Assignment 2: Investigation of and early childhood issue
Transition and school readiness are complex issues which have a major impact on children’s holistic development. How well this process is facilitated and how practitioners view children’s school readiness will shape and influence their future learning. Early experiences during the transition period from early childhood settings to more structured and formal learning environments have implications for children’s life trajectories and their ability to become adjusted citizens as individuals and well-functioning members of society. Early childhood practitioners play a critical role in establishing strong foundations for the successful transition between environments. Furthermore, they are in an influential position to promote and extend existing skills and knowledge. This report reviews how the set literature has informed our positions regarding this issue, how this links to constructions of childhood, wellbeing and ethics and builds on Assignment 1 to associate our thinking and findings. This encompasses an analysis of the main factors impacting on transition and school readiness and explores current pedagogical practices in early childhood. It also critically reflects on the importance of the rights of the child and will be viewed in the context of duties of early childhood professionals with regards to children’s education and the transitions between educational environments. In addition to the above, the effects of positive and negative relationships will be investigated. This report concludes with recommendations of best practice relating to transition and school readiness. 2. Transition for children from informal to formal settings – Literature review In reviewing the set literature, it was evident that most readings support the notion that successful transition from informal to formal education settings is imperative in determining children’s next steps. When insufficient attention is paid to the transition to school, the result is a high rate of dropout and class repetition; combined rate in developing countries is 30 per cent. This makes the school system inefficient with massive financial implications for both governments and families, not to mention the associated social costs of illiteracy, unemployment, delinquency and crime (Bernard Van Leer Foundation, 2012, p. 3). This highlights the importance of schools being ready for children and their families. Policy Brief No. 10 2008 identifies four crucial components that are interrelated and most affect children’s school readiness. These include the readiness of families, early childhood settings and schools as well as communities. Additionally, emphasis is also placed on the provision of appropriate government steered programs and policies in conjunction with sufficient funding. First and foremost, society must value and recognise the benefits of investment in the early years (Centre for Community Child Health, 2008, p. 1). Hopps (2004) argues that children’s services have been disadvantaged due to a low comprehension of the value of early childhood programs and the significance of the work of practitioners in the field. She also highlights the need to enhance teachers’ understandings of what these services are achieving for children and their families (Hopps, 2004, p.12). A research summary, as outlined in Policy Brief No. 11 2008, states that all learning is a cumulative process and skills beget skills (Centre of Community Child Health quoting Cunha et al, 2008). Furthermore, research suggests that children from low socio - economic backgrounds are particularly disadvantaged because at present the lack of cohesive support to all children and families during the transition to school puts them at risk (Centre for Community Child Health quoting Docket & Perry; Halfon et al, 2008). Insufficient collaboration and partnership impedes the support process relevant and necessary...
References: Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations for the Council of Australian Governments, (2009). Belonging, Being and Becoming. The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia. Retrieved from http://deewr.gov.au/early-years-learning-framework.
Bernard Van Leer Foundation, (2007), Issue Area Framework Summary, Successful Transitions: The Continuum from Home to School. Retrieved from www.bernardvanleer.org/files/frameworks/transitions.pdf.
Centre for Community Child Health, (2008), Policy Brief 10 2008, Rethinking School Readiness. Retrieved from http://www.rch.org.au/uploadedFiles/Main/Content/ccch/PB10_SchoolReadiness.pdf.
Department of Education and Children’s Services, (2007), DECS Learner Wellbeing Framework for Birth to Year 12. Adelaide. Retrieved from http://www.decd.sa.gov.au/learnerwellbeing/files/links/link_72840.pdf.
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, (2011). Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework, Evidence Paper. Practice Principle 4: Equity and Diversity. Prepared by Saffigna, M., Franklin, D., Church, A. &Tayler, C. Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. Melbourne. Retrieved from http://www.eduweb.vic.gov.au/edulibrary/public/earlylearning/evi-equitydiversity.pdf.
Docket, S., Mason, T. & Perry, B., (2006). Successful transition to school for Australian aboriginal Children: The 2005 International Focus issue of Childhood Education focused on the education of aboriginal and indigenous children. Association for Childhood Education International, Vol. 82, No.3, p. 139.
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Hopps, K. (2004). Teacher Communication across the Preschool-School Boundary. AJEC, Vol. 29, No.1, March. pp. 8-13.
Woodrow, C. (1999). Revisiting images of the child in early childhood education: Reflections and considerations. AJEC, Vol. 24, No 4, December, pp. 7-12.
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