Influence of Head Teachers' Supervision Styles on the Quality of Classroom Instruction in Lower Primary Schools in Maara Subcounty, Kenya
Kaburu, George Joseph
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Supervision of classroom instruction was designed to help teachers uncover, scrutinize and elaborate on their practical theories through enquiry which involves processes of description, interpretation, confrontation and reconstruction of practices. It has the ultimate goal of improving instruction and student learning. Commissions and committees that were set up to study and report on education in Kenya have pointed out that supervision of classroom instruction was an issue of concern in the implementation of the curriculum. The purpose of the study was to establish the influence of head teachers' supervision styles on the quality of classroom instruction in lower primary schools in Muthambi Zone, Maara Sub-county, Tharaka-Nithi County, Kenya. The theory of Supervisory Practice also known as Discipline Based Art Education (DBAE) was used because it improves instruction and the quality of classroom life through the integration of various supervision methods. Descriptive survey design was adopted for the study. The target population was 28 primary schools in the zone which comprised of 22 public schools and 6 private schools. Purposive sampling was used to select 11 head teachers and 33 classroom teachers to ensure equitable representation. Out of the sampled respondents, 9 head teachers and 30 lower primary school teachers responded giving a questionnaire return rate of 88.63%. The study employed questionnaires and interview schedules as research instrwnents for data collection. The study found out that head teachers were in close touch with the progress of lower primary school activities; they engaged teachers in mutual dialogue, they closely monitored attendance of teachers, provided teaching and learning materials and also made informal visits to observe classroom teaching. The study also established that the level of academic and professional qualification had influence on head teachers' supervision styles of classroom instruction in lower primary schools. The study finally established that head teachers management experience has significance on supervision styles displayed as they supervise classroom instruction. It was concluded that head teachers supervision styles strongly influenced the quality of classroom instruction in lower primary schools in Muthambi zone, Maara subcounty, Kenya. It was recommended that head teachers should be given frequent refresher courses on school management skills, there should be no gender discrimination when appointing teachers to headship positions, both academic and professional qualification and work experience should be considered when appointing teachers to headship position.