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Relational Pedagogy & Transitions for Families, Children & Educators


Task: TASK
Children are involved in numerous transitions as part of their everyday lives. Kennedy (2013, p. 2), when drawing on the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), explains that “Transitions are times when children move between and adapt to different spaces or places and with different people, experiences, expectations and routines. The term encompasses regular transitions across a day and those that occur at significant times in children’s lives such as starting in an education and care service or starting full-time school” (DEEWR, 2009, p. 16).

In this essay you are required to discuss transitions for children, families and educators within and from early childhood settings (see for example Harrison, 2016; Kennedy, 2013). Describe some examples and strategies that highlight the importance of relational pedagogy (Papatheodorou & Moyles, 2009) in supporting children’s transitions within, to and from early childhood settings. Reflect on your insights and suggest how they might inform your future practices involving transitions for children, families and educators. Draw on the body of literature (theory, research, practice) contained within this subject to support your discussion.

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations [DEEWR]. (2009). Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework. Commonwealth of Australia.
Kennedy, A. (2013). Transitions: Moving in, moving up and moving on. National Quality Standard Professional Learning Program (NQS PLP), e-Newsletter No.70 66-70/newsletter-70/.

Papatheodorou, T., & Moyles, J. (Ed.). (2009). Learning together in the early years: Exploring relational pedagogy. Routledge.


Relational pedagogy and transitions are considered as the major changes that individual children and young people experience during the different phases of their life. However, within the transition period, an individual child develops emotional, physical, and persona change that helps them in terms of gaining control over their basic movements. However, the essay predominantly focuses on the different aspects of transition based on the children, families, and most important educators. Based on the transition strategies, the essay also highlights the significance of relational pedagogy that supports the overall perspectives of children’s transitions. In addition to that, through reflecting on the strategies related to relational pedagogy, the essay also highlights the future practices involving the transitions for educators, families, and children.

Relational Pedagogy and Transitions for Families, children, and Educators
In order to define the children’s transitions, relational pedagogy is considered as the vital component and it illustrates the communications between the children and educators and within the educators and parents (Lowe and Dotterer, 2018). Within childhood, transitions are considered as emotional development and well-being, and the way these early transitions are handled determines how an individual child could manage the major changes in later life. Between the transition period, children learn different self-regulatory skills, and these self-regulatory skills are termed as the essential components regarding how an individual child could deal with challenging situations and can deal with major emotional trauma. On the contrary, within the early childhood settings, children are within the learning stage regarding how to control and manage their own behavioural perspectives and individual feelings. In terms of successful transitions, children develop emotional, behavioural, and cognitive self-regulating skills that help the individual child to manage other vital transitions. The self-regulating skills within the early childhood transitions are also important in terms of gaining the major knowledge within all their individual learning domains.

Transitions also help children in terms of developing a sense of place and time. As individual child goes through major transitions from one zone to another, they start developing the locations of their objects (Cook et al. 2019). As per the perspective of educators, transitions enable the educators in terms of lead the children through different learning perspectives. In addition to that, Transitions offer every individual child different opportunities in terms of developing strategies that can manage their emotions and behaviours. As opined by Robbins, and Schmit,(2020), transitions also help the children in terms of forming their mental map regarding how the learning environment is arranged.

In terms of families and educators, Transitions offer massive opportunities in terms of supporting the children within their learning activities. Within the childhood settings, educators have a major role in terms of collaborating with the family members in order to ensure the fact that children develop as per their complete potential. After gaining detailed knowledge regarding every individual child from their own family, educators specifically focus on forming smooth and proper transitions for their children. Through creating strong attachments, educators and families enable the individual child in terms of regulating their own behavioural perspectives and emotional levels. The attachments are also linked with the effective emotional and social development of the individual child along with the high level of mental well-being (Cook et al. 2019).

