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Influence of Principals’ Individualized Consideration on Students’ Performance at Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education in Public Secondary Schools, Kenya

Judith Mbithe Musyoki1*, Ursulla Okoth2, Jeremiah Kalai2 and Joshua Okumbe2

1Department of Educational Administration, Student, University of Nairobi, Kenya

2Department of Educational Administration and Planning, Senior Lecturer, University of Nairobi, Kenya

Corresponding Author:
Judith Mbithe Musyoki
Department of Educational Administration
Student, University of Nairobi, Kenya
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: 14/10/2021; Accepted Date: 28/10/2021; Published Date: 04/11/2021

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Abstract

Transformational leadership transforms motivates, encourages the aspirations of the followers. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of principal’s individual consideration on students’ performance at Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (K.C.S.E) in public secondary schools in Makueni County, Kenya. The objective that guided the study was to: Establish influence of the principals’ individualized consideration on students’ academic success at K.C.S.E in Makueni. The hypothesis was that Principals’ individualized consideration dimension and mean scores of students’ at KCSE in Makueni has no significant relationship. The study used transformational leadership theory by Burns (1978) which consist of individual consideration dimension and is very crucial to academic performance. The conceptual framework of this study is based on the relationship between the principals and student academic performance. The sample comprised of 111 principals, 729 teachers and 12 Ministry of Education officials drawn from 388 secondary schools. Questionnaires and interview guide were used to collect data. Validation of the questionnaires through test-re-test method and by use of expert judgment. Reliability was computed using Cronbach’s alpha method. The coefficient value was 0.85 at alpha = 0.05. Data was analyzed using both descriptive Pearson’s correlation coefficient that test showed a strong correlation for individual consideration and KCSE students’ mean scores. The result indicated a negative and strong correlation between individual consideration and students’ KCSE performance It was concluded that principals’ articulation of the vision and the spirit of encouragement and Appreciating individuals increased performance at KCSE.

Keywords

Individualized consideration, Transformational, Leadership and students academic performance

Introduction

Transformational leadership is a leadership style is key in any organization. Transformational leadership is needed in order to uplift the standards of learning hence help the learners achieve their goals. The main key leader to exercise the functions is the principal. Significantly agree that the principal has a great role to apply transformational leadership practices to influence their followers so as to succeed. This shows that leaders and followers are inseparable if success is to be realized. The principals are there to change the society because of the high concern of the followers thus resulting to good performance [1]. Assert that transformational school leaders are intelligent in cooperation, thought process, feelings and inspiration of performance using power from inside [2]. Also identified specific aspects of transformational leadership that strongly and positively correlated with student academic achievement. Tharnpas and Boon-itt [3] and Hughes (2014) posit that individualized consideration which is under transformational leadership can cause dynamic changes to the school principals. According to [4] transformational leadership has been linked with the organization and individual performance. As a transformational leader the principal practices small but significantly influences the school climate, culture and academic performance [5]. Posits that the focus of transformational leadership is mainly on the followers’ needs and satisfaction through inspiration in order to achieve desired goals. Moreover, most of the leaders do not even understand that how their subordinates perceive them affects academic performance [6].

Therefore, the use of principals Individualized consideration practice is relevant to this study. Individualized consideration dimension possesses certain traits like treating the followers as an individual and with a lot of professionalism. Assert that this leadership has a strong definition with significant behaviours that increase performance like inspiring, coaching, motivating, and supporting. In addition, the leaders work is to mentor, support and coach the followers to significantly promote the growth of the entire organization [7]. Transformational leaders under this dimension treat others as individuals, rather than simply group members, and identify the differing needs, abilities, and aspirations for those individuals. Individualized consideration dimension focus is on the development of the follower [8]. The leader uses individualized consideration aims so as to fulfil the needs of individual in organization.

The leader observes individualized consideration dimension by being an effective listener and recognizes individual’s differences. The leader further encourages, interactions with followers on a personal basis and delegate’s tasks as a means of developing followers. Principals develop the tactics of distributing elements like listening; interactions, delegation and acceptance hence help the students attain high grades. One way of evaluating the individualized consideration of principals is by analysing their performance under the current education systems from 2013-2017. Therefore, all secondary school leaders regardless of the sectors are pressured by accountability for better results. Table 1 shows KCSE performance 2013 to 2017. Table 1

Year National Makueni Machakos Kitui
  MS MS MS MS
2013 5.04 5.04 4.56 4.21
2014 5.3 5.16 4.79 5.07
2015 5.15 5.07 4.72 5.67
2016 5.3 4.78 3.42 4.1
2017 5.38 3.44 3.2 3.32

Table 1. An analysis of Makueni, Machakos and Kitui Counties’ KCSE mean score for 2013-2017.

Source: County Director of Education, Makueni County Statistics and Knec 2018

Makueni County schools have continued to maintain a mean score of 5 from 2013- 2015 in the students’ academic performance in public secondary with exception of 2016-2017 where the mean score slightly decreased. This could be attributed to a gap in the transformational leadership behaviours among public secondary principals. Therefore, the solution to this problem can only be understood by establishing whether the practice of principals’ individualized consideration influence student academic performance in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education. The null hypothesis of this study was: There is no significant relationship between principals’ individualized consideration component and students’ mean score at Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education in Makueni County, Kenya.

