Starting School for Albury and Australia

11 OCTOBER 2010

Starting school is an exciting and challenging process for children, families, educators and communities.

Starting school is an exciting and challenging process for children, families, educators and communities. International education researchers, policy makers and early childhood educators concerned with this important part of schooling will meet this week at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Albury-Wodonga.
The Starting School: Research, Policy and Practice conference, to be hosted by CSU’s Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education (RIPPLE), and the Murray School of Education brings together leading researchers from Sweden, Iceland, Finland, Scotland, New Zealand, USA and Hong Kong as well as Australia to share their latest work in the area.
Twenty researchers will meet on Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 October to share their research and develop a draft position statement on best-practice for children starting school.
On Thursday 14 October, the researchers will join 30 policy makers from local, State and Federal governments and other organisations involved in transition to school to develop the position statement further and discuss future opportunities for collaborative research.
These groups will be joined on the final day of the conference, on Friday 15 October  by over 120 school teachers and early childhood educators to develop practical ideas and activities that could be used to enhance a child’s move to school. Workshops will be led by international researchers and practitioners from NSW, Victoria, Queensland, ACT and New Zealand.
Professors Bob Perry (right) and Sue Dockett at CSU.Conference co-coordinator, CSU’s Professor Bob Perry, said the innovative structure of the conference aims to influence Federal and State policy makers in early childhood education through their interaction with the latest research and theories from international researchers who have been working in the field for decades.
“We are also aiming to influence the practice of transition to school in early childhood settings, schools, families and communities,” Professor Perry said.
The Starting School: Research, Policy and Practice conference is the culmination of 14 years of research and relationship building undertaken by Sue Dockett and Bob Perry, both Professors of Education at the CSU Murray School of Education. The conference has the potential to influence agendas in research, policy and practice of transition to school for many years.
More information on the conference is available at the RIPPLE website.

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