Supporting Student Transition into Professional Practice


  • Donna Jacqueline Dey University of Dundee
  • Angela Lindsay
  • Patricia Thomson



student transitions, self-efficacy, critical reflection, connectedness


Transitions can affect students throughout their time at university. This study aims to show the potential of an additional, non-assessed placement in supporting MA3 Initial Teacher Education (ITE) students with skills thought to benefit transitions. Much of the research around student transitions focuses upon transitions into and out of higher education. In addition, within the MA ITE programme, students perceive challenges in transitioning into Professional Practice during their four year programme. A pilot study was undertaken to support third year MA ITE students in developing skills and attributes associated with the enhancement theme of student transitions in higher education: self-efficacy; reflection; and connectedness. The study involved MA3 students visiting an Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) setting in one local authority, one afternoon a week for eight weeks, the aim of the placement being for them to gain experience in playing and communicating with younger children, prior to their official early years placement. Initial findings from student focus group discussions suggest that students perceived that the study did help to support them in further developing transition skills and attributes.

Author Biographies

Donna Jacqueline Dey, University of Dundee

Donna Dey is a Lecturer in the School of Education and Social Work at the University of Dundee. She teaches on the MA Education, PGDE and M.Ed programmes and has a particular interest in the Health and Wellbeing and student transitions.

Angela Lindsay

Angela Lindsay is a Lecturer in the School of Education and Social Work at the University of Dundee. She teaches on the BA Childhood Practice and MA Education programmes and has a particular interest in the early years and student transitions.

Patricia Thomson

Patricia Thomson is a Lecturer in the School of Education and Social Work at the University of Dundee. She teaches on the MA Education, PGDE and BA Childhood Practice programmes and has a particular interest in the student transitions and social justice.


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