Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Policy transfer in the post-socialist region: The Open Society Institute and the Step By Step initiative
by Krywko, Krystyann Karmen, Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University, 2010, 219; 3425021
Abstract (Summary)

This research is a qualitative case study that analyzes how and why the Open Society Institute (OSI) chose the US-based Head Start (HS) program as an appropriate early childhood education (ECE) model to borrow and implement in the post-socialist region as the Step by Step (SbS) program. With the re-introduction of democracy and open society in the post-socialist region, educational borrowing has become one of the key strategies in the rebuilding and reformation of post-socialist education systems. While the process of educational borrowing is not a new phenomenon, the role of local and national governments' involvement has changed as multiple agencies, ranging from international NGOs to semi-governmental organizations (such as the World Bank), have become involved in the development and implementation of educational reform processes. The provision of ECE has become a critical catalyst to promote stability within transitioning countries, as funding for these programs provides an important site for foreign intervention due to the intrinsic value offered to parents, along with the perceived neutrality of ECE.

The study highlights tensions present between local practitioners responsible for implementation of the transferred program and foundation personnel responsible for maintenance and the future of the foundation; and illustrates difficulties in maintaining enthusiasm and impetus for a developed program when the goals of the developing foundation have changed over time. Specifically, the study focused on four main findings: (1) donors choose specific programs and practices that support the mission of the organization; (2) specific forms of transfer are involved in the borrowing process that serve as a filter to the information and practices transferred; (3) there is a need for more genuine local involvement in the early stages of program replication; (4) the transfer of a program is not a linear process; instead it becomes enmeshed in the complex social interactions of individuals and organizations involved in the transfer process.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Steiner-Khamsi, Gita
School: Teachers College, Columbia University
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 71/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: East European Studies, Early childhood education
Keywords: Head Start, Open Society Institute, Policy transfer, Post-socialism
Publication Number: 3425021
ISBN: 978-1-124-25395-4
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