Opinions and metaphorical perceptions of university students on the concept of school management
Metaphorical perceptions of university students
In this study, university students' opinions and metaphorical perceptions about the concept of school management were scrutinized. Phenomenology design, which is one of the qualitative research approaches, was employed in the research process. In this context, the research was carried out in two stages. In the first stage, a metaphor application was conducted, and in the second stage, a semi-structured interview application was performed. Whilst determining the study group of the research, the purposive sampling method, one of the selective sampling methods, was utilized. A total of 312 university students studying at the faculty of education, the program of pedagogical formation education and other faculties participated in the research. Two different data collection tools were resorted to in the study. First off, the participants were provided with the following statement for the metaphor application: “Managing a school is/should be like……………… because…………………". The said participants were asked to complete the given sentence. Then, semi-structured open-ended interview questions consisting of 3 items prepared by the researcher were used as the second data collection tool. Qualitative data obtained within the scope of the research were made meaningful by referring to qualitative analysis applications. The metaphor application and interview results were analyzed using descriptive and content analysis. In the process of making sense of qualitative research data, expert opinion was frequently sought. At the analysis stage, the level of consensus and disagreement among the evaluators was calculated with the help of the formula developed by Miles and Huberman (1994), and the coefficient of the agreement was determined to be 93%. While presenting the research results, direct quotations are occasionally included. As a result of the research, it was observed that university students in education faculty produced metaphors more intensely than university students in pedagogical formation education program and in other faculties. It was also determined that the metaphors produced were closely related to educational sciences. University students primarily produced metaphors in the power source (authority) category. University students pinpointed salient aspects of a school principal viz. "Be a guide" and "Decide freely" linking those to leadership characteristics. Participating university students underpinned that “the school principal” and “the laws” are the kernels, namely, the chief elements that help manage the school. It is assumed that the participants, that is, prospective teachers and school administrators, as potential followers and leaders of their schools hinted at the importance of the development of critical thinking and questioning skills, compassion, and a sloid sense of fairness and equity.
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