Effects of headteachers' communication strategies on students' discipline in public secondary schools in Starehe District, Kenya
The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of headteachers' communication strategies on students' discipline in Starehe District. The study sought to find out the strategies of communication frequently used by headteachers in Starehe District and how they influence students discipline, the frequency of communication of school rules and regulation and factors within the school environment that hinder effective communication between the headteacher and the students. Chapter two dealt with major topical issues related to communication in secondary schools. The study was credited to Likerts Theory (1950-1960). All the schools in Starehe District were selected using census method, all the 11 principals were selected using purposive sampling, 64 teachers were selected using random sampling and 368 students were selected using stratified random sampling. Descriptive survey design was adopted for the study. Three sets of questionnaires were administered. The questionnaire for the headteacher, teachers and the students which were analysed and gave a satisfactory reliability of 0.8, 0.77 and 0.74 respectively. Analysis of the data was done using descriptive statistics. The analyzed data was presented in tables, percentages, and themes. The study established that, when students have discipline issues, headteachers communicate to the students by discussing the problem face to face with the students and through means of dialogue before taking any action. Interactive channels of communication are used by headteachers to communicate with students. About 85.7 percent of the head teachers use written channels to communicate rules and regulations while 14.3 percent use verbal and non verbal channels of communication. All the headteachers (100 percent) often communicate rules and regulation in the school assembly. The students on the other hand confirmed that they attend school assembly often as indicated by 49.6 percent of the students that they attend school assembly three times in a week, meaning that rules and regulation are regularly communicated to the students and they are likely to. have less discipline problems. The study further established, that attitude amongst the students, misinterpretation of rules and regulations and information overload are the prevailing conditions within school environment that hinder headteachers' effective communication of school rules and regulations. In conclusion, about 75 percent of the head teachers agreed that there is relationship between headteachers' communication and student discipline. The commonly used written communication strategies by the headteacher are; notice boards, suggestion boxes, and memos. While dialogue was ranked as the most used non-verbal communication strategy. The study recommends that the headteacher should use a number of interactive communication strategies to enhance students' discipline. Rules and regulation should be made clear and should be frequently communicated to students.
University of Nairobi, Kenya