Transition is an inevitable and an ongoing process across an individual’s life – right from childhood. Children undergo transitions right from a young age, one being the transition from home to school environment. Let us have a look at the 2 important factors influencing children in transition to school, in detail.
In this article;
- The Factors Influencing Children in Transition to School
- What is Quality Education?
- The Need for Transition from Home to School
- The 3 Groups Children Belong to Whose Transition Will Be Challenging
The Factors Influencing Children in Transition to School
Broadly speaking, there are two factors that influences transition in a child:
- Individual (the child himself/herself)
- Family (parents and/or caregivers)
To start with, children can influence themselves in their transition to school.
Some of the factors that can influence transition are the trust that the child has put on the caretaker or a significant adult, the opportunities received from them, previous learning and his or her resilience. Together, they can have an impact on the cognitive, social and emotional development in the child.
Parents’ knowledge, awareness, understanding of early childhood and the attitude towards the same can be another key aspect which can have considerable effect on transition. The importance and appreciation they have towards early childhood education will determine the learning and experience a child will have prior to transitioning to school.
Even if either (or both) of the parents have not entered school or a day care centre, it too can have an impact the child’s transition compared to his/her peers.
The day care centres and preschool are at the foundation of a child’s learning. Children who have attended these centres during their initial years will demonstrate school readiness well and will therefore have a smooth transition.
The socio-economic status of the parents can also have a significant impact on successful transition to school.
A research done by Jennifer Bellamy in the year 2005 states that:
- Over 16% of children under the age of 5 lack adequate nutrition, and
- 13% have never been to school.
She also adds that the indicators are higher in developing and underdeveloped countries and can have an adverse impact their overall development.
According to this research study done by Robert Myers and Cassie Landers in the year 1989, a school or a preschool that supports a child’s transition well, is one that offers quality education services and will recognise the need for and adapt to their local needs.
What is Quality Education?
Quality education can be defined in many ways.
Quality education is education that is relevant, purposeful, inclusive, and promotes equality and participation of all children.
Quality can be defined as one that has certain minimum standards set, or satisfies certain parameters, like:
- The teacher-child ratio
- Depth-and-width of curriculum
- The levels of teacher training
- The learning environment, and
- The extent of community participation, among others.
To a considerable extent, the transition from home to day care, day care to preschool and preschool to school are all influenced by parents. It therefore becomes important the teacher/educator influences parents and/or caretakers for active involvement in their child’s schooling.
Teachers/educators need to be in constant communication with parents and should take efforts to ensure that they understand their child’s previous experiences and other factors that are influencing their current learning experiences in school.
According to a research study conducted by Dr. Hilary Fabian and Prof. Aline-Wendy Dunlop in the year 2007, the confidence of parents on their child’s teachers and in school can together affect a child’s transition process. The study is featured in the Institute of Education Sciences website of US Department of Education, which can be found here.
This makes it important that schools are open to involve parents in the learning process, so that it will help children in their smooth transition. This also helps parents develop a stronger bond with their children.
The Need for Transition from Home to School
The environment for transition is important for children, as it is a significant phase where they need to be well prepared to transition from one setting to another.
Transition from home to school is something for which the preparation should ideally take place well in advance. The preparation should happen in such a way, that it is a well laid-out pathway before the child begins school.
Children’s long term success in school is derived not only from their learning experiences before school, but also from the learning environment during their early school years.
The 3 Groups Children Belong to Whose Transition Will Be Challenging
There are enough research studies to suggest that transition is very important for young children, and are central to their emotional well-being and development. That’s why children need to be provided with enough care and support so that they can prepare themselves for their smooth transition to school.
There are also other studies that have found that children belonging to three specific groups have found transition to be more challenging than those who do not.
1. Families from Low Socio-economic Status
Children from families that are economically backward are relatively less prepared for transition to school than those who are better off. The fact that the family is impacted by financial stress, almost on an ongoing basis (thanks to month-ends), has a trickle-down effect on the child; which in turn affects their social and emotional readiness.
Most of all, children from financially disadvantaged households are unfortunately adversely impacted on their cognitive abilities, as their parents are unable to provide a constructive learning environment and positive experiences due to lack of resources.
2. Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families
Children from families that are both culturally and linguistically diverse also face challenges in transitioning from their home environment to school environment, as they have trouble not only with their language and culture, but accent as well.
The three-pronged challenge children unfortunately face can’t be described enough, as they end up becoming vulnerable to isolation and bullying, apart from the fact they just can’t follow most if not all that’s happening during the class.
3. Families with Children who have Disabilities
To start with, disabled children entering school have to cope, by default, with the academic demands of the school and classroom.
Next, the very fact that they are restricted in terms of mobility is a huge challenge to deal with. As if the two challenges weren’t enough, what adds ‘fuel to the fire’ is the stress they undergo as an outcome of the situational challenges they have to face in school on a daily basis if not hourly.
That’s why, compared to children coming from economically challenged and culturally & linguistically diverse, children with disabilities find transition to school and its environment way more challenging.
It becomes crucial for parents to have an understanding about the 2 important factors influencing children in transition to school, as it not only will help their children to move from one stage of their life to another smoothly and successfully; it will also help them (based on their experience) prepare themselves well before an upcoming transition.
Disclaimer: The content in this page and across this website are for informational and educational purposes only. In case of any concerns about your child’s growth and development, please contact your professional child healthcare provider.