A survey of Headteacher's leadership and their effects of School climate in selected schools in Northern Province

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Mwape, Kelby
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The main objective of this study was to investigate head teachers’ leadership styles and their effects on school climate in selected high schools of Northern Province of Zambia. The specific objectives of the study were; to identify the predominant leadership styles of head teachers, to determine the prevailing organizational school climates and to establish the relationship between leadership styles and the school climate. The study adopted a mixed survey method. The target population included all the high school teachers and managers. Out of this population, a stratified random sampling was used to select 121 teachers, from 12 high schools while the 65 school managers were purposively selected from the same schools. Data collection was done using qualitative and quantitative research techniques. Both teachers and school managers were interviewed and they also responded to a questionnaire. An observation sheet was also used to record school infrastructure and facilities that were available. Qualitative data collected was categorized into emerging themes whilst quantitative data was analysed using SPSS and it was presented in form of percentages and frequencies. The findings revealed that, most head teachers employed either laissez-faire or directive leadership styles in daily operations while the majority of the head teachers used the participatory leadership style in problem solving situations. In addition, some head teachers were rated moderate on supportive and participatory leadership styles and low in directive. On the other hand, the head teachers perceived their own leadership styles as moderate to low in coaching, low in delegating and facilitating. Furthermore, the findings indicated that the organizational climates varied in schools ranging from open to closed climates and were closely related to the head teachers’ leadership styles. The most prominent school climate was closed followed by an open one in a few schools. To a large extent, head teachers’ leadership styles determined school climates. Head teachers expectations, values, beliefs, relationships with teachers and the examples they set shaped the schools climates. Open school climates were associated with participatory, coaching, supportive and delegated leadership styles whilst closed school climates were associated with directive and laissez-faire leadership styles. The study concluded that there were various leadership challenges and demands on the school managers in the process of executing their work. Therefore, the study, recommended that there was need for a comprehensive policy on the training of school managers. Therefore, leadership courses should be introduced in all colleges of education; the office of the Provincial Education office should monitor and supervise the school managers, school managers should not remain in one school for more than five years because development of the school may be affected especially where the headteacher has a laissez-fare type of leadership.
Teachers-Personnel Management , Management Practices-Schools , Head Teacher-Management