better in math with a

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34 classroom that is structured with organized lessons. However, students perceptions of the fairness of rules, how clearly and defined they are, do not predict higher achievement. Middle school students experiences are reported to become less intimate and more anonymous than elementary school. Eccles, Midgely, and Adler (1984) suggested middle schools to be larger and more impersonal. Therefore, these results suggested students in middle school may be unaware of teacher bias in the enforcement of rules or did not perceive them to be an important component of their individual success. Findings revealed a negative relationship of students early ratings of motivation for math achievement. These findings indicated students entering the classroom with higher expectations and values for success for math earned lower grades at the end of the year. Gender was a factor in achievement, with girls earning higher grades in math than boys. Literature has suggested girls are more sensitive to classroom climate scales and tend to yield higher ratings while males perform better in climates that are more orderly and organized (Goh & Fraser, 1995). Results from this indicated no significant gender differences for ratings of classroom climate but did indicate higher achievement for females over males in end of year math achievement. These results do not support earlier findings which indicated boys have higher achievement in math (Townsend & Hicks, 1997). Reasons for these differences were considered to be a result of declines in motivation for math (Wigfield, & Eccles, 1992), social attitudes reflecting math as a nontraditional female domain, or classroom bias in the promotion of math achievement for girls. One reason for higher achievement for girls in middle school may be a reflection of the change in social values for math. Recent trends in research suggested

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35 the gap in gender differences for math achievement might be narrowing. Another possibility for gender differences in math achievement may be due to girls sensitivity to classroom climate, which was observed in this study with the increase in girls motivation for math at the end of the year. Therefore, while in this study, girls and boys were analogous in their perceptions of rule clarity and order/organization, achievement for girls may be more positively effected by positive classroom climates. Findings did show a difference in middle school students achievement as they progress to grade levels. These results suggested that students tended to achieve higher grades as they achieved higher-grade levels. One possibility may be students entering middle school tended to have lower performances across domains. Students in the sixth grade were prone to declines in school engagement in a study by Simons-Morton and Crump, (2003). While declines may be influenced by the transition to middle school (Eccles et al., 1993), academic performances were demonstrated to rebound, improving as students adjusted to their new environment and rose to higher grade levels (Wigfield, Eccles, &Rodriguez, 1998). Because this study did not address differences in math curriculum, reasons for improvement in achievement by grade level might be addressed in future studies. Implications In past decades, classroom climate has been established as a salient aspect of student learning and wellbeing. The construct of classroom climate has been considered a critical factor in students emotional and intellectual development. Gottfredson and Gottfredson (1989) explored the positive influential role of safety, morale, personal security, and classroom orderliness on academic performance, attendance, and dropout rates among elementary, middle, and high schools. Studies indicated that establishing a

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36 positive classroom climate increased attendance and student involvement (Mayer & Mitchell, 1993; DeYoung, 1977). Creation of classrooms with a positive climate has been indicated as a buffer to many current problems in the academic arena. Mayer and Mitchell (1993) suggested that creating positive classroom climates in which positive feedback, structured tutoring programs, with clearly defined rules resulted in reducing dropout rates, increasing attendance and increasing on task behavior. Other variables in the learning environment impacting academic success included feelings of support within the classroom, teacher availability, and feelings of belonging, safety and caring (Hayes, Ryan, & Zeller, 1994) which affected the students perception of the quality of life within the classroom (Dunn & Harris, 1998). Biggs (1993) suggested while students may bring a preferred approach into the classroom, but that the classroom climate can hinder or promote their preferences. These approaches have been found to determine whether the student learns on a superficial level or achieves mastery. Findings of this study indicated students with higher ratings of classroom climate performed better and were more motivated than those who did not. Interesting questions are: are better students more sensitive to classroom climate or do students do students perform better because they are better able to identify elements of the classroom that assist with learning? Because perceptions of classroom climate have been significantly associated with higher achievement and motivation in this study, implications for School Psychology are many. First, classroom climate scales may be used to understand the experience of the individual within the classroom. In assessing the individual, it will be helpful to gain an understanding of the student within his classroom. Using classroom climate scales as an

