For Elementary Schools (OCDQ-RE)

Dimensions (Subtests of the OCDQ-RE)

Supportive principal behavior reflects a basic concern for teachers. The principal listens and is open to teacher suggestions. Praise is given genuinely and frequently, and criticism is handled constructively. The competence of the faculty is respected, and the principal exhibits both a personal and professional interest in teachers.

Directive principal behavior is rigid, close supervision. The principal maintains constant monitoring and control over all teacher and school activities, down to the smallest detail.

Restrictive principal behavior is behavior that hinders rather than facilitates teacher work. The principal burdens teachers with paper work, committee requirements, routine duties, and other demands that interfere with their teaching responsibilities.

Collegial teacher behavior supports open and professional interactions among teachers. Teachers are proud of their school, enjoy working with their colleagues, and are enthusiastic, accepting, and mutually respectful of their colleagues.

Intimate teacher behavior is cohesive and strong social relations among teachers. Teachers know each other well, are close personal friends, socialize together regularly, and provide strong social support for each other.

Disengaged teacher behavior signifies a lack of meaning and focus to professional activities. Teachers are simply putting in time in non-productive group efforts; they have no common goals. In fact, their behavior is often negative and critical of their colleagues and the school.


Each of these dimensions was measured by a subtest of the OCDQ-RE. The reliability scores for the scales were relatively high: Supportive (.94), Directive (.88), Restrictive (.81), Collegial (.87), Intimate (.83), and Disengaged (.78).

Construct Validity

The construct validity of each dimension of openness was supported by correlating each dimension with the original OCDQ index of openness (Hoy, 1972). In the current sample, the index of teacher openness correlated positively with the original general school openness index (r=.67, p<.01) as did the index of principal openness (r=.52, p<.01). Moreover, the factor analysis supports the construct validity of organizational climate (Hoy, Tarter, & Kottkamp, 1991).

Openness Indices

The three subtests of the OCDQ-RE that define principal openness are supportive, directive, and restrictive. An index of the degree of openness in principal-teacher relations can be computed by first standardizing the school scores on these dimensions, and then subtracting the sum of the directive and restrictive scores from the supportive score (Principal openness=S-[D+R]), where S, D, R are standard scores).

Likewise, the collegial, intimate, and disengaged subtests define the degree of openness in teacher behavior. Accordingly, a teacher openness index for the school can be computed by standardizing the school scores on these dimensions, and then subtracting the disengagement score from the sum of the collegial and intimate scores (Teacher openness=[C+I]-D, where C, I, D are standard scores).

Administering the Instrument

The OCDQ-RE is best administered as part of a faculty meeting. It is important to guarantee the anonymity of the teacher respondent; teachers are not asked to sign the questionnaire and no identifying code is placed on the form. Most teachers do not object to responding to the instrument, which takes less than ten minutes to complete. It is probably advisable to have someone other than an administrator collect the data. It is important to create a non-threatening atmosphere where teachers give candid responses. All of the health and climate instruments follow the same pattern of administration.


The responses vary along a four-point scale defined by the categories "rarely occurs", "sometimes occurs", "often occurs", and "very frequently occurs." (1 through 4, respectively).

Step 1: Score each item for each teacher with the appropriate number (1, 2, 3, or 4). Be sure to reverse score items 6, 31, 37.

Step 2: Calculate an average school score for each item. In the example above, one would add all 15 scores on each item and then divide by 15. Round the scores to the nearest hundredth. This score represents the average school item score. You should have 42 average school item scores before proceeding.

Step 3: Sum the average school item scores as follows:

Supportive Behavior (S)=4+9+15+16+22+23+28+29+42
Directive Behavior (D)=5+10+17+24+30+34+35+39+41
Restrictive Behavior (R)=11+18+25+31+36
Collegial Behavior (C)=1+6+12+19+26+32+37+40
Intimate Behavior (Int)=2+7+13+20+27+33+38
Disengaged Behavior (Dis)=3+8+14+21

These six scores represent the climate profile of the school.

How does you school compare with others? We have supplied information on a large and diverse sample of New Jersey elementary schools, which gives a rough basis for comparing your school with others . The average scores and standard deviations for each climate dimension are summarized below. Standard deviations tell us how close most schools are to the average; the smaller the standard deviation, the closer most schools are to the typical school.

  Mean (M) Std. Deviation (SD)
Supportive Behavior (S) 23.34 4.85
Directive Behavior (D) 19.34 3.20
Restrictive Behavior (R) 12.98 1.55
Collegial Behavior (C) 23.11 2.69
Intimate Behavior (Int) 17.23 2.14
Disengaged Behavior (Dis) 6.98 1.26

To make the comparisons easy, we recommend you standardize each of your subtest scores. Standardizing the scores gives them a "common denominator" that allows direct comparisons among all schools.

Computing Standardized Scores of the OCDQ-RE

First: Convert the school subtest scores to standardized scores with a mean of 500 and a standard deviation of 100, which we call SdS scores. Use the following formulas:

SdS for S=100 X (S-23.34)/4.85+500

Then compute the difference between your school score on S and the mean of 23.34 for the normative sample (S-23.34). Then multiply the difference by 100 [100 X (S-23.34)]. Next divide the product by standard deviation of the normative sample (4.85). Then add 500 to the result. You have computed a standardized score (SdS) for the supportive behavior subscale (S).

Next: Repeat the process for each dimension as follows:

SdS for D=100 X (D-19.34)/3.20+500
SdS for R=100 X (R-12.98)/1.55+500
SdS for C=100 X (C-23.11)/2.69+500
SdS for Int=100 X (Int-17.23)/2.14+500
SdS for Dis=100 X (Dis-6.98)/1.26+500

You have standardized your school scores against the normative data provided in the New Jersey sample. For example, if your school score is 600 on supportive behavior, it is one standard deviation above the average score on supportive behavior of all schools in the sample; that is, the principal is more supportive than 84% of the other principals. A score of 300 represents a school that is two standard deviations below the mean on the subtest. You may recognize this system as the one used in reporting individual scores on the SAT, CEEB, and GRE. The range of these scores is presented below:

If the score is 200, it is lower than 99% of the schools.
If the score is 300, it is lower than 97% of the schools.
If the score is 400, it is lower than 84% of the schools.
If the score is 500, it is average.
If the score is 600, it is higher than 84% of the schools.
If the score is 700, it is higher than 97% of the schools.
If the score is 800, it is higher than 99% of the schools.

There are two other scores that can be easily computed and are usually of interest to teachers and principals. Recall that two openness dimensions were determined in the second-order factor analysis of the OCDQ-RE. Accordingly, the two openness measures can be computed as follows:

Principal Openness= ((SdS for S)+(1000-SdS for D)+(1000-SdS for R)) / 3
Teacher Openness = ((SdS for C)+(SdS for Int)+(1000-SdS for Dis)) / 3

These openness indices are interpreted the same way as the subtest scores, that is, the mean of the "average" school is 500. Thus, a score of 650 on teacher openness represents a highly open faculty. We have changed the numbers into categories ranging from high to low by using the following conversion table:

Above 600 VERY HIGH
551-600 HIGH
490-510 AVERAGE
400-449 LOW
Below 400 VERY LOW

We recommend using all the dimensions of OCDQ-RE to gain a finely tuned picture of school climate.

For further information:

Hoy, W. K., Tarter, C. J., & Kottkamp, R. B. (1991). Open schools/healthy schools: Measuring organizational climate. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

Hoy, W. K., & Tarter, C. J. (1997). The road to open and healthy schools: A handbook for change, Elementary Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Ohio State School of Education
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