Influence of headteachers’ instructional supervision practices on students’ performance in mathematics in public secondary schools in Nyandarua South District, Kenya
The performance of students in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE) has not been satisfactory in general. Research reveals poor performance in secondary school mathematics to be a function of poor administration and management practices. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of head teachers‟ instructional supervision practices on students‟ performance in mathematics in public secondary schools in Nyandarua South District, Kenya. The study sought to achieve this by assessing the influence of head teachers‟ supervision of teachers‟ target setting, lesson notes and schemes of work on students‟ performance in mathematics. The study also sought to establish the challenges faced by principals in undertaking instructional supervision of mathematics. A descriptive survey design was used. The study targeted all the 17 principals and 34 mathematics teachers serving in the 17 public secondary schools in Nyandarua South District. Using the census technique, the study selected 17 principals and 34 teachers from whom data was collected using questionnaires. Descriptive analysis techniques were used in data analysis with the help of SPSS version 20. The data was presented using frequencies tables and percentages. When asked whether their respective head teachers‟ supervised their target setting in mathematics, all the teachers in the study (n=30) replied on the affirmative. When asked whether their respective principals inspected their schemes of work, all the teachers in the study (n=30) replied on the affirmative. According to majority (80%) of the teachers in the study their lesson notes were supervised weekly. The majority (63%) of the teachers opined that the head teachers‟ instructional supervision affected the syllabus coverage very much. The majority (56%) of the schools in the study covered the syllabus to an extent of between 81% - 90%. According to the majority (87%) of the head teachers, time was the greatest challenge to implementing efficient instructional supervision. Inspection of school timetable adherence and assessment of syllabus coverage (94%) were the practices given most emphasis by the head teachers based on the frequency of supervision. The study concluded that the performance of mathematics in public secondary schools was affected by other factors and not head teachers‟ instructional supervisory practices. The study concluded the poor performance could be due to poor syllabus coverage. The study concluded that the Ministry of Education should increase deputy principals‟ supervisory powers so that he or she can assist the head teacher in instructional supervision. In addition the TSC should employ more teachers to relieve the head teacher of teaching duties so that he or she can have more time to supervise assistant teachers.