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Education for Homemaking in Today's High School

by Mary Laxson, Assistant in Research in Home Economics Education, and

Berenice Mallory, Assistant Chief, Home Economics Education Service


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MILLION AND A HALF teen-agers and Office of Education from the respective some schools, and an increasing number of

approximately 800,000 adults and out. States and from cities throughout the Na. courses for boys and girls together are now of-school youth are taking home economics tion. An increasing number of schools are being organized at the junior and senior as part of the public-school program in their providing intensive training for better level in high schools. The aspects of family communities this year.

family membership and a broad homemak- living which are the job of all home memThis number is increasing rapidly as, ing education program.

bers, whether their major responsibility is under the influence of interest in the pro- The girl who expects to be primarily a management of the home or not, are taught gram of “Life Adjustment Education For home manager secures training in manipu- to these groups. These courses aim to deAll Youth,” more emphasis is being placed lative and managerial skills. She learns velop abilities to: upon practical training for home and family how to prepare food and serve it attrac- 1. Achieve and maintain good family living in the high-school curriculum. tively within time and budget limits; to

relations. As always, the home economics program select home equipment for preparing food

2. Make family decisions on a demohas a twofold purpose—that of providing and for keeping the house clean, safe, and

cratic basis with all family members parintensive training for girls whose immediate attractive; and to select, make, alter, and

ticipating according to their abilities. or ultimate career is likely to be home- renovate the family's clothing and certain

3. Guide the development of children. making, and that of contributing effectively household furnishings. Her homemaking

4. Plan the use of the family's income to education for home membership. The training helps her in making day-to-day

in terms of the family's values. latter aim is accomplished by giving help purchases for the family, based on ade

5. Plan and enjoy recreation which into all students in the area of home and quate information, in arranging storage cludes the whole family. family living space, and in planning her time so that she

6. Select suitable clothing and maintain How can States and cities improve their can be efficient in the many activities which

a pleasing personal appearance. programs of home economics education? are part of her job.

7. Choose food for good nutrition. Many of them are pointing the way through Helping girls develop the