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IMPACT OF PRINCIPALS’ LEADERSHIP STYLES ON TEACHING AND LEARNING IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN ILORIN METROPOLIS, KWARA STATE, NIGERIA

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CHAPTER ONE

 INTRODUCTION

 1.1 Background to the Study

The development of Western Education in Nigeria cannot be treated in isolation from traditional forms of education. In Kwara State, for instance, traditional education was a way of life before the advent of Western Education introduced by the Missionaries and Colonial Administration. Therefore, this formal education as embraced by the state requires more effectiveness in the leadership handling of the school heads to enable it serve as bedrock for further socio-economic development.

Kwara State was created on 27th May, 1967 when the Military Government led by General Yakubu Gowon broke the four regions that then constituted the federation of Nigeria into 12 states. At its creation, the state was made up of the former Ilorin and Kabba provinces of the then Northern Region and was initially named the West Central State but later changed to "Kwara", a local name for the River Niger. Kwara State has since 1976 reduced considerably in size as a result of further state creation exercises in Nigeria. On 13th February, 1976 the Idah/Dekina part of the state was carved out and merged with a part of the then Benue/Plateau State to form Benue State. On 27th August, 1991 five local government areas, namely Oyi, Yagba, Okene, Okehi and Kogi were also excised to form part of the new Kogi State, while a sixth, Borgu Local Government Area, was merged with Niger State. Presently, Kwara State consists of 16 local government areas (that is, Asa, Baruten, Edu, Ekiti, Ifelodun, Ilorin East, Ilorin South, Ilorin West, Irepodun, Isin, Kaiama, Moro, Offa, Oke Ero, Oyun, and Pategi) and Ilorin as the capital. The capital city of Ilorin is situated 306km inland from the coastal city of Lagos and 5OOkm from the Federal Capital, Abuja. Ilorin metropolis covers three local

government areas, namely; (Ilorin South with headquarters at Fufu; Ilorin East with headquarters at Okeoyi; and Ilorin West.

According to Maxwell (2005), success is within the reach of just about everyone. But organizational, group or personal success without leadership ability brings only limited effectiveness. A person‘s impact is only a fraction of what it could be with good leadership. The higher you want to climb, the more you need leadership. The greater the impact you want, the greater your influence needs to be felt. Leadership ability is the lid that determines a person‘s level of effectiveness. It is the lower an individual‘s ability to lead, the lower the lid on his potentials; the higher the leadership input, the greater the effectiveness. To reach the highest level of effectiveness, you have to raise the lid on your leadership ability.

Subsequently, the concept of leadership carries many different connotations and is often viewed as synonymous with other equally complex concepts such as power, authority, management, administration, and supervision. Northouse (2001) defined leadership as a process whereby one individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal. Placing this definition in the context of school management, it is possible to see its application to the principals of secondary schools. These individuals would influence the activities of organized groups, such as the staff, students, policy makers and employers, towards the goals of success and economic viability, all within the unique atmosphere of academia. Many leadership theorists have found that poor leadership style in any organization seems to be the major cause of diminishing organizational productivity. Yukl (1994) asserted that effectiveness in leadership becomes an asset if any organization including the school wants to achieve productivity. Konchar (1988) stated schools rise to fame or sink to obscurity depending on how the principal handles the school. It is said the school is as great as the principal, because of everything in the school, the plant, the staff, the curriculum methods and techniques, human relationships, bear the

impress of his or her personality. Schools do not become great because of magnificent buildings but because of magnificent principals.

Secondary schools Principals are seen to be responsible for three things in the school: the people, the programme, and the plant. They function as managers and instructional leaders. They have the primary responsibility of accomplishing the nation‘s aims and objectives of secondary school education as stipulated in the National Policy on Education (NPE). They play a number of important roles among which is providing effective leadership in the schools, aimed at promoting better work output of the teaching and non-teaching staff with the solely aim of impacting students‘ academic performance in schools (Duze, 2012).

