Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Michael F. DiPaola


For decades, educational leaders have sought to identify school-level variables that have a positive and significant impact on student achievement despite the indelible effects of student socioeconomic status and family background. The purpose of this is study was to investigate the relationship between an emergent attitudinal construct---academic optimism---and its relationship to organizational citizenship behaviors of teachers and student achievement among a sample of Virginia public high schools.;A convenience sample of 36 public Virginia high schools serving students in grades 9-12 was used to collect survey data from full-time teachers and faculty during regularly-scheduled faculty meetings during the 2006-07 school year. Derivative survey items for collective teacher efficacy, academic emphasis, faculty trust in students and parents, and organizational citizenship behavior in schools were obtained from existing instruments previously tested for reliability and validity. Student achievement data were obtained from 2006-07 Standards of Learning test results for Biology, United States History and English II Reading and Writing.;The initial factor analysis confirmed that academic optimism is a unified construct comprised of three dimensions: collective teacher efficacy, academic emphasis, and faculty trust in students and parents. Correlational analysis demonstrated positive significant relationships between academic optimism and student achievement. Additional regression analysis confirmed the significant relationships between academic optimism and student achievement in each of the four content areas measured, even after controlling for student socioeconomic status. In addition, academic optimism correlated strongly with organizational citizenship behavior in schools, but demonstrated stronger independent effects on student achievement than OCB.



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