Home management is the focus of home economics. This includes a wide range of topics, including consumer issues, personal and family finance, housing and interior design, food preparation, science, nutrition, and wellness.
History of Home Economics
The original goal of home economics education was to elevate “women’s work” by intellectualizing and redefining it as a vocation. After the American Revolution, home economics became a subject of study in the USA. The principles and practices of home economics had previously been taught to young women at home. Due to the introduction of Home Economics as a curriculum in schools in the 19th century, this altered. A broad humanitarianism that pervaded America, faith in education, and a commitment to gender equality were some of the factors that contributed to this development.
The first institutions to offer space for domestic sciences like Home Economics education to develop were the grant-led colleges and universities created by the Morrill Act of 1862. These colleges placed a strong emphasis on giving the industrial working classes a liberal and practical education. Many of the courses that were provided at these colleges and universities were specifically tailored to the requirements and lives of the students. Some of these courses were created expressly to meet the needs of female students.
Courses centered on domestic sciences had previously only been available at these grant-driven institutions and universities, but by 1890 they were extensively provided in American public high schools.
The domestic scientific programs included some of the following:
- Home decoration
- Home sanitation
- Home Hygiene
- Home Nursing
A conference for those interested in using science to solve home problems was organized a few years later, in 1899, by a lady by the name of Ellen H. Richards, a sanitary chemistry instructor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Numerous experts in the fields of chemistry, biology, economics, psychology, and sociology were present. The American Home Economics Association was established in 1909 as a result of this conference and the gatherings that followed it.
In addition to pushing for the acceptance of home economics education, the American Home Economics Association was a pioneer in the development of living circumstances in the community and at home. The American Home Economics Association sought to promote home economics education and was committed to enhancing living circumstances in both the household and the community. In 1920, there were 6,000 high schools across the country that provided home economics classes.
Many of the social sciences’ results were eventually included in home economics teaching as the social sciences advanced. While much of the initial home economics instruction concentrated on providing students with food, clothing, and shelter, it soon began to broaden to cover topics like interpersonal relationships. Eventually, by 1935, home economics educators were urged to consider all academic disciplines to determine what would most effectively enhance families and family life.
What is Home Economics as a subject?
Home Economics education today looks very different from how it did when it first started in the 19th century. Currently, the emphasis is much more on why we do things than it is on simply how to do them. Even while cooking and sewing skills are still taught in schools, students are now also shown where to shop for their food and the materials they need to produce clothes.
Homemaking abilities are no longer prioritized in home economics education; instead, consumer education is. Home Economics is currently undergoing yet another significant change. Home Economics education is increasingly focusing on concerns of national and worldwide significance, such as overcrowding, urban poverty, and the growth of new nations, as opposed to its previous focus on individual and family difficulties.
What is the importance of Home Economics?
Home economics is a crucial component of children’s education since it imparts a wealth of useful life skills. The following are some of the knowledge and abilities that kids will gain about food and nutrition in home education:
- The food system is taught to students, including how food is produced and distributed as well as how it is grown.
- To help students become the healthiest versions of themselves, they also learn everything there is to know about food nutrition. Children must be able to identify the ingredients in the food they consume to choose the foods they want to include in their diet.
- Along with these topics, students will learn about global food production, nutritional advancements that promote health, and other ethical aspects of food production.
Home economics now prepares children for a variety of fascinating professional possibilities, whereas it was originally only thought of as education on “women’s work.” Students who study home economics may afterward pursue such as:
- Health Practitioner
- Food Product Developers
- Sports nutritionist
- Medical Professional
- University Lecturers
- Food technologist
- Food Writers
What are the 7 areas of Home Economics?
During the nineteenth century, American educator Catherine E. Beecher lived. She was in charge of categorizing Home Economics into 7 key categories and was well-recognized for her staunch views on female education. Today’s home economics curriculum still covers some of these topics, but others are no longer relevant.
The following are the top 7 areas of study in home economics:
- Cooking: Home Economics includes a lot of information about food and cooking. An important step in motivating children to be independent and take charge of their health is teaching them how to cook healthy, balanced meals for both themselves and others. To prevent infections, they also learn about food safety and proper meal preparation.
- Child development: The curriculum still includes this, albeit it was more common in early home economics classes. Students are taught all there is to know about child development and how to react appropriately to kids at different developmental stages.
- Education and community awareness: This is another area of home economics that received more attention in the past when moms were more involved in their children’s education. The greatest approaches to preparing children for school by teaching them fundamental math and reading abilities were covered in these programs. Additionally, moral and ethical principles would be taught to students to foster a sense of community.
- Home management and design: This branch of home economics focuses on imparting knowledge of the essential design components for maintaining and beautifying the home. This section of home economics placed a lot of emphasis on cleanliness and organization because women were nearly always in charge of these activities.
- Sewing and Textiles: Textiles and sewing are still taught in home economics classes today. Originally, knowing how to sew was essential for women so they could create and fix their clothing.
- Budget and economy: A highly useful component of home economics is learning how to manage money effectively. Students acquire the ability to shop for food and other necessities on a tight budget, which will be useful to them in the future.
- Health and hygiene: Students learn how to prepare and store foods to prevent infections in lectures on health and hygiene. As young women needed to possess knowledge of how to care for the sick in their community, this section of home economics education also used to place a lot of emphasis on how to treat sick people appropriately.