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Perspectives on Transitions in Schooling and Instructional Practice

Perspectives on Transitions in Schooling and Instructional Practice

Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 552
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Perspectives on Transitions in Schooling and Instructional Practice
    Book Description:

    Perspectives on Transitions in Schooling and Instructional Practiceexamines student transitions between major levels of schooling, teacher transitions in instructional practice, and the intersection of these two significant themes in education research.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6710-5
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. List of Tables and Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. About the Contributors
    (pp. xiii-2)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 3-10)

    This book project was conceptualized and designed with two predominant themes in mind: student transitions between major levels of schooling and teacher transitions in instructional practice, in light of contemporary reforms. We were particularly interested in how transitions in teachers’ instructional practices (individual/corporate, formal/informal, mandated/voluntary) may affect student transition experiences (emotional well-being, academic achievement) throughout the schooling journey.

    The book is structured according to the following four parts:

    Part I: Early Years (Home/Preschool/Kindergarten) to Early Elementary (Grades 1–3)

    Part II: Early Elementary (Grades 1–3) to Late Elementary (Grades 4–8)

    Part III: Late Elementary (Grades 4–8) to...

  7. Part I: Early Years (Home/Preschool/Kindergarten) to Early Elementary (Grades 1–3)

    • 1 Successful Transitioning to a Full-Day Early Learning–Kindergarten Program in Ontario: The Principal Is Pivotal
      (pp. 13-26)

      Transitions in the field of early childhood education have been experienced historically not only by the young children who have moved between the home environment and systems of care or schooling, but also by educators and parents who have witnessed continual changes implemented in the nature and structure of programs serving children and families. This period of early childhood is especially fraught with ongoing transitions because of the significant challenges in meeting the needs of children in diverse settings and the shifting philosophies in the field. The province of Ontario, in Canada, has recently initiated a milestone transition initiative in...

    • 2 Transition to the First Year of School in Singapore
      (pp. 27-48)

      Starting school is a significant milestone in development that marks the beginning of a child’s journey into the world of learning. School experience in the early years is critical, and as the literature suggests, the effects are long term and forecast later achievement (Duncan et al., 2007; Entwisle & Alexander, 1995; Romano, Babchishin, Pagani, & Kohen, 2010). The quality of a child’s adjustment to preschool and subsequent transition to formal schooling has a significant impact on his or her future academic success or failure. There is an incredibly large expanse of literature and research in early childhood school transition that...

    • 3 Young Children’s Experience of Starting School in an Area of Socio-economic Disadvantage
      (pp. 49-72)

      Educators in early years’ settings are confronted with a complex set of circumstances when providing quality transitions to school for children in early education and care settings in areas of socio-economic disadvantage. Starting school is recognized as a life transition and milestone for young children (Danby, Thompson, Theobald, & Thorpe, 2012; Dockett & Perry, 2009; Yeo & Clarke, 2007). As children undertake the transition from a flexible home or early years’ setting to the structure of formal school, they encounter a period of change and adjustment, accompanied with new experiences, opportunities, and challenges (Bond & Maley, 2007). How children in...

    • 4 Ready Together – Transition to School Program: Effecting Positive Outcomes for Children, Their Families, Schools, and the Community
      (pp. 73-102)

      Preparation for school, like the preparation for life, begins from conception. The early years are important in laying the foundation for a child’s success in schooling and in later life (Docket & Perry, 2011; Margetts, 2012). Starting school is a significant moment for children and their families, and the changes that take place as children start school can be both exciting and challenging. A child’s successful transition to school is influenced by many people, and it is the relationships and levels of communication between children, families, schools, early years’ services, community services, and communities that support the process of becoming...

  8. Part II: Early Elementary (Grades 1–3) to Late Elementary (Grades 4–8)

    • 5 The Other Primary Transition: How Educators Promote Optimal Transitions during Elementary School
      (pp. 105-117)

      Transitions are an integral part of human development. For Kindergarten to Grade 12 students, school transitions are probably the most dramatic ecological transitions that occur. Every transition has distinct phases and stages (Anderson, Goodman, & Schlossberg, 2011), and these include periods of disorganization and reorganization. The disorganization stage often creates risk and crises that are reflected in negative outcomes (e.g., grade point declines, lower school engagement). However, navigating transitions is about managing risk rather than avoiding it. Since school transitions are pre-planned (unlike surprise transitions like loss), the ability to prepare for transition can be helpful, and there is also...

