Transition to school represents a time of great change for all involved. Many transition to school programs have been developed to support positive transitions to school. While these programs have involved complex planning and implementation, often they have not been evaluated in rigorous or systematic ways. This book brings together Australian and international perspectives on research and practice to explore approaches to evaluating transition to school programs.
For children, school is quite different from anything else they have experienced. For families and educators, there are considerable changes as they interact with new people and take on new roles. Developing effective transition to school programs is a key policy initiative around the world, based on recognition of the importance of a positive start to school and the impact of this for future school engagement and outcomes. Throughout the chapters of this book, authors from Australia, Germany, Sweden, Ireland and Jamaica share examples of evaluation practice, with the aim of encouraging educators to reflect on their own contexts and adopt evaluation practices that are relevant and appropriate for them. The book brings together the fields of evaluation research and transition to school. A wide range of examples and figures is used to relate research and practice and to illustrate possible applications of evaluation strategies.
Evaluating Transition to School Programs highlights the importance of multiple perspectives of the transition to school and offers suggestions about how the perspectives of children, families, educators and community members might be included and analysed in evaluation strategies. Other themes throughout the book include the importance of collaboration, respectful and trusting relationships, practitioner-driven inquiry, strengths-based approaches and developing programs that are responsive to context. This book is written for educators and leaders in early years and primary school settings, and will also be of interest to researchers, students and policy makers in the field.
Table of Contents
1. Setting the scene 2. Defining transition 2A. To be or not to be (a school child) – From national to global discourses about the child in the school start age 3. What is meant by a successful or effective transition to school program? 3A. Paderborner Qualitätsstern (PQ³): Self-evaluation of transition to school programs for educators and teachers 4. Evaluation of transition to school programs – An introduction 4A. Support for children and families at risk of experiencing vulnerability in early years transitions 5. Planning an evaluation of transition to school programs 5A. Putting it into practice: Planning and implementing an evaluation 6. Generating and analysing data for the evaluation of transition to school programs – Perspectives of children 6A. Listening to the voices of Jamaican children about their transitional experiences 7. Generating and analysing data for the evaluation of transition to school programs – Perspectives of adults 7A. Professional relationships and spaces as children start school 8. Development and use of a rubric framework for the evaluation of transition to school programs 8A. Mo Scéal (My Story): Evaluation of the transition to school initiative in Ireland 9. Using evaluation to plan future transition to school programs 9A. Challenges of and strategies within interprofessional cooperation between ECEC-institutions and primary schools 10. Looking forward
Sue Dockett, Emeritus Professor, Charles Sturt University and Director, Peridot Education Pty Ltd.
Bob Perry, Emeritus Professor, Charles Sturt University and Director, Peridot Education Pty Ltd.