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Comparing school-based environment of High- and Low-Performing inner city schools

Taylor, P.C., Huang, S., Waxman, H. and Wang, M. (1995) Comparing school-based environment of High- and Low-Performing inner city schools. In: Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) 1995, 18 - 22 April 1995, San Francisco, CA


The perceptions of school climates at high- and low-performing schools were studied in 11 elementary schools from a large, multicultural urban school district selected for their high or low achievement. The sample consisted of 151 teachers from the 5 high-performing schools and 146 from the low-performing schools. School performance was determined by administrator recommendation and scores on standardized tests. Teacher attitudes were determined through the School Climate Survey for Teachers developed for this study. Teacher qualifications and experience were essentially the same in both groups. In all the schools, teachers generally thought positively of their school climates. Most had favorable perceptions of teacher-student relations, school standards, instructional materials, and feedback to students. Teachers from high-performing schools reported a greater academic emphasis or orientation and a greater use of innovative instructional strategies. They also felt that they had better facilities and resources than teachers in low-performing schools. Teachers in low-performing schools reported more discipline problems and more involvement in nonteaching activities. One figure and three tables present survey findings.

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