Conflict Management Strategies In Used In Primary Schools

Primary Education Project and Semina Material

Conflict Management Strategies In Used In Primary Schools


Abstarct


This study was carried out to examine the conflict management strategies in used in primary schools in Misau Local Government Area Of Bauchi State. The study was specifically set to identify the causes of conflict in primary schools, assess how effective conflicts are being managed in primary schools, and identify the strategies employed by principals in managing school conflicts in primary schools. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of principals and teachers in selected primary school in Misau Local Government Area Of Bauchi State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 119 respondents while 110 were received and 100 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency table and mean scores, while the hypotheses was tested using Chi-square statistical tool. The result of the findings reveals that the causes of conflict in primary schools includes: violation of collective agreement, poor communication skills, background diversity, and condition of employment. Furthermore, the study showed that the strategies employed by principals in managing school conflicts in primary schools includes: avoidance conflict management strategy, collaborative conflict management strategy, collective bargaining conflict management strategy, and compromise conflict management strategy. The study recommends that school leaders need to develop leadership competences, and have a mechanism in place to management conflicts besides knowing when to intervene (resolving conflicts). They should look for ways to acquire additional resources (seek funds), create conducive learning environment, provide opportunities for teachers’ growth, and develop a culture where teachers work collaboratively with school stakeholders. Besides, they should have a mechanism to recognize performers, and encourage innovativeness to motivate teachers.


Table of Content


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Effective conflict management takes central stage in creating safer and more supportive school learning environments. Conflict occurs when different perceptions or opinions are contradictory in nature (Bano, Ashraf, & Zia, 2013; Ghaffar, 2010; Ramani & Zhimin, 2010). As noted by Adhiambo and Enose (2011), conflict brings stress and discomfort due to the fear of the unknown; hence, it is a depressing and frustrating state of affair between the parties involved. Conflict affects the smooth running of the teaching and learning process, but, if carefully examined and managed it leads to peaceful coexistence between teachers and their school leaders. However, conflict is inevitable, and in principle all conflicts cannot be resolved and managed (Ramani & Zhimin, 2010).

Staff conflict as expressed by various organizations is not an empirical phenomenon; rather it can be seen as an engine of change and a product of change. The occurrence of conflict in educational institutions especially in primary schools is largely attributable to the way such schools are structured and the behavior of the individuals within these structures as they relate with one another and the community around them. Conflict therefore is an inevitable part of school life; since we agree to the fact that where there are people, there is bound to be conflict. Though some of these conflicts are healthy and if viewed positively can be change drivers, some can be detrimental to the achievement of school goals. Corwin (1996) stated that unhealthy conflict if it raises its head repeatedly, pose the potential risk of causing negative business consequences. Since conflict is an organizational behavior we therefore cannot dispute the fact that there is a positive relationship between Organizational behavior and organizational output. Since conflict is a change driver, individuals that generate conflict can as well generate change thus Dip Paola and Hoy (2001, pp. 238-244) in their study found that militant personnel were not only conflict-oriented but also engines of change.

Conflict management as a phenomenon is an integral part of the administration of any given organization. The school as an organization consists of people with different background with regard to their competences, needs, values, skills, aspirations and psychological make-ups. Thus no organization can successfully accomplish its set objectives without having to deal with organizational conflicts as Ejiogu (1990) posited that conflicts are bound to occur from time to time in all human interactions and organizational behaviors.

Researchers have paid much attention to the issue of conflict in organizations due to its large costs and benefits. Oboegbulem and Alfa (2013) pointed out that in all human interactions especially organizations, conflicts are bound to occur. Like other organizations, conflicts are inevitable in schools due to the collection of people with diverse personalities. Conflict may be destructive if it leads to ineffective communication breakdown and work relationships, tension, argument, low performance of team members and hostility which in turn affects the smooth running of the schools (Bano et al., 2013; Makaye & Ndofirepi, 2012). However, if conflicts are properly handled, benefits may accrue; contributing to solidarity within conflicting groups and reconciliation of legitimate interests where, in turn, relationships are strengthened, there is enhanced identification of problems and solutions, increased knowledge/skill, and peace is safeguarded (Bano et al., 2013; Ramani & Zhimin, 2010). Ability to manage or resolve conflict is therefore important for school leaders for smooth running of the school.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Staff in primary school work in close relationships and in collaboration while carrying out their duties and responsibilities. However, conflicts and crises characterize their relationships, and it takes good administrator to manage conflicts effectively in order to achieve the set academic goals. It is obvious that in the primary school setting, conflicts result from mere misunderstanding and disagreement among principals and teachers. It could result from teacher-teacher relationships, teacher-student, teaching and non-teaching staff, parents’ interference with schools’ rules and regulations, staff and teachers’ poor attitude to work, poor implementation of policies and programmes etc. More so, conflicts occur also as a result of poor state of infrastructures, inadequate funding, sharing of scarce resources, lack of teaching aids, lack of motivation on the part of teachers, poor communication network and communication gap, staff welfare, poor leadership styles, role play, performance and task expectations.