Adeyemi (2004) identified three types of leadership styles used in Nigerian schools to impact outcomes. These are the autocratic, democratic and laissez faire leadership styles. The autocratic leader is an authoritarian. This leader directs group members on the way things should be done. He also gives orders which are to be obeyed whether or not the members of staff have initiatives. On the other hand, the democratic style of leadership emphasizes group and leader participation in the making of policies. Decisions about organizational matters are arrived at after due consultation and communication with various people in the organization. The leader attempt as much as possible to make each individual feels that he is an important member of the organization. The laissez faire style allows complete freedom to group decision without the leader‘s participation. Thus, subordinates are free to do what they like. The role of the leader is just to supply materials. The leader does not interfere with or participate in the course of events determined by the group. Thus, this leadership is weak and leads to no meaningful progress within an organization (Obilade, 1998).

Consequently, school administrators who have the knowledge of theories and concepts of educational administration will not administer a school on trial and error but on a solid

administrative foundation rooted on theoretical facts and empirical procedures. Dare  (2014)

suggest that the laissez-faire leadership style should never be an option in the administration of schools but rather, the democratic and autocratic as the need arises. School administrators should be more transformational, transactional, charismatic and visionary in character because school is a bureaucratic organization. In similar opinion of Maina (2015) stated that people who take up educational administrative roles should be selfless, efficient and effective individuals who have good leadership skills and the interest of the sector at heart. Not because of the political or economic gains but rather the overall achievement of the educational goals, institutional stability and national development.

Burns (1978) introduced the concepts of transformational and transactional leadership. Transformational leadership was considered to be more complex than transactional leadership Bass (1985). Bass & Avolio (1994) it involved raising leaders and followers to higher levels of motivation and values. The transactional leadership theory was founded upon the idea that leader- follower relations were based on negotiation, exchange and contractual dimensions (Bass, 1985; Bass & Steidlmeier, 1998). Therefore, transactional leadership satisfied, generally, only the followers‘ lower level or extrinsic needs (Sergiovanni, 1990). Transactional and transformational leaders are both active leaders (Bass & Avolio, 1994; Bass & Avolio, 2000; Bass & Steidlmeier, 1998).

The school environment must be a supportive and non-threatening one in which both the students and the teacher are comfortable. This is critical for the child‘s cognitive, physical, social and emotional growth. Within the classroom, teachers need to be sensitive to values which are promoted by family, peers, religious and cultural backgrounds.

Throughout the teaching and learning process instruction should be guided by the goals and objectives of the programme. Students must be actively involved and provided with the opportunity to experience success in quest of academic performance. Academic performance has

been described as the scholastic standing of a student at a given moment which refers to how an

individual is able to demonstrate his or her intellectual abilities (Adeyemi & Bolarinwa 2013). This scholastic standing could be explained as the grades obtained in a course or groups of courses taken (Daniels & Schouten, 1970, Owoyemi, 2000). Performance has been regarded as a measure of educational output (Adeyemi, 2006). Educational output is only achieved through a well coordinated teaching and learning process.

Teaching and learning involves the use of strategies which maximize opportunities for interaction. Abdellatif (2014) opined that teaching and learning are integrated circles which focuses on the instructor and the students but however sometimes could happen without the other. The principal leadership style is very significant in developing teacher leadership in classroom matters. Leadership in the classroom cannot be overemphasized in teaching and learning because it goes a long way in determining performance of both the teachers and the student or learner. Adeshina (1980) stated that leadership connotes the ability of getting things done with assistance and cooperation of the people within the institution or system. The principal should define teacher leadership and encourage them positively because reasonable part of a teacher‘s life is spent in building peoples‘ knowledge, influencing the feelings and behaviours of students toward goal achievement. According to Duze (2012) quoting the works of (Okoro, 2009; NUC, 2004; WAEC, 2002), facts from studies and observations have shown that some of the products of today‘s secondary schools in Nigeria can neither move into higher institutions nor enjoy useful lives in the society because of poor academic performance. Some of them are not articulate and have become a nuisance to the society with involvement in secret cults, armed robbery, assassination, kidnapping, drug abuse, assaults, burglaries, and pocket-picking. Some others have become motor-park touts, political thugs, and reckless motorbike riders. Some of the products of secondary schools do not have respect for the dignity of labour but have become engulfed in the get-rich-quick syndrome at all costs. Omoregie (2006) submitted that the

secondary schools are no longer effective in Nigeria arguing that the secondary schools are

haven of criminals where future thugs are bred and people are beginning to query the leadership capabilities of principals.