Literature Review

According to Matthias and Eline transformational leadership has been linked with the organization and individual performance. This dimension of leadership possesses certain characteristics like treating the followers as an individual and with a lot of professionalism [9]. Observe that it leads to trust of higher level in the leadership setup [10]. Assert that this leadership has a strong definition with significant behaviours that increase performance like inspiring, coaching, motivating, and supporting. In addition, the leaders work is to mentor, support and coach the followers to significantly promote the growth of the entire organization.

Concur that there was a positive correlation students’ academic performance and the principals’ encouragement in secondary schools in Nairobi County [11]. Observe that individualized consideration focuses on the holistic needs of students. School principals are rightly positioned to consider the students’ needs so as to increase performance in examination. The school principals on the other hand are able to work with followers by empowering them to develop in different areas. A study by [12] argues that transformational leader focuses on group as well as individual levels. The leader aims at empowering followers to potentially develop their abilities, skills self-efficacy and respect among others. The leaders influence their followers by strengthening their interest in them. The leader’s goals is to understand the followers needs, abilities, skills, and offer coaching and mentoring which helps in overcoming individual challenges. This behaviour also helps the leader in this case the principal, inspires followers achieving the institutional goal.

Further the leader develops the beliefs and values of the teachers and students thus improve performance in examination. This situation allows the leader and the followers behave the same since they have a common understanding of who a transformational leader is. The school principal should actually live an exemplary life by encouraging the followers to act like them so that they perform hence increase productivity in the organization. Above all, the transformational school principal practices this dimension so as to increase the follower’s self-fulfilment, self-actualization, and self-esteem. The leader uses individualized consideration aims so as to fulfil the needs of individual in organization.

According to [13] studies assert that there are different theories of leadership. Some of them include: visionary, charismatic, transactional, empowerment autocratic and transformational are types of organization which are used to affect performance. This research is anchored on transformational leadership theory which was conceptualized by James MacGregor Burns in 1978 and was extended by. Transformational leadership theory focuses on the leaders behaviours. Bass puts it clearly that transformational leadership has four dimensions namely, ‘the four I's’: idealized influence (charisma), individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation, and inspirational motivation. These aspects are important to the transformational leader who in turn exhibits them through the followers for the purpose of bringing about desired outcomes. Bass puts it clearly that transformational leadership has to be grounded in moral foundations that are usually based on four components: individual consideration, intellectual stimulation, inspiration and idealized influenced. These aspects are important to the transformational leader who in turn exhibits them through the followers for the purpose of bringing about desired outcomes. Based upon this theory, this study seeks to determine the influence of principals’ individualized consideration on student performance at Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education. The main hypothesis was individualized consideration dimension has no significant relationship with students’ mean scores at KCSE (Figure 1).

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Figure 1: Source: Adopted from Mojgan et al, (2012).

Research Methodology

According to [14] a design arranges data analysis in a conceptualized structure in research. This study adopted correlational method which examines a significant relationship between two or more variables that were obtained through a statistical procedure [15]. The total number of respondents was 111 principals, 12 Ministry of Education officials and 729 teachers. The researcher used purposive approach to select all the schools’ heads and MoE officials. Simple random sampling method was applied to the teachers. The data for the study was collected by using two types of instruments namely: questionnaires and interviews. O’ Leary assert that a questionnaire uses survey method. Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, assert that a questionnaire instrument collects primary data. There were two types of questionnaires: principals’ and teachers. Each questionnaire contained statements relating to the influence of the principals; transformational leadership on students’ academic performance.

The analysis was done by descriptive statistics using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 21.0. In addition, Pearson’s correlation analysis and regression analysis were used to establish the relationship between the study variables. The study took place in Makueni County with Principals as the main respondents. Others were the teachers and key informants from the ministry of education at the county. A sample of 111 principals drawn from a population of 388, 729 teachers were sampled from 2121 and finally 12 respondents from the Ministry of Education participated in the study. The samples provided the data for analysis in order to determine the intellectual stimulation practice of leadership. The analysis was done by descriptive statistics using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 21.0. In addition, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) method was also used to establish the relationship between the study variables in individualized consideration and student mean score at KCSE. The study took place in Makueni County with a target population of 338 secondary schools and with Principals as the main respondents. Others were the teachers and key informants from the ministry of education at the county.

Cronbach’s alpha was utilized to measure the degree to which the set of variables measures evaluates a specific latent construct [16]. Cronbach’s alpha provides a correlation between the survey item and the construct that it intends to measure. Cronbachs alpha levels above 0.7 are desirable indicating that the measured results are indeed representative of the construct being measured.

Results and Discussion

Questionnaires Return Rate

The researcher sought to establish the rate of return for the questionnaires. The researcher distributed questionnaires to the principals and teachers respectively in the Makueni County. Microsoft excel sheet and SPSS 21.0 was used to analyse the results. Table 2 shows the questionnaires return rate of the principals and teachers (Table 2).

Respondents Returned           Not Returned % return rate
Principals 106 5 95.50%
Teachers 623 96 85.40%

Table 2. Questionnaires return rate of the principals and teachers.

Table 2 indicates that response rate of the principals was 95.5 percent and the teacher was 85.4 percent. This response depicted a good enough response rate reliable for representing the population under study. A study by [17] argues that a response rate of 80 percent and above is preferable and high enough from internally conducted surveys whereas external surveys may yield much less or higher depending on the method used. According to [18] this response depicted a good enough response rate reliable for representing the population under study. However, 25 items were not fully included because they had incomplete items thus a reduction of questionnaires.