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37 assessment tool provides an opportunity to assess students perception these experiences. Using these results may help design better interventions within the classroom to improve students achievement outcomes. Additionally, just as children may be explicitly trained in social skills to recognize social cues, students at risk for academic failure may benefit with explicit training in recognizing classroom supports that may be obscure to students with low ratings of classroom climate. Students with lower ratings may then be able to benefit from positive classroom climates. Second, because the positive effects of classroom climate have been demonstrated in this study to be related to students achievement and motivation, teachers may find having structured and organized lesson plans, with fair and consistent enforcement of rules may improve student learning. With current emphasis on accountability for teachers regarding students educational success, teachers may find that promoting a positive classroom climate will increase productivity through high student motivation and improve academic grades through enhanced student learning. Additionally, teachers who implement classroom practices designed to promote a positive classroom climate may use the climate assessment as a means of assessing the success of the programs or as a means of facilitating changes within the classroom. Finally, the assessment of perceptions in classroom climate may help understand the changes in students perceptions of their educational experiences. For example, in this study, students perceptions of Order/Organization were associated with higher motivation and higher achievement. Rule clarity, however, was associated with higher motivation but did not effect achievement. Closer examination of the data revealed differences in effects of rule clarity on achievement for different grade levels. These

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38 results indicated developmental differences in the effects of classroom climate. By assessing classroom climate as a means of understanding developmental change, a greater understanding of students needs within the classroom may be achieved in order to improve academic outcomes. Limitations and Future Studies Findings of this study revealed perceptions of classroom climate to be significantly associated with higher achievement and higher motivation levels in middle school mathematics students. Because this study involved a large sample of middle school students, findings may generalize to other middle school students. Additionally, because this study controlled for gender, grade level and initial levels of motivation, the impact of classroom climate on achievement and end of year motivation may be more clearly indicated. Therefore, although students enter the classroom with values and expectations for success in mathematics, the classroom experience relating to positive classroom climates may be important for student success. Although the sample for this study was large, a limitation of this study might be the sample was taken from a predominantly white, rural middle school. Research has demonstrated the effects of positive classroom climates in rural middle schools were analogous to racially mixed urban middle schools. However, future studies may wish to replicate these findings to determine if actual grade achievement and motivation levels can be predicted by classroom climate in urban schools. Another limitation was the focus of this research, which did not include perceptions and ratings from other academic domains. Findings in this study may not generalize to domains where subscales of classroom climate of Rule Clarity and Order/Organization are not highly correlated. Research has indicated positive effects for

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39 classroom climates rated high on scales of Order/Organization and rule clarity in all domains (Juarez, 2000). However, future studies may wish to replicate the predictive role of classroom climate on achievement and motivation in other domains. A final limitation in the focus of this study was it sought to examine the predictive quality of positive classroom climate for middle school students. Because findings indicated different effects of ratings of Rule Clarity for 6th grade, future studies may wish to examine classroom climate for each grade, separately, to determine if the effects of classroom climate are stable across grade level. Future studies are needed to determine the predictive effects of positive classroom climate as it pertains to individual student achievement and self-ratings of motivation in elementary schools. Because initial levels of motivation are found to be associated with previous classroom experiences, promoting positive classroom climates early may help students develop higher motivation for academic engagement. Additionally, understanding the role of classroom climate may facilitate changes within the classroom that promote learning mastery. With the current emphasis on educational accountability, higher achievement outcomes associated with positive classroom climates are promising.

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40 Gender Differences in Motivation-0.8-0.6-0.4-0.200.20.40.60.81123End of Year MotivationBaseline Motivation girls boys Figure 1. Baseline Motivation

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APPENDIX REGRESSION EQUATIONS Multiple Regression Equations How much is motivation predicted by classroom climate, controlling for gender, grade, and initial motivation ? YM = Motivation YM = b0 + b1X1 + b2X2 + b3X3 + b4X4 + b5X5 + b6 X6(X3X1) + b7X7 (X3*X2)+ b8X8(X3*X5) + b9X9(X4*X1) + b10 X10(X4X2)+ b11 X11(X4X5) X1 = Classroom climate : order/ organization X2 = Classroom climate: rule clarity X3 = gender X4 = grade X5 = motivation time 1 X6 = gender order/organization X7 = gender rule clarity X8 = gender motivation X9 = grade* order X10 = grade*rules X11= grade*motivation Omnibus Test of Predictive Variables for Motivation Full Model ( k = 11) Sample Size: H0 : R2 (YM/X1X2X3X4 X5X6 X7X8 X9X10 X11) = 0 FM 7 = R 2 (Y A /X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 X 6 X 7 X 8 X 9 X 10 X 11 )______ (1R2 ( YM/X1X2X3X4X5X6 X7X8 X9X10 X11) / ( N k-1)) 41

