In the mid-1970's different staffing models began to be employed extensively
in special education classes, particularly for children with psychosocial disorders.
These models include teacher with an aide, teacher with child care worker, and
two teachers together. To explore the effects of introducing staffing models
into classrooms, staff and student perceptions of social climate were surveyed.
Four aspects of staffing models were formulated as the basis on which climate
variation w~th staffing model was expected: number of staff per classroom,
different roles of staff positions, different role approaches, and relative
.) status of different types of staff. An extensive survey of one hundred and
twenty-five classes located in Ontario, Canada, indicated only very limited
relationships between staffing model and responses to the Classroom Environment
Scale. Several context variables related to student, staff and organizational
characteristics of classes ·also were compared with the staffing model/climate
relationship. Only student age was found to be related to classroom climate
to any substantial extent. Qualitative data reported by classroom staff,
'primarily on approaches to organization of the class and on quality of working
relationships, also were examined and found not to be related to a significant
degree to classroom climate. The results of the survey are discussed in terms
of the possibilities and limitations of staffing model and similar changes in
the special education classroom context.