In the present study, perceptions of Turkish school administrators and teachers towards Syrian refugee children were
examined through metaphors. 71 school administrators and 242 teachers from 27 different provinces of Turkey participated in the
study. As a result of the study, the metaphors produced by school administrators were grouped into four categories: “child with
cultural adaptation and belonging problems”, “fragile and needy child”, “child who is no different from other children” and
“problematic child”. The metaphors produced by teachers were grouped into six categories: “child with cultural adaptation and
belonging problems”, “child who is no different from other children”, “fragile and needy child”, “problematic child”, “child who can
reveal her/his potential with interest” and “compatible child”. Participants' perceptions of refugee children were not related to
gender but there was a significant relationship between professional seniority and the number of refugee children at school.
Although school administrators and teachers have positive perceptions about refugee children, their negative perceptions are largely
due to the lack of professional experience and the high number of students at school. Providing vocational support to teachers and
administrators, planning the number of students in schools, and providing resources to schools will improve positive perceptions
about refugee children.