Bob Perry

Bob Perry
Charles Sturt University · Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education (RIPPLE)

PhD

About

171
Publications
61,103
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Introduction
Bob Perry is recently retired from paid university work after 45 years in higher education. He is Emeritus Professor in the School of Education at Charles Sturt University, Albury-Wodonga, Australia and Director, Peridot Education Pty Ltd. Bob has recently received an Honorary Doctorate from Mälardalen University, Sweden and a Career Research Award from the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia in recognition of his body of research. Bob's current research interests include powerful mathematics ideas in preschool and the first years of school; ethical tensions in researching with children; transition to school, with particular emphasis on starting school within families with complex support needs, preschool education in rural and remote communities, and evaluation of educatio

Publications

Publications (171)
Chapter
In this chapter, we introduce a book on the transition to school in Latin American countries. This book showcases some of the quality work that researchers from Brazil, Chile, Cuba, and Mexico have done in this field, reflecting how the transition to primary school is experienced and how Latin American educational policies and cultural practices sh...
Chapter
In this concluding chapter we synthesise the previous chapters and explore what can be gleaned about the transition to school in Cuba, Chile, Brazil, and Mexico. Before we examine this in detail, we provide an overview of the COVID-19 crisis and its potential impact on transition to school, arguing that a broad focus on transitions and strategies t...
Article
This paper explores memories of children in the upper years of primary school about their transition into the first year of school and the ways in which this transition impacted on their ongoing relationship with primary school. The insights shared by eleven Year four and five students (aged 10–11 years; five boys and six girls) in an Australian pr...
Article
Most children starting primary school in Australia do so after attending early childhood education and participating in a transition to school programme. While this has become the expected pathway, it is not the one followed by all children and their families. In this article, we describe visible transitions as those that are known, understood and...
Article
The transition to school brings early childhood and school educators together in the common aim of promoting a positive start to school. This transition also highlights the boundaries and professional linkages that contribute to this aim. Conceptualising boundary spaces as sites of professional identity construction and negotiation, we explore prof...
Book
Full-text available
Structured around Bishop’s six fundamental mathematical activities, this book brings together examples of mathematics education from a range of countries to help readers broaden their view on maths and its interrelationship to other aspects of life. Considering different educational traditions and diverse contexts, and illustrating theory through...
Article
While many remote places in Queensland, Australia have access to schools, very few have provision for preschool education. Recent efforts to change this have included the development of a kindergarten program delivered through the local school. An impact assessment undertaken in 2017 involved visiting 30 remote sites offering the program. Analysis...
Article
Over the last 20 years, the authors have utilised Bronfenbrenner’s ecological and bioecological models as a basis for their work investigating children’s transition to school, including the place of mathematics learning in this transition. The later bioecological model gave increased emphasis to the role of the individual within contexts, the proce...
Article
THE STARTING SCHOOL STUDY explored the transition to school from the perspectives of parents living in a disadvantaged area of Sydney, Australia. Fifty-seven parents participated in semi-structured interviews about their child’s transition to school between 2009 and 2011. Topics discussed included: preparation for school, the first day, school rela...
Chapter
In exploring the pedagogies of educational transitions, the chapters in this book reflect both the personal and collective nature of transitions. While transitions are experienced by individuals, they occur within social, educational, community, political, economic and institutional frames, involving children and families in expanding sets of relat...
Chapter
In many countries, there is an ongoing debate about the education of children as they move from preschool to primary school. With the aim of informing this discussion, internationally and nationally, this chapter explores children’s participation and learning processes in the year before they start primary school. The study was conducted in two Ice...
Chapter
There has been a great deal written recently about children starting school, particularly primary school. All of the stakeholders in these transitions to school have been considered, along with matters of readiness – for the child, family, educators, schools and communities; adjustment and adaptation; continuity and change in curricula and learning...
Chapter
This chapter addresses pedagogies of educational transitions by offering a critical exploration of the ways in which Aboriginal children are positioned by educators’ pedagogical beliefs in the context of their transition to primary school settings in urban communities. The chapter explores the pedagogical principles that educators draw on when they...
Chapter
The study reported in this chapter has generated new knowledge promoting positive transitions to school through analysing the impact of the Early Years Learning Framework and the Australian Curriculum on transition to school and interrogating current pedagogies of educational transition, to inform the transition to school intentions of the two curr...
Article
RECENT REFORMS IN AUSTRALIA have brought an increasing expectation on early childhood educators to work together across settings at times of children’s transition. In particular, the transition to school has been identified as an important time when educators are required to collaborate in order to support children, families and communities. Writte...
