Presentation on theme: "Towards Effective Preschool to Primary School Transitions"— Presentation transcript:
1 Towards Effective Preschool to Primary School Transitions Dr Divya Jindal-SnapeUniversity of DundeeSpinach for Popeye, International Congress, Falkirk, 17th November 20091
2 Overview Educational Transitions- Conceptualisation Scottish Case StudyTheoretical perspectives (Resilience, Self-Esteem, Emotional Intelligence)Examples of good transition practice across the world and some suggestionsDiscussion questions2
3 What is educational transition? Moving from one context and set of interpersonal relationships to another
4 Transition can be:Satisfying and fulfillingOpportunity to ‘move on’ and ‘move up’ with increased choices
6 Conceptualisation* One off event/Ongoing process Horizontal/Vertical Ready children/Ready Educational InstitutionsClean slate/Virtual backpacks**Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological systems theoryEffect on child-young person/ family/ practitioners* From Jindal-Snape, D. (Editor) (forthcoming in December 2009). Educational Transitions: Moving Stories from around the world. New York: Routledge.Bronfenbrenner, U. (1992). Ecological systems theory. In R. Vasta (Ed.), Six theories of child development (pp. 187–249). London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.Some have conceptualized transition as a single event which marks the completion of one stage and signals the beginning of another stage in the educational journey.Others look at transition as an ongoing process that focuses on interactions between the child and peers, teachers, and families. They, therefore, emphasize that the experience of transition needs to be understood from these multiple perspectives and how the stakeholders in the process make sense of ongoing changes.Spinach for Popeye, International Congress, Falkirk, 17th November 20096
7 One off event/Ongoing process One off event- research focuses on meeting the teachers prior to transition, school visits, inductionOngoing process- research focuses on the constant adaptation and negotiation
8 Horizontal/Vertical* *Pietarinen, J., Soini, T., & PyhaltoY, K. (forthcoming). Learning and Well-Being in Transitions: How to Promote Pupils’ Active Learning Agency? In D. Jindal-Snape (Ed.), Educational Transitions: Moving Stories from around the world. New York: Routledge.
9 Ready children/Ready Educational Institutions Maturational v/s Interactionist ApproachVernon-Feagans and colleagues (2008) provide a way to conceptualize readiness which puts the definition of readiness, not within the child but at the “interaction and fit between the child and his/her family and the ‘readiness’ of the classroom/school to teach that child” (p. 63).*Vernon-Feagans, L., Odom, E., Panscofar, N., & Kainz, K. (2008). Comments on Farkas and Hibel: A transactional/ecological model of readiness and inequality.In A. Booth & A. C. Crouter (Eds.), Disparities in school readiness (pp. 61–78).New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
10 Clean slate/Virtual backpacks Clean slates- start afresh approachOpening their ‘virtual backpacks’ in the school setting**Peters, S. (forthcoming). Shifting the Lens: Re-Framing the View of Learners and Learning During the Transition From Early Childhood Education to School in New Zealand. In D. Jindal-Snape (Ed.), Educational Transitions: Moving Stories from around the world. New York: Routledge.
11 Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory Adapted by Fabian & Dunlop, 2002, 151Fabian, H., & Dunlop, A. W. A. (Eds.) (2002). Transitions in the Early Years. Debating continuity and progression for children in early education. London: Routledge Falmer.
12 Effect on child-young person/ family/ practitioners Transition has an impact not only on the child/young person but also his/her familyFamilies experience joys and anxieties during their child’s transitionsThey should also be provided supportto deal with the transition themselvesto be actively involved in making the transition smooth for the child.
13 Effect on child-young person/ family/ practitioners Professionals play an important role in supporting children and parents during transitionsHowever, it is possible that their own needs, especially training needs, have not been identified
14 The community can also play a significant part in transitions and readiness to learn
15 Issues for young children starting school Move out of an environment of autonomy into one of conformityPerceived lack of choiceLack of explanation regarding what is happeningFabian & Dunlop, 2002, 2006; Fortune-Wood, 2002 cited in Hannah, E., Gorton, H., & Jindal-Snape, D. (forthcoming 2009). Small steps: Perspectives on understanding and supporting children starting school in Scotland. In D. Jindal-Snape (Ed.), Educational Transitions: Moving Stories from around the world. New York: Routledge.
