Heaadteachers' characteristics influencing instructional supervision in public primary schools in Kasarani District, Kenya
The rationale for this study was that the headteacher plays a very vital role as the first and resident supervisor in a school which leads to the realization of an enhanced performance in the teaching/learning process. Headteachers' performance in instructional supervision, therefore, has significant influence on teachers' performance in the teaching and learning process and consequently, students' performance in K.C.P.E. Performance in public primary schools in Kasarani District has not been good for in the last three years, out of the possible 500 marks the district has been recording a below average mean standard score. The purpose of this study was to examine headteachers' characteristics influencing instructional supervision in public primary schools in Kasarani District, Kenya. Specifically, the objectives of the study were: to determine the extent to which headteachers' gender, administrative experience, level of professional training and workload influence their instructional supervision practices. Moreover, the study also sought to establish whether headteachers' staff involvement in management and provision of physical and material resources influence instructional supervision. The study was based on Ludwig von Bertalanffy's (1968) systems theory. The study's target population constituted all the 25 public primary schools from which a sample of 20 headteachers and 160 teachers was selected. Simple random sampling, purposive sampling and stratified random sampling were used to sample the schools, headteachers and teachers respectively. Two questionnaires were used to collect data. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyse the data and the Pearsons product moment correlation coefficient was employed to validate the tool. The findings of the study indicated that headteachers supervised their teachers when teaching and discussed the observations with the respective teachers irrespective if the headteachers' gender. Supervisory activities were found not to be significantly related to headteachers' experience. The study also found no significant relationship between headteachers level of professional training and most of their supervisory activities. Further, the findings indicated that despite headteachers' heavy workload there was no significant influence of the same element on instructional supervision. Notably, most headteachers were however, not well endowed in accounting knowledge. The study, therefore, concluded that headteachers in Kasarani District executed their instructional supervisory function effectively, that supervisory activities were not significantly related to headteachers' gender, administrative experience, level of professional training and headteachers' workload. Further, headteachers consulted teachers on instructional matters, provided and supervised maintenance of physical and material resources effectively. However, they lamented about over enrolment in the schools. A conclusion was then made that Free Primary Education led to large enrolments which posed challenges on the resources available within the schools in the district. The study further recommended that the Ministry of Education either deploys accounts clerks to schools to deal with government money disbursed to schools. Alternatively, formulate intensive training prorammes on accounting knowledge to enhance headteachers' competence in handling school accounts. The study finally recommended further research on the reasons behind the perennial poor performance in the district since this study ruled out the headteacher characteristics as the possible course.