Children’s and parents’ views on transition to school: Indicator of smooth transition from preschool to school?

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Children are actively constructing and reconstructing their own view of the world from their personal life (Vygotsky 1978; Wood, 1988). Little research has studied the relation between children’s representation of school and their ability to cope with stress during the transition from preschool to school. Few longitudinal studies had been conducted to compare children's representation of school life before and after they went to school. Viewing children as competent social actors who constantly construct and reconstruct social representations that give meaning to their experience (Campbell, Skovdal & Mupambireyi, 2010), this study aims to explore the diversity and complexity of children’s representations of school life (before transferring to school and during the transition to school). This study uses semi-structured interviewed 156 and children’s drawings to elicit children’s own voices and perspectives (Yuen, 2004). 53 five- to six-year old children and their parents were involved in this study. Children were interviewed at the last month at preschool and at the first three months of primary school. After children start going to school in the first 3 months, parents’ views on children’s coping during transition to school were collected using questionnaires. The preliminary result shows that children can accurately predict the types of bad events that they would encounter at school, which includes being incompetent to meet the expectation of the teachers, feelings of leaving behind, bullying and social conflicts among peers. Children generally predicted more peer conflicts than they have actually experienced at school, but they experienced more incompetent in fulfilling the teachers’ expectation than they had predicted before they went to school. The findings also compare children’s and parents’ views on children’s stress and coping during transition to school. The result of this study will inform parents and educators how we can enhance children’s adaptation to school and coping strategies during the transition to school. Copyright © 2014 University of Jyväskylä.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014



Wong, M. (2014, August). Children’s and parents’ views on transition to school: Indicator of smooth transition from preschool to school? Paper presented at the EARLI Conference on SIG 5 Learning and Development in Early Childhood, Jyvaskyla, Finland.


  • Transition to school
  • Children's coping
  • Parents and children's voices