Therefore, the principal‘s leadership styles and role model will influence the activities of the school in terms of how teachers implement the school curriculum, handles classroom assessments and students‘ disciplinary issues. Many scholars have attributed to a large extent the success of schools to those in the leadership position (principals). It is on the basis of the above that this research was carried out to examine the impact of principals‘ leadership styles on teaching and learning in Secondary schools in Ilorin metropolis, Kwara State, Nigeria.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The issues of leadership styles in teaching and learning have been raised in many instances by trying to find out the causes of poor standard of education in Nigeria. There is problem of management of classroom discipline which is one of the moral and ethical activities that enable students to improve their social and interactive skills. Classroom discipline management is tied to the principal‘s leadership ability and is an important but difficult aspect of teachers work. This interaction between the principal, teachers and students is the most important aspect of educational process but most neglected. It is assumed that the principal‘s leadership behaviour influences teachers‘ engagement with students which results in a measured impact on student performance. Also, the leadership styles of principals are interpreted and defined through their teachers. Teachers react in diverse ways in the classroom when the principal is seen to be autocratic, transformational or people oriented.

However, the major concern of school organization is the success or effectiveness of teaching and learning process. Though, performance is determined by many factors, leadership style plays a very significant role in its quality (Orodho, 2015). Poor leadership handling of a school by a principal could lead to students and teacher academic laxity, indiscipline behaviour

and irresponsible acts which in turn affect the school‘s overall performance. Some leadership

styles enhance principals, teachers and students relationship why some impose dissatisfaction. It is necessary to determine how each of these leadership styles affects teaching and learning. Principal‘s leadership style in the school enhances teaching and learning activities which is an outstanding determinant of students‘ academic performance.

Hence, government and individuals insists on appointment of credible, experienced, cultured, disciplined and qualified persons to man the position of principal as to promote better teaching and learning outcomes in schools. Experiences and records have also shown that principals‘ leadership style have direct bearing on the overall effectiveness of school because both teacher and students are to perform under the leadership of school principal. This among others has motivated the researcher to carry out the present research on the ―impact of principals‘ leadership styles on teaching and learning in secondary schools in Ilorin metropolis Kwara state, Nigeria‖.

1.3     Objectives of the Study

The study was set to:

1.                 determine the impact of principals‘ situational leadership style on teaching and learning in secondary schools in Ilorin metropolis, Kwara State;

2.                 ascertain the impact of principals‘ transactional leadership style on teaching and learning in secondary schools in Ilorin metropolis, Kwara State;

3.                 assess the impact of principals‘ transformational leadership style on teaching and learning in secondary schools in Ilorin metropolis, Kwara State;

4.                 examine the impact of principals‘ democratic leadership style on teaching and learning in secondary schools in Ilorin metropolis, Kwara State;

5.                 ascertain the impact of principals‘ autocratic leadership style on teaching and learning in secondary schools in Ilorin metropolis, Kwara State; and

6.                 find out the impact of principals‘ charismatic leadership style on teaching and learning in secondary schools in Ilorin metropolis, Kwara State.

1.4         Research Questions

For a direction and a good result to be reached, the following research questions were

raised:

1.      What is the impact of principals‘ situational leadership style on teaching and learning in secondary schools in Ilorin metropolis, Kwara State?

2.      What is the impact of principals‘ transactional leadership style on teaching and learning in secondary schools in Ilorin metropolis, Kwara State?

3.      What is the impact of principals‘ transformational leadership style on teaching and learning in secondary schools in Ilorin metropolis, Kwara State?

4.      What is the impact of principals‘ democratic leadership style on teaching and learning in secondary schools in Ilorin metropolis, Kwara State?

5.      What is the impact of principals‘ autocratic leadership style on teaching and learning in secondary schools in Ilorin metropolis, Kwara State? and

6.      What is the impact of principals‘ charismatic leadership style on teaching and learning in secondary schools in Ilorin metropolis, Kwara State?

1.5         Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were formulated for this study based on the research questions:

1.      There is no significant difference in the opinions of the principals, vice principals, teachers and officials of ministry of education on the impact of principals‘ situational leadership style on teaching and learning in secondary schools in Ilorin metropolis, Kwara State.

2.      There is no significant difference in opinions of the principals, vice principals, teachers and officials of ministry of education on the impact of principals‘ transactional leadership style on teaching and learning in secondary schools in Ilorin metropolis, Kwara State.

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