Exploring the role of teacher leadership for school improvement: a case study of a public secondary school in Homa Bay county in Kenya.

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

DR. Abdalla Mohamed

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Fredrick Japhet Mtenzi


AKU-East Africa


Teacher leadership is a concept whose practice has been found to contribute to school improvement yet it has not been given the emphasis it deserves particularly in the Kenyan context. For schools to ensure effectiveness and improvement then there is the need for redirecting and refocusing school leadership to teacher leadership from the heroic leadership that has existed for quite some time. This qualitative research sought to explore how teacher leadership contributes to school improvement in the Kenyan context.

The study employed a qualitative case study design in one public secondary school in Homa Bay County in Kenya. The study involved nineteen participants, namely, the principal, the chairperson of the Board of Management, three deputy principals, four teacher leaders, five novice teachers, and five student leaders. These participants were purposively sampled based on their relevance to the research phenomenon.

The data collection methods included: semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, and document analysis. The findings revealed that teacher leadership contribute to school improvement through various leadership roles teacher leaders perform. These roles were fostering collaborative setting of targets and coming up with ways of achieving the targets, aligning of departmental activities to the vision and mission of the school, inducting and mentoring of novice teachers, monitoring of teaching and learning, linking of school with the parents and the community, and representing of the staff on the Board of Management. The findings also revealed the presence of some factors that facilitate and others that hinder teacher leadership practice.

The factors that facilitated the practice of teacher leadership were administrative and colleagues support, structural support, and participation in the teacher of the year awards initiatives. The barriers that inhibited the practice of teacher leadership were found to be staffroom politics, inadequate time, and heavy workload among teacher leaders. It is, therefore, recommended that it is imperative that school leadership should shift its focus from one-person leadership to distributed leadership where teachers will have opportunities to engage in teacher leadership so as to contribute to school improvement.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library