Chapter
This chapter discusses grandparents as part of starting school experiences. For many families, grandparents provide important support in their everyday lives. Their contribution is being noticed increasingly by communities and researchers. This chapter studies the impact of grandparents in adult’s recalled memories about starting school and thus of...
Chapter
This chapter examines the perspectives of both adult family members and educators on the establishment of partnerships as children living in complex circumstances make the transition to school. Policies and frameworks relating to the education and care of children and young people frequently identify the importance of partnerships among schools, fa...
Chapter
This chapter reviews the current theoretical paradigms that have been used in the study of the role of families in transition to school and the impact of transition to school on families. It pursues important lines of inquiry across geographical jurisdictions, socioeconomic and cultural contexts to provide background to the following chapters. It e...
Chapter
The principle of school choice has become firmly embedded in the education context of Australia. This chapter examines the primary school choices made by three mothers described as having complex support needs, living in New South Wales, Australia. These needs related both to their own health and well-being, as well as those of other family members...
Article
Changing perspectives of children and recognition of the importance of researching with, rather than on, children, have contributed to a great deal of interest in participatory research methods. While many participatory methods have been developed to incorporate visual elements, uncertainty remains about the role and purpose of the image within the...
Book
This collection addresses issues related to families and transition, and pays special attention to the transition to school, the effect of this on the family, as well as the effect of the family on that transition. It celebrates the roles of families, locating them as integral partners in time of transition and identifying a variety of ways in whic...
Book
This book presents the latest research on educational transitions from a variety of research traditions and practical contexts set in Australia, New Zealand, and several European countries. It examines, critically questions, and reshapes ideas and notions about children’s transitions to school. The book is divided into five parts, the first two of...
Article
Let's Count is a preschool mathematics intervention implemented by The Smith Family from 2012 to the present in "disadvantaged" communities across Australia. It is based on current mathematics and early childhood education research and aligns with the Australian Early Years Learning Framework. Let's Count has been shown to be effective in enhancing...
Chapter
This chapter presents a synthesis of the Australasian early childhood mathematics education research which has been conducted during the review period 2012–2015. “Early childhood education” is taken to be the education of, and for, children aged between birth and 8 years old. The research canvassed in this chapter encompasses a range of early child...
Chapter
This chapter reflects on mathematics education research in Australasia as it was represented in the review immediately preceding the current volume—Research in Mathematics Education in Australasia 2008–2011. It is written by the editors of the earlier review at the invitation of the editors of the current review. In recognition of government policy...
Article
The Gudaga Goes to School Study described the transition to school and early education experiences of 117 urban Aboriginal children and their families. This paper outlines the methods and design of the study. A life course approach, employing multidimensional and multi-theoretical frameworks was used to capture the complexity of issues surrounding...
Article
While a great deal of research has focused on children’s experiences as they start school, less attention has been directed to their experiences—and those of their families and educators—as they start school age care. This paper draws from a recent research project investigating practices that promote positive transitions to school and school age c...
Chapter
Transition to school is an important process for all involved – children, families, educators and communities. Transition has been described as a process of opportunities, expectations, aspirations and entitlements of all involved (Educational Transitions and Change (ETC) Research Group. (2011). Transition to school: Position statement. Albury-Wodo...
Article
Policymakers, researchers and educators around the world have acknowledged the importance of children's transition to school, both as a significant life event and as a factor in future engagement with education. As a result, much attention has been directed towards researching transition experiences, developing policies to support positive transiti...
Article
This article reports on methodological issues in the study of autobiographical narratives about transition to school within a life course approach. The data consist of 89 Australian participants’ recollections of starting school between 1928 and 1995. These narratives are considered as life reviews and part of the story of ‘continuing me’. They are...
Book
Full-text available
Numeracy is a core skill for social and economic participation in the 21st century. However many Australian children, particularly those from disadvantaged communities, are starting school behind in the key area of maths. Let's Count is an early numeracy program which a three year evaluation shows has improved the early maths skills and confidence...
Article
Let’s Count is a mathematics professional learning programme for preschool educators in Australia, managed by a prominent non-government organisation and sponsored by industry. It has been implemented in both face-to-face and online modes over 2013/14. Let’s Count is based on the constructs that all young children are powerful mathematicians and th...
Chapter
This edited book brings together for the first time an international collection of work built around two important components of any young child’s life—learning mathematics and starting (primary or elementary) school. The chapters take a variety of perspectives, and integrate these two components in sometimes explicit and sometimes more subtle ways...