Demographic information

Demographic characteristics showed that majority of the principals were female with 57.7 percent while their male counterparts were 42.3 percent. Similarly, female teachers were 63.0 percent more that the male teacher 37.0 percent. The results revealed that there was high gender disparity of the principals and teachers. The female principals and teachers results indicate that they had know-how of the leadership practices. Concerning the age of the respondents, the principals who were between 40-49 were the majority. The finding implied that the principals‟ maturity level of displaying transformational leadership practices was high hence improved academic performance of public secondary schools. On other hand, teachers below 30 years were the majority 44.4 percent with the highest frequency. This portrayed that many young teachers embraced the teaching profession. Academically, both the principals and the teachers had a bachelor degree. This implies that most of the principals and teachers were qualified in displaying leadership skills and decision making. Respondents experience confirmed that teachers who were between 6-15 years were 47.8 percent and the principals were 51.3 percent respectively. This means that principals and teachers with longer experience were more likely to apply transformational leadership skills. Further, majority of the principals about 58.6 percent had worked at their current positions for more than four years while majority of the teachers below 2 years had 39.5 percent indicating the large number of young people joining the teaching profession.

K.C.S. E Performance Makueni County

The study also indicated that the mean score for the five years was 5.27 C-. There were 111 schools, 14 of which managed to attain C+ and above qualified to join university over the four years. This implied that quite a good number of students in the 14 schools joined universities. The performance was attributed to availability of facilities, lab equipment, appropriate resources and textbooks. The principals and MoE officials utilized transformational practices. 23 schools scored C Plain, 55 had C- and 19 schools scored D+. Majority of the schools (55) had a mean grade above C-. This implied that most students performed in K.C.S.E. The subsequent analysis related individualized consideration on academic performance.

Individualized consideration and academic performance

The researcher sought to find out principals use of individualized consideration dimension toward students KCSE performance. Individualized consideration (IV) has characteristics that are helpful and can be emulated by teachers and students hence increased school performance. Individual consideration (IC) affects KCSE performance through providing adequate teaching and learning resources, appreciate performance of individuals, and treating others as individuals. Further this dimension seeks to visualize the vision of the organization, promotion of self-development, meeting the needs of the teachers and students among others. Therefore, when the principals apply individualized consideration practices in their leadership performance will be realized at KCSE.

Principals Responses on the Use of Individualized Consideration and Academic Performance

The Principals were required to indicate the use of individualized consideration and effect on K.C.S.E performance. The objective was to establish influence of the principal’s individualized consideration on students’ academic success at Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education in Makueni County. The table 3 shows item I to xiii measuring individualized consideration influence on academic performance in public schools. A five Likert scale where 1 = Strongly Disagree, 2 = Disagree, 3 = Neutral, 4 = Agree and 5 = strongly Agree. The items represent the individualized consideration leadership behaviour of the principals in Makueni country (Table 3).

As a principal, I SD  f  %    D  f  %      N  f  %      A  f  %  SA  f  %
Carry the vision of the organization 2  1.8 0  0.0 4  3.6 41  36.9 64  57.7
Provide adequate teaching and learning  resources 0  0.0 0  0.0 2  1.8 34   30.6 75   67.6
Provide individual with different needs and aspirations 1   0.9 0  0.0 7   6.3 41   36.9 62   55.9
Appreciate performance of individuals 0   0.0 0  0.0 1   0.9 38   34.2 72   64.9
Treat others as individuals 1   0.9  1  0.9 3   2.7 36   32.4 70    63.1
Understand the needs of the followers and help accordingly 0   0.0 0  0.0 2   1.8 44   39.6 65    58.6
Help staff to plan realistically and practically achieve goals 0   0.0  1  0.9 3   2.7 49    44.1 58     52.3
Promote self-development by coaching and teaching the followers through seminars 0  0.0  1  0.9 7   6.3 56   50.5 47     42.3
Empathize and discuss the needs, abilities and aspirations of the followers 0  0.0 1   0.9 4   3.6 58    52.3 48     43.2
Make others feel good 0  0.0  1  0.9 5   4.5 40    36.0 65   58.6
Come along with the teachers and students 1  0.9  1  0.9 3   2.7 45   40.5 60   54.1
I am understand the needs of the teachers and students hence promote performance 0  0.0  2  1.8 2   1.8 45    40.5 62   55.9
Meet all the needs of my followers 6   5.4 3  2.7 0  0.0 56   50.5 46   41.4

Table 3. Principals responses on individualized consideration dimension and student performance at KCSE.

This table shows item i to xiii measuring presenting the statistics on objective four; Establish influence of the principals’ individualized consideration on students’ academic success at K.C.S.E in Makueni County. As observed in table 3 the study found that principals strongly agreed that they exhibited the characteristics of individualized consideration at 90 percent and above. For instance, Table 3 on Carry the vision of the organization shows majority 57.7 percent of the principals Strongly Agreed that they Carry the vision of the organization while 36.9 percent Agreed and 3.6 percent were Neutral respectively. On Provide adequate teaching and learning resources majority 67.6 percent of the principals Strongly Agreed that they provide adequate teaching and learning resources while 30.6 percent agreed.