For educators, the transitions are extremely essential in order to promote effective learning and through the transitions, children gather information regarding the new context, skills, and techniques (Herman et al. 2018). Educators build on the existing experiences, and plan for upgrading the learning capacities of a child on a continuous basis (Yamauchi, & Chapman de Sousa, 2020). Through promoting continuity, educators create a separate program that increases the learning opportunities for every individual child, and through offering the children the major opportunity to engage with the latest opportunities and new knowledge, it increases the children's overall understanding levels and the entire learning procedure become majorly rich, deep, and highly important (Hamilton et al. 2020). More specifically, within the childhood transitions, educators and families have a major role in terms of preparing the children for effective transactions and through collaboration between families and educators, the educators understand how the child development activities impact the overall response to the transitions. On the other hand, through gaining detailed knowledge regarding the cognitive development and skills from the families, educators are able to support the children successfully within learning and exploring the child’s new experiences. As a result, educators are majorly responsible for supporting the individual children within their families during the transitions that are vital for proper development and learning.

Importance of relational pedagogy in order to support children transitions
Research emphasizes that families, children, and educators go through different transitional challenges, and for the children, the transition period is often termed as the worrying period, as the families and educators are afraid of their children’s overall mental wellbeing. As per the perspective of families, they have a certain amount of uncertainties regarding how their child might be able to cope with the challenges and wonder how the educators might understand the needs of their toddler (Papatheodorou and Moyles, 2009). On the other hand, the educators might wonder about how to specify the individual transition of every child, whether the transition strategies could support the individual child’s mental well being and whether to include the family member in terms of enhancing the opportunity of children's well-being. On the other hand, in order to improve the transition process within the early childhood settings, there is a massive need for maintaining effective relations between family, educators, and learners. This specific perspective helps in forming the actual learning community for the child, and a good relationship amongst the family, educators, and children, helps the individual child in terms of promoting self-awareness within the learners. Significant collaboration between families and educators ensures smooth transitioning for the children and within the early childhood settings (Bovu, 2021). With the help of supportive relationships between educators and families, the transition activities become smooth. However, in terms of families, they are the experts who majorly worry regarding their children’s activity, they also have detailed ideas regarding family activities. This specific information is extremely crucial in terms of supporting every individual child to have an effective transition, and in this scenario, relational pedagogy is crucial to the overall development of every child (Li& Lau, 2019).

The usage of family-based activities within early childhood education emphasizes the effectiveness of the relational pedagogy within the early childhood environment and the basic premises of the family-centred strategy within the early childhood strategy is based on the major argument that an individual family plays a pivotal role within the life of a child. On the other hand, the family-based strategy is largely focused on the ecological systems theory which emphasizes the fact that an individual child exists within the vast context of society and family and the entire system is massively interconnected (Kim et al. 2019).

Informing Future Practice
The strategic perspective of planning the strategic transitions for children showcases the importance of the particular relational pedagogy in early childhood education settings (Kennedy, 2013). Children go through different transitions and in order to avoid the stressful conditions for family, children, or educators, the entire transition procedure needs proper attention and planning (Ansari andPurtell, 2018). However, in terms of future perspectives of transition strategies within childhood learning, it is very important for the children, educators, and families in terms of increasing the connectivity in order to avoid the stressful conditions within the childhood learning activities (Gershon and Pellitteri, 2018). Proper planning consists of making an individual child highly familiar and comfortable within the early childhood education services. However, within the transition period, this specific perspective is only possible when educators within the early childhood care system use the detailed information regarding the child from their family (McDermott et al. 2018). For example, through collaborating with the family an individual educator might learn the behavioural perspectives of an individual child and through this information. In addition an assigned educator could introduce the child in terms of having the new play experiences however utilizing the tactile materials within the child transition period that are familiar to them might strengthen the overall aspects of smooth transitioning (Houle et al. 2018). At the same time, through the collaboration with children, and families, educators get a sound knowledge regarding the understand ability level of an individual child that helps them in terms of implementing the effective practices for meeting the needs (Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations 2009). In such a way, relational pedagogy is highly important in terms of supporting all the transitions for children.

