Facts In Action
Teachers Perceive Difficulty in Transitions to School
at the University of Virginia and the University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill recently completed a national survey of 10,071 public
school teachers, collecting information about problems children experience
with kindergarten transitions. While teachers reported that most children
experience a successful entry into kindergarten, nearly one-fifth
of children have difficult transitions characterized by "serious
concerns or many problems."
survey found that as many as 46% of kindergarten teachers reported
that half of their class or more had specific problems with entry
into kindergarten, including:
following directions (46.2%);
of academic skills (36.3%);
home environments (34.5%); and
working independently (34.4%).
addition, teachers in districts with higher levels of poverty, teachers
in rural districts, and teachers in districts with higher proportions
of minority students all reported higher rates of difficulty in
judgments about how well children transition from home or preschool
to kindergarten can provide information about teachers' expectations
of children entering school. This study suggests that teacher-perceived
transition problems may reflect a poor "fit" between children's
abilities upon entering kindergarten and the expectations and demands
placed on them by the school environment. The researchers recommend
that transition policies and practices be examined in light of the
apparent discontinuities experienced by children and their families,
schools, and communities as children leave one educational system
(that of homes and preschools) and enter another (that of kindergarten
and elementary school).
"Teachers' Judgments of Problems in the Transition to Kindergarten,"
S. E. Rimm-Kaufman, R. C. Pianta, and M. J. Cox, Early Childhood
Research Quarterly, Vol. 15, No. 2, 2000.
Facts in Action, November
|Goodbye from the printed version of Facts in Action.