Transfer and transitioning: Students' experiences in a secondary school in Trinidad and Tobago
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In Trinidad and Tobago, parents, teachers, and students use several factors in choosing a secondary school of their choice. However, not all students are given their first choice of school. In an attempt to ensure the best educational experience available, some parents use the route of requesting, from the Ministry of Education, a transfer out of the school to which the student was first admitted into another they perceive as better. This makes those students "second-transfer" students, as they have already experienced the transfer process from a primary school into a secondary school. Using a phenomenological methodology, this study explored the experiences of the transitioning process of students who transferred from one secondary school to another, as they appeared to have difficulties adjusting to a new school environment. Two male and three female students from Forms 2 to 4, at different stages of transitioning, and three of their teachers were purposely selected to participate in the study. Data collected through interviews were analysed using the Constant Comparative Method (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). Findings indicated that transitioning positively affected them as they experienced a stable environment in their new school, and negatively affected them academically, with males faring worse than females. Their negative experiences diminshed over time as they adjusted and found their niche in the new school environment. The insights gained from the study can be useful to the school administration and the education system in understanding the transitioning process.