Reexamining quality in early childhood education: Exploring the relationship between the organizational climate and the classroom

Sarah E. Dennis, Erin O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study examined the relationship between the organizational climate, the work environment for preschool teachers, and classroom quality among a sample of 37 centers serving low-income families in a large northeastern city. Although a robust body of literature indicates the importance of classroom quality for child outcomes, especially among low-income children, little research has explored whether school-level factors contribute to classroom quality in preschool centers. A significant association between overall organizational climate and classroom quality was found such that classrooms located in centers rated as more positive in terms of overall organizational climate (e.g., collegiality, professional growth, supervisor support, clarity, reward system, decision-making, goal consensus, task orientation, physical setting, and innovativeness) and relational organizational climate (e.g., ratings of teachers' relationships with their colleagues and leadership) were rated higher in regard to classroom quality. Interestingly, a stronger relationship between the organizational climate and classroom quality was found among teachers with more experience and less education. Implications for early childhood education are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-92
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Research in Childhood Education
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Early childhood education
  • Organizational climate
  • Quality
  • Work environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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