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Influence of head teacher’s autocratic leadership style on teacher performance in public primary schools in Kenya: A study across primary schools in homa-bay sub county

Author: 
Lillian E. Ogono, Maurice A. Ndolo, Marciana N. Were and Enose M.W. Simatwa
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

Teacher performance is a quality matter of great consideration in institutions of learning and in particular basic education institutions. It is for this reason that measures have been put in place to enhance teacher performance worldwide. In Kenya programmes such as strengthening of Mathematics and Science in secondary Education (SMASSE) have been undertaken. In fact SMASSE was a major joint venture between the Kenya government through Ministry of Education and government of Japan through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), 1998 to 2003. Later on Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA) was created in 2001 to implement SMASSE programmes aimed at capacity building of teachers for quality curriculum delivery. These programmes were extended and changed to strengthening of Mathematics and Science Education (SMASE) to accommodate both primary and secondary school activities. In all these programmes the central factor is headteacher’s leadership. This is because the headteacher is the accounting officer and implementor of government policies at school level. Teacher performance is a product of headteacher’s leadership, hence headteacher’s leadership style is critical. In this regard, studies have provided contradicting revelations, some posit autocratic leadership style as critical in teacher performance improvement while others indicate that autocratic leadership style has negative influence on teacher performance. The objective of this study was therefore to establish the influence of head teachers' autocratic leadership style on teacher performance in public primary schools. The study established that autocratic leadership style significantly influences teacher performance with regard to schemes of work preparation, lesson planning, preparation of teaching /learning resources, content delivery, formative evaluation and summative evaluation. Since autocratic leadership style accounted for only 17.7% of the variation in teacher performance, the study recommends that autocratic leadership style should be used sparingly or cautiously so as to enhance teacher performance optimumly.

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