Pedagogies of educational transition: Educator networks enhancing children's transition to school in rural areas

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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The transition to school marks a pivotal life milestone that has significant implications for children’s educational outcomes in both the short and long terms. Positive transitions to school are partly characterised by pedagogies that support children’s transition to school and promote children’s continuity of learning. While much is known about pedagogies, and transition to school, much less attention has been directed to understanding pedagogies of educational transition. This study forms part of a larger project titled Continuity and change in curriculum and pedagogies as children start school which analysed the impact of the introduction of the Early Years Learning Framework and the Australian Curriculum on transition to school, and interrogated pedagogies of educational transition to inform the transition to school intentions of the two curricula. The doctoral study reported in this thesis focused specifically on exploring how pedagogies of educational transition were enacted by educator networks in rural areas of Australia.
The participants of the study were prior-to-school and school educators who were members of professional educator networks with a specific focus on enhancing children’s transition to school, and were operating in rural communities in Victoria and New South Wales, Australia. The study employed a qualitative, interpretivist design, underpinned by Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model of development. Data were drawn from the network meetings, focus group interviews and follow-up interviews and analysed employing constructivist grounded theory approaches, generating a series of salient themes.
Results and analysis identified a range of pedagogies of educational transitions facilitated by educators in rural networks: the networks themselves, school visits, information nights, speed-dating, reciprocal visits, buddy programs, classroom practices, ‘all about school’ books and transition statements. The study also identified a series of influences on these pedagogies of education transition: leadership, purpose, reciprocal understandings, relationships, professionalism and goals for transition. In particular, the study also identified a range of ways that pedagogies of educational transition in rural areas were influenced by rural contexts and the introduction of the two national curriculum documents – the Early Years Learning Framework and the Australian Curriculum.
This study makes a significant contribution to the existing literature by developing further understandings of pedagogies of educational transitions and the influences on these pedagogies in rural contexts. It asserts a theoretical model through which further understandings of pedagogies of educational transitions can be developed and suggests several directions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
  • Dockett, Sue, Principal Supervisor
  • Perry, Bob, Principal Supervisor
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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