Assessment of Principals’ Leadership Styles on Student Discipline in Public Secondary Schools in Nakuru County, Kenya
Principal leadership styles had been recognized by educationists and other stakeholders across the world as a key aspect of an education system. It had been used to judge the level of discipline of learners. Student discipline in learning institutions had received high attention, not only in Kenya but all over the world. In fact many education researchers across the globe have been concerned with the question of the factors that contribute to variation in student discipline among students across various schools and regions. Indiscipline among students result into undesired outcomes such as destruction of school property, poor academic achievement among others. In Kenya, education stakeholders have formulated policies and strategies to prevent and stop student indiscipline, but these efforts have not yielded fruits. This study assessed the effect of principals’ leadership styles on student discipline in public secondary schools in Nakuru County. More specifically, the study assessed the effect of transformational leadership style, transactional leadership style, democratic leadership style and autocratic leadership style on student discipline in public secondary schools in Nakuru County. The study adopted descriptive research design with a target population of 12,091 respondents. Stratified sampling, simple random sampling, and purposive sampling techniques were used to select a sample of 119 respondents to inform the study. This study obtained quantitative data from closed-ended questionnaires whereby the validity of the research instruments was ascertained by the study supervisor. Test and re-test method was used to measure the reliability of research questionnaires based on a pilot study. The study data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22. Frequencies, mean and standard deviation were used for descriptive statistics while Pearson correlation and regression analysis were done for inferential statistics. All the data analysis of the study was reported in form of tables. The study found out that that there is significant relationship between principals’ transformation style of leadership (r=0.868, p<0.05), principals’ transactional style of leadership (r=0.602, p<0.05), principals’ democratic style of leadership (r=0.782, p<0.05), principals’ autocratic style of leadership (r=-0.467, p<0.05) and students’ discipline in public secondary schools in Nakuru County. This study concluded that transformational principal leadership style, transactional principal leadership style, democratic principal leadership style and autocratic principal leadership style affect student discipline in secondary schools in Nakuru County. This study recommended secondary school principals to use transformational leadership style complemented by transactional and democratic leadership styles. The study also recommended Teachers Service Commission to monitor leadership styles used by secondary school principals.