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42 Tests of Interaction H0 : R2 (YM/X1X2X3X4 X5X6 X7X8 X9X10 X11) = 0 FM = R 2 (Y m /X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 X 6 X 7 X 8 X 9 X 10 X 11 )______ (1R2 ( YM/X1X2X3X4X5X6 X7X8 X9X10 X11) / ( N k-1)) H0 : R2 (YM/X1X2X3X4 X5X6 X7X8 X9X10) = 0 FM = R 2 (Y m /X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 X 6 X 7 X 8 X 9 X 10 )______ (2R2 ( YM/X1X2X3X4X5X6 X7X8 X9X10 ) / ( N k-1)) H0 : R2 (YM/X1X2X3X4 X5X6 X7X8 X9 X11) = 0 FM = R 2 (Y A /X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 X 6 X 7 X 8 X 9 X 11 )______ (1R2 ( YM/X1X2X3X4X5X6 X7X8 X9 X11) / ( N k-1)) H0 : R2 (YM/X1X2X3X4 X5X6 X7X8 X10 X11) = 0 FM = R 2 (Y m /X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 X 6 X 7 X 8 X 10 X 11 )______ (3R2 ( YM/X1X2X3X4X5X6 X7X8 X10 X11) / ( N k-1)) H0 : R2 (YM/X1X2X3X4 X5X6 X7 X9X10 X11) = 0 FM = R 2 (Y m /X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 X 6 X 7 X 9 X 10 X 11 )______ (4R2 ( YM/X1X2X3X4X5X6 X7X8 X9X10 X11) / ( N k-1)) H0 : R2 (YM/X1X2X3X4 X5X6 X8 X9X10 X11) = 0 FM = R 2 (Y m /X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 X 6 X 8 X 9 X 10 X 11 )______ (5R2 ( YM/X1X2X3X4X5X6 X8 X9X10 X11) / ( N k-1)) H0 : R2 (YM/X1X2X3X4 X5 X7X8 X9X10 X11) = 0 FM = R 2 (Y m /X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 X 7 X 8 X 9 X 10 X 11 )______ (6R2 ( YM/X1X2X3X4X5 X7X8 X9X10 X11) / ( N k-1))

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43 Omnibus Test of Predictive Variables for Motivation Revised Model ( k = 6) H0 : R2 (YM/X1X2X3X4 X5X8) = 0 FM = R 2 (Y A /X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 X 8 )______ (1R2 ( YM/X1X2X3X4X5X8 ) / ( N k-1)) Tests of Individual Coefficients: H0 : B = 0, if =1 TX = R 2 (Y M /X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 ) R 2 (Y M /X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 ) (1R2 (Y M /X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 ) / ( N k-1)) Calculate Semi-Partial R2 H0: ( YM ( X1/ X2X3X4X5 X8 )) = 0 FA = R 2 (Y M / X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 X 8 ) R (X 1 / X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 X 8 ) (1R2 ( YM/ X1X2X3X4 X5 X8 ) / ( N k-1)) H0: ( YM ( X2/ X1X3X4 X5 X8)) = 0 FM = R 2 (Y M / X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 X 8 ) R 2 (X 2 / X 1 X 3 X 4 X 5 X 8 ) (1R2 ( YM/ X1X2X3X4 X5 X8) / ( N k-1)) H0: ( YM ( X3/ X1X2X4 X5 X8 )) = 0 FM = R 2 (Y M / X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 X 8 ) R 2 (X 3 / X 1 X 2 X 4 X 5 X 8 ) (1R2 ( YA/ X1X2X3X4 X5 X8) / ( N k-1))

