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Thinking about transitions : one framework or many? Populating the theoretical model over time

Dunlop, Aline-Wendy (2014) Thinking about transitions : one framework or many? Populating the theoretical model over time. In: Transitions to School - International Research, Policy and Practice. International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development . Springer, Dortrecht, pp. 31-46. ISBN 9789400773493

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This chapter draws from the theoretical foundations and some key results of a longitudinal study of transitions which began with the study cohort’s transition from early childhood settings into school in one local authority in Scotland. In thinking about transitions, the author follows a personal journey afforded by the need to consider whether a single theoretical framework can possibly support study of transitions over time. In so doing some of underpinning theories that have informed the different phases of the longitudinal study are considered and their place in, and the concept of, an overall theoretical framework is justified. While one overall framework is embraced, it is not seen as limiting, in that it houses many aspects of the breadth and depth of both theoretical and practical knowledge that is essential to the understanding of the field of educational transitions. The child is central to this thinking, it is the child who may be able to develop transitions capital over time, and it is the obligation of the researcher to exert agency over theoretical models applied so that they do not become straightjackets on data and thinking.