Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership, Research and Counseling

First Advisor

Eugene Kennedy


The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of classroom practices on the distribution of achievement within the classroom as well as on mean levels of achievement through the use of the Hierarchical Linear Model (Raudenbush & Bryk, 1986). The investigation focused on sixty classrooms--thirty from schools labeled as effective and thirty from schools labeled as ineffective. Data on teacher behaviors were gathered through classroom observations during which six dimensions of effective teaching were evaluated. These behaviors were interactive time-on-task, classroom management, strategies for monitoring student progress and providing opportunities to learn, strategies for presentation of content and questioning techniques, social/psychological environment of the classroom, and physical attributes of the room. Once unconditional models were examined and their results indicated that there was significant variation in the class-level regressions, total battery scores from state achievement tests and the relationship between those scores and SES, measured by fathers' education, served as the dependent measures of two explanatory models. The first model dealt with the teacher behaviors in concert, while the second sought to isolate more specific teacher behaviors which might be associated with achievement and the relationship between SES and achievement in the classroom. Results from the HLM analyses revealed a significant positive effect of effective teaching behavior on achievement. Specifically, classroom management was found to be highly significant in increasing class mean achievement. Interactive time-on-task and school type were found to have ameliorating effects on the within-class SES/achievement link, while increased effective teaching behavior, overall, and instructional strategies, specifically, seemed to be associated with a strengthened SES/achievement link within the classroom. It was suggested that this increase in association between SES and achievement implied an instructional emphasis by effective teachers which promoted excellence rather than equity.