This article presents the findings of a comparative study of the principals of Australian and Japanese schools. It focuses on principals’ views on basic values, roles, visions and opinions on leading and managing schools. The findings are based on the analyses of data from empirical surveys of 145 school leaders in Australia and 260 in Japan from 130 schools from each country with 71% and 45% responses respectively; followed by a limited number of interviews. The results suggest significant similarities and some differences between school leaders of the two countries in spite of significant differences of cultural contexts. In a comparison of the Australian and Japanese school leaders’ visions for ideal schools in the 21st century; the researchers reveal that a central concern of both the Australian and Japanese principals was the success for all students and all teachers. They expect their ideal schools to be attractive places of joy and happiness for adults and children, with adequate funding, diversity, creativity, modern technology with parental and community involvements.
World Studies in Education Vol. 10, Issue 1, p. 91-106