Influence Of Principals’ Leadership Styles On Students’ Performance In Kenya Certificate Of Secondary Education In Kangema District, Murang’a County, Kenya
Kuria, Margaret Muthoni
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of principal leadership styles on student performance in Certificate of Secondary Education Examinations in Kangema District, Kenya. This study was guided by four research questions. The study sought to establish the extent to which principals’ leadership styles (transformational, transactional and Laissez-Faire) respectively influences performance in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education Examinations. It also sought to establish whether age, gender, academic/professional qualification and administrative experiences influence principals’ leadership styles. The path goal theory was used to guide this study as the theory emphasizes on how leaders can facilitate task performance by showing how performance is instrumental in achieving desired outcomes. The study used exposed facto design. The dependent variable was student Certificate of Secondary Education Examinations performance while independent variables were principals’ leadership styles. The 26 public secondary schools with 26 principals and 272 teachers formed the study target population. A sample of 13 principals, 91 teachers was selected using stratified random sampling techniques. Principals’ and teachers’ were used to collect data using questionnaires. The questionnaires contained 18 statements on leadership behaviour of principal that were into two sets. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, pie charts, bar charts, tables and percentages were calculated. Study findings revealed that transformational was most practiced with student performance of 6.0 mean standard score, followed by transactional leadership style with mean standard score of 5.5 and then laisserfaire leadership style which was least practiced with a mean standard score of 3.6. Based on the findings the study concluded that principal transformational leadership styles had positive influence on student performance in Certificate of Secondary Education Examinations. Finally, principals’ age administrative experience has positive influence on students’ performance while gender and academic /professional qualification has no influence on student performance. The study recommended the following: Transformational and transactional leadership styles should be used interchangeably to suit issues on performance, Kenya Management Institute (KEMI) should support principals by providing frequent and vigorous training in management programmes aimed at increasing efficiency and effectiveness in school management. And organize seminars and workshops for head teachers aimed at making them understand leadership skills better since leadership skills are prerequisite for better academic performance, Teacher Service Commission (T.S.C.) should appoint head teachers on the basis of their academic/professional qualification. After the appointment of a head teacher, T.S.C should continue monitoring the performance of the head teacher by checking the progress of pupils’ performance in K.C.S.E and giving feedback to the principals.