The Transition to School for Children with Special Needs: A Phenomenographic Study

Year: 1995

Author: Newman, Linda

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Major life transitions can be a positive experience of change or more commonly can be times of stress. For families of children with special needs the transition into school can be a stressful time. Teachers are also major stakeholders in this transition process. Quantitative analysis can reveal some aspects of the transition experience but with qualitative analysis the emotions, thoughts and feelings of the stakeholders are much more richly described.

Two studies of transition to school for children with special needs have been completed. In one, the beliefs and practices of teachers have been examined and in the other the experiences and perceptions of families have been sought. A phenomenographic approach has been employed for data analysis and similar themes have emerged in each group. Some important areas of concern have been identified and will be presented in this paper.