Parents’ and Teachers’ Perceptions of Transition Practices in Kindergarten

Hariclia Harriet Petrakos, Joanne Shari Lehrer

Abstract


The developmental model of transition Pianta and colleagues outlined emphasizes the interconnected relationships among the child, teacher, family, peers, and community that are developed across time (Pianta & Kraft-Sayre, 2003). This study focused on the use of transition practices as perceived by parents and teachers. Parents (8 groups) and 23 teachers of 95 children engaged in focus group discussions at the beginning and during the kindergarten year. Overall, teachers reported similar school-mandated practices, such as gradual entry, small group meetings on the first day of school, and a parent orientation meeting on the night before school starts. These transition practices were welcomed by parents and were consistent with the majority of transition practices reported in other kindergarten studies in North America (e.g., La Paro, Pianta, & Cox 2000; Nelson, 2004; Yeom, 1998). Both parents and teachers valued communication; however, parents often found it difficult to navigate communication with the school.

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