Influence of Head Teachers’ Leadership Practices on Teachers’ Job Satisfaction in Nakuru and Nairobi Catholic Private Primary Schools, Kenya
Sr. Mutune, M. Susan
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High quality teaching staff is the cornerstone of a successful educational system. To attract and retain quality teaching staff, sessional papers 12 of 2012 and 14 of 2012 urged head teachers to establish strategies for ensuring high teacher job satisfaction in schools. In Catholic private schools, research has raised concern over low teacher job satisfaction levels resulting to high teacher turnover rates of between 15% and 25% annually. This research aimed at establishing the influence of head teachers’ leadership practices on teachers’ job satisfaction. The objectives of the study were to determine the level of teacher job satisfaction, the influence of head teachers’ leadership practices, and the influence of head teachers’ leadership practices on teachers’ job satisfaction components. The study was guided by the path goal theory. Path goal theory recognizes that the actions of a leader (head teacher) have direct influence on the subordinates (teachers). Mixed methods research approach was used. The mixed method approaches combine quantitative and qualitative data in a single study. This study adopted the convergent parallel design. In this design quantitative and qualitative research is conducted simultaneously in a single study. The target population was 74 head teachers and 1184 teachers in the 74 Catholic private primary schools in Nairobi and Nakuru dioceses. Stratified sampling was used to categorize schools into two strata, the urban and rural schools. From each stratum, 40% of the head teachers and 20% of teachers were sampled. Simple random sampling was used to sample two teachers from each of the 6 teaching subjects. The study sampled 31 head teachers and 248 teachers. The research instruments were questionnaires for head teachers and teachers, interview guide for head teachers and focus group discussion guide for teachers. Content validity was determined by seeking expert judgment from specialist in Educational Management. Cronbach alpha was used to ascertain reliability of the instruments. Qualitative data was analyzed thematically while Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The study established that the nature of work, coworkers, supervision and communication had highest levels of job satisfaction. Dissatisfaction emanated from pay, contingency rewards and fridge benefits. Supportive and achievement oriented leadership practices had the highest influence on teachers’ job satisfaction. Head teachers’ leadership practices had insignificant influence on teachers’ satisfaction with pay, nature of work, communication and coworkers. Teachers’ job satisfaction component that was highly influenced by head teachers’ leadership practices was supervision. Directive leadership practices had no significant influence on any job satisfaction component. The study recommends that the Catholic institutions formulate by-laws to regulate school processes for-example teachers’ pay, promotions and fringe benefits. In addition induction courses and regular in servicing of head teachers is recommended. The study suggests further study be conducted on the influence of head teachers’ leadership practices on teacher job satisfaction in more Catholic private schools and tertiary institutions. Further, a study on the influence of the school managers on teachers’ job satisfaction in Catholic private institutions is recommended.