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44 H0: ( YM ( X4/ X1X2X3 X5 X8 ) = 0 FM = R 2 (Y M / X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 X 8 ) R 2 (X 4 / X 1 X 2 X 3 X 5 X 8 ) (1 R2 ( YM/ X1X2X3X4 X5) / ( N k-1)) H0: ( YM ( X5/ X1X2X3 X4 X8) = 0 FM = R 2 (Y M / X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 X 8 ) R 2 (X 5 / X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 8 ) (1 R2 ( YM/ X1X2X3X4 X5 X8) / ( N k-1)) H0: ( YM ( X8/ X1X2X3 X4 X5) = 0 FM = R 2 (Y M / X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 X 8 ) R 2 (X 8 / X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 ) (1 R2 ( YM/ X1X2X3X4 X5 X8) / ( N k-1)) Multiple Regression Equations How much is achievement predicted by classroom climate given gender, grade, and motivation ? YA = Classroom Achievement YA = b0 + b1X1 + b2X2 + b3X3 + b4X4 + b5X5+ b6X6 (X4*X1)+ b7X7(X4*X2)+ b8X8(X4X3) + b9X9 (X5X1)+ b10X10(X5X2)+ b11X11(X5X3) X1 = Classroom climate : order/ organization (smorder) X2 = Classroom climate: rule clarity (smrules) X3 = motivation time 1 (mot1) X4 = gender X5 = grade X6 = gender order/organization X7 = gender rule clarity X8 = gender motivation X9 = grade* order X10 = grade* rules X11 = grade* motivation

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45 Omnibus Test of Predictive Variables for Achievement Revised Model ( k = 11) H0 : R2 (YA/X1X2X3X4 X5X6X7 X8X9X10X11) = 0 FA = R2 (Y A /X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 X 6 X 7 X 8 X 9 X 10 X 11 )______ (1R2 (YA/X1X2X3X4 X5X6X7 X8X9X10X11) / ( N k-1)) Tests of Interaction H0 : R2 (YA/X1X2X3X4 X5X6X7 X8X9X10X11) = 0 FA = R2 (Y A /X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 X 6 X 7 X 8 X 9 X 10 X 11 )______ (1R2 (YA/X1X2X3X4 X5X6X7 X8X9X10X11) / ( N k-1)) H0 : R2 (YA/X1X2X3X4 X5X6X7 X8X9X10) = 0 FA = R2 (Y A /X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 X 6 X 7 X 8 X 9 X 10 )______ (1R2 (YA/X1X2X3X4 X5X6X7 X8X9X10) / ( N k-1)) H0 : R2 (YA/X1X2X3X4 X5X6X7 X8X9X11) = 0 FA = R2 (Y A /X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 X 6 X 7 X 8 X 9 X 11 )______ (1R2 (YA/X1X2X3X4 X5X6X7 X8X9X11) / ( N k-1)) H0 : R2 (YA/X1X2X3X4 X5X6X7 X8X10X11) = 0 FA = R2 (Y A /X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 X 6 X 7 X 8 X 10 X 11 )______ (1R2 (YA/X1X2X3X4 X5X6X7 X8X10X11) / ( N k-1)) H0 : R2 (YA/X1X2X3X4 X5X6X7 X9X10X11) = 0 FA = R2 (Y A /X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 X 6 X 7 X 9 X 10 X 11 )______ (1R2 (YA/X1X2X3X4 X5X6X7 X9X10X11) / ( N k-1)) H0 : R2 (YA/X1X2X3X4 X5X6 X8X9X10X11) = 0 FA = R2 (Y A /X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 X 6 X 8 X 9 X 10 X 11 )______ (1R2 (YA/X1X2X3X4 X5X6 X8X9X10X11) / ( N k-1))

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46 H0 : R2 (YA/X1X2X3X4 X5X7 X8X9X10X11) = 0 FA = R2 (Y A /X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 X 7 X 8 X 9 X 10 X 11 )______ (1R2 (YA/X1X2X3X4 X5X7 X8X9X10X11) / ( N k-1)) Omnibus Test of Predictive Variables for Achievement Revised Model ( k = 5) H0 : R2 (YA/X1X2X3X4 X5) = 0 FA = R2 (Y A /X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 )______ (1R2 (YA/X1X2X3X4 X5) / ( N k-1)) Test of Individual Coefficients: H0 : B = 0, if =1 TX = R 2 (Y A / X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 ) R 2 (Y A / X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 ) (1R2 (YA/ X1X2X3X4 X5) / ( N k-1)) H0 : B2 = 0 FA = R 2 (Y A / X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 ) R 2 (Y A / X 1 X 3 X 4 X 5 ) (1R (YA/ X1X2X3X4 X5) / ( N k-1)) H0 : B3 = 0 FA = R 2 (Y A / X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 ) R 2 (Y A / X 1 X 2 X 4 X 5 ) (1R (YA/ X1X2X3X4 X5) / ( N k-1)) Calculate Semi-Partial R H0: ( YA ( X1/ X2X3X4 X5)) = 0 FA = R 2 (Y A / X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 ) R 2 (X 1 / X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 ) (2R ( YA/ X1X2X3X4 X5) / ( N k-1)) H0: ( YA ( X2/ X1X3X4 X5)) = 0

