Transformational leadership practices of school principals: Does school ownership matter?

Ndiritu A, Kimani G, NYAGAH GRACE, GIKONYO NAOMI. "Transformational leadership practices of school principals: Does school ownership matter?". In: Second Annual International Interdisciplinary Conference. Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA),; 2013.

Date Presented:

June, 2013


Kenya through its vision 2030 aims to become a middle-income industrialized country. In this vision, education and training has been isolated as a supreme vehicle that will take the country to the desired level of development. Although the government of Kenya has invested a lot of funds in education, it is sad that many schools do not provide teaching and learning in the most efficient way. A lot of blame has been attributed to the leadership styles used by the secondary school principals. This has created disharmony between the principals and other stakeholders. Scholars have tried to establish the kind of leadership behaviour that would enhance efficiency in organizations. School leaders have tried many leadership approaches with the aim of improving school efficiency. In the last two decades, Instructional and Transformational leadership theories have been frequently mentioned and researched in educational leadership. In the 1980s and early 1990s, Instructional leadership paradigm was thought to have served the schools well. Although this theory was said to have been the most popular in educational leadership, modern demands for educational reforms have made school leaders to look for an alternative. Just as societal and school demographics have changed in recent decades, so has the type of leadership needed to successfully lead the rapidly changing schools. A recent theory that has been embraced by many school leaders is transformational leadership. This study sought to establish the extent to which public school principals have embraced “modeling the way” characteristic of transformational leadership in comparison to the private school principals in Kenya. The study further investigated the relationship between this transformational leadership characteristic to students academic performance in both categories of schools. The sample consisted of 387 participants from 49 secondary schools in Kenya. Co relational research design was employed in data analysis. The findings indicated that principals in private schools scored higher (53.63) than the principals who were in public schools (51.79). The analyses indicated a negative correlation between “Modeling the way” transformational characteristic of principals in public schools and in private schools. Pearson correlation analysis also showed a significant correlation between Modeling the way" characteristic and students’ academic performance. Based on these findings, it is important to ensure that the principals feel totally in control of their institutions.

Key words: Transformational leadership, Principals, modeling the way, school ownership

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