A study of children's difficulties in transition to school in Hong Kong

Ngai Chun Margaret WONG

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This paper reports data from a study of children's experiences of transition to school in Hong Kong. Hong Kong research into transition to school has been limited to investigation of curriculum issues and teaching practices by the Education Department (1993), a comparative study of skills preschool and primary school teachers believed children needed (Chow, 1993), and a recently released study on primary one students' transition problems in the Shatin area (Chan et al., 1999). In the present study, Hong Kong parents, primary school teachers and children expressed their views on difficulties in transition to school. Two types of primary schools were chosen for the sample: two with preschools attached and two which served neighbourhood preschools. Children and primary teachers were interviewed twice, once in mid October, in the initial "settling in" phase, and again in mid June the following year, at the end of the school year, while parents were surveyed in mid-October. In general, difficulties of "settling in" were overcome at the end of the first or second month. Nearly all children preferred studying in the primary schools during the first interview. However, the second interview revealed that some children wished to go back to the kindergartens where they claimed they had no pressure for examination and study. The results showed that pedagogical discontinuity is a major issue of difficulties in school transition in Hong Kong. The findings echoed those from the Chan et al. (1999) study on the adjustment of primary one pupils in Shatin. Copyright © 2003 Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-96
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2003


Wong, N. C. (2003). A study of children's difficulties in transition to school in Hong Kong. Early Child Development and Care, 173(1), 83-96.


  • Hong Kong
  • Transition from preschool to school


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