Influence of headteachers' leadership styles on students discipline in public secondary schools in Nairobi province, Kenya
The study was designed to investigate 'influence of headteachers' leadership styles on students discipline in public secondary schools in Nairobi Province, Kenya. The study sought to achieve the following objectives: To investigate the influence of the headteachers' democratic leadership styles on students discipline. To investigate the influence the headteachers' autocratic leadership styles on students discipline. To establish the influence of the headteachers' laisses -faire leadership styles on students' discipline. To establish whether other factors influence students discipline other than the headteachers leadership styles. The study was carried out in 12 public secondary schools in Nairobi province. A review of related literature was carried out under the following sub titles; students discipline, the concept of leadership and leadership styles, headteacher's role on development of students discipline and other factors that may influence discipline in the school. The study used the descriptive survey design. Data was collected using three sets of questionnaires that is, the headteachers, teachers and students from 12 schools The researcher carried out a pilot study in one of the schools.The research instruments were considered reliable as they yielded a high correlation coefficient.. Purposive sampling was used to select a sample based on knowledge and experiences of the group. 48 teachers and 240 students were randomly selected to produce a sample size of 300 respondents. To check on the influence of headteachers' leadership styles on students discipline , the perceptions of the respondents on the style of leadership used was sought.. Majority of the headteachers were considered democratic, followed by the autocratic while laissez -faire style of leadership received the least support. The study revealed that other factors such as home environment and mass media also has some influence on students discipline. Therefore, based on the findings of the study, it was concluded that the leadership style of the headteacher has a considerable influence on students discipline in schools although other factors may come into play to impact on discipline. The study made the following recommendations; that the school headteacher should adopt a democratic style of leadership as it tends to help build preventive discipline and minimizes corrective discipline. The Ministry- of Education should organize more seminars and workshops on leadership and management of students' discipline. The training institutions should incorporate different models of leadership such as transformational leadership style based on Fielder's contingency theory. Selection of head teachers should be well done from those who have interpersonal skills. Refresher courses should be organized for those in leadership. The researcher also made suggestions for further study which included carrying out a case study on schools that indicate improved discipline, studying the relationship between the headteachers leadership style and another variable such as retention of students. The researcher also suggested that a similar study to the current could be done but in another geographical area.