Extensive evidence is found in the minority world on effective measures ensuring children’s successful progress and smooth transition into and through the early years of formal education. A good recent example, reviewing the research, is Reynolds, Magnuson, and Ou (2010)1
. In the majority world, however, it remains necessary to piece together relatively scanty evidence from different kinds of sources, and the research on many fronts is either patchy or nonexistent. While an argument can certainly be made for extrapolating from minority world evidence, doing so is risky. There are a lot of areas of shared concern—pupil-teacher ratios, age at entry, effective pedagogy, and parental involvement, to name just a few. But too often the context surrounding these terms is so different that attempts to build on this evidence are questionable and can even become misleading.
This annotated bibliography focuses on work published since 2007 that contributes to an understanding of factors that are relevant to children’s transition to school in the majority world. Most of these studies do not, in fact, specifically address children’s transition into school, but they relate to the context of this transition, and have relevance, more in some cases, less in others, for school entry and success in the early years of primary.