Conflicts in schools, if not properly handled causes more and continue conflicts, lower morale, and inappropriate behaviour and reduced productivity. The attendant disparity of income and non-implementation of certain policies and programmes, non-payment of allowances, unsatisfactory conditions of service, non-provision or inadequate provision of amenities, poor teaching method and lack of training, poor communication network, inadequate human and material resources etc, have produced great dissatisfaction and agitations among secondary school teachers. These conflicts situation have become major concern to school administrators, parents, government, teachers, supervisory ministries, boards and agencies in primary schools and has greatly affected the administration of primary schools. The better school principals, teachers, parents and other stakeholders understand the nature of conflicts, the better able they are to manage conflicts constructively.

Subsequent upon the observations mentioned above, the adoption of effective macro level strategies designed to minimize the occurrence and management of conflicts in primary schools could ameliorate the situation.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objectives of this study is to examine the conflict management strategies in used in primary schools, specifically the study intends to:

  1. Identify the causes of conflict in primary schools.
  2. Assess how effective conflicts are being managed in primary schools.
  3. Identify the strategies employed by principals in managing school conflicts in primary schools.

1.4 Research Questions

The study will be guided by the following question;

  1. What are the causes of conflict in primary schools?
  2. How effective are conflicts managed in primary schools?
  3. What are the strategies employed by principals in managing school conflicts in primary schools?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  • Ho: School conflicts are not effectively managed in primary schools.
  • Ha: School conflicts are effectively managed in primary schools.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The study will be significant in that the findings may be useful to education researchers, educational planners and other scholars of educational administration as it will hopefully increase their awareness on the implications conflict as well as conflict management methods which are constructive and benefitial to the school. The findings will principals and other education stakeholders to adopt measures to minimize conflicts. The results of the study will help policy makers and educational planners to make adequate adjustments that enhance performance in management and administration of schools. The study also contributes knowledge on existing literature related to conflicts in school contexts. Lastly, the study will lay foundations for further studies in the field of education management.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study borders on conflict management strategies in used in primary schools. The study will be delimited to principals and teachers of some selected primary schools in Misau Local Government Area Of Bauchi State


1.8 Limitations of the Study

The researcher encountered minor obstacles when conducting the study, as with any human endeavor. The significant constraint was the scarcity of literature on the subject due to the nature of the discourse, so the researcher incurred more financial expenses and spent more time sourcing for relevant materials, literature, or information and in the data collection process, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Furthermore, the researcher did this investigation alongside other academic activities. Furthermore, the sample size was limited because only a few respondents were chosen to answer the research instrument, therefore the results cannot be generalized to other secondary schools outside the state. Despite the constraints encountered during the research, all elements were minimized in order to provide the best results and make the research effective.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Conflicts:

This refers to a state of crisis or disagreement between principals and teachers in schools.

Conflicts Management Strategies:

Techniques adopted in resolving conflicts.


1.10 Organization of the Studies

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the conflict management strategies in used in primary schools in Misau Local Government Area Of Bauchi State. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was to examine the conflict management strategies in used in primary schools in Misau Local Government Area Of Bauchi State. The study was specifically set to identify the causes of conflict in primary schools, assess how effective conflicts are being managed in primary schools, and identify the strategies employed by principals in managing school conflicts in primary schools.
The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 100 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are principals and teachers in selected primary school in Misau Local Government Area Of Bauchi State.


5.3 Conclusions

In the light of the analysis carried out, the following conclusions were drawn.

  1. The causes of conflict in primary schools includes: violation of collective agreement, poor communication skills, background diversity, and condition of employment.
  2. Conflicts are effectively managed in primary schools.
  3. The strategies employed by principals in managing school conflicts in primary schools includes: avoidance conflict management strategy, collaborative conflict management strategy, collective bargaining conflict management strategy, and compromise conflict management strategy.

5.4 Recommendation

Based on the findings the researcher recommends that;

  1. School leaders need to develop leadership competences, and have a mechanism in place to management conflicts besides knowing when to intervene (resolving conflicts). They should look for ways to acquire additional resources (seek funds), create conducive learning environment, provide opportunities for teachers’ growth, and develop a culture where teachers work collaboratively with school stakeholders. Besides, they should have a mechanism to recognize performers, and encourage innovativeness to motivate teachers.
  2. Principals and teachers should try to keep communication channels open between them. Where communication flows freely,it is easier to detect conflict before it erupts into unsafe proportions. Furthermore, open communication is one way to safeguard trust and clarify misperceptions, even during conflicts. However, both principals and teachers need to develop schools as communities and strive for a climate of team spirit with students.
  3. Prompt payment of salaries, training and retraining of principals and teachers, regular seminars, conferences and workshops should be organized for principals, teachers and staff on modern strategies in conflicts management.

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