AKF staff have written and commissioned a number of papers and chapters highlighting the issues involved in early transitions including Is Everybody Ready? (2007), Transitions-Perspectives from the Majority World (2010) and Improving Learning Achievement in Early Primary in Low-Income Countries (2010). The current publication, authored by Dr. Sheridan Bartlett, complements these. It provides a synthesis of each study, most of which used quasi-experimental methods, and of the key findings, especially in terms of children’s learning.
The author also reflects on what can be learned from these studies both individually and as a group. She examines what we have learnt in terms of the key findings within and across countries and how these connect with the wider research literature in this area. Equally importantly she also reflects on what we have learnt about how we do research. She points to the need to make the most of a range of opportunities to learn from programmes using various sources of data and from qualitative as well as quantitative methods. This links to a forthcoming journal article by the same author, commissioned by AKF, entitled “Reflections from the Field on the ‘Gold Standard’”, which focuses specifically on some of the knotty questions surrounding randomised control trials and quasi-experimental methods for assessing education programming.