The impact of digital technology on children’s transition from kindergarten to primary school: Bringing concepts from international research and practice to Saudi Arabia
Moving from early childhood education (ECE) to primary education is considered a critical moment both in the life of a child and in their educational trajectory. Commonly utilised digital technologies such as television, videos and computers can be used to support children and their families to make a more successful transition from ECE to primary school (Radich, 2013). Both the transition from ECE to school and the use of digital technologies in education have been little explored in Saudi Arabia. While I planned to use a sequential exploratory strategy for the data collection phase (Ivankova, Creswell, & Stick, 2006), to explore these two areas, I found that constraints in my context meant that I could only carry a survey of ECE teachers. Nonetheless, this was useful primary data for exploring the perceptions, ideas and experiences of the teachers in Saudi Arabia. This data helped me to draw out many interesting responses from the teachers. Teachers in Saudi Arabia’s kindergartens generally recognise the importance of transition for children and do identify the many benefits of digital technology for transition purposes. However, many teachers also feel that a lack of clear curriculum guidelines, inefficiency of teachers and non-cooperation by parents create impediments for successful transitioning of children in kindergartens to primary school.
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© Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research, Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education, 2015