Teacher Understandings of Orientation and Transition Programs from Action Research in Five Schools

By Tess Boyle and Susan Grieshaber.

Published by The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Discontinuity between prior-to-school and school sectors in Australia reflects an historical, philosophical and pedagogical schism. This is most evident as children transition from one sector to the other. However, contemporary international research, alongside an intensive focus on policy and practice in early years education has challenged many of the taken-for-granted assumptions that perpetuate this rift. Drawing on data collected in a recent action research project, we present evidence of how a group of primary school kindergarten teachers define differences between orientation and transition programs, understand the importance of transition and how they position themselves in this process. The absence of Australian policy mandating and guiding the work of teachers across sectors is a significant factor perpetuating discontinuity in transition practices between prior–to-school and school sectors.

Keywords: Transition to School, Action Research, Continuity of Pedagogy

International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp.15-27. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 275.690KB).

Tess Boyle

Lecturer, School of Education, Southern Cross University, Tweed Heads, New South Wales, Australia

With thirty years of teaching experience in a variety of contexts spanning the early years to tertiary education, Tess has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in curriculum and pedagogy. She teaches in the Bachelor of Education Primary and Early Childhood programs at Southern Cross University, Australia. Her doctoral studies are focused on the investigation of transitional pedagogy and curriculum in the early years from multiple theoretical perspectives.

Susan Grieshaber

Professor of Early Years Education, Faculty of Education,, Early Childhood, Hong Kong Institute of Education, Brisbane, Australia

Sue Grieshaber is Chair Professor and Head, Department of Early Childhood Education at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. She is also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Early Childhood, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. Sue’s research interests include early childhood curriculum, pedagogy, assessment and policy; qualitative research methodologies; and in the context of early childhood education, families and gender. She draws on a range of theoretical perspectives to inform her work, most notably those associated with critical and ‘post’ positions.