Effective leadership for turbulent situations in educational institutions in Africa for the 21st century and beyond

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Author: 
Momanyi Marcella
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

School leaders occupy a very important position for influencing actions of other people in achieving desirable outcomes. Their leadership provides essential sense of direction in their organizations. Educational institutions in Africa, Kenya inclusive are marred by turbulent situations that disrupt the teaching and learning processes. This article examines the type of emerging turbulent situations existing in school organizations. It examines the different types of leadership styles adopted by school administrators to create order and address issues appropriately. The study was anchored on situational leadership theory. A mixed method particularly convergent parallel Mixed Method Design with both qualitative and quantitative paradigms guided the study. In Quantitative Cross sectional survey was adopted while in qualitative phenomenology. The study targeted primary head teachers, teachers, County Education Officers and the students in primary schools in Kenya. Stratified random sampling technique was utilized to select students and teachers to participate in the study. The Schools that experienced major turbulences were purposively selected and their head teachers automatically included in the study. Data collection instruments were questionnaire, semi structured interview guide and observation checklist which were all subjected to content validity. Descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages summarized quantitative data. Data from semi structured interviews was organized into themes based on research questions and reported in direct quotations and narratives. The findings showed that head teachers employed diverse leadership styles in calming difficulty turbulent situations. The most disastrous one autocratic leadership style. Here some head teachers minimally involved the students and teachers in making decisions on matters affecting them. Vandalism was observable in such schools. Head teachers who used situational leadership style seemed to have contained the situation effectively. The study recommended that all head teachers should attend refresher courses to be inducted on tenets of situational leadership style. Any teacher aspiring to become a principal must show a certificate on courses done on leadership and management. Similar courses should be included in teacher education curriculum to equip pre-service teachers with leadership skills which when used appropriately harmonizes situations and learning.

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