Leadership practices and their effect on teacher morale in selected secondary schools in Lusaka district, Lusaka province, Zambia.

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Sachingongu, Esther Mukanda
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The University of Zambia
The national policy on education aims to facilitate educational development in the country and the Head teacher has an important role to play; including the provision of effective leadership in order to enhance teacher morale and improve learner academic performance. The purpose of this study was to establish the effects of leadership practices on teachers’ morale. The study objectives were to establish leadership practices of Head teachers; to establish the effects of leadership practices on teachers’ morale; and to assess teachers’ views on the pupils’ performance in relation to teachers’ morale. The study employed quantitative and qualitative research approaches. Simple random and purposive sampling techniques were respectively employed. Sample consisted of teachers, Head teachers and Ministry of Education. Self-administered questionnaires and semi-structured interview guides were used to collect data. Quantitative data was processed and analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and descriptive statistics were applied to show variable frequency distribution percentages. Qualitative data was analysed for emerging themes and categories. The study revealed that there was no uniformity in the choice of leadership styles. The most common leadership style was democratic style; associated with higher teacher morale, better teacher job performance and improved learner academic performance. Autocratic and laissez faire leadership styles were less used; being associated with poor teacher morale, poor teacher performance, and poor learner academic performance. Autocratic leadership was characterized by threats, commands, punishment, expectation of compliance, and withholding of reward. Laissez faire leadership was characterized by teacher lawless, truancy, and lateness for work and were not adequately supervised, monitored and guided. In some cases, a mixture of autocratic democratic and laissez faire styles were used. Teachers were not adequately supervised, guided and monitored. Learner academic performance was good and was attributed to democratic leadership styles of their Head teachers. The study made the following recommendations; that Head teachers should use a combination of different leadership styles and involve all teachers in school-related decisions through committees; Ministry of Education should provide more management and leadership training for Head teachers; Head teachers should use more consultative and participatory strategies to make decisions and run the school; Head teachers should receive regular leadership training; Education Managers should routinely monitor the Head teachers on the leadership styles used and its effects on the teachers, learners and academic performance; Pre service teacher education programmes to include school leadership courses.
Thesis of Master of Education in Educational Administration.