From the above study, it can be concluded that within the early childhood settings, an individual child goes through different levels of transitions and the major purpose of these transitions is to enable the individual child in terms of understanding the latest skills and experiences for effective development and learning. In terms of a smooth transition process, children need adult guidance and support and in order to reduce the different challenges linked with the childhood transition procedure, it is very important to adapt the family centred practices. In order to help the children in terms of managing the transitions, it is very vital to have the collaboration between educators and families.

Ansari, A., & Purtell, K. M. (2018). School absenteeism through the transition to kindergarten. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk (JESPAR), 23(1-2). Cook, K. D., Coley, R. L., & Zimmermann, K. (2019). Who benefits Head start directors' views of coordination with elementary schools to support the transition to kindergarten. Children and Youth Services Review, 100, 393-404.

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations [DEEWR].(2009). Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework. Commonwealth of Australia.
Gershon, P., & Pellitteri, J. (2018). Promoting Emotional Intelligence in Preschool Education: A Review of Programs. International Journal of Emotional Education, 10(2), 26-41.
Hamilton, K., van Dongen, A., & Hagger, M. S. (2020). An extended theory of planned behavior for parent-for-child health behaviors: A meta-analysis. Health Psychology, 39(10), 863. Herman, K. C., Cohen, D., Reinke, W. M., Ostrander, R., Burrell, L., McFarlane, E., & Duggan, A. K. (2018). Using latent profile and transition analyses to understand patterns of informant ratings of child depressive symptoms. Journal of school psychology, 69, 84-99.
Houle, A. A., Besnard, T., Bérubé, A., & Dagenais, C. (2018). Factors that influence parent recruitment into prevention programs in early childhood: A concept map of parents', practitioners', and administrators' points of view. Children and Youth Services Review, 85, 127-136. Kennedy, A. (2013). Transitions: Moving in, moving up and moving on. National Quality Standard Professional Learning Program (NQS PLP), e-Newsletter No.70 70/newsletter-70/.

Kim, J., Kim, G., Park, J., Wang, Y., & Lim, H. (2019). Effectiveness of teacher-led nutritional lessons in altering dietary habits and nutritional status in preschool children: adoption of a NASA Mission X-based program. Nutrients, 11(7), 1590.
Li, J. B., & Lau, E. Y. H. (2019). Teacher–student conflict and preschoolers’ adjustment in the transition to primary school: The role of child self-regulation and parents’ positive relations with others. Early Education and Development, 30(3), 423-437.
Lowe, K., & Dotterer, A. M. (2018). Parental involvement during the college transition: A review and suggestion for its conceptual definition. Adolescent Research Review, 3(1), 29-42.

McDermott, P. A., Rovine, M. J., Reyes, R. S., Chao, J. L., Scruggs, R., Buek, K., & Fantuzzo, J. W. (2018). Trajectories of early education learning behaviors among children at risk: A growth mixture modeling approach. Psychology in the Schools, 55(10), 1205-1223.
Papatheodorou, T., & Moyles, J. (Ed.). (2009). Learning together in the early years: Exploring relational pedagogy. Routledge. PP1&dq=Papatheodorou,+T.,+%26+Moyles,+J.+(Ed.).+(2009).+Learning+together+in+the+early+years:+Exploring+relational+pedagogy.+Routledge.&ots= CdzrRhmL5A&sig=D3sEC0y185kKujxuI0wIVHl63TI&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
Robbins, K. G., & Schmit, S. (2020). Transition Briefing & Recommendations: Urgently Address the Child Care Crisis and Invest in Equitable Child Care and Early Learning for All. Center for Law and Social Policy, Inc.(CLASP).
Yamauchi, L. A., & Chapman de Sousa, E. B. (2020). Early Childhood Educators' Perspectives on Early Childhood Settings and Collaborations to Promote Kindergarten Transition. Professional Educator, 43(1), 100-113.


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