Literature review

Indigenous early childhood education, school readiness and transition programs into primary school

Aboriginal Australians education Indigenous children Early childhood education Primary education Australia

Key Findings:

The purpose of the case studies developed through the SRI TV initiative is to support Indigenous children’s school readiness and transitions to school. This literature review has demonstrated the powerful effect that educational television can have on broadening children’s worldviews and helping them to understand new ideas, details and information.

The adverse effects of young children watching television have also been canvassed in the research literature. Educational television is only one tool in a battery of other connected initiatives. It has been argued here, that transitions to school involve interconnected, relational and holistic processes in which the child is placed at the centre of these processes.

This approach is referred to as an ecological approach, and it is particularly recommended in the literature to be of benefit to Indigenous children and their families. The ecological approach requires all relevant stakeholders (i.e. the child, family, community and school), work together to support their Indigenous children to successfully commence school. Educational television can have a crucial role in ensuring that the transition process is effective for Indigenous children.

It can open up a child’s worldview and assist children to understand diverse contexts that differ from their home environment, such as schools. This is of value for building mutual understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. Furthermore, educational television can assist parents and families to gain insights into the expectations of the schools, thus providing Indigenous children with critical and essential information about the schooling processes.

It can be argued that educational television can have a role to play in preparing Indigenous preschoolers and their families to make the transition to school. The value of these programs however, is considerably enhanced in the hands of highly skilled educators. 

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