Sue Dockett

Sue Dockett
Charles Sturt University · School of Education

PhD

About

139
Publications
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2,900
Citations

Publications

Publications (139)
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...
Preprint
Full-text available
My contribution (Chapter 9A) is about the "Challenges of and strategies within interprofessional cooperation between ECEC institutions and primary schools"
Article
Interpretation in cross-language qualitative research presents a range of methodological and ethical challenges. Among these are the interpreters’ influence on data generation and interview power dynamics. Having translators review and/or produce an independent translation of recorded interview material for comparative purposes is regarded as one o...
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
Full-text available
Little is known about how supportive relationships and parent communities materialize, or fail to materialize, in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) settings characterized by family diversity. This paper explores parents’ lived experiences of belonging and non-belonging through semi-structured interviews with 12 parents of children from dive...
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...
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
WHILE MUCH HAS BEEN written about recent reforms in Australian early childhood education (birth to five) policy, less attention has been directed towards the changes across the whole early childhood period (birth to eight) and potential links between policy covering the prior-to-school and early school years. The near-concurrent introduction of two...
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
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
While there has been much discussion – theoretically, conceptually and practically – about addressing discontinuity and promoting continuity at times of educational transition, less attention has been given to examining what is meant by continuity and the rationale for its promotion. One of the implications of the focus on continuity has been less...
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...
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
By considering the research, policy and practice themes emanating from the preceding chapters in this book, this chapter synthesises the themes into coherent recommendations and discusses the implementation of these recommendations. The chapter concludes with a statement about future research directions dealing with the interrelationship of familie...
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...
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...
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...
Article
The importance of a positive start to school has been highlighted in a range of national and international research. This has stimulated considerable ongoing research attention, as well as initiatives across policy and practice, all with the aim of promoting a positive transition to school for all children. Despite the common interests across these...
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...
Chapter
In this chapter we share the perceptions of a small number of principals, teachers and parents about children’s prior-to-school mathematics. Rather than focusing on the somewhat limited notions of young children’s mathematical experiences reflected in some of the comments of these adults, we position the transition to school as a relational context...
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
Managing the transition to school has become a focus of Australian education policy at local, state and national levels. In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of transition programmes, approaches and interventions all aimed to ease the transition to school. Many of these assume that the transition to school is problemati...
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
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 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...
Conference Paper
This paper promotes the importance of noticing young children’s mathematical strengths. It draws on the philosophical positions of children’s rights and competence to propose a shift in the ways in which all involved might notice the mathematical engagement, understandings, experiences and practices of young children. Noticing children’s mathem...
Article
THIS STUDY INVESTIGATED MEMORIES about starting school across several family generations, and the impact of these memories on parents’ philosophies and actions when they were supporting their children during the transition to school. In this paper, we report the autobiographical narratives of two families and explore the ways in which the memories...
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
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
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
Full-text available
Since 1999, the Australian Museum has provided a designated play/learning space for young children aged 0–5 years. A recent redevelopment and redesign of the museum provided a valuable opportunity for a team of museum staff and university researchers to consult with young children about their experiences and expectations about this play space and t...
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....
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...
Article
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...
Article
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
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
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...
Article
Much of the current rhetoric in areas of child and family research and in early childhood education emphasizes the importance of listening to children in research that has a direct impact on them. Despite this, there remain qualms in some research contexts and amongst some researchers about the reliability, validity and generalizability of children...
Article
Full-text available
This paper investigates the effects of a sustained professional development project in South Australia in which a small group of preschool educators worked with the authors to develop their own knowledge and skills in facilitating young children's mathematical learning. Through the development of an approach to pedagogy that linked the mandated lea...
Article
This paper reports an investigation of children’s picture storybooks about school. Previous research has indicated that parents and educators choose to read books about school to children as a way of helping children become familiar with school expectations. Drawing on over 100 children’s picture storybooks, the content (text and illustrations) of...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, there has been a marked increase in the expectations of the mathematical performance of Australian children in their first year of school. Partly, this has been the result of Australasian research emanating from large systemic early childhood numeracy projects. One result of this increase in expectations for the first year of schoo...
Article
The project described in this paper investigated the needs and concerns identified by parents from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds as their children started school in Sydney, Australia. Six groups of parents from Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Samoan, Turkish and Vietnamese language backgrounds were interviewed about what was important...
Article
The Starting School Research Project, based at the University of Western Sydney, Australia, promotes the involvement of children in research concerning their transition to school. Using examples of approaches that have been utilised to engage children as part of the research on their transition to school, this paper explores some of the philosophic...
Article
Full-text available
Children have long been ‘objects of inquiry’, that is, research has been ‘done’ on children. Research into starting school is but one example, where children have been observed, tested and assessed at various points, as a means of evaluating their adjustment to the school environment. The Starting School Research Project aims to record and report t...

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Projects (2)
Project
To identify and map the health and well-being issues that need to be addressed to support mothers and their young children in the local Aboriginal community.
Project
This international seminar series aims to bring together researchers and practitioners who work to elicit voice with young children (birth to seven). The intention is to create a space for individuals working in this currently underdeveloped field to come together to engage with theory and practice. The seminars will run over an extended period of time to facilitate discussion and allow sharing of current practices. The aim is to move debate forwards and develop guidelines for practice and to generate theory to inform the implementation of Article 12 of the UNCRC with young children. The seminars will be based in and funded by the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. This location is seen as appropriate for these events due to the fundamental basis the Scottish education system and curriculum have in the UNCRC and a current drive to improve early years education. The series will comprise two seminars of three and a half days each in January and June 2017. The first will focus predominantly on mapping the field, sharing and discussing experiences and practices and exploring the affordances and constraints of the field. The second will aim to synthesise thinking and allow participants to look forwards to identify the needs and opportunities of the field A key element will be to develop guidelines for practice (covering both pedagogic/ research agendas) and plans for future research projects. In each seminar there will be the opportunity to visit an early years setting that is pushing children’s voice practices forward. There will also be opportunities to engage with practitioners, policy makers and academics interested in eliciting voice with young children.