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Trends in construction of transition to school in three western regions 1990-2004

By Anne Petriwskyj, Karen J. Thorpe and Collette P. Tayler


The construct of school readiness that focuses on children's maturation and homogeneity of their attainment at school entry has been challenged by recent research. This research indicates that there are difficulties in assessing young children's abilities, and there are limitations to the concomitant practice of retention. These challenges have prompted attempts to re-conceptualise entry to school as a process of transition. However, transition has variously been conceptualised as: a set of teacher practices in a time-limited period around school entry; a process of establishing continuity from home to school; and a multi-layered, multi-year experience. An analysis of academic literature from 1990-2004 in U.S.A., Australia/New Zealand and Europe was undertaken to identify trends in the conceptualisation of transition to school. The analysis suggests a trend towards more complex understandings of transition emphasizing continuity of children’s experience, partnership with stakeholders, and system coherence across extended time periods. However, more limited constructions persist in the academic literature, particularly in U.S.A. and Australian/New Zealand

Topics: 130302 Comparative and Cross-Cultural Education, transition, school entry, early years
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Year: 2005
DOI identifier: 10.1080/09669760500048360
OAI identifier:

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