Schooling for Change: Reinventing Education for Early Adolescents

By Andy Hargreaves; Jim Ryan et al. | Go to book overview

4

The Transition Process

Problems of Transition
The last chapter showed that transition to secondary school is an important status passage in a young person’s life. It offers the promise of elevated status, more independence, more interesting experiences and opportunities. It also poses problems of lost security, threatening encounters and unknown expectations. The passage of transition is one of mixed messages and contradictory possibilities. Only one thing is certain about the passage of transition to secondary school. It cannot be avoided. Well prepared or not, all students must undertake it. Research concerned with the transition from elementary or primary school to secondary school varies in terms of the part of the transition period that is studied. Most studies seem to accept the transition period as extending from the last year of elementary or primary school (the pre-transition period), through the first month or weeks of secondary school (the immediate transition period), and extending to the latter part of the first year of secondary school (the post-transition period). Major studies, such as those by Power and Cotterell (1981), Evans (1983), and Measor and Woods (1984), follow students from their last elementary school year to the end of their first secondary school year. Because some school districts have instituted middle or junior high schools, students sometimes undergo multiple transitions during their early adolescence. A few studies are concerned only with the expectations of students in the last year of elementary school or with the perceptions of students on starting high school. Such studies miss important information about changes during the first year of secondary school. There are at least three areas in which transition to secondary school can result in potential problems:
• student anxiety about transfer and the extent to which that anxiety persists;
• adjustment to secondary school and the short- and long-term implications of transition for achievement, motivation and commitment to school;
• continuity or discontinuity in the curriculum and the implications of gaps or repetition in the curriculum for student learning.

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Schooling for Change: Reinventing Education for Early Adolescents
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vi
  • 1 - Triple Transitions 1
  • 2 - Adolescence and Adolescents 9
  • 3 - Cultures of Schooling 18
  • 4 - The Transition Process 35
  • 5 - Care and Support 54
  • 6 - Curriculum Problems 78
  • 7 - Outcomes and Integration 90
  • 8 - Assessment and Evaluation 112
  • 9 - Teaching and Learning 140
  • 10 - Getting There 159
  • References 178
  • Index 211
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