chapter  2
22 Pages

Understanding Transitions Through Self-Esteem and Resilience


The research on transition between nursery-primary, primary-secondary, and secondary to post-school shows that it is a period of anxiety for many children and young people (Adeyemo, 2007; Fabian, 2002; Galton & Morrison, 2000; Jindal-Snape & Foggie, 2008; Jindal-Snape & Miller, 2008; Yeboah, 2002), with substantial decline in self-esteem, academic motivation, and achievement (Eccles & Midgley, 1989; Wigfi eld, Eccles, Mac Iver, Reuman, & Midgley, 1991). For example, young children might fi nd the transition from preschool to primary school diffi cult and confusing because they move out of an environment of autonomy into one that can be based on conformity to the school norm, with what might seem like lack of choice and lack of explanation regarding what is happening (Fabian & Dunlop, 2002, 2006; Fortune-Wood, 2002). That most children and young people navigate this process successfully can be attributed in part to raised awareness among professionals of the issues related to transition. Many schools now have formalized procedures related to transition; examples include a range of induction strategies to help with the settling-in period, coupled with improvements in the transfer of information from one setting to another (see Hargreaves & Galton, 2002; Jindal-Snape & Foggie, 2008). However, successful adaptation may equally be due to students remaining resilient and coping with change and/or receiving support from external networks that may serve as a protective factor (Akos, 2004; Jindal-Snape & Miller, 2008).