Cultural-historical study of crises in child role adjustment during transition to school within a bi-cultural context

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There is a consensus that the crises children encounter during the transition period might impact negatively on children’s learning and development. However, from cultural-historical perspective, qualitative leap in development can hardly be achieved without crises. This paper, drawing upon cultural-historical theory as the framework and by using ‘role adjustment’ as the unit of analysis, discusses what the crisis means for children’s learning and development. Through a case study of two second generation Chinese Australian children’s role adjustment in school transition, this paper finds that the crises provide both potentials and dangers depending on how the crises are managed within the child’s social situation of development. It argues against the advocates for making children’s transition seamless, as it is important to utilize the developmental potentials of crises instead of eliminating them. It also enriches the cultural-historical studies by exploring not only the developmental aspect but also the dark side of the crises.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1243-1256
Number of pages14
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • children
  • Crises
  • role adjustment
  • transition

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