Academic journal article Australian Journal of Early Childhood

Editorial

Academic journal article Australian Journal of Early Childhood

Editorial

Article excerpt

People experience many changes throughout their lives. With some of these changes, it is very difficult--if not impossible--to return from the new state to the previous one. In general, patterns of interactions, and the sites of these interactions, change so dramatically that going back is not possible. It is these changes that we call transitions.

In this edition of AJEC, we consider educational transitions with many different destinations: child care, school and the early childhood education profession. The nature of the transitions at these points can have a significant impact on future development and learning. When we talk about educational transitions in this sense, we are talking about more than change. For example, changing from a group activity to an individual activity during the day is often called a transition. These changes are no doubt important, but they are not the focus of this edition of the journal.

Various aspects of children's transition to school are featured in six of the eight papers in this edition. As well, many of these papers reflect the burgeoning respect that is being given to children's, as well as adults', reflections on these transitions. Yeo and Clarke asked Primary Five children in Singapore to interview Primary One children about starting school, with results that have both differences and similarities with those of previous studies. Also in Singapore, but with a different group of children, Ebbeck and Reus investigate the transition to a new school for a group of eight-year-old children coming from a variety of foreign situations. The extra emotional challenge provided by the new cultural setting, as well as the new school, is highlighted.

Two other particular groups of children starting school are considered in quite different ways by Whitton and Sanagavarapu and Perry. Whitton uses data from both parents and children to investigate the needs and concerns of young 'gifted' children and their families as they start school. Sanagavarapu and Perry use data from parents concerning the transition to school of Bangladeshi children in Sydney. While there are many similarities with data obtained from more general studies, the needs of these particular groups of children are sufficiently diverse to warrant further investigation in their own right and to point to the need to investigate other groups of children as well. …

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