Chapter
Research over the past 10 years has established that many children starting school are more mathematically capable than teachers, mathematics curricula and text book writers assume. This issue and implications arising for children’s transition to school are explored in this chapter through examining data for 125 children who participated in the Aus...
Book
This edited book brings together for the first time an international collection of work focused on two important aspects of any young child’s life – learning mathematics and starting primary or elementary school. The chapters take a variety of perspectives, and integrate these two components in sometimes explicit and sometimes more subtle ways. Th...
Chapter
Current trends in Australian education highlight the importance of a positive start to school. These trends are informed by national and international research which positions a positive start to school as an element of future social, educational, and economic success (Alexander & Entwisle, 1998; Dunlop & Fabian, 2007; Kagan & Tarrant, 2010; Pianta...
Article
In 2012, the government of South Australia responded to Federal agreements aimed at universal access to preschool education for children in the year before starting formal schooling by introducing a trial designed to ‘integrate’ preschool children into first year of school programmes in rural and remote areas of the state. This paper reports on the...
Chapter
This chapter describes the collaborative development of the Transition to School: Position Statement. This statement consolidates a wide range of research into a document to inform and guide research, policy and practice in the area of transition to school. This chapter outlines the beliefs underpinning the statement and the structure of the docume...
Chapter
Most people involved with early childhood education would claim that they are working towards social justice, especially for the children. In this chapter, the concept of social justice is explored, in general, and in early childhood, in particular. The chapter then moves to consider the process of transition to school and how it can provide both o...
Chapter
This chapter positions transition to school as a key element of young children’s engagement with education. In introducing the content of the following chapters, we explore shifts in approaches to theorising transition and some of the tensions associated with changing conceptualisations of transition to school. This chapter canvasses the wide varie...
Article
Drawing on the work of Martin Nakata, this paper brings into focus the everyday complexities involved in the cultural interfaces that educators, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, negotiate in order to promote children’s engagement with formal education processes. Analysis of emergent data from a recent evaluation of a preschool education programm...
Article
This article investigates the recollections of justice, injustice and agency in the autobiographical narratives of a group of Australian immigrants who shared their experiences of starting school. The data consists of 24 autobiographical narrative interviews with participants who started school either overseas and then in Australia, or in Australia...
Article
This paper investigates the role of child experts (siblings and buddies) in young children's transition to school. Drawing on two recent studies, that sought the perspectives of children, educators and family members about effective supports at this time, we explore the roles of other children in the processes and practices of transition. This expl...
Article
This paper details and compares the discernable trends observed in a wide-ranging review of the recent starting school literature in Australia and beyond. More than half of the research reviewed considers children's readiness for school. This research is critiqued through a three-way view of readiness: child readiness, school readiness and support...
Chapter
This chapter reports on one of the major outcomes from a long term mathematics education professional development project involving educators from preschools and the early years of school in the state of South Australia. Using the constructs of powerful mathematical ideas, pedagogical inquiry, and learning stories, the educators have developed Refl...
Article
Since the introduction of the Child Friendly Cities Initiative in 1996, children and young people’s participation in consultation has become an increasingly important element of the planning and community development strategies of many government and community organisations throughout Australia. This has been the case in the city of Wodonga, Victor...
Article
Participatory approaches to engaging in research with young children place a great deal of emphasis on children's rights to choose whether or not they wish to be involved. A number of recent studies have reported a range of strategies both to inform children of their research rights and to establish options for checking children's understanding of...
Article
The project Mathematical Thinking of Preschool Children in Rural and Regional Australia: Research and Practice aimed to investigate views of preschool practitioners about young children’s mathematical thinking and development. Structured individual interviews were conducted with 64 preschool practitioners from rural areas of three Australian states...
Article
Over the last decade, there has been increasing awareness of the importance of engaging young children in research about their experiences and considering ways in which children’s experiences, expectations and perceptions influence both their interactions and those of others. This has resulted from recognition of young children as active citizens,...
Book
This is the eighth edition of the four-yearly review of mathematics education research in Australasia. Commissioned by the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (MERGA), this review critiques the most current Australasian research in mathematics education in the four years from 2008-2011. The main objective of this review is to celebr...
Article
Informed agreement to participate in research is a critical element of ethical practice. When researching with children, opportunities to provide informed agreement are often afforded to adult gatekeepers, yet not necessarily extended to the children involved. This paper reports an approach to engaging with children in research, emphasising strateg...
