Head start teaching center: Outcome evaluation of 3 years of participatory training

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The design and evaluation of the New England Head Start Teaching Center (NEHSTC), one of 14 federally funded programs created to test the efficacy of participatory, hands-on training for enhancing Head Start service delivery is the focus of this article. The unique characteristics of the NEHSTC and the outcome evaluation results from 3 years of training will be discussed. The findings demonstrate the NEHSTC was successful in implementing high quality, participatory training within the context of an ongoing Head Start program. Various Head Start staff who participated in the NEHSTC trainings demonstrated gains in knowledge, skills, and attitudes compared to similar Head Start employees who did not receive training. The positive findings suggest that participatory training should be included in the menu of training options available. Because of the unique size and scope of Head Start, the success of ongoing efforts to improve the quality of its programs and services are particularly significant. Within Head Start, this discussion of quality enhancements via innovative training models is timely given the advent of the new performance standards and the restructuring of the Training and Technical Assistance system. Additionally, the findings are relevant for broader efforts to improve early care and education programs nationwide. © 1998 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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Early Education and Development