Teacher Perceptions for a Successful Student Transition from Junior High to High School at an Urban North Texas Public School District: A Narrative Inquiry

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Educational Administration

Date of Award

Fall 2020


The entrance into ninth grade is a critical time for urban high school students. A successful transition is needed to ensure that students do not fall behind and graduate on time with their cohort. There was a need to study the perceptions of teachers to better understand specific issues surrounding the transition to high school. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the past experiences of eighth-grade and ninth-grade teachers in an effort to understand more about the transition from eighth grade to ninth grade in an urban school district. To investigate the perceptions of junior high and high school teachers, the researcher used narrative inquiry to gain the stories of teachers regarding students’ transitions from eighth grade to ninth grade. The data generated themes specific to answering the three research questions. The three themes from the eighth-grade teachers were (a) the need for smaller class sizes, (b) teaching student’s life and academic skills, and (c) providing opportunities for students and parents to visit the high school. The two themes from the ninth-grade teachers were (a) need for a summer bridge camp for ensuring successful transitions and (b) provide formal freshman year mentoring program. The three themes derived from all eight participants were (a) continuous interventions, (b) ninth grade needs to happen in a traditional high school setting, and (c) involving parents more during the transition process. The implications affect both school boards at the policy level and secondary school programming at the practice level. The data led to recommendations for future research to broaden and deepen the amount of understanding about the phenomenon of the transition from middle to high school in urban schools.


Nathan R. Templeton

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Administration and Supervision