On Provide individual with different needs and aspirations majority 55.9 percent of the principals Strongly Agreed that principals Provide individual with different needs and aspirations while 36.9 percent Agreed and 6.3 percent were Neutral respectively. This finding is interpreted that the students who emulated their principals excelled in KSCE. On Appreciate performance of individual’s majority 64.9 percent of the principals strongly agreed that they appreciate performance of individuals while 34.2 agreed.

On Treat others as individuals rather than just a member of a group majority 63.1 percent of the principals Agreed that they treat others as individuals rather than just a member of a group while 32.4 percent Strongly Agreed and 2.7 percent were Neutral respectively. The findings imply that the staff worked hard aiming to score high marks in KCSE. On Understand the needs of the staff and assist them accordingly majority 58.6 percent of the principals Strongly Agreed that principals understand the needs of the staff and assist them accordingly while 39.6 percent Agreed.

On Help staff to achieve goals through practical and realistic planning majority 52.3 percent of the principals Strongly Agreed that they help staff to achieve goals through practical and realistic planning while 44.1 Agreed and 2.7 percent were Neutral respectively. On Promote self-development by coaching and teaching the followers through seminars majority 50.5 percent of the principals agreed that they promote self-development by coaching and teaching the followers through seminars while 42.3 percent Strongly Agreed and 6.3 percent were Neutral respectively.

On Empathize and discuss the needs, abilities and aspirations of the followers majority 52.3 percent of the principals Agreed that they empathize and discuss the needs, abilities and aspirations of the followers while 43.2 percent Strongly Agreed and 3.6 percent were Neutral respectively. On Make others feel good majority 58.6 percent of the principals Strongly Agreed that they make others feel good while 36.0 percent Agreed and 4.5 percent were Neutral. This helped the students to put more effort in their work since learning was encouraged.

On Come along with the teachers and students majority 54.1 percent of the principals Strongly Agreed that they come along with the teachers and students while 41.4 percent Agreed and 2.7 percent were Neutral respectively. This implied that it encouraged the followers to work hard toward performance. On I am aware of the different needs of the teachers and students to promote performance majority 55.9 percent of the principals Strongly Agreed that they I am aware of the different needs of the teachers and students to promote performance while 40.5 percent Agreed and 1.8 percent were Neutral and Disagreed respectively. This implied that it encouraged the followers to work hard toward performance. On Meet all the needs of my follower’s majority 50.5 percent of the principals agreed that they meet all the needs of my followers while 41.4 percent strongly agreed and 5.4 strongly disagreed. This implied that it encouraged the followers to work hard toward performance. The finding show that the principals provided adequate teaching and learning resources (67.6 percent), appreciated performance of individuals (64.9 percent), and treated others as individuals (63.1 percent) hence the reason for the performance 2013-2017 at 67.6 percent. Table 4 show how Principals rated themselves on the practice of individualized consideration (Table 4).

95% CI for Mean
Principals Response N Mean KCSE Std dev Std error Lower bound Upper bound Min Max
D 11 4.894 1.233 0.371 4.065 5.722 3.27 7.35
A 99 5.253 1.509 0.151 4.952 5.554 2.87 9.64
Total 110 5.218 1.483 0.141 4.937 5.498 2.87 9.64

Table 4. Principals practice of individualized consideration.

The principals who rated themselves low disagreed with the proposed statements were 11(10%) compared to 99(90%) who agreed to the proposed statements. The performance in the schools where the principals to a great extend agreed to have practiced the individualized considerations was better with a mean score of 5.253 on average with 95% confidence interval of 4.952 to 5.554. Those who disagreed had a mean score of 4.894 with 95% confidence interval of 4.065 to 5.722. The significance of that difference was tested using the analysis of variance and the findings were summarized in table 5.

ANOVA
  Sum of Squares Df Mean Square F Sig.
IC1 Between Groups 58.73 108 0.544 1.09 0.6
Within Groups 1 2 0.5    
Total 59.73 110      
IC2 Between Groups 27.991 108 0.259 0.52 0.85
Within Groups 1 2 0.5    
Total 28.991 110      
IC3 Between Groups 53.14 108 0.492 1.97 0.4
Within Groups 0.5 2 0.25    
Total 53.64 110      
IC4 Between Groups 27.586 108 0.255 . .
Within Groups 0 2 0    
Total 27.586 110      
IC5 Between Groups 46.869 108 0.434 0.19 0.99
Within Groups 4.5 2 2.25    
Total 51.369 110      
IC6 Between Groups 30.243 108 0.28 0.56 0.83
Within Groups 1 2 0.5    
Total 31.243 110      
IC7 Between Groups 38.694 108 0.358 0.72 0.75
Within Groups 1 2 0.5    
Total 39.694 110      
IC8 Between Groups 44.991 108 0.417 . .
Within Groups 0 2 0    
Total 44.991 110      
IC9 Between Groups 37.608 108 0.348 0.28 0.97
Within Groups 2.5 2 1.25    
 Total 40.108 110      
IC10 Between Groups 38.694 108 0.358 0.14 1
Within Groups 5 2 2.5    
Total 43.694 110      
IC11 Between Groups 46.64 108 0.432 0.17 1
Within Groups 5 2 2.5    
Total 51.64 110      
IC12 Between Groups 42.748 108 0.396 0.79 0.71
Within Groups 1 2 0.5    
Total 43.78 110      
IC13 Between Groups 16.64 108 0.987 1.98 0.4
Within Groups 1 2 0.5    
Total 107.64 110      

Table 5. Distribution of Principals’ individualized consideration on students’ performance at K.C.S.E.