Article
Full-text available
Becoming a parent is a significant event. As children grow and develop, parents make adjustments related to the changes in their children's development. One of the major adjustments parents make is in response to children starting school. Even when children have attended prior-to-school settings, starting school "involves adjustments by the entire...
Chapter
During the review period, there has been unprecedented political interest in early childhood education in Australasia (taken to be education of and for children aged between 0 and 8 years old). In New Zealand a review of the implementation of the respected prior-to-school curriculum framework Te Whāriki (Ministry of Education [MoE], 1996) has been...
Article
Over the last decade, there has been increasing awareness of the importance of engaging young children in research about their experiences and considering ways in which children's experiences, expectations and perceptions influence both their interactions and those of others. This has resulted from recognition of young children as active citizens,...
Article
The first part of this article reports a project in which children were consulted about ways to improve transition to school. Children from 14 schools and prior-to-school settings collaborated with their peers and teachers to plan, implement and document transition to school. Children attending school reflected on their own experiences while childr...
Article
The transition to school is a time of change and expectation for children, fami-lies, and communities. It is also a time when a range of factors—both within and outside the family—influence educational experiences and outcomes. This paper reports the experiences and expectations of 24 Australian families as their children with special needs started...
Article
Changing views of children and childhood have resulted in an increased focus on the nature of children’s participation in research. Rather than conducting research on children, many researchers now seek to engage with children in research. Such a change recognises children’s agency as well as their rights to have a say in matters that affect them....
Chapter
Full-text available
That Australian Aboriginal students should enjoy high-quality and equitable mathematics learning outcomes is seen as a fundamental human right. This chapter discusses connectedness, relevance and belonging to examine the importance of community on quality and equity in mathematics education for Aboriginal students. In particular, it investigates th...
Article
CHILDREN LEARN A GREAT DEAL about school, what happens at school, and the people they will meet at school as they engage with popular culture, such as television, games and books. One of the issues raised by many children as they contemplate starting school concerns what their teacher will be like. Children's expectations about teachers are importa...
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Full-text available
This article draws on an Australian project engaging with families with complex support needs as their children start school. The project itself is focused on developing collaborative research relationships between families, community support agencies and researchers with the aim of investigating what happens for families during the transition to s...
Article
There is a need to reflect on both the processes and outcomes of the range of approaches aimed at promoting children’s engagement in research, with the specific intent of listening to children’s voices. This article considers some of the ethical tensions we have experienced when engaging children in research about their prior-to-school and school e...
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Full-text available
The importance of listening to children’s perspectives has been emphasised in a wide range of recent research, using a variety of strategies. This paper explores the use of drawing as a strategy to engage with young children around the topic of starting school. It describes the approaches we have used, examines the benefits and challenges we have e...
Article
The notion of readiness and what it means to be ready for school dominates much of the popular discussion, as well as the research base, about transition to school. Readiness means different things for different people, yet almost always there is a perception that readiness for school involves some assessment of the characteristics of individual ch...
Article
Full-text available
The SIMERR project Mathematical Thinking of Pre-school Children in Rural and Regional Australia: Research and Practice included a review of relevant research literature with the aim of making this accessible to researchers as well as early childhood teachers and educators. This paper introduces the methods used in the project and provides a brief s...
Article
Abstract Responsibility for education at all school levels in Australia is the constitutional prerogative of the states and territories while almost all the funds are produced via Commonwealth taxation. On the other hand, university education, including those faculties responsible for teacher education, come directly under Commonwealth control. The...
Article
This paper is the result of collaboration among early childhood education researchers from different cultures on opposite sides of the globe. The project sought to identify what practitioners in both preschool and primary school settings in Iceland and Australia regarded as successful transition to school practices. Independently developed surveys...
Article
From 1999-2005, the Mathematics in Indigenous Contexts (MIC) project was implemented by the Board of Studies, New South Wales (NSW), in conjunction with the NSW Department of Education and Training, and academics from two universities. MIC project members worked with schools and communities at two sites: a primary school in an urban community in we...
Article
The approaches to teaching and learning mathematics in Australian preschools and schools can be quite different. These differences arise from what can be termed different “cultures” within the prior-to-school and school settings. Even the first years of school can be characterized by teacher-centered, syllabus-driven lessons and written, group-base...

Projects

Projects (3)