The transition from elementary to junior high school : student expectations and experiences

Cluett, Matilda (1984) The transition from elementary to junior high school : student expectations and experiences. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

This research reports on an elementary-junior high school transition study of ninety students from a suburban K-6 elementary school to a grade 7-12 central high school in the same geographical area. -- By means of a questionnaire and student interviews the expectations of grade six students for junior high school were assessed. In a follow-up study a year later, these same students were asked to tell about their experiences in junior high school. Salient themes of student expectations and experiences were drawn from these two sets of data and several significant trends were identified. The identification of these trends, which sensitize us to the student perspective in schooling, can be summarized as follows: -- Firstly, before entering junior high school, elementary students experienced a high level of excitement regarding the transition. At the end of the following year, this level of excitement had diminished somewhat, but still remained relatively high. This high degree of excitement is basically seen as being related to the feeling of being mature and grown up. Early adolescents seem to see this transition as one of the first steps into adulthood. -- Secondly, grade six students generally expected the grade seven program to be more difficult and demanding, and at the end of the grade seven year, this idea was almost a general consensus. Most children thought that the academic program demanded more of them and many were not doing as well as they had expected to do. -- Thirdly, very few of the grade six children in the study expected, or were looking forward to, changing friendship patterns during their grade seven year. But, in effect, a surprisingly large number of these students did report being part of new friendship groups. Drastic changes did occur in friendship patterns. -- Fourthly, while still in elementary school, students generally expressed some worry and concern about moving to the new environment. Some reported that their parents were also feeling this way. However, from the grade seven survey, it was found that both students' and parents’ concerns as seen by students, had increased significantly. The two main areas of this concern were academics and the influence of older students. -- These trends, analysed from a symbolic interaction perspective, thereby sensitizing us to the manner in which students experience the transition period, are then discussed in relationship to implications for teachers as well as for future research into the student perspective. Such insight into students' perspectives is seen as a necessary component of the understanding, teaching and guidance of early adolescents during this transition period.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/4449
Item ID: 4449
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 236-241.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1984
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Junior high school students--Attitudes; Junior high school students--Psychology

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