16 Setting the scene Scottish Case Study* RationaleSeveral studies have explored transitions from the perspectives of the child and professionals, but less so from the perspective of parentsBronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory (especially, microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem and macrosystem) as applied to the child’s transition to school helps capture the multiplicity of inter-related factors which may influence transition experience*Hannah, E., Gorton, H., & Jindal-Snape, D. (forthcoming 2009). Small steps: Perspectives on understanding and supporting children starting school in Scotland. In D. Jindal-Snape (Ed.), Educational Transitions: Moving Stories from around the world. New York: Routledge.
17 Objectives To explore parents’ views of: their child’s experience of transition to primary schooltheir experience of transitionwhat systems/transitional activities were beneficial for them and their child, and ways of improving them
18 Methodology Case study of a Scottish Primary school Participants- 20 P1 parents, 6 months after start of schoolQuestionnaireclosed questions requiring agreement to statements, some factual and some related to their experience8 open questions seeking detailed responses about their experiencesmade available both as a paper version and onlineAnalysisbased on Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems model
19 Results 5 reported that children faced difficulties during transition 18 said preparation from school was helpful to their child16 said that it was helpful to them17 happy that the school did all it could to make the move smooth, 3 were not
20 Microsystem Child-home along with their children, parents also need support to prepare for the transitionthis would help them in explaining transition related issues to their childneed for good communication with the teachers including feedback regarding how their child was settling in; and more and timely information about the school systems, routines and proceduresParent’s view 1
21 Microsystem Child-school helping the child adjust to a new learning environmentwhich includes both physical/organisational elementsrelationships (adults and peers)explicitly teaching expected behaviourvery important not only for a child to be familiar with the teacher but also to start forming a relationship before s/he started schoolschool visits had been very useful (n=16)booklets provided about the school were useful, especially the ones that had photos of teachers (n=7)However- Parent’s view 2
22 Did not move with friend MicrosystemChild-peer groupTable 1: Cross-tabulation between ‘My child moved to P1 with some of her/his friends from nursery’ and ‘My child faced problems when s/he moved to P1’My child faced problems when s/he moved to P1Moved with friendDid not move with friendTotalYes325No121520However, the comments from parents highlighted the importance of moving with friends.... on the first day the teacher understood that sitting next to your best friend was important.Parent
23 Mesosystem Home-school Good relationship between the parents and school professionals is importantongoing accurate informationgreater knowledge of schoolsopportunities to discuss expectations…there is a feeling that more communication generally would be welcome. A drop-in event every month perhaps where parents can raise general issues?Parent
24 Mesosystem Pre-school-school Table 2: Cross tabulation between ‘Immediately before starting at this primary school, my child attended:’ and ‘I think there was good communication between the Nursery and the School regarding my child and his/her needs’I think there was good communication between the Nursery and the School regarding my child and his/her needs.Feeder NurseryPrivate Nursery in cityOther(including other city/country)TotalsGood6312Poor1Don't Know58720
25 Exosystem Parent-Parent relationship Supporting parents going through transitions...this is a positive aspect of school community....all the information I get was from the parent chats in the playground.It would be good if in the first few weeks of school, members of the Parent Council (or other parents) were available to and advertised at drop-off times to answer practical questions from new parents.Parents
26 Parent’s View 1More communication on the first day so I could put my child at ease if I knew what was happening. For instance on arriving in the classroom although the teacher spoke to our child she ignored us. She didn’t introduce herself or explain what to do with coats or bags. We also were not told where to pick our children up when we came back. As parents we were left hanging around like spare parts and ruined the experience of our child’s first day at school.Back26
27 Parent’s View 2Rather than one 4 hour morning where the children visit the school - would be better if it was maybe 1 hour a week for 4 weeks prior to them starting school…Gives the children a familiarity with going to school and lets them meet their classmates on a regular basis. This could also allow out of school play dates to take place prior to school starting.Back
28 Discussion and Conclusions Beneficial aspects of the work that the school didthe school visitsbooklets provided about the school, especially the ones with photos of teachersinputs from the Head Teacher and Depute Head TeacherSuggestions from parents for effective transitionsneed for good communication with the teachers including feedback regarding how child was settling inand timely information about the school systems, routines and procedureschild practising any new procedures before using them (e.g., ordering dinner)opportunities of informal chats with other parents and Parent Council members
30 ResilienceResilience is “a phenomenon or process reflecting relatively positive adaptation despite experiences of adversity or trauma,” Luthar (2003, p. 6).*Cited in Jindal-Snape, D. & Miller, D.J. (forthcoming 2009). Understanding Transitions through Self-Esteem and Resilience. In D. Jindal-Snape (Ed.), Educational Transitions: Moving Stories from around the world. New York: Routledge.
