Journal of Educational Leadership in Action


Expectations of school administration changed dramatically over the course of the 20th century. Today, the roles and responsibilities of school administrators must be re-defined for success in the 21st century. The current research aimed at revealing the perception of school leadership by school administrators who were expected to cope with problems and enable students to succeed in the U.S. and Turkey. Comparative case study design was used to analyze and compare the U.S. and Turkey school administrators’ perceptions of school leadership through metaphors. The study sample consisted of 47 school administrators employed in K-12 schools in Turkey and the U.S. The data collection tool was a semi-structured interview form. Data obtained were analyzed through content analysis. As a result, 47 participants defined school administration through 43 different metaphors. Participants used 23 positive, 13 negative, and 11 neutral metaphors to define school administration. Within these three categories, five themes emerged: porter (13 metaphors), firefighter (11 metaphors), father (10 metaphors), captain (7 metaphors), and maestro (6 metaphors). Although participants from two countries used mostly different metaphors, school administration was perceived similarly in Turkey and the US. This showed that in both countries, school administrators take on similar responsibilities and roles. The most distinct difference between the school administrators in the two countries was that school administrators from Turkey more unfavorably approach the job they take on, while school administrators from the U.S. defined their job as being more complicated.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.