Beliefs and expectations of parents, prior-to-school educators and school teachers as children start school

Year: 2002

Author: Dockett, Sue, Perry, Bob

Type of paper: Refereed paper

This paper extends the previously reported results of the Starting School Research Project about what various stakeholders see as important in children's transition to school by considering responses from parents, prior-to-school educators and school teachers to 20 statements summarising beliefs and expectations about children starting school. Responses from 149 parents of children who have just started or are about to start school, 102 school teachers and 33 prior-to-school educators are analysed to ascertain differences and similarities among the groups.

Results are discussed in terms of key issues raised by the respondents, including readiness for school, age of children starting school, similarities between school and prior-to-school settings, gender, cultural diversity and retention in the first year of school. Some suggestions are made for the educational significance of these as all parties strive to make children's transitions to school as smooth as possible.