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Title:Policies from practice: The stories of the Whitewater Head Start program
Author(s):Ceglowski, Deborah Ann
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Daniel J. Walsh
Department / Program:Education
Discipline:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Education, Early Childhood
Abstract:This study explored how the Whitewater Head Start staff defined, interpreted and implemented policies. For two years the author joined the four-member staff as a volunteer in a rural, and recently relocated, Minnesota Head Start program. The study utilized short stories about the mundane daily events and special occurrences at Whitewater to understand how staff interpreted policies.
The study found that Head Start history and social, economic, and political trends affect staff's policy interpretations. The Whitewater staff worked at the intersection of their interpretive understandings of official policies, the day to day realities of the program, and their relationships with the children, parents, each other, and the other building staff. The Whitewater staff displayed a range of perspectives on policies and policy practices. Staff negotiated official federal, state, and agency policies by complying with procedural regulations, preparing for monitors' visits, and completing paperwork. Staff, based on their working knowledge of official policies, developed policies from practice in response to a complex set of demands including: providing comprehensive services to children and families, maintaining facilities, and responding to emergency situations.
This project demonstrates the significance of local interpretations in policy implementation and development and points out the social processes staff employ in understanding policies. This study points to the need for policy analysis to examine policy from both top-down and bottom-up perspectives.
Issue Date:1995
Type:Text
Language:English
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/20074
Rights Information:Copyright 1995 Ceglowski, Deborah Ann
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9624303
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9624303


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