Children transitioning into school are often confronted with formal teaching and learning approaches that contrast sharply with what they have experienced in contemporary early childhood education (ECE) settings.
This research project contributes a perspective on how junior schoolteachers might improve continuity for children moving from ECE to school. The transformation of the new-entrant and year-1 classes at Mairehau Primary School provides powerful insights into what is possible when teachers embrace play as a valid and worthwhile form of learning for young children new to school.
There are a number of implications for practice for teachers interested in continuity of learning between home, ECE, and school. These include:
Finally, the shifts in classroom practices illustrated by this case study owe much to the teachers and school leaders, and the dispositions they hold about their role. Such significant transformation was possible because teachers and school leaders had:
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