For Middle Schools (OCDQ-RM)

Dimensions (Subtests of the OCDQ-RM)

Supportive principal behavior is directed toward both the social needs and task achievement of faculty. The principal is helpful, genuinely concerned with teachers, and attempts to motivate by using constructive criticism and by setting an example through hard work.

Directive principal behavior is rigid domineering behavior. The principal maintains close and constant monitoring over virtually all aspects of teacher behavior in the school.

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

Collegial teacher behavior supports open and professional interactions among teachers. Teachers like, respect, and help one another both professionally and personally.

Committed teacher behavior behavior is directed toward helping students to develop both socially and intellectually. Teachers work extra hard to insure student success in school.

Disengaged teacher behavior signifies a lack of meaning and focus to professional activities. Teachers simply are putting in their time; in fact, they are critical and unaccepting of their colleagues.


Each of these dimensions was measured by a subtest of the OCDQ-RM. The reliability scores for the scales were relatively high: Supportive (.96), Directive (.88), Restrictive (.89), Collegial (.90), Committed (.93) and Disengaged (.87).

Construct Validity

A factor analysis of the instrument supports the construct validity of the concept of organizational climate (Hoy & Sabo, 1998; Hoy & Tarter, 1997). In addition, the predictive validity has been supported. See Hoy & Sabo (1998) for a review of that literature.

Administering the Instrument

The OCDQ-RM 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 the principal in charge of collecting the data. What is important is 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 items are scored by assigning 1 to "rarely occurs," 2 to "sometimes occurs," 3 to "often occurs," and 4 to "very frequently occurs." When an item is reversed scored, it is scored "rarely occurs" receives a 4, "sometimes occurs" a 3, and so on. Each item is scored for each respondent, and then an average school score for each item is computed by averaging the item responses across the school; remember the school is the unit of analysis. For example, if school A has 25 teachers responding to the OCDQ-RM, each individual questionnaire is scored and then an average score for all respondents is computed for each item. Thus, the average score for the 25 teachers is calculated for item 1, and then item 2, and so on. The average school scores for the items defining each subtest are added to yield school subtest scores. The six subtest scores represent the climate profile for the school.

Step 1: Score each item for each respondent with the appropriate number (1, 2, 3, or 4). Be sure to reverse score items 21, 50.

Step 2: Calculate an average school score for each item. Add all the teacher scores for each school on each item and then divide by the number of teachers in the school. Round the scores to the nearest hundredth. This score represents the average school item score. You should have 50 average school item scores before proceeding.

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

Supportive Behavior (Sup)=1+10+11+12+15+19+24+32+36+44+49
Committed Behavior (Com)=5+6+7+17+18+21+46+47+48
Directive Behavior (Dir)=9+20+33+37+38+41
Collegial Behavior (Col)=2+13+14+16+22+25+34+35+40+43+45
Disengaged Behavior (Dis)=8+23+26+27+28+29+30+31+50
Restrictive Behavior (Res)=3+4+39+42

These six scores represent the climate profile of the school. You may wish to compare your school profile with other schools. In doing so, we recommend that you convert each school score to a standardized score. The current database on middle schools is drawn from a large, diverse sample of schools from New Jersey. The average scores and standard deviations for each climate dimension are summarized below:

  Mean (M) Std. Deviation (SD)
Supportive Behavior (Sup) 29.39 4.61
Directive Behavior (Dir) 12.09 2.40
Restrictive Behavior (Res) 9.11 1.52
Collegial Behavior (Col) 29.30 3.01
Committed Behavior (Com) 26.76 2.74
Disengaged Behavior (Dis) 15.56 2.18

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 Sup = 100 X (Sup-29.39)/4.61+500

Then compute the difference between your school score on Sup and the mean of 29.39 for the normative sample (Sup-29.39). Then multiply the difference by 100 [100 X (S-29.39)]. Next divide the product by standard deviation of the normative sample (4.61). Then add 500 to the result. You have computed a standardized score (SdS) for the supportive behavior subscale (Sup).

Next: Repeat the process for each dimension as follows:

SdS for Dir=100 X (Dir-12.09)/2.40+500
SdS for Res=100 X (Res-9.11)/1.52+500
SdS for Col=100 X (Col-29.30)/3.01+500
SdS for Com=100 X (Com-26.76)/2.74+500
SdS for Dis=100 X (Dis-15.56)/2.18+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 of interest to teachers and principals. Recall that two openness dimensions were determined in the second-order factor analysis of the OCDQ-RM. Accordingly, the two openness measures can be computed as follows:

Principal Openness= ((SdS for Sup)+(1000-SdS for Dir)+(1000-SdS for Res)) / 3
Teacher Openness = ((SdS for Col)+(SdS for Com)+(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-RM to gain a finely tuned picture of school climate.

For further information:

Hoy, W. K. & Sabo, D. (1998). Quality Middle Schools: Open and Healthy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

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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