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47 FA = R 2 (Y A / X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 ) R 2 (X 2 / X 1 X 3 X 4 X 5 ) (2R2 ( YA/ X1X2X3X4 X5X6X7) / ( N k-1)) H0: ( YA ( X3/ X1X2X4 X5)) = 0 FA = R 2 (Y A / X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 ) R 2 (X 3 / X 1 X 2 X 4 X 5 ) (2R2 ( YA/ X1X2X3X4 X5) / ( N k-1)) H0: ( YA ( X4/ X1X2X3 X5)) = 0 FA = R 2 (Y A / X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 ) R 2 (X 4 / X 1 X 2 X 3 X 5 ) (1 R2 ( YA/ X1X2X3X4 X5) / ( N k-1)) H0: ( YA ( X5/ X1X2X3 X4)) = 0 FA = R 2 (Y A / X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 X 5 ) R 2 (X 5 / X 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 ) (1 R2 ( YA/ X1X2X3X4 X5) / ( N k-1))

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49 Dart, B., Burnett, P., & Purdie, N. (2000). Students' conception of learning, the classroom environment, and approaches to learning. The Journal of Educational Research, 93, 262-270. Deci, E., Vallerand, R., Pelletier, L., & Ryan, R. (1991). Motivation and education. Educational Psychologist, 26, 325-346. Denny, D., & Turner, R. (1967). Teacher characteristics, classroom behavior, and growth in pupil creativity. Retrieved June 13, 2002 from ERIC (ED011257). DeYoung, A. (1977). Classroom climate and class success: a case study at the university level. Journal of Educational Research, 70(5), 251-257. Dunn, R., & Harris, L. (1998). Organizational dimensions of climate and the impact on school achievement. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 25, 100-114. Eccles, J. (1983). Expectancies, values and academic behaviors. In J.T.Spence (Ed.), Achievement and Achievement Motives: Psychological and Sociological Approaches (pp. 75-146). San Francisco: W.H.Freeman. Eccles, S., Wigfield, A., Midgely, C., Reuman, D., MacIver, D., & Feldlaufer, H. (1993). Negative effects of traditional middle schools on students' motivation. The Elementary School Journal, 93, 555-591. Ellis, S. (1996). Staff development is the key to school reform: an interview with Efrain Vila. Journal of Staff Development, 17, 52. Fraser, B. (1986). Classroom Environnent. London: Croom Helm. Fyans, L., & Maehr, M. (1987). School "culture" motivation and achievement. In J. Arter (Ed.), Assessing School and Classroom Climate A Consumer's Guide (pp. 1-39). Portland, Or: Test Center of the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. Gardner, A., Mason, C., & Matyas, M. (1989). Equity, excellence and "just plain good teaching. The American Biology Teacher, 51, 72-77. Goh, S., & Fraser, B. (1995). Learning environment and student outcomes in primary mathematics. Retrieved June 13, 2002 from ERIC (ED38962). Goodenow, C. (1993a). Classroom belonging among early adolescent students: relationships to motivation and achievement. Journal of Early Adolescence, 13, 21-43. Goodenow, C. (1993b). The psychological sense of school membership among adolescents: scale development and educational correlates. Psychology in the Schools, 30, 79-90.

