Influence of Principals’ instructional supervision practices on students’ performance in Kenya certificate of secondary examination in Trans-Mara west district, Kenya
Of all the major tasks of a school administrator, none is as sensitive and challenging as the one relating to the supervision of students, school personnel, instructional programs, school plants and statutory records. It is against this background that a study sought to determine the influence of principals‟ instructional supervision practices on students‟ KCSE performance in Trans-Mara West district. Four research objectives were used to investigate the extent to which the principals in Trans- Mara West district undertook clinical supervision: classroom visitation, teacher observation, post observation conference and the extent to which teachers professional records are checked by principals. The researcher used descriptive survey design. The target populations were all public secondary schools who had presented candidates for KCSE between 2009 and 2012. Fifteen schools and their principals participated in the research. Forty five teachers, three from each school selected by random sampling also participated in the study. Two sets of questionnaires were administered; one for principals and the other one for teachers. The data collected were both quantitative and qualitative. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze quantitative data using frequencies and percentages. Qualitative data were analyzed into themes and presented in form of tables, charts and graphs. The study revealed that 86% of principals conducted classroom visitation, 98% checked teachers‟ records of wok and 99% ensured adherence to the timetable. Observing teachers when teaching recorded 13%, while organizing post observation conferences with the teachers and checking of lesson plans recorded no comment. Schools in Kilgoris central division recorded highest mean score grade in KCSE of 5.62. This could be attributed to the high percentage in instructional supervision practices. Pirrar division had least mean score grade of 3.61.This could be attributed to the least percentage in instructional supervision practices. The researcher concludes that the frequency of principals‟ classroom visits, teacher observation and checking of teachers‟ records significantly influenced students‟ KCSE performance. It is recommended that principals should carry out focused instructional supervision through clinical supervision practices, and that the research could be replicated in other districts which are more endowed with resources for generalization of the findings.