Informing Transitions in the Early Years: Research, Policy and Practice

Informing Transitions in the Early Years: Research, Policy and Practice

Informing Transitions in the Early Years: Research, Policy and Practice

Informing Transitions in the Early Years: Research, Policy and Practice


Exploring transitions in early childhood from different international perspectives, this edited text considers how the curriculum can better support such transitions and whether policies can better empower children in transition.



The issue of transitions is one that needs significantly more attention from schools policy makers, practitioners and parents than it currently achieves. There is general acknowledgement that moving from one context to another constitutes important stages in children's lives but the effects on children, parents, schools and settings requires investigation. This is, I believe, what the editors and writers of this book set out to do—and they do it admirably!

As a young child, I remember desperately wanting to go to school. I used to stand with my face pressed against the railings of the local infant school willing someone to invite me in! Yet when I finally started school at almost 5 years of age, the first days were traumatic for me, my parents (neither of whom fully understood what the experiences of the child in school were likely to be), and the teachers. I decided to go home at playtime (imagine the consternation this caused in the school) because, although I desperately wanted to go to school, I didn't want to go all day! What a culture shock! I thought I could go when I wanted to and not as a requirement.

I remember this as just one of the many misunderstandings' inherent in the first few days at school—the other was that, as a competent reader, I was still expected to read the Janet and John schemer, however boring and inappropriate to my prior knowledge and experiences. Refusal to read this book led to me being kept in at playtime to join the remedial group. My parents could not understand why this avid reader suddenly turned so recalcitrant and reluctant. These are just two examples of hiccups' in a single transition. Probably more difficult and challenging was that having been an only child for the first 5 years of my life, it was extremely difficult to adjust to being one of many – I was obliged to change my whole identity, at least for the time I was in school. What a shame that those trying to support me did not have the benefit of the research presented in this book!

It is refreshing to read about the issues around transitions from such a range of interesting and varied writers and to have a new notion of transitions capital' presented and explored to support future work. The last 15 years or so has heralded a period in time of enormous change for young children and their families. Not so long ago, the majority of children in the United Kingdom were raised by parents (and sometimes grandparents) but, on the whole, their first experience of education and care outside the home was their . . .

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