INFLUENCE OF HEADTEACHERS’ LEADERSHIP STYLES ON STUDENTS DISCIPLINE IN PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NAIROBI PROVINCE, KENYA

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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 headteachers 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.

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