Muia Patricia Nthoki


The thrust of this study is to examine the influence of head teachers’ leadership styles (autocratic, democratic & laissez- faire) on pupils’ academic performance at Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) in Mbooni Division, in Makueni County, Kenya. This study is guided by four research objectives: i. Sought to establish the extent to which head teachers’ autocratic leadership style influence pupils’ performance at KCPE examinations. (ii) Examine whether Democratic and Autocratic leadership styles have different influences on pupils’ performance at KCPE examinations. iii. To determine whether laissez-faire, Democratic and Autocratic leadership styles have different influences on pupils’ performance at KCPE examinations. iv. Identify how many head teachers use each type of leadership style (Autocratic, Democratic and laissez-faire) respectively that influences pupils’ performance at KCPE examinations. The study targeted 63 public primary schools in the Division. A sample of 30 schools was selected using Stratified random sampling technique. The study employed descriptive research design. Questionnaires and Document Analyses were used to collect data for the study. Data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. In descriptive statistics, frequencies, percentages, means, variance, and standard deviations were calculated, and presented in tables and graphs. Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation of Coefficient was done testing at alpha value 0.05 and multiple regression analysis for Variance was used for research objectives one, two and three. Chi Square test was used on research question four.  The study findings revealed that autocratic leadership style have significant influence of positive 0.16*, and is practiced by 5 out of 30 head teachers representing 16.7%. Majority of the head teachers’ 24 out of 30 practice democratic leadership style representing 80% with positive influence though not significant. Laissez faire is practiced by header teacher out of 30 representing 3.3% with a negative influence and not significant. Therefore, influence of head teachers’ leadership styles towards pupils’ KCPE performance contribute 22%. The remaining 78% which  influence pupils’ academic performance at KCPE is not yet clear and are varied; this could be motivational levels of teachers and instructional materials among others which this study suggest for further research. This study recommends that, the Government of Kenya and MoE to restructure leadership courses in teacher training institutions to enhance the establishment of effective leadership practices among teacher trainees in the 21st century schools’. Further, Kenya Education Management Institute (KEMI) to organize capacity building programs to empower practicing primary schools’ head teachers on the most effective leadership styles. 


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primary schools’ head teachers, influence of leadership styles, pupils’ KCPE academic performance, Makueni County, Kenya


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