Parents and middle school transitions: a look at parental concerns
The purpose of the present study was to examine the concerns parents of Grade 5 students had about their children transitioning into middle school at Grade 6. The study was a mixed methods design that gathered information on parental concerns in order to determine common themes and differences. The study took place over two weeks in the fall of 2011. The survey (Appendix B) recipients were sixty-eight parents from three Grade 5 classes within two schools belonging to a school district on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. A total of twenty-nine parents responded and provided information about their concerns regarding social, academic, and procedural impacts that transition may cause for their children. The results of the research were that parents had varying levels of concern within each of the categories as well as between the categories. Results also demonstrated that there were differences in the data based on whether a child was male or female. The most significant finding was that issues within the social category scored top concern overall and highest average level of concern on the survey. The principal conclusion from that result was that parents viewed bullying as the number one social concern regarding middle school transition. Parents also demonstrated significant concern about negative peer pressure and changes in self-esteem. Implications for practice based on the present study discuss how parents, teachers, and students need to be involved in effective and extensive transition programming that provides a structure which helps stakeholders to become more aware of the social, academic, and procedural issues and concerns. Orientation programs and opportunities for parents to liaise with teaching staff need to be put in place to alleviate parental concerns about their child’s transition into middle school.
Identifier (Other)DOI: 10.25316/IR-168
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