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50 Goodenow, C. (1995). Conceptualizing and measuring classroom belonging and support among adolescents. Unpublished. Tufts University. Department of Education. Gottfredson, G., & Gottfredson, D. (1989). School climate, academic performance, attendance, and dropout. US Dept of Education. Greene, J. (1983) On the classroom component of classroom motivation. Presented at Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Montreal Haertel, G., Walberg, H., & Haertel, E. (1981). Social-psychological environments and learning: a quantitative synthesis. British Educational Research Journal, 7, 27-36. Hamilton, S. (1983). The social side of schooling: ecological studies of classrooms and schools. The Elementary School Journal, 4, 313-334. Hayes, C., Ryan, A., & Zeller, E. (1994). The middle school child's perceptions of caring teachers. American Journal of Education, 103, 1-19. Hoffman, R. (1979). Ability, involvement, and climate as multiple and interactive predictors of performance. Research Report, Retrieved from ERIC (ED183601). House, D. (2002). The independent effects of student characteristics and instructional activities on achievement: an application of the input-environmentoutcome assessment model. International Journal of Instructional Media, 29, 225-239. Jackson, J. (2002). Enhancing self-efficacy and learning performance (motivation and social processes). The Journal of Experimental Education, 70, 243-255. Jacobson, L. (2000). Valuing diversity-student-teacher relationships that enhance achievement. Community College Review, 28, 49-66. Johnson, L., Lutzow, J., Strothoff, M., & Zannis, C. (1995). Reducing negative behavior by establishing helping relationships and a community identity program. Rockford Ill Juarez, A. (2000). Enhancing student performance through classroom motivation. Dissertation Abstracts, RIEMAR2002. Retrieved June 13, 2002 from ERIC (ED458298). Keyser, V., & Barling, J. (1981). Determinants of children's self-efficacy beliefs in an academic environment. Cognitive Therapy Research, 5, 29-39. Kunc, N. (1992). The need to belong: rediscovering Maslow's hierarchy of needs. In R. Villa, J. Thousand, W. Stainback, & S.Stainback (Eds.). Restructuring for caring and effective education. Baltimore: Brookes. Kutnick, P. (1998). Relationships in the primary classroom. London: Paul Chapman Publishing.

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51 Mayer, G., & Mitchell, L. (1993). Dropout prevention program for at risk high-school students: emphasizing consulting to promote positive classroom climates. Education and Treatment of Children, 16, 2. McRobbie, C., & Fraser, B. (1993. Associations between student outcomes and psychosocial science environment. Journal of Educational Research, 87, 78-85. Moos, R., & Trickett, E. (1994). A social climate manual. Palo Alto, Ca: Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc. Osterman, K. (2000). Students' need for belonging in the school community. Review of Educational Research, 70, 323-367. Owens, L., & Barnes, J. (1982). The relationships between cooperative, competitive, and individualized learning preferences and students' perceptions of classroom learning atmosphere. American Educational Research Journal, 19, 182-200. Proctor, C. (1984). Teacher expectations: a model for school improvement. Elementary School Journal, 84, 469-481. Resnick, M., Bearman, P., Blum, R., Bauman, K., Harris, K., Jones, J., Tabor, J., Beuhring, T Sieving, R., Shew, M., Ireland, M., Bearinger, L. & Udry, J. (1997). Protecting adolescents from harm. JAMA, 278, 823-832. Simons-Morton, B., & Crump, A. (2003). Associations of parental environment and social competence with school adjustment and engagement among sixth graders. Journal of School Health, 73, 121-127. Slavin, R. (1991). Synthesis of research on cooperative learning. Educational Leadership, 48, 71-82. Townsend, M., & Hicks, L. (1997). Classroom goal structures, social; satisfaction and the perceived value of academic tasks. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 67, 1-12. Wang, M., Haertel, G., & Walberg, H. (1993). What helps students learn. Educational Leadership, 51, 74-76. Wigfield, A., Harold, R., Eccles, J., Blumenfeld, P., Aberbach, A., Freedman-Doon, C. &Yoon, K. (1992). The structure of childrens ability perceptions and achievement values: age, gender, and domain differences. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Associations. San Francisco. Wigfiled, A. (1994). Expectancy-Value theory of achievement motivation: a development perspective. Educational Psychology Review, 6, 49-78

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52 Williams, J., & Somers, M. (2001). Family, classroom and school effects on children's educational outcomes in Latin America. School Effectiveness and School Leadership, 12, 409-444. Zahn, G., Kagan, S., & Widaman, K. (1986). Cooperative learning and classroom climate. Journal of School Psychology, 24, 351-362.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Susan Davis graduated from the University of Florida in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology. She is currently a graduate student in the University of Florida school psychology program and plans to graduate in May of 2006. Susan lives in Gainesville with her husband, Jack, and son, Jim. 53