Primary schools head teachers’ leadership style and its effect on pupils’ performance in Kinondoni municipality

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study examined primary school head teachers’ leadership style and its effect on pupils’ performance in public primary schools in Kinondoni municipal in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The study deployed mixed approach; these were qualitative and quantitative approaches. Three research objectives guided this study. These were: first to explore the leadership styles used by headteachers of public primary schools in Kinondoni municipal; second, to examine the influence of head teachers’ leadership styles on pupils’ performance; and third to explore other leadership styles that could help improve pupils’ performance in public primary schools. The study was conducted in Kinondoni municipal and included head teachers, teachers and pupils. Information was collected through questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, non-participant observation and documentary review. The study involved 76 respondents who were purposively selected. Data were collected through focus group discussion, semi-structured interview and documentary review. Thematic analysis and content analysis were used for data analysis. The study findings revealed that three leadership styles, namely democratic, transformational and authoritative, were dominant and adopted by the head teachers of primary schools. Aspects such as the location of the school, the nature of teachers, pupils and the task, and the size of the school were found to necessitate the leadership styles adopted by head teachers in primary schools. It was found that democratic, transformational and authoritative leadership styles led to better performance than the coaching, facilitative and coercive leadership styles of head teachers. Head teachers were also found to be facing a number of challenges, such as shortage of teachers, and so teachers are overloaded with responsibilities, shortage of teaching and learning materials, political interference in professional matters and the lack of leadership training to empower head teachers.Based on the findings, the study recommends that the government should employ more qualified and competent teachers so as to overcome the shortage of teachers in public primary schools. On the part of municipal council, should allocate teachers to schools equitably, so that schools can have an equal number of qualified teachers and other resources effectively implementing the curriculum. Furthermore, headteachers should adopt democratic and transformational leadership styles for pupils’ effective performance. However, it was suggested that all styles are good provided they are used for the benefit of the institution. Moreover the adoption of these leadership styles took into account the situational factors that emerged in the particular school. Thus it is suggested that coaching and the facilitative style should also be used in primary schools.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF LB2831.9926.T34D32)
Primary school principals, Head teachers, Academic achievement, Leadership, School children, Kinondoni municipality, Tanzania
Dadi, G.N. (2014) Primary schools head teachers’ leadership style and its effect on pupils’ performance in Kinondoni municipality, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam