Conceptualising primary to secondary school transitions: A systematic literature review

Divya Jindal-Snape, Jennifer Symonds, Beth Hannah, William Barlow

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Aim
Despite continued international interest in primary-secondary transitions, there do not appear to be any systematic literature reviews that have analysed primary-secondary school transition ontology, i.e. researchers’ worldviews, theories/models and frameworks. This is a major gap and concerning given that it is difficult to trust the robustness of a study if its basic foundation, such as researchers’ conceptualisation of transitions, is not visible. Our objectives were to explore researchers’ and research participants’ conceptualisation of transitions, the conceptual framework used by the researchers and their discourse about transitions.

Methodology
Using the EPPI-centre approach, we undertook a systematic literature review of empirical studies published internationally between 2008 and 2018.

Findings
Of the 96 studies, most had not clearly defined transition, and even when conceptualisation was explicit, it did not underline the research design or frame the findings. Most researchers adopted previously used conceptualisations and theoretical frameworks and, therefore, we are no further forward in terms of a meta-theory/world view. Further, the majority of studies did not report participants’ conceptualisation of transitions. Of concern is that the majority of researchers used a negative discourse about primary-secondary transitions, with some mixed views and only two papers had a primarily positive discourse.

Conclusions

This systematic literature review is the first study to provide a review of school transition ontology and offers unique insights into the conceptual and methodological gaps that the international research community should address.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2019
EventSchool of Education and Social Work Research and Scholarship Conference 2019 - Dalhousie Building, Dundee, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Dec 201913 Dec 2019

Conference

ConferenceSchool of Education and Social Work Research and Scholarship Conference 2019
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityDundee
Period13/12/1913/12/19

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    Jindal-Snape, D., Symonds, J., Hannah, B., & Barlow, W. (2019). Conceptualising primary to secondary school transitions: A systematic literature review. Paper presented at School of Education and Social Work Research and Scholarship Conference 2019, Dundee, United Kingdom.