Table 5 shows Distribution of principals’ individualized consideration on students’ performance at K.C.S.E where IC1= Carry the vision of the organization, IC2= Provide adequate teaching and learning resources, IC3=Provide individual with different needs and aspirations, IC4=Appreciate performance of individuals, IC5= Treat others as individuals rather than just a member of a group, IC6=Understand the needs of the staff and assist them accordingly, IC7=Help staff to achieve goals through practical and realistic planning, IC8=Promote self-development by coaching and teaching the followers through seminars, IC9=Empathize and discuss the needs, abilities and aspirations of the followers, IC10=Make others feel good, IC11=Come along with the teachers and students, IC12=I am aware of the different needs of the teachers and students to promote performance, IC13=Meet all the needs of my followers (Table 5).

Table 5 shows that there was a statistically significant difference between groups as determined by one-way ANOVA (F(108,2)=1.975, p=.396), (F(108,2)=1.968, p=.397) for Meet all the needs of my followers and Provide individual with different needs and aspirations respectively. The most insignificant difference registered was for Make others feel good as ANOVA result show (F (108, 2) =.143, p=.999) and (F (108, 2) =.193, p=993) for Treat others as individuals rather than just a member of a group respectively. Out of the thirteen factors used to investigate principals’ individual consideration in schools two of them show there is a strong significance implying that principals’ individual consideration has some influence on students’ performance at K.C.S.E. Table 6 shows Individualized consideration of teacher’s perception on the principal’s performance? (Table 6)

My principal,      N       R        S         O       VO
  f    %  f     %   f     %    f     %   f       %
Acts as an agent of change in helping the followers 51  7.0 39  5.3  32    4.4 285 39.1 322 44.2
Establishes a clear vision to both students and teachers 10  1.4 51  7.0 107 14.7 202 27.7 359 49.2
Has a motivating and inspiring spirit 16  2.2 50  6.9 60     8.2 201 27.6 402 55.1
Appreciates the teachers for good work 17  2.3 53   7.3 86   11.8 190 26.1 383 52.5
Is accountable for student Achievement 10  1.4 49  6.7 82   11.2 230 31.6 358 49.1
Recognizes what motivates  the followers 33  4.5 42  5.8 82   11.2 245 33.6 327 44.9
Provides for the teachers opportunities for training Sessions 36  4.9 42  5.8 93  12.8 221 30.3 337 46.2
Pays attention to teachers needs and assists them accordingly 45  6.2 44  6.0 89  12.2 189 25.9 362 49.7
Listens to teachers’ concerns 56  7.7 55  7.5 19    2.6 215 29.5 384 52.7
Empathizes with the needs of the teachers 15  2.1 58  8.0 86  11.8 203 27.8 367 50.3
Treats each follower Individually 22  3.0 69  9.5 80  11.0 226 31.0 332 45.5
Coaches the followers 56  7.7 56  7.7 72   9.9 291 39.9 254 34.8
Creates new opportunities for the followers 25  3.4 76 10.4  93 12.8 265 36.4 270 37.0
Advice the followers 33 4.5 49 6.7  91 12.5 223 30.6 333 45.7

Table 6. Individualized consideration of teacher’s perception on the principal’s performance.

Table 6 On Acts as an agent of change in helping the follower’s shows majority 44.2 percent of the teachers said that they Very Often act as an agent of change in helping the followers while 39.1 percent said often and 7.0 percent said Never respectively. On Establishes a clear vision to both students and teachers majority 49.2 percent of the teachers said that they Very Often establish a clear vision to both students and teachers while 27.7 percent said often and 14.7 percent said Sometimes.

On has a motivating and inspiring spirit majority 55.1 percent of the teachers said that Very Often principals have a motivating and inspiring spirit while 27.6 percent said often and 8.2 percent said sometimes respectively. This finding is interpreted that the students who emulated their principals excelled in KSCE.

On Appreciates the teachers for good work majority 52.5 percent of the teachers said that the principal Very Often appreciates the teachers for good work while 26.1 said Often and 11.8 percent said Sometimes. On Is accountable for student achievement majority 49.1 percent of the teachers said that the principal Very Often Is accountable for student achievement while 31.6 percent Often and 11.2 percent said Sometimes respectively. The findings imply that the staff worked hard aiming to score high marks in KCSE. On Recognizes what motivates the followers majority 44.9 percent of teachers said that principals Very Often recognizes what motivates the followers while 33.6 percent said often and 11.2 percent said sometimes respectively.

On Provides for the teacher’s opportunities for training Sessions majority 46.2 percent of the teachers said that principals Very Often provides for the teachers opportunities for training Sessions while 30.3 said Often Agreed and 12.8 percent said sometimes respectively. On Pays attention to teacher’s needs and assists them accordingly majority 49.7 percent of the teachers said that principals Very Often pays attention to teachers needs and assists them accordingly while 25.9 percent said Often and 12.2 percent said sometimes respectively.

