Preparatory teachers’ perceptions of school readiness: a survey of Victorian teachers

Abstract

This study surveyed perspectives held by school teachers regarding factors that contribute to successful transition to school. In addition, this study explored practices in place to enhance children’s transition to school. Participants were self-nominated, preparatory teachers from publicly funded primary schools in Victoria, Australia. From 250 surveys sent to randomly selected Melbourne metropolitan schools, 153 were returned (61.2 % return rate). Numerical data were analysed descriptively and responses to open-ended questions were coded and analysed to derive common themes. All respondents identified formal processes used to assist children to transition into the first year of primary school. They also identified various child-related factors they considered important for school readiness. Factors fell broadly into cognitive, social, self-care, emotional and language domains. When asked, the majority of educators felt that age was a critical factor. Less commonly identified issues were those related to the children’s physical abilities, and their capacity to engage in learning tasks. Whilst factors identified were broad, there was a relative consistency across respondents. These findings contribute to the discourse in regards to identifying and consistently applying strategies to support children’s successful transition into school.

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Acknowledgments

This study was supported by a La Trobe University Faculty of Health Science Grant. We acknowledge the roles and contributions of previous members of the research group, Anne Ozanne, Patricia Eadie and Linda Santamaria. Deb Benetti supported the data collection process with great efficiency. We thank the many teachers who took the time to respond to our survey.

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Correspondence to Tanya Serry.

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Serry, T., Imms, C., Froude, E. et al. Preparatory teachers’ perceptions of school readiness: a survey of Victorian teachers. Aust. Educ. Res. 41, 109–124 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13384-013-0126-8

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Keywords

  • School readiness
  • Preparatory year
  • Successful transition
  • School teacher
  • Preschool teacher