32 Protective processes to facilitate resilience Rutter (1987)* suggested four main protective processes which mediate risk at key life turning pointsto lessen the impact of risk by altering the experience of risk or exposure to the riskto decrease the number of risk factors in order to avoid an accumulation of unmanageable risksto increase self-esteem and self-efficacy, in orderto provide access to opportunities such as part-time work and out of school activities, to increase confidenceCited in Jindal-Snape, D. & Miller, D.J. (forthcoming 2009). Understanding Transitions through Self-Esteem and Resilience. In D. Jindal-Snape (Ed.), Educational Transitions: Moving Stories from around the world. New York: Routledge.
33 Resilience & Transitions Transition research suggests several such stressors for a child/young person at this timeDiscontinuityChange in expectationsChange in organisational culturePeer relationshipsTo minimise risk or stressors, research emphasises the importance ofthe internal protective factors (for example, self-esteem)external protective factors (such as positive relationships at home and school)
34 Self-esteemClear enough idea of what we mean when we talk about self-esteemHowever, there is little consensus in terms of definitions, models or measuresTwo-dimensional model of self-esteem as an integrated sum of self-worth and self-competence (Mruk, 1999)** Cited in Jindal-Snape D., & Miller D. J. (2008). A challenge of living? Understanding the psycho-social processes of the child during primary–secondary transition through resilience and self-esteem theories. Educational Psychology Review, 20, 217–236.In practice this means that for individualsto have high self-esteem they must feel confi dent both about theirsense of self-worth (‘I am a good person, entitled to care and respect fromothers’) and their sense of self-competence (‘I am able to meet the challengesI face in life’). According to this model, if individuals have a defi -ciency in one or other dimension, they may behave in ways which suggesthigh self-esteem, but such characteristics may in fact refl ect what is calledpseudo or defensive self-esteem.Spinach for Popeye, International Congress, Falkirk, 17th November 200934
35 Self-esteem & Transitions During ‘challenges of living’ individual’s sense of worth and competence are particularly vulnerableEpstein (1979)* proposed three major experiences which can significantly affect an individual’s self-esteemexposure to a new environmentbeing required to make new responsesthe establishment or loss of significant relationships* Cited in Jindal-Snape, D. & Miller, D.J. (forthcoming 2009). Understanding Transitions through Self-Esteem and Resilience. In D. Jindal-Snape (Ed.), Educational Transitions: Moving Stories from around the world. New York: Routledge.
36 Emotional Intelligence Goleman identified the five 'domains' of EI as:Knowing your emotionsManaging your own emotionsMotivating yourselfRecognising and understanding other people's emotionsManaging relationships, i.e., managing the emotions of others
37 Emotional Intelligence It is the set of abilities that underlie competency in dealing with and acting upon emotion-relevant information (Salovey & Mayer, 1990)*.It encompasses the ability to:perceive, appraise, and express emotion accurately and adaptivelyunderstand emotion and emotional knowledgeuse feeling to facilitate cognitive activities and adaptive actionregulate emotion in oneself and others**Adeyemo, D.A. (forthcoming 2009). Educational Transition and Emotional Intelligence. In D. Jindal-Snape (Ed.), Educational Transitions: Moving Stories from around the world. New York: Routledge.