On Listens to teachers’ concerns majority 52.7 percent of the teachers said that principals Very Often listens to teachers’ concerns while 29.5 percent said Often and 7.7 percent said Never respectively. On Empathizes with the needs of the teacher’s majority 50.3 percent of the teachers said that principals Very Often that they Empathizes with the needs of the teachers while 27.8 percent said often and 11.8 percent said sometimes respectively. This helped the students to put more effort in their work since learning was encouraged.

On treats each follower majority 45.5 percent of the teachers said that principals Very Often treats each follower while 31.0 percent said often and 11.0 percent said sometimes respectively. This implied that it encouraged the followers to work hard toward performance. On Individually Coaches the followers majority 39.9 percent of the teachers said that principals Often Individually Coaches the followers while 34.8 percent said Very Often and 9.9 percent said sometimes respectively. This implied that it encouraged the followers to work hard toward performance.

On Creates new opportunities for the follower’s majority 37.0 percent of the teachers said that principals Very Often Creates new opportunities for the followers while 36.4 percent said often and 12.8 said sometimes respectively. This implied that it encouraged the followers to work hard toward performance. On Advice the followers majority 45.7 percent of the teachers said that principals Very Often Advice the followers while 30.6 percent said often and 12.5 percent said Sometimes. This implied that it encouraged the followers to work hard toward performance. The study findings showed that principals motivating and inspiring spirit (55.1 percent), listening and appreciating teachers for good work (52.7 percent; 52.5 percent) resulted to great influence on students’ performance in KCSE 2013-2017.

Findings by Ndisya and Juma [19] whose average mean was (M=2.66, SD= 1.12), do not concur with this finding. Only one item had a mean grade of above 4, the rest had an average mean of 2’s and 3’s. But the principals as the transformational leaders need to prioritize on individualized consideration which improves performance. Mbithi agrees with this study that transformed leaders displayed individualized consideration practice which attracts students’ performance (M=4.15). In addition, Bekele and Darshan [20] supports this finding with an average mean (M=3.54 and SD= 0.95). Therefore, the results of this study on individualized consideration are highly supported and practiced by the principals. Findings by indicate individualized consideration had an average mean of (M= 3.64) hence attracted performance at KCSE. As compared with this study, individualized consideration was moderately practiced by the principals in Makueni. Arifin asserts that school leaders work together when they motivate their teachers and students to perform. In addition, Bekele and Darshan supports this finding with an average mean (M=3.54 and SD= 0.95). Therefore, the results of this study on individualized consideration are highly supported and practiced by the principals. Findings by Ndiga, indicate individualized consideration had an average mean of (M= 3.64) hence attracted performance at KCSE. As compared with this study, individualized consideration was moderately practiced by the principals in Makueni. Arifin asserts that school leaders work together when they motivate their teachers and students to perform. MoE during interview reported that majority of the principals motivated the teachers and students in many ways.

“My principals give teachers and student’s space, respect, nurture, gives those incentives and motivational quotes, delegate appropriately, and ensure effective leadership qualities. Further they take them to trips, are transparent, and enforce workable policies. Due to this academic performance is realized” (KI7).

“My principals allowed teachers ad student to visit them in office for any comments, assistance in their schools that could see academic performance increase. They motivated teachers and kept school libraries, created a welcoming environment, promote positive student behaviour, taken to field trips for training and mentoring programs. My principals distributed resources evenly and gave advice on what needs to be done so as to have a significant consistent performance. They ensured that the rules were followed to the latter” (KI6).

These reports imply that due to the principal’s fairness, considerate, encouraging, loving spirit, students’ academic performance increased. The principals were aware of promoting a positive behaviour in students as well as motivating the teachers.

Hypothesis testing

H04: There is no significant relationship between principals’ individualized consideration and students’ mean score at Kenya certificate of Secondary Education Makueni County. Correlation analysis using Pearson’s product moment technique was done to determine the relationship between the indicators of principals’ individualized consideration and students’ mean score at Kenya certificate of Secondary Education. The null hypothesis is there is no significant relationship between principals’ individualized consideration and students’ mean score at Kenya certificate of Secondary Education at an alpha value 0.05 level of significance.

Table 7 presents the correlation analysis between principals’ individualized consideration and student mean score at KCSE (Table 7).

Performance
Statement Pearson correlation Sig.(2-tailed) N
Carry the vision of the organization -0.125 0.19 111
Provide adequate teaching and learning resources -0.129 0.177 111
Provide individual with different needs and aspirations -0.03 0.753 111
Appreciate performance of individuals 0.056 0.557 111
Treat others as individuals rather than just a member of a group 0.088 0.356 111
Understand the needs of the staff and assist them accordingly 0.082 0.389 111
Help staff to achieve goals through practical and realistic planning 0.014 0.88 111
Promote self-development by coaching and teaching the followers through seminars 0.044 0.647 111
Empathize and discuss the needs, abilities and aspirations of the followers -0.074 0.441 111
Make others feel good -0.057 0.553 111
Come along with the teachers and students -.195* 0.04 111
I am aware of the different needs of the teachers and students to promote performance -0.007 0.943 111
Meet all the needs of my followers 0.028 0.771 111

Table 7. Correlation between principals’ individualized consideration component and student mean score at KCSE.

