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Children Crossing Borders: School Visits as Initial Incorporation Rites in Transition to Preschool Class
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9523-6379
2013 (English)In: International Journal of Early Childhood, ISSN 0020-7187, E-ISSN 1878-4658, Vol. 45, 387-410 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Most research about transition in educational settings describes how children enter into new contexts, especially transition from preschool to school. However, the overall research focus in this article is to gain knowledge about how the transition process can be characterized at the end of the preschool period prior to the actual transition. The data reported in this article was generated through visits to preschool class which have the intention to prepare children prior to the transition. The results support the conclusion that the transition process can be characterized as circular rather than linear, or maybe a spiral process that loops back and forth. The children in this study engage in a number of border encounters and border crossings between preschool and preschool class during the spring semester prior to the actual entering. After each border crossing they return to preschool and seem to reconstruct their experiences and expectations of preschool class. This looping movement highlights the identity deconstructions as a social learning process over time. It is shown that children enter the transitions process long before they actually (physically) enter or visit school. The results also propose that the transition is a period when the constructing of identities as ex preschool children may be important. In this process, the teachers in preschool have an important role in order to facilitate the children’s disengagement from preschool. The study also implies the need for teacher collaboration in order to make the transition transparent and explicit for the children.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2013. Vol. 45, 387-410 p.
Keyword [en]
Transition activities, priming events, preschool class, identities, preschool, borders
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Pedagogics and Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-24840DOI: 10.1007/s13158-013-0080-7Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84886745163OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-24840DiVA: diva2:612112
Available from: 2013-03-20 Created: 2013-03-20 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Barns övergångar till och från förskoleklass: Gränser, identiteter och (dis-)kontinuiteter
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Barns övergångar till och från förskoleklass: Gränser, identiteter och (dis-)kontinuiteter
2014 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this study is to gain knowledge of how the transitions to and from preschool class are described and understood by children. Previous research has indicated that transitions between different school forms can be seen as both problematic and threatening. Transitions should be facilitated and "smooth", something that indicates that continuity is important. Of interest for this study is to gain knowledge of children's perspective of continuities: which continuities and discontinuities children express intransitions.

Transitions are theoretically considered as social processes that are constructed, shared and reconstructed together with others. In these processes, children mark and construct borders through speech and action. Their border markings (for example, expression of differences and/or similarities between different communities and between different school forms) also become part of a child's identity constructions.

The thesis is based upon the research described in three articles. The empirical data underlying these studies was constructed in a longitudinal ethnographic inspired field work where children have been observed in two transitions between three different school forms: preschool, preschool class and compulsory school.

Results suggest that from children’s perspectives the transitions between different school forms contain challenges, opportunities, limitations, changes and preservation. However, the transitions also involve expressions concerning security, risk-taking and include visual markings between the different school forms.

One of the conclusions that can be drawn from this work is that it isn’t enough to turn to policy level, such as curricula or even teachers’ aims or aspirations to facilitate these transitions. The child’s perspectives need to be taken into account. Through children's narratives, we have gained knowledge about the opportunities transitions can offer, but also how transitions can be considered as threats or be difficult to interpret for children. This study has also increased our understanding of the importance of continuity as well as discontinuity to mark borders between different school forms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnaeus University Press, 2014. 148 p.
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations, 180/2014
Keyword
Övergångar, förskola, förskoleklass, gränser, identitetskonstruktion, kontinuitet
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Pedagogics and Educational Sciences, Pedagogics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-36407 (URN)978-91-87427-95-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-09-12, V159, Hus Storken, Kalmar, 09:07 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-08-21 Created: 2014-08-18 Last updated: 2017-02-16Bibliographically approved

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Ackesjö, Helena

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