    • 6 Teachers’ Voices on Transitions in Classroom Reading Instruction
      (pp. 118-137)

      This chapter discusses findings from qualitative research conducted with 11 Grade 5 classroom teachers in Ontario, Canada. Through questionnaires, in-depth interviews, and written reflections, the study sought to explore with teachers how their own knowledge and beliefs about reading influenced the development of classroom practices in reading instruction. Findings offered valuable insights into the teachers’ thinking as they navigate transitions in current approaches to classroom reading instruction. These are illustrated in the teachers’ own voices with excerpts from the data.

      An overview of relevant research findings related to transitions in instructional practice in reading is followed by a discussion of...

    • 7 Scaffolded Literacy Assessment and a Model for Teachers’ Professional Development
      (pp. 138-155)

      With standardized assessment almost universally in place, schooling is being moved away from a “one size fits all” mentality and is being driven to place the goals, aspirations, and context for each student’s learning at the heart of the matter, thus, ensuring that every student matters. But little is known about how to individualize learning in systems, or how to extend the practice into schools and classrooms. My own mantra “assessment drives instruction” initially appears complex, and the chemistry of change in systems, schools, and classrooms seems a somewhat mysterious, albeit sophisticated craft. Yet, these two concepts must be grasped...

    • 8 Transitions in Elementary Mathematics Instruction
      (pp. 156-184)

      For more than 50 years, there has been increased attention in school mathematics to developing understanding rather than simply transmitting procedures (Hiebert et al., 1997) and to the use of manipulatives (Sowell, 1989; Marshall & Paul, 2008) and, more recently, to technology (Li & Ma, 2010) as important tools to support the building of mathematical understanding. This has affected mathematics instruction in the early elementary years in somewhat different ways than it has affected mathematics instruction in the later elementary years. Although primary teachers have embraced the use of manipulatives (Gilbert & Bush, 1988), manipulatives have been less welcome in...

    • 9 Fostering the Transition to Effective Teaching Practices in Inclusive Classrooms
      (pp. 185-212)

      As the research on resilient children shows us (Reicher, 2010; Seligman, Ernst, Gillham, Reivich, & Linkins, 2009), a single year’s experience with a caring and effective teacher can establish a child on a positive track for the remainder of his or her school career. Conversely, a negative experience may well set that child back for the remainder of his or her life. Students with disabilities¹ and those who are underachieving in their elementary school years are more at risk than their normally achieving peers of further losing ground as they make the transition through higher grades (King, Warren, Boyer, &...

  9. Part III: Late Elementary (Grades 4–8) to Secondary (Grades 9–12)

    • 10 Supporting Students in the Transition to High School: The Role of Self-Regulated Learning
      (pp. 215-241)

      This chapter addresses key issues for learners as they transition from elementary school to high school. Consideration is given to how teachers and schools can assist all students, including those who are at risk for failure, by supporting the development of effective motivational beliefs and self-regulated learning (SRL) during this critical transition. As an illustrative case, a schoolwide inititative in which secondary school teachers provide SRL support across curriculum and instructional settings is described.

      Although there are many students for whom the transition to high school is relatively smooth and even positive, a substantial number experience a decline in attendance...

    • 11 Stakeholder Perceptions Associated with the Transition of Students from Eighth Grade to High School
      (pp. 242-260)

      The successful transition from one educational level to another is increasingly being recognized as important to the realization of a number of educationally prized outcomes including higher academic achievement (Akos, 2004; Smith, 2006), increased graduation rates (Akos, 2004; Chapman & Sawyer, 2001; Rourke, 2001; Smith, 2006), and better social and emotional adjustment (Akos, 2004; Rourke, 2001; Smith, 2006). Regardless of the age of the learner or the institutional change, each transition holds unique difficulties for students.

      A growing body of literature focuses on various aspects of these discrete transitions, namely, from home to preschool or kindergarten (Riley, 2000; Schulting, Malone,...

    • 12 Establishing Successful Transitions for Intermediate Students
      (pp. 261-292)

      This chapter describes some intermediate-level transition initiatives developed by the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB). The programs, resources, and initiatives described are from “Establishing Successful Transitions for Intermediate Students,” and they fall into the following four areas:

      Cross-panel teams and professional dialogue

      Programming and using data

      Events and initiatives

      Student leadership.

      The strategies and interventions that support students transitioning from an elementary school to a high school are described in detail. Further, a comprehensive and successful transition initiative at one particular high school – Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School in Toronto – will be highlighted.

      The Toronto Catholic District School Board...

    • 13 Exploring a “Family of Schools” Model for Cross-Panel Mathematics Teacher Professional Development
      (pp. 293-319)

      In an era of reform-based mathematics education (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics [NCTM], 2000; Ontario Ministry of Education [OMoE], 2005a, 2005b, 2007), in which key elements such as problem-based learning (PBL), cooperative group work, manipulatives, technology, and varied assessment are being emphasized, it is not difficult to understand why teaching K–12 mathematics represents a complex undertaking. The tweny-first-century mathematics educator must possess the following four overlapping areas of specialized knowledge and competencies (see Figure 13.1):

      She or he must have a thorough understanding of themathematics content(e.g., Ontario curriculum expectations as listed/described within the five mathematics strands)....

