This study was undertaken to weigh the effects of the continuous enrolment policy followed by government schools in the Australia Capital Territory in the transition from preschool to primary school. The study focuses upon twenty-four children from Canberra preschools as they moved to three government primary schools and one Catholic single-entry primary school. A range of data was collected during the 1982 and 1983 school years in the preschool setting prior to primary school entry. This was followed by a similar data collection in the primary schools when the children moved on. Through observations of classroom practice, observations of the children, portfolios of children’s work, and interviews with parents and teachers, the researcher attempted to gauge the effects of the continuous enrolment policy on each of the children in the study and then weigh the successes and difficulties of the policy. The author assumed continuous enrolment treated in batches that the educational point of a policy is that children are not but rather as individuals whose educational progress can be picked up in primary school at the level of development that the particular child has reached at the end of preschool. A number of criteria were identified which would provide evidence that this individualised transition was being undertaken between preschools and primary schools. Data were collected in the light of these criteria. An attempt was made to identify the reasons why there was often a gap between individualised theory and batch practice and to put forward some suggestions as to how the policy might be implemented more effectively. Teachers wish to deliver effective programmes for each child but are sometimes hampered by internal and external constraints. They often do not have the necessary skills or resources to change their strategies to take account of the changed policy. This study attempted to assess the efficacy of the policy and to identify its impact on particular children and teachers. It puts forward a number of reasons for certain practices and makes suggestions for changes which may assist teachers to provide better programmes for all the children entrusted to them.
|Date of Award||1987|