School readiness and transition to primary school : a study of teachers, parents and educational policy makers’ perspectives and practices in the capital city of Indonesia

2017-03-01T03:36:44Z (GMT) by Fridani, Lara
This research explains the perspectives and practices of teachers, parents and education policy makers on school readiness and transition to primary schools in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. Specifically, it investigates stakeholders’ conceptions and practices of school readiness and considers why different stakeholders in Indonesia prioritize different aspects of school readiness, which impact on their practices. The research specifically aimed to (i) contribute to directions on school readiness and transition policy development; (ii) feed the results into developing teachers’ capacity to support children’s learning, development and transition to school; (iii) add to the body of literature on school readiness and transition to school in Indonesia; and (iv) develop strategies that can lead to more participation of parents in school transition programs. The study was conducted using a mixed method approach and designed as a QUAN-qual model, where the researcher collected quantitative data first followed by qualitative data. The first phase of the study involved 315 teachers in Jakarta altogether of whom 200 teachers worked in the last semester of kindergarten and 115 teachers worked in the first grade of primary school. They were asked to fill a questionnaire on school readiness and primary school. In the second phase, 105 participants across Jakarta took part in focus group discussion. Coming from three types of settings (30 primary school teachers, 40 kindergarten teachers and 35 parents), these participants were divided into 15 groups across Jakarta’s regions (Centre, East, West, South, and North). The teacher participants on the later phase were selected from those who were involved in the first phase. Individual interviews were also conducted with two education policy makers who were selected through purposeful sampling. The results showed that national education policy, teachers and school factors, parents’ expectation were key variables that informed school readiness and transition practices. The findings of this study have demonstrated that it is crucial to rethink school readiness concepts and transition practices in light of Bioecological theory for Indonesia. This means, the conceptualization of school readiness and transition practice should be grounded in values and beliefs about the nature of children’s development, and should not merely focus on a child’s academic skills with the aim of making them accepted in a ‘better standard’ primary school. The findings from this study might be used to influence policy and practice related to some issues on school readiness and transition considering the context of Indonesia and as suggested by international literature. By examining and discussing stakeholders’ perspectives and practices, the researcher advanced arguments for a Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Framework for school readiness and transition to primary schools in Indonesia. This thesis concluded with directions for greater collaboration between home, kindergarten, primary schools settings, and education policy makers when developing school readiness and transition programs for children.