Effective Integrated Education Delivery Or Not

Lynne Grant-McMahon

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This research examines the emerging trend in some countries to have joint, shared provision for pre-school and early primary pupils. This is not just the case of having a shared building or access to shared resources but these pupils are instead educated together. In other words children from the age of 3 to at least 7 years old are taught together by the same teachers. They not only undertake tasks and activities together but also spend time playing and interacting together.
This research investigates the advantages and disadvantages of this emerging trend in three very different schools in three different communities in Scotland. The emergent findings are of interest not only to Scottish educators but to an international audience as this is a practice that appears to be gaining favour in other countries outside the UK and one that needs consideration to ensure not only the quality of the education but also the quality of the educational experience and the effectiveness of undertaking such a venture.
To date research on transition has tended to view this as a ‘one-point’ event such as the first day of school. However recent work by Petriwskyj, Thorpe and Tayler (2005), indicates that this is in fact ‘a multi-layered and multi-year process, involving multiple continuities and discontinuities of experience’ (pg 63). Therefore highlighting the importance that successful early transitions can have on children’s future transitions. The staff involved in this research focused on the need for such establishments as a means of easing the initial transition from home to school and from nursery to primary education as they felt that the boundaries between the two merged and the children became used to working together irrespective of their biological age.
This type of joint facility and joint working undertaken by the establishments involved in this research links in some ways to the viewpoint of the socio-cultural theorists Mercer and Littleton (2007). Their view is that the learning of children is “guided not only by adult members of their community but also through collaborative learning with their peers” (pg. 38) The joint delivery focused on within this research provided an increased opportunity for both formal and informal collaborative learning to occur as pupils undertook activities together and alongside their peers.
Vogler, Crivello and Woodhead (2008) have highlighted the need for research into educational transitions that reflect and adapt on the local environments of the children and their community. This research project aims to fill this emerging need as the schools involved felt that through this way of working, they were being responsive to the needs of their pupils and parents.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventEuropean Conference on Educational Research 2013 - Bahçeşehir University, Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 10 Sept 201313 Sept 2013
http://www.eera-ecer.de/ecer2013/ (Conference website)


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Educational Research 2013
Abbreviated titleECER 2013
Internet address


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