Pedagogies of Educational Transitions

Pedagogies of Educational Transitions, POET, is a Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES) programme of staff exchange and networking between universities in five countries: Australia, Iceland, New Zealand, Scotland (UK) and Sweden. Each of the participating researchers is involved in existing programmes of research examining pedagogies of educational transition in their own country.

Project title: Pedagogies of Educational Transitions

Research area: Educational sciences

Primary funding organisation(s): EU

Co-operating/Co-production Partners: Australia (Charles Sturt University, CSU); Iceland (University of Iceland, HI); New Zealand (University of Waikato, UWAI); Scotland, UK (University of Strathclyde, U-STRATH); Sweden (Mälardalen University, MDH, Coordinator University).  

Project leader:  Primary Coordinator Professor Anders Garpelin , Mälardalen University

Project start date: 2013-01-01

Project end date: 2016-12-31 

Funding in SEK: 2 000 000 SEK

Popular science description

Pedagogies of Educational Transitions, POET, is a 2013-2016 Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES) programme of staff exchange and networking between universities in five countries: Australia (Charles Sturt University, CSU); Iceland (University of Iceland, HI); New Zealand (University of Waikato, UWAI); Scotland, UK (University of Strathclyde, U-STRATH); Sweden (Mälardalen University, MDH, Coordinator University). Each of the participating researchers is involved in existing programmes of research examining pedagogies of educational transition in their own country. The POET programme, which sets up a series of reciprocal interactions, among both researchers and their research projects, has five overarching aims: 


1. To facilitate the development of diverse research skills and expertise among the researchers; 


2. To promote collaboration among early stage and established researchers around the topic of pedagogies of educational transition; 


3. To build sustainable research collaborations between the universities that will be maintained and extended, leading to proposals for major international research projects around early years education and educational transitions; 


4. To expand knowledge and understanding of the significance of educational transition for young children, their families and communities in national and international contexts; and 


5. To generate knowledge transfer among and between researchers, educators, other professionals and policy-makers involved in educational transitions. 
Eight work packages have been completed during the project period 2013-2016, four hosted by the Europen parters and four by the partners from Australia or New Zealand. Key themes have been: Introduction; Mapping transition research practice; Diversity and inclusion; Indigenous approaches; Curriculum continuity; Transition journeys; Transitions as a tool for change; Into the future. 

The work packages have included a series of reciprocal staff exchanges, each for periods of 1-3 months. Each work package involved experienced, early-career researchers and doctoral candidates from each of the partner institutions in: 


1) preliminary work on each country project as well as readings and specific activities to be shared during the staff exchange; 
staff exchanges including: research symposia reporting country projects; identification and discussion of issues; intensive skills development workshops around identified themes/processes; collaborative writing; reflection; theorising; and opportunities to engage with local practitioners, researchers and policy-makers to promote both knowledge transfer and understanding of the local contexts of educational transitions; 


3) follow-up work including: finalising projects from the work package/staff exchange; preparation and planning for the following work package; and collaborative writing. 


POET has built on and extended existing research collaborations and, in opening this up to a wide range of early stage and experienced researchers across Europe, Australia and New Zealand. By this POET has contributed to the European Research Area aim of making Europe more attractive to researchers. POET has exemplified the concept of the knowledge triangle in which education, research, and innovation are stimulated through international collaboration on a shared topic - in this case, pedagogies of educational transitions. Through these approaches the researchers have learned about other country contexts, have developed a shared set of values and principles to inform ethical guidelines for transitions research, have supported and sustained each other in the country project development and developed greater understandings about appropriate methodologies and tools to use in transitions research. 


Each package has provided opportunities to develop specific research skills such as spatial mapping, indigenous research approaches, researching with complexity, examination and critique of methods, and dissemination. Working together in the POET group has enabled both early career and experienced researchers to establish strong professional and personal relationships which will facilitate ongoing international research and publication. Many publications and conference presentations have resulted from the POET project. Notable among these are the special issue of Early Childhood Folio and the newly released Springer book entitled POET - Pedagogies of Education Transitions - European and Antipodean Research. 


A firm platform has been built during the project which allows sustainable research collaborations between and among the universities with a view to major international research projects. There is an internal working document outlining principles for collaborative work; a document outlining principles for Indigenous research in early childhood education; and a developing dissemination programme. 
The research work within each country team and across the POET group has expanded expertise among the group members. Each work package has incorporated public symposia to share knowledge and understanding with local practitioners and policy makers. 


Research from each country team has been shared in all of the countries represented through a series of conferences involving practitioners, policymakers and researchers, providing an interest in undertaking research in the area of transitions in each country as a direct result of the POET initiative. The five country teams have encouraged interrogation of each of these aims from the different country perspectives and allowed a deeper understanding than would be possible with POET. As well, the range of expertise and approaches within the overall team has provided learning opportunities for all involved. There is engagement of POET members in each other's core projects and cross-country nurturing of early career researchers and doctoral students. The last work package  resulted in the start to develop a new international research project on educational transitions.