Headteachers’ self perception of their role in the management of school based change in Western Kenya
Mabonga, L. O. Joel
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The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions held by headteachers of their role in the management of school-based change. Specifically the study sought to establish headteachers perception of their role in the management of school-based change, the nature of school-based changes initiated by the headteachers, the kind of resistance faced while implementing school-based change and the strategies undertaken to minimize resistance to change. Guided by available literature on headteachers‟ management tasks, seven core management task areas were identified. The seven are: general school administration, management of school physical resources, school community relations, staff personnel, finance and income generating activities, student personnel services and finally curriculum and instruction. The study gravitated around these seven management task areas in examining headteachers‟ perceptions on change management. The research was anchored on a conceptual framework that views the process of educational change as a replica of interactions in a social system. Using the Ex Post Facto Research design and a School-based Change Management Questionnaire (SBCMQ) data were collected from sixty four headteachers of public secondary schools in Western Province of Kenya. Respondents were chosen by multi stage sampling incorporating stratification and purposive sampling. The collected data were analyzed by descriptive statistics and content analysis. Data analysis revealed that headteachers perceived themselves positively on the accounts of teambuilding, personal motivation and initiative, leadership management and effective communication in the initiation and implementation of school-based educational change. The study found that specific school-based changes introduced by headteachers varied from one school to another and from one management task area to another. It was also established that the main sources of resistance to the school-based changes initiated by headteachers emanated from the communities surrounding the schools, the school staff and students. The key task areas that elicited the most serious forms of resistance to changes were, Management of finances, general administration, staff personnel and student services. The study further established that a large proportion of headteachers were unable to diagnose resistance to change.On the basis of the findings the researcher recommends firstly, for a paradigm shift in the management of secondary schools from a centralized command within the Ministry of Education headquarters to mainstreaming of a guided school-based management as a basis of policy making and execution. Secondly, the study calls for institutions charged with the responsibility of pre-service training and in-servicing of headteachers to consider the inclusion of management of change as a core subject in teacher training/in-service programmes, in view of the finding this should be a priority concern. Thirdly, the study recommends for a similar research on the perceptions‟ of other stakeholders on the role played by secondary school headteachers in management of change within their schools. This could be carried out for a comparative analysis of what headteachers contend to be doing and what they are seen to be doing. Fourthly, a replica study on headteachers of private secondary schools could also be carried out to profile their management roles.
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