As children, families and teachers think about the new school year, they are being asked to reflect on their experiences of starting 'big school' as part of an ongoing research program at Charles Sturt University (CSU).
CSU is one of five international partners involved in Pedagogies of Educational Transitions (POET), a collaboration working to share research, policy and practice about the transition to school for all involved.
The CSU team – led by Professor Sue Dockett from CSU's School of Education and Professor Bob Perry from CSU's Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education (RIPPLE) – are inviting people to reflect on starting school through poetry as part of the ongoing program.
"The focus on poetry is both a play on the title of the research project (POET) and an effort to think about starting school from different perspectives," Professor Perry said.
"We are keen to hear from anyone who has started school, who is about to start school, or who has something to share about starting school. Essentially, we have an open invitation for people to share their perspectives through poetry".
At this time of the year, many children, families, childcare professionals and primary school teachers are thinking about starting school. The researchers are interested in capturing the experience from all of these perspectives.
"Starting school is both a shared and a personal experience: many people have started school, but their own experiences are unique. Listening to a wide range of perspectives helps us to understand the shared and the personal elements and to reflect this is our research," said Professor Perry.
Prizes for the competition are $300 for the winning entry and two prizes of $150 for highly commended entries.
Submissions will be presented at POET's next international meeting which will be held in Albury and Canberra in early 2016. The winning and highly commended poems will be published in an edition of Studio, an Australian poetry and fiction literary journal, and may also be used to inform future research projects.
The POETry for POET competition closes on Monday 30 November 2015. For full competition guidelines please visit the CSU website.