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Title:Kindergarten teachers' reported use of kindergarten to first grade transition practices
Author:La Paro, K. M., Pianta, R. C., & Cox, M. J.
Resource Type:Journal Article
Elementary School Journal, 101(1)

pp. 63-78
Education Level:Elementary
Literature type:Research and Evaluation

The purpose of this correlational study is to examine teachersÕ first grade transition practices. This study considers questions about the frequency of kindergarten teachers reporting use of pre-defined transition practices; how teachersÕ use of transition practices vary according to metropolitan status, SES, and ethnic composition; whether the focus of the transition practice differs across public or private schools; and ways teacher characteristics are associated with transition practice use. Over half of the teachers reported using some form of first-grade transition practice. The most frequently reported one was meeting with first-grade teachers to discuss curriculum and individual childrenÕs progress, especially in private schools. Least frequently reported was meeting to discuss general transition practices, sending parents information about first-grade placements, and meeting to plan transition activities for individual children. More teachers reported using practices that focused on teacher or child activities rather than those involving parents. While metropolitan status did not seem to be associated with use of transition practices, as district poverty and minority representation increased in the public school sample, fewer teachers reported using transition practices. Data were drawn from a national sample of 3,595 public school and 176 private school kindergarten teachers who had completed the National Center for Early Development and Learning survey. The study may be informative when considering options for transition practices. The low percentage of teachers reporting the use of particular practices may reflect lack of formal policy related to transition at the school or district level. Given that children from families in poverty and from diverse ethnic backgrounds more often have academic problems later in school, the finding that few teachers in schools serving these children are using transition practices warrants further attention. The relatively low return rate and the lack of a control group are limit the generalizibility of this studyÕs findings. Future studies could include views of parents and administrators since only teachersÕ views of the transition process are reported.

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