An analysis of the causes of parent – teacher conflicts at Blem secondary school in Livingstone.

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Malala, Blessed
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The University of Zambia
This study sought to investigate the causes, of parent-teacher conflict at Blem Secondary School in Livingstone District of the southern province of Zambia. The objectives of the study were: to establish the main causes of conflicts between parents and teachers; find-out how conflicts between teachers and parents are resolved; explore the nature of conflicts between parents and teachers. The study employed a descriptive survey design using a qualitative approaches of data collection and analysis. The sample comprised 1 head teacher, 1 deputy head, 5 heads of departments and 2 PTA members. The head teacher and the deputy-head teacher were sampled using purposive sampling procedure while the PTA members and the heads of departments were sampled using simple random sampling procedure. The study findings revealed among others that causes of conflicts in schools were poor performance, favouritism, educational level, scarce resources, and poor work culture. As regards to simple conflict management strategies method used by head-teacher included compromising, dialogue and avoidance whereas the heads of departments and PTA members used competing and confrontation. Method In the light of the findings, the study recommended that head teachers should encourage team work between teachers and parents as a way of minimizing conflict. The Ministry of Education should include a course on conflict management in the secondary school teacher preparation programmes. This will help to impart new knowledge to the head-teachers and teachers on different approaches to conflict management in secondary schools.
Parent-teacher conflict.