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About This Book
Transition to school represents a time of great change for all involved. Many transition to school programs have been developed to support positive transitions to school. While these programs have involved complex planning and implementation, often they have not been evaluated in rigorous or systematic ways. This book brings together Australian and international perspectives on research and practice to explore approaches to evaluating transition to school programs.
For children, school is quite different from anything else they have experienced. For families and educators, there are considerable changes as they interact with new people and take on new roles. Developing effective transition to school programs is a key policy initiative around the world, based on recognition of the importance of a positive start to school and the impact of this for future school engagement and outcomes. Throughout the chapters of this book, authors from Australia, Germany, Sweden, Ireland and Jamaica share examples of evaluation practice, with the aim of encouraging educators to reflect on their own contexts and adopt evaluation practices that are relevant and appropriate for them. The book brings together the fields of evaluation research and transition to school. A wide range of examples and figures is used to relate research and practice and to illustrate possible applications of evaluation strategies.
Evaluating Transition to School Programs highlights the importance of multiple perspectives of the transition to school and offers suggestions about how the perspectives of children, families, educators and community members might be included and analysed in evaluation strategies. Other themes throughout the book include the importance of collaboration, respectful and trusting relationships, practitioner-driven inquiry, strengths-based approaches and developing programs that are responsive to context. This book is written for educators and leaders in early years and primary school settings, and will also be of interest to researchers, students and policy makers in the field.