Two worlds, one site: Leading practices and transitions to school

Year: 2019

Author: Boyle, Tess, Wilkinson, Jane

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper presents an account of an Australian qualitative action research study investigating transitions to school practices. The paper presents empirical evidence of the way the participants engaged in communicative action to establish shared understandings in order to enhance continuity of learning between pre-compulsory and compulsory school settings. Applying an ontological lens to cross-sectorial leading practices, the paper departs from dominant discourses informed by epistemological perspectives that focus on universal constructions of transitions as events and/or processes. In doing so it makes a significant contribution to emerging discourses of transitions as continuities and sheds light on the contextualised realities of transitions to school as a site specific lived experience. The paper begins with an overview of the ways transitions to school practices are understood, including emerging perspectives of transitions as continuity practices. Then, cross sectorial concepts of leadership and leading are presented to highlight fundamental differences in the ways these practices are enacted across the sectors. The paper presents evidence of the ways leading practices can work to establish shared understandings of practices and policies. In doing so it provides insights into the role leading practices and sustained professional interactions play in breaking down barriers and opening up new possibilities for access, engagement and equity for all learners and communities.