Transition to school: Revisiting the bridge metaphor

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Policymakers, researchers and educators around the world have acknowledged the importance of children's transition to school, both as a significant life event and as a factor in future engagement with education. As a result, much attention has been directed towards researching transition experiences, developing policies to support positive transitions, and implementing a range of transition practices and programmes aimed to promote effective transitions. At the heart of many of these has been the notion of transition as a bridge between the worlds of home, or prior-to-school services, and school. This article explores the metaphor of the bridge between prior-to-school and school settings, drawing on theories of rites of passage and border crossing, and the application of this to the transition to school. Using examples from the German Brückenjahr project (The bridge year project) and the Australian and international Transition to School: Position Statement, we critique and examine the bridge metaphor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-449
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Early Childhood Education Research Journal
Issue number3
Early online date2015
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


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