The correlation results in Table 7 indicate a negative and strong significant coefficient between the indicators of principal’s individualized consideration and students means score at K.C.S.E. This implied the less principal’s individualized consideration the more students mean score at K.C.S.E improved. The indicators of principals’ individualized consideration include (r=-.195, r=. -129, r=.125, p-value<0.05) respectively. The null hypothesis states that there is no significant relationship between principals’ individualized consideration and students’ mean score at Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education would be accepted if p<0.05. The null hypothesis was rejected.

Ndiga concur with these findings that when individualized consideration increases performance also increased. In addition, [21] concurs with these findings that principals’ individualized consideration was associated with students’ performance p, 0.05 and r(207) = 0.168, , hence showing a high significant relationship between the principals and academic performance. In addition, the findings by Ndiga indicate that there was a significant correlation between teacher perception on principals’ individualized consideration and KCSE performance. The study shows correlation were statistically significant (rho = 0.69, p = .357). According to these findings, as principals’ individualized consideration increases, student academic performance increases hence the principal as a transformational leader has to emphasize individualized consideration practice in the school.

Chen [22-28] finding revealed that the transformational leader should understand followers needs so as to grow and develop within the organization. In this case, the principal is the transformational leaders who would be able to stimulate and challenge their followers intellectually; allowing them to take part in discussions and tasks that force them to think of creative solutions or apply themselves in innovative ways. It is only through these relationships that the leaders can understand the individual skills and capacities of their followers. The teachers responses were categorized into two based on how they viewed their principals individualized consideration. The findings are summarized in table 8.

95% CI for Mean
Principals N Mean Std Std error Lower Upper Min Max
Response KCSE dev Bound bound
D 266 3.37 0.88 0.054 3.26 3.472 1.2 4.9
A 461 4.64 0.31 0.014 4.614 4.671 2.1 5
Total 727 4.18 0.85 0.031 4.114 4.237 1.2 5

Table 8. Teachers view on principals individualized consideration.

The teachers who disagreed with the proposed statements were 266 (36.6%) compared to 461(63.4%) teachers who lauded their principals’ by agreeing to the proposed statements. The performance in the schools where the principals were lauded for individualized considerations 4.643 mean score on average with 95% confidence interval of 4.614 to 4.671. Those who disagreed had a mean score of 3.366 with 95% confidence interval of 3.260 to 3.472. The significance of that difference used analysis of variance and the findings were summarized in table 9.

ANOVA
    Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig.
ICLS1 Between Groups 540.151 63 8.574 13.45 0
Within Groups 424.074 665 0.638    
Total 964.225 728      
ICLS2 Between Groups 564.523 63 8.961 33.91 0
Within Groups 175.724 665 0.264    
Total 740.247 728      
ICLS3 Between Groups 513.971 63 8.158 22.57 0
Within Groups 240.402 665 0.362    
Total 754.373 728      
IMLS4 Between Groups 621.441 63 9.864 35.33 0
Within Groups 185.673 665 0.279    
Total 807.114 728      
ICLS5 Between Groups 470.55 63 7.469 22.04 0
Within Groups 225.404 665 0.339    
Total 695.953 728      
ICLS6 Between Groups 601.648 63 9.55 23.78 0
Within Groups 267.079 665 0.402    
Total 868.727 728      
ICLS7 Between Groups 650.05 63 10.318 25.58 0
Within Groups 268.241 665 0.403    
Total 918.291 728      
ICLS8 Between Groups 801.459 63 12.722 37.25 0
Within Groups 227.112 665 0.342    
Total 1028.571 728      
ICLS9 Between Groups 697.718 63 11.075 17.58 0
Within Groups 418.899 665 0.63    
Total 1116.617 728      
IMLS10 Between Groups 591.93 63 9.396 29.99 0
Within Groups 208.316 665 0.313    
Total 800.247 728      
ICLS11 Between Groups 553.098 63 8.779 17.71 0
Within Groups 329.742 665 0.496    
Total 882.84 728      
ICLS12 Between Groups 612.359 63 9.72 15.09 0
Within Groups 428.467 665 0.644    
Total 1040.826 728      
ICLS13 Between Groups 598.79 63 9.505 21.81 0
Within Groups 289.781 665 0.436    
Total 888.571 728      
ICLS14 Between Groups 626.759 63 9.949 23.01 0
Within Groups 287.463 665 0.432    
Total 914.222 728      

Table 9. Distribution of teachers’ individualized consideration on students’ performance at K.C.S.E.

Table 9 shows Distribution of teachers’ individualized consideration on students’ performance at K.C.S.E where IMLS1=Acts as an agent of change in helping the followers, ICLS2=Establishes a clear vision to both students and teachers, ICLS3=Has a motivating and inspiring spirit, IMLS4=Appreciates [29-35] the teachers for good work, ICLS5Is accountable for student achievement, IMLS6=Recognizes what motivates the followers, ICLS7=Provides for the teachers opportunities for training sessions, ICLS8=Pays attention to teachers needs and assists them accordingly, ICLS9=Listens to teachers’ concerns, IMLS10Empathizes with the needs of the teachers, ICLS11=Treats each follower individually, ICLS12= Coaches the followers, ICLS13=Creates new opportunities for the followers,ICS14=Advice the followers. Table 9

Table 9 shows that there was a statistically significant difference between groups as determined by one-way ANOVA (F (63,665) =37.250, p=.000), (F (63,665) =. 35.329, p=.000) for Appreciates the teachers for good work and Establishes a clear vision to both students and teachers respectively. The most insignificant difference registered was for Acts as an agent of change in helping the followers, as ANOVA result show (F (63,665) =13.445, p=.000) and (F (63,665) =15.086, p=.000) for Coaches the followers respectively. Out of the thirteen factors used to investigate principals’ [36-42] individual consideration in schools two of them show there is a strong significance implying that principals’ individual consideration has some influence on students’ performance at K.C.S.E.?

