Conflict management styles used by head teachers and their effects on KCSE performance in Lari division, in Lari district, Kenya
Kingangi, Jane W
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This study endeavored to establish conflict management styles used by head teachers and their effect on KCSE performance in secondary schools in Lari division in Lari District. The objectives were to identify the sources of conflicts experienced by secondary schools in the division, the conflict management styles employed by school heads, the effectiveness of the styles and challenges towards conflict resolution. The population of the study consisted of secondary school teachers and heads in Lari division in Lari District. The sample consisted of 22 public secondary schools in Lari division. The study targeted both the 22 school heads and 486 teachers in Lari division. Two types of research questionnaires were used to collect data; one for teachers and the other one for the secondary school heads. The research instruments were validated by use of a pilot study that was assessed by the supervisor who suggested the necessary adjustments on the questionnaires. This study found that conflict management styles used by head teachers had a great effect on the K.C.S.E performance. The head teachers of different schools use different conflict management styles. TIley have frequently used avoidance and accommodative resolution styles leaving problems unresolved and this affected the KCSE performance. The head teachers had not undergone training in conflict management making them face a lot of challenges in solving conflicts. The length of service by head teachers affected the conflict management style used and results in KCSE performance. The findings were presented in tables, charts and graphs. The findings in the study indicated that there is a significant relationship between conflict management styles and the performance in the KCSE. This was reflected in tbe study that showed the KCSE performance in Lari Division was very poor. From the findings of tbis study, number recommendations were made in a view to improve performance of secondary schools in Lari division, Lari District. There is need to encourage secondary school heads to attend induction courses in conflict management in the district and this should be facilitated by the District Education Office and the Teachers Service Commission. Transfers of teachers and school heads who have been working in the same station for more than five years should be done so as to avoid the culture of accommodative conflict management style which continues to stagnate the performance of secondary schools in KCSE. There is the need to sensitize the local community not to interfere with the management of schools in the district as this has been identified as a major source of conflict. School heads should always try to be mediators of any conflicting parties in the schools. The policy makers in the district are advised to support school heads and teachers in cases where there are conflicts. This can be done by advocating for peace and educating the community. Longitudinal studies should be conducted to investigate influence of conflicts on teaching and learning process in secondary schools. This was not in the scope of our study but it is necessary to support or disapprove this study's findings. A study need to be conducted to establish whether conflicts experienced by students affect their performance. Current study can be conducted again using a wider popuJation since the study dealt with only one division in the district.