The Relationship between Principals’ Managerial Approaches and Student Discipline in Secondary Schools in Kenya
Students’ discipline is critical to the attainment of positive school outcomes. This paper presents and discusses findings of a study on the relationship between principals’ management approaches and the level of student discipline in selected public secondary schools in Kenya. The premise of the study was that the level of students’ discipline depends on whether the principals’ discipline management approach is inclusive or exclusive of teachers’ and parents’ involvement. Data were collected using a selfadministered questionnaire from a sample of 211 teachers, 28 principals and 22 chairpersons of the Parent-Teachers Association. The raw data were analysed using frequency counts, the mean and standard deviation and hypotheses tested using the t-test and one way ANOVA at alpha level of 0.05. Key findings indicated that female principals applied more inclusive discipline management approaches compared to male principals. In addition, the level of teachers and parental input and the level of student discipline were comparatively higher in female - headed schools. More experienced principals applied inclusive discipline management approaches compared to
the less experienced ones. Headship experience was positively related to teacher and parental input while it was negatively correlated with the level of student discipline. The findings have important implications on determining policy guidelines on headship appointments and the strategies for upholding student discipline in secondary schools.
Key words: Principal; Management approach; Student discipline.