Effects of principals' leadership styles on students discipline in public mixed day secondary schools in Kiambu West District, Kenya
Mwandigha, Vulfrida C
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the leadership styles used by principals and their effects on students discipline in public mixed day secondary schools in Kiambu West district. The research objectives included; To identify the different leadership styles exhibited by principals in public mixed day secondary schools in Kiambu west district; To determine the causes of students' indiscipline in secondary schools in Kiambu West District; To establish whether head teachers' characteristics such as age, gender, qualification and experience influence students' discipline in secondary schools in Kiambu West District; To determine discipline methods that are applied when dealing with student's indiscipline; To establish how different leadership styles influence students' discipline in secondary schools in Kiambu West District and; To seek for suggestions from respondents on how to improve discipline in schools. It was stated in the research questions that there were some leadership styles among principals that impacted on students' discipline. The factors considered in the study were principals' leadership styles, students' discipline and school management and leadership. This survey utilized the ex-post facto research design focusing on public mixed secondary schools headteachers, teachers and prefects in Kiambu West district. The population of the study consisted of 106 teachers in Kiambu West district. The study was done through administered questionnaires to the headteachers, teachers and prefects. The data collected was based on quantitative approach using descriptive statistical method. A pilot study was conducted to test the reliability of the measuring instruments when they were found suitable. The study established and concluded that the different leadership styles by head teachers led to different discipline levels in public mixed schools. Most teachers stated that the leadership style of their head teacher was democratic while a good number believed that it was autocratic. The study also established that the size of the school was a major contributor to indiscipline levels among students. According to prefects, the principal's gender did not influence students' discipline nor the principals' age thus the conclusion that the principals demographics such as age, gender, qualification and experience have no influence on students discipline in public mixed day secondary schools. It also came out that in most cases disciplinary committees were available in schools to guide students, hear discipline cases and make possible recommendations on punishment. The study found out that guidance and counseling, having open forums and forming students' councils could highly enhance discipline. The major recommendations was that the government should provide schools with teachers who have trained in guidance and counseling so as to mould errant students, putting more emphasis on character-building, moral education and extra-curricular activities and encouragmg teachers to be facilitators, guides, role models and good decision makers to students.