38 Emotional Intelligence & Transitions School/university work and cultivation of intellectual competencies demand the ability to use and regulate emotion to facilitate thinking, enhance concentration, control impulsive behaviour, perform effectively under stress, and nurture intrinsic motivationAdjustment requires establishing meaningful relationship with people such as teachers and peers
39 Role of parents/family during the transitions and education
40 Role of parents/family during the transitions and education A stable and supportive family environment was considered to be very important. Some commented on how certain parents were not supporting their children which was leading to issues at school.*“…But they need a lot more support and they need their parents to be a lot more involved.”Parent“The family can have a big role. Particularly in terms of supporting the school with discipline. Some parents are good at contacting the school and saying that this has happened but others feel that because the school has a no bullying policy, they can prevent anything and everything. Some parents aren’t prepared to listen and accept that their son or daughter may not be a victim but might actually be a part of it.”Professional*Jindal-Snape, D. & Foggie, J. (2008). A holistic approach to primary-secondary transitions. Improving Schools, 11, 5-18.
41 Role of parents/family during the transitions and education (continued) There was a feeling amongst some participants that if the parents had negative experiences of schooling, then it was likely that their children would feel the same way about school.“She just didn’t seem to cope at all with moving up to the ‘secondary school A’. Saying that, I was at the ‘secondary school B’ for first year and then I moved to the ‘secondary school A’ cos [because] we moved and I hated it as well so moved back to the ‘secondary school B’ for third year. So you can imagine what it’s like now.”Parent
42 Role of parents/family during the transitions and education (continued) Professionals and some parents also discussed about the parents’ attitudes towards education having an impact on their children’s attitudes towards education. They felt that if parents did not value education, it was likely that the children would not value education as well.“Some don’t bother. I mean some parents think ‘okay we’ll just get your uniform, your bag and that’s it’. They don’t say ‘right, okay, it is going to be harder, you have to try your best’ I mean ‘you can only do your best’ and the ones that do that, I mean I’m happy but it’s also…giving them a kick up the backside at times and my child needs that.”Parent“Some families are not keen to get involved. A lot of the children’s dislike for school comes from their parents. If the parents maybe don’t value education or don’t want to come up to school – there’s reluctance there.”Professional
43 Role of parents/family during the transitions and education (continued) There were some indications that parents might be having problems with dealing with transition themselves.“It is a big school, but there’s so many bigger people there. There’s so many more pupils there than there are at a primary school. I found it was like a maze myself.” Parent“…support should be offered to families. It’s about targeting the support. If there’s anxiety at home, it makes it difficult.”Professional 3
44 Examples of good transition practice across the world and some suggestions* i. Five bridges of transition and bridging units as part of local pyramids which are meaningful to childrenInduction days, whether a day long or over several shorter sessionsiii. Parental involvement- during their own child’s transitionto support other parentsiv. Artifacts or portfolios from the previous educational setting to the new one- for emotional support of the individual- providing professionals an indication of the individual’s strengths/ interestsv. Information packs meaningful to parents/carers and child/young person, e.g., photographs of significant others and places in the new context
45 Examples of good transition practice across the world and some suggestions (continued) vi. Sharing pedagogy across schools and other educational contexts - team teaching - sharing of ideas, practice and resources vii. Prepare and document transition plans, and review and monitor them periodically viii. Create transition teams in the district and the school for development and implementation of a systematic transition programme ix. Involving the child/young person as an active learner and participant in the transition process x. Teachers and other practitioners working with researchers to undertake action research to improve their practice related to transitions
46 Examples of good transition practice across the world and some suggestions (continued) xi. Educational transitions are in line with developmental transitions of an individual xii. Undertake staff training needs assessment in the context of transitions xiii. Should research, evaluate, and document transition programme effectiveness on an ongoing basis xiv. Using emotional intelligence intervention to facilitate effective transitions xv. Prior to transition, children/young people are involved in simulated role, drama, storytelling to provide opportunities to express their transition concerns and tackle them in a secure and familiar environment
47 Examples of good transition practice across the world and some suggestions (continued) xvi. Having named transitional professionalsxvii. Information passed from one stage to another- academic attainment- personal and social factorsxviii. Secure attachments opportunities- buddy system- guidance and counselling staff* From Jindal-Snape, D. (Editor) (forthcoming in December 2009). Educational Transitions: Moving Stories from around the world. New York: Routledge.
48 Contact Details Dr Divya Jindal-Snape School of Education, Social Work and Community EducationUniversity of Dundee Nethergate Dundee DD1 4HN Scotland Tel: +44(0)