An empirical examination of leadership styles’ contributions towards creation of conducive teaching and learning environment in selected colleges of education in Zambia.
Chikwanda, Rose, Trinity
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The study concretely dealt with leadership styles used by principals in government and private owned colleges in Zambia, and the influence such leadership styles have on the creation of conducive teaching and learning environments in colleges. The research adopted an explanatory mixed method design in which a survey was employed for quantitative research approach and phenomenology for qualitative which required getting to know the lived experiences of participants more absolutely. Elements of correlation and narratives were employed to establish the relationship between leadership styles and conducive teaching and learning environments in colleges of study. Thus, four leadership styles, namely; autocratic, democratic, laissez-faire and instructional were investigated to determine the extent to which they contribute to the creation of conducive teaching and learning environments in colleges. The research engaged 372 participants randomly and purposively selected from principals, vice-principals, directors, Ministry of Education officials, staff and students. Data were generated using questionnaires, interviews, focus group discussion, observation and document analysis. Analysis of data was guided by positivism paradigm and phenomenology. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 23 helped to analyse quantitative data whilst qualitative was analysed thematically. The Pearson correlation and Chi square were used to assess the significance levels of the variables while Path-goal and Fiedler’s contingency theories guided the study. The findings highlighted that there was a strong correlation between leadership styles and the creation of conducive teaching and learning environments. Secondly, the findings suggest that there was poor to moderate teaching and learning environments existing in colleges under all the four leadership styles examined in this study. The statistical combining of these styles also showed poor to moderate environment with negative implications on teaching and learning. The findings further revealed that principals were predominantly using autocratic and to a small extent democratic, laissez-faire and instructional leadership styles which had repercussions on how colleges were run and on creation of conducive teaching and learning environments. It can, therefore, be concluded that the four leadership styles studied have not positively contributed to creation of conducive teaching and learning environments from the Zambian perspective. This has repercussions on teaching and learning taking place in colleges, as it implies that leadership styles are not universal but their results premise on the context and way the style has been applied. The study, therefore, recommends that all principals should be made aware of the impact of their style of leadership on teaching and learning. This thesis proposes the usage and adoption of hybrid leadership style, which requires the blending of masculinity and femininity traits and understanding of subordinates’ behaviour and attitudes in various situations to address the challenges of leadership being experienced in the colleges. The study has developed the Visionary leaders, Dialogue initiators, Cultural transformers, Interpersonal relationship builders, Transparent communicators, and Team builders and Resource provider (VDCITTR) framework as an innovation to the current leadership styles prevailing in colleges today. For further study, it is recommended that research be conducted on various colleges to analyse the suitability of hybrid leadership style and the impact the style might have on training being offered in Colleges of Education in Zambia. Keywords: Conducive environment, leadership styles, teaching and learning.
The University of Zambia
SubjectSchool management and organization
- Education