    • 14 The Visual Turn: Transitioning into Visual Approaches to Literacy Education
      (pp. 320-346)

      Over the past two-and-a-half decades, conceptions of literacy and what it means to be literate have expanded considerably (e.g., Heath, 1983; Kress, 1997; Lankshear & Knobel, 2003; New London Group [NLG], 2000; Street, 1984). There is now recognition that there is a qualitative difference in how we communicate through modalities such as the visual, audio, spatial, and linguistic (Kress, 2000, 2003; NLG, 2000; Stein, 2008) and that different modalities are combined in complex ways to make meaning (Jewitt & Kress, 2003; Snyder, 2001). New literacy practices require the ability to “read” and “write” texts comprised of these multiple modes; however,...

    • 15 Transitioning to Being Bilingual: Examining the Linguistic and Non-linguistic Effects of Brief Bilingual Exchanges
      (pp. 347-368)

      The concept of transition is most often applied to major life changes. In applying the idea to education, transition is often related to substantial educational changes as indicated by previous chapters: transitioning to school, transitioning from one school to another, as examples. In addition to such evident periods of change, Schlossberg (1981) proposes a definition of transition that can also account for more subtle changes: a transition can be said to occur if an event or non-event results in a change in assumptions about oneself and the world and thus requires a corresponding change in one’s behaviour and relationships (p.5)....

    • 16 Aboriginal Education: A Transition of World Views
      (pp. 369-396)

      In her article, “Assimilation and Oppression: The Northern Experience,” Susan Chisholm (1994), describes the acculturating affects on Aboriginal students who are forced to leave their home communities to attend secondary schools in large, urban centres. She illustrates the challenges and pathways of three fictional characters, based on the experiences of real individuals. First, there is Ellen, who has left her small community for the first time. Within the first month at her new school, she is becoming uncomfortable with the speed and activity of the school, classes, and students. She feels anxious and alone and decides to leave the school...

  10. Part IV: Secondary (Grades 9–12) to Postsecondary (College/University)

    • 17 Secondary to Postsecondary Transitions
      (pp. 399-433)

      Researcher Susan Goldberger (2007) found that 48% of all students in the United States who begin at a 4-year college fail to earn a degree. Equally bleak are the statistics regarding high school preparedness for college; Green and Forster (2003) found that 70% of the freshmen enrolled in college in 2001 were high school graduates; however, only 32% of all students leave high school academically qualified to succeed at a 4-year college. The figures are even lower for specific ethnic groups: Only 51% of all Black students and 52% of all Hispanic students graduate from high school, and only 20%...

    • 18 Student Transitions from Secondary to College Mathematics
      (pp. 434-465)

      Ontario college students have struggled with poor mathematics performance for as long as most faculty can recall. Colleges have responded by introducing assessment tests for placement and remediation strategies for incoming students, foundation mathematics courses, and pre-college programs (e.g., pre-technology and pre-business programs), to name a few. Many faculty anecdotally report high failure rates on college mathematics tests, primarily because of a lack of basic mathematics skills and high attrition and failure rates. The key factors cited as contributing to student difficulties in first-semester mathematics courses are (1) a lack of preparation for college studies and (2) an inability to...

    • 19 Inspirational Transitions: Cultivating the Capacity to Embrace Technology-Enhanced Learning and Teaching
      (pp. 466-485)

      Moving from classroom teacher to university professor has been an interesting transition. Five years into the career change, I have started to notice a feeling that I can best label as a professional disconnect with the public school teaching culture of which I was so many years a part. Recently, my feeling of disconnect was brought to a higher, almost uncomfortable level, when a student in my pre-service teacher Educational Technology Leadership class asked, “Professor Graham, how did the kids respond to the clickers [wireless response system] that we are investigating when you used it with them?” At that moment,...

  11. Coda: Supporting Students and Teachers within and across Transitional Spaces
    (pp. 486-494)

    A major catalyst for this collaborative project was the realization of a considerable overlap in our respective research interests regarding transitions in schooling and instructional practices, specifically relating to literacy and mathematics education. Later, discussions around a working paper that presented major perspectives in research on early childhood transitions (Vogler, Crivello, & Woodhead, 2008) revealed prominent areas in need of attention in both research and practice, and the value of using a variety of conceptual and methodological tools to better understand childhood transitions. The work by Vogler and Woodhead also prompted the question, “Who is actually doing the research in...

  12. Index
    (pp. 495-527)