An exploration of the relationships among people, places, and things involved in the transition from early childhood education to primary school
A successful transition to primary school is critical for contributing towards a positive future learning journey for children. Relationships are central to a child experiencing an affirming transition experience, however an absence of studies that investigate what kinds of relationships and how they can be established necessitates the need for empirical research in this area. My study fills this void by exploring “How are relationships with people, places, and things in one school setting established during the transition from an early childhood setting to school?” My qualitative study captures a range of participants’ thoughts and experiences, including children, family members and teachers of their transition experience with a focus on relationships through semi-structured interviews, drawings, observations, child-led tours and document analysis.Analysis of the data yields a range of explanations about how relationships are established. School visits were invaluable for children and parents to get to know the school setting and in some circumstances other children in the junior school. Debate among participants about what should occur at the visits was common, and allowing children to play during classroom hours at school was questioned. Recent policy however provides support for play to support children in building relationships with people, places and things. National standards had a significant impact on classroom practice and ultimately the transition experience in both the early childhood education (ECE) and primary school sectors, with evidence of schoolification occurring in ECE.My research adds nuance to our understanding of the transition from ECE to primary school, and provides practitioners practical examples of how relationships can be established.
Advisor: Gunn, Alex; Gaches, Sonya
Degree Name: Doctor of Education
Degree Discipline: Education
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: New Zealand; Transition; Relationships; Primary
Research Type: Thesis