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INSIDE A HEAD START CENTER: Developing Policies From Practice.

Deborah Ceglowski. New York: Teachers College Press, 1998. 165 pp. $19.95. In this qualitative study, Ceglowski has compiled a collection of on-site stories about a Head Start program. Her book consists of three sections: Part I presents the focus of the study and background information on Head Start, Part II contains the stories and anecdotes, and Part III reviews the initial research questions and suggests further research. One might also say that Ceglowski's stories provide the traditional story elements of setting, plot, characterization, and theme, making this a very personal study. The stories provide "windows through which to view policy" in an interesting and quite readable format. If one has to read a study of education research, this is the type to choose!

Ceglowski, an Assistant Professor of early childhood education at the University of Minnesota, has been involved in training programs for Head Start staff in several Midwestern states. The administrators and teachers with whom she worked complained of the increasing amount of paperwork and other requirements mandated by the federal government. Such tasks, they maintained, sometimes interfered with their delivery of Head Start services.

Ceglowski wanted to understand how staff interpret policy, because they are the ones who provide direct services to families and children. From September 1993 to May 1995 she served as a staff volunteer at the rural Wood River Head Start Program. While there, she collected stories based on the experiences of staff members, parents, and children, stories that demonstrate how policies made at the top of the hierarchy are actually interpreted and implemented on a daily basis.

Teachers, particularly those in Head Start, will readily relate to the nitty-gritty of carrying out policies made at higher levels, and may glean insights as to why they are required to perform certain tasks. Ceglowski's anecdotes show how policies affect local delivery practices and, ultimately, program quality. Reviewed by Carolyn Kramer, Vienna Baptist Children's Center, Vienna, VA
COPYRIGHT 1999 Association for Childhood Education International
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Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Review
Author:Kramer, Carolyn
Publication:Childhood Education
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 22, 1999
Words:321
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