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Through their cultural lens: A qualitative approach to understanding Mexican immigrant families’ experiences with the transition to school


The transition to kindergarten is a critical developmental marker for young children. While the early childhood literature includes several established best practices to ensure a smooth and positive transition for both children and their families, less is known about transitional experiences of Mexican immigrants. Using a qualitative approach, this study investigated the transition to kindergarten from the perspective of Mexican immigrant families. Notable themes were identified around parents’ experiences with and beliefs about school transitions. Kindness, respectful communication, beliefs about involvement and how to approach the transition, and the power of relationships in acquiring knowledge were each central components to optimal school transitions. Our findings provide another important step toward understanding factors that facilitate a meaningful transition to formal schooling for young children and families—especially among a group typically underrepresented in research. Early childhood educators, researchers, and policy makers can inform this process by further giving voice to parents and children as they prepare for kindergarten. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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