The findings were in tandem with earlier research findings by Dartey-Baah, who found that the leaders, support, mentor, and coach the followers significantly promote the growth of the entire organization. The findings by Bass [42-45] justified the reasons for such growths were due to the fact that, leaders identify the needs, abilities, and aspirations of the followers. Therefore, individualized consideration falls under the development of the follower’s behaviour. In regard to this study, individualized was seen to be the commonly used and possessed attribute by the principals in Makueni County with correlation factors of 0.784. This meant that the null hypothesis was rejected and alternative hypothesis adopted [46-51].

Conclusion

Transformational leadership behaviours are key and should be reflected by the principals in public secondary schools. Transformational leaders only purpose to transform their followers when they develop to practice the individualized consideration skills hence improve academic performance. The purpose of the study was to investigate the influence of principals of individualized consideration practices on student academic performance in Kenya Certificate Secondary Examination (K.C.S.E) in Makueni County, Kenya. The main reason for the study was to establish influence of the principals’ individualized consideration on students’ academic success at K.C.S.E in Makueni County.

The performance in the schools where the principals to a great extend agreed to have practiced the individualized considerations was better with a mean score of 5.253 on average with 95% confidence interval of 4.952 to 5.554. Analysis of Variance statistically shows that there was a significant difference for Meet all the needs of my followers and Provide individual with different needs and aspirations. Teachers agreed that the principals motivated and inspired them. In addition, they listen to the teachers concerns. The correlation results indicate a negative and strong significant coefficient between the indicators of principal’s individualized consideration and students means score at K.C.S.E. This implied the less principal’s individualized consideration the more students mean score at K.C.S.E improved. The indicators of principals’ individualized consideration include (r=-.195, r=. -129, r=.125, p-value<0.05) respectively. The null hypothesis states that there is no significant relationship between principals’ individualized consideration and students’ mean score at Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education would be accepted if p<0.05. The null hypothesis was rejected.

The correlation results indicate a negative and strong significant coefficient between the indicators of principal’s individualized consideration and students means score at K.C.S.E. This implied the less principal’s individualized consideration the more students mean score at K.C.S.E improved. The indicators of principals’ individualized consideration include (r=-.195, r=. -129, r=.125, p-value<0.05) respectively. The null hypothesis states that there is no significant relationship between principals’ individualized consideration and students’ mean score at Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education would be accepted if p<0.05. The null hypothesis was rejected. Most of the teachers lauded their principals’ by agreeing to the proposed statements.

One-way ANOVA for teachers on there was a statistically significant difference between groups as determined by one-way ANOVA (F (63,665)=37.250, p=.000), (F(63,665)= 35.329, p=.000) for Appreciates the teachers for good work and Establishes a clear vision to both students and teachers respectively. The most insignificant difference registered was for Acts as an agent of change in helping the followers, as ANOVA result show (F (63,665)=13.445, p=.000) and (F(63,665)=15.086, p=.000) for Coaches the followers respectively. Out of the thirteen factors used to investigate principals’ individual consideration in schools two of them show there is a strong significance implying that principals’ individual consideration has some influence on students’ performance at K.C.S.E.? Therefore, individualized consideration falls under the development of the follower’s behaviour. In regard to this study, individualized was seen to be the commonly used and possessed attribute by the principals in Makueni County with correlation factors of 0.784. This meant that the null hypothesis was rejected and alternative hypothesis adopted.

Recommendations

From the findings of the study on principals individual consideration and student performance at Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education in Makueni County, Kenya we conclude that there was a statistically significant difference between groups as determined by one-way ANOVA (F (63,665) =37.250, p=.000), (F (63,665) =. 35.329, p=.000) for Appreciates the teachers for good work and Establishes a clear vision to both students and teachers respectively. The most insignificant difference registered was for Acts as an agent of change in helping the followers, as ANOVA result show (F (63,665) =13.445, p=.000) and (F (63,665) =15.086, p=.000) for Coaches the followers respectively. The most significant difference registered was for emphasizing the importance of having a collective sense of mission, having a strong sense of purpose and value ideas of the followers respectively.

Principals should attend academic training agencies to get the quality transformational leadership skills especially on individual consideration. KEMI should embrace on more of individual consideration attribute whereby their aim to emphasize the importance of having a collective sense of mission, having a strong sense of purpose and value ideas of the followers. TSC should sponsor trainings on the teachers especially the principals on the skills outside academic phenomenon required for excellence running of school. Teacher training institutions are important avenues for equipping the teachers with such knowledge and skills important for learning not only to the teacher but also to students. The ministry of education to ensure that all the potential talents are tapped efficiently and the specific need of schools are addressed specifically to ensure that academic performance is achieved in the educational institutions. MoE can get teacher trainers from Kenya Institute of management, universities and colleges to be encouraged to offer transformational leadership skills to the teachers. Further, policies on quality leadership should be laid down giving a good foundation for the teachers‟ service commission to promote teachers who have exhibited such qualities.

References