Influence of Principal – Teacher Relationship in Secondary School Climate in Imo State

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background Of The Study

An organization is a system that consciously coordinates the activities of two or more individuals, influencing workers behaviour in the workplace (Barhard, 2004). A formal organization is bureaucratic in nature. It is concerned with the division of labour, the distribution of power in the system, and the job descriptions for each role. A formal organization is concerned with the system’s efficiency. It has a chain of authority and regulations that govern the organization. This corresponds to the notion of a school as an organization. According to Segun and Segun, a school is a social institution that deals with both people and material resources (1984).

Many people with diverse personal ambitions work together in the school system to achieve the purposes for which the school was formed. A coordinator, a leader, a manager, or an administrator are normally required in this type of formal organization (Ndi 1997). The principal or head teacher is responsible for utilizing the school’s financial or material resources, facilities, and human resources to achieve the school’s goals. The principal ensures that each organization member is completely aware of his or her responsibilities (Lipharm and Hoeh, 1990). Where the formal organization is large and complex, other officers, usually positioned hierarchically below the manager, are recruited to support the manager, such as vice principal, deputy head, section head of department, and so on (Ikediegwu, 2005). In terms of organizational structure, the state school management board is at the top of the hierarchy, followed by the ministry of education. Students are the responsibility of the principal and the teachers. The principal is in charge of the teachers, while the state school management board is in charge of the Ministry of Education. Within the school, there is a succession of superordinates and subordinates relationships. This functional hierarchy of relationships (principal to teacher, teacher to student) is based on allocating and interpreting responsibilities and facilities to achieve school goals (Yusuf, 2010).

The school climate is critical to achieving the school’s goals and objectives. The quality and qualities of school life are referred to as the school climate. It is founded on patterns of school-life experiences and reflects norms, goals, values, interpersonal relationships, teaching, learning, and leadership practices, as well as organizational structure. According to Madu (1997), as referenced by Yusuf (2010), the principal/head teacher is responsible for fostering effective teaching and learning. This implies that he is a master teacher, not just a careerist, but a change agent. As a change agent, he must stay current on trends in classroom activities, administration, and instructional supervision. To be an effective leader in the field of teaching and learning, the principal/head teacher must be industrious, dedicated, and set a good example (Dunnette & Lawler, 2004). (1997). If he is not present, the teachers are free to do anything they want. The school administrator’s climate will be perceived as poor, lax, indolent, and indisciplined. The school’s climate will be unfavorable to teaching and learning. As a result, the goal of this research is to examine into the impact of the principal-teacher interaction on the secondary school climate.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

A principal must maintain a cordial relationship with the teachers in terms of dedication to tasks, communication, motivation, planning, supervision, coordination, and experience in order to be effective in the school. These will help to promote a good academic environment and effective teaching and learning in order to achieve the aims and objectives of education.

Conflict between the principal and the teachers, on the other hand, will result in opposing ideas. This is especially true when the principal’s expectations of the teachers differ from what he (the principal) executes. There are numerous cases abound where school principals apply autocratic principals to enforce conformity with their directives. The disparity between the use of such force and the response of teachers creates tension and so pollutes the learning environment (climate).

1.3 Objective Of The Study

The basic and general aim of this study is to examine the influence of the principal-teacher relationship on the secondary school climate. The specific objectives therefore include;

  1. Examine the effect of principal and teacher conflict on effective teaching and learning.
  2. Examine the relationship between principal/teacher relationship and teachers’ productivity.
  3. Examine the relationship between the principal/teacher relationship and students’ academic performance.

1.4 Research Hypothesis

A hypothesis refers to an experimental statement, tentative in nature, showing the relationship between two or more variables. It is open to test and can be accepted or rejected depending on whether it agrees or disagrees with the statistical test.

The two hypotheses that were tested in this study are the null and alternative hypotheses.

The null hypothesis reflects that there will be no observed effect in our experiment. In a mathematical formulation of the null hypothesis, there will typically be an equal sign. This hypothesis is denoted by H0. The null hypothesis is what we attempt to find evidence against in our hypothesis test.

The alternative or experimental hypothesis reflects that there will be an observed effect on our experiment. In a mathematical formulation of the alternative hypothesis, there will typically be an inequality, or not equal to the symbol. This hypothesis is denoted by either Ha or by H1. The alternative hypothesis is what we are attempting to demonstrate in an indirect way through the use of our hypothesis test. If the null hypothesis is rejected, then we accept the alternative hypothesis. If the null hypothesis is not rejected, then we do not accept the alternative hypothesis.

The study will test the validity of the following null hypothesis:

H01: There is no significant relationship between the principal/teacher relationship and teachers’ productivity.

H02: There is no significant relationship between the principal/teacher relationship and students’ academic performance.

1.5 Significance Of the study

This study will mostly be of great value to teachers, principals, lecturers, the management board of universities and even other organizations.  This is due to the fact that this study will outline the causes of non cardinal relationship between the manager(principal) and staff (teachers), its negative effect on students academic performance and the productivity of teachers. The unspeakable effect on the corporate  image of the school won’t be excluded. Lastly, this study will be useful to researcher and students for academic purposes solely.

1.6 Scope Of The Study

This study on the effect of the principal – teacher relationship in the secondary school climate will be limited to and focused on examining the effect of principal and teacher conflict on effective teaching and learning, the relationship between the principal/teacher relationship and teachers’ productivity, and the relationship between the principal/teacher relationship and students’ academic performance. The study will therefore be conducted in selected secondary schools in Imo State, Nigeria.

1.7 Limitation Of The Study

Financial constraint – Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, interview).

Time constraint – The researchers will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted to research work.

However, in the midst of the above mentioned limitations, the researchers devotedly ensured that the purpose of the study was actualized.

1.8 Definition Of The Study

School Principal: The school principal is the highest-ranking administrator in an elementary, middle, or high school. Principals typically report directly to the school superintendent, but may report to the superintendent’s designee, usually an associate superintendent, in larger school districts.

A Teacher: A teacher is a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence, or virtue. Informally, the role of teacher may be taken on by anyone.

School Climate: School climate refers to the quality and character of school life. School climate is based on patterns of students’, parents’, and school personnel’s experiences of school life and reflects norms, goals, values, interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures.

Learning Environment: The term learning environment can refer to an educational approach, cultural context, or physical setting in which teaching and learning occur.

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