Transition to school: Considering continuity


Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Research aims: In Australia early years education spans the prior-to-school and school sector. The aim of this cross-sectoral study was to investigate how teachers construct and define pedagogy and whether a shared understanding of points of convergence and divergence might lead to greater continuity during transition to school. Relationship to previous research works: Pedagogical differences between early years teachers have been identified as contributing to discontinuity of pedagogy when children transition from the prior-to-school to the school sector. In Australia there are few crosssectoral transition studies investigating shared understandings of theory and practice. Theoretical and conceptual framework: This study adds to an emerging body of research and literature applying critical theoretical approaches to transition to school. Paradigm, methodology and methods: The study adopts a participatory action research approach. Participants formed a professional learning community to collaborate on the design and implementation of a long- term transition program. Ethical considerations: The study was formally reviewed and approved by the Queensland University of Technology’s Human Research Ethics Committee Brisbane, Australia. A summary of ethical considerations was distributed to participants. Main finding or discussion: Preliminary findings of this and previous pilot studies reveal fundamental differences in the way teachers across sectors define and enact pedagogy. Models of transition to school that suggest continuity might be achieved through pedagogical homogeneity have been resisted by both sectors. Implications, practice or policy: Participatory action research is used to investigate how philosophical and pedagogical differences between the sectors influence continuity during transition. Adopting a critical theoretical approach enables crosssectoral dialogue and reflection to reframe taken for granted assumptions and beliefs in order to transform practice and policy. Copyright © 2013 EECERA.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


Boyle, T., Grieshaber, S., & Petriwskyj, A. (2013, August). Transition to school: Considering continuity. Paper presented at the 23rd Annual Conference of European Early Childhood Education Research Association, Tallin, Estonia.


  • Transition to school
  • Pedagogy
  • Continuity
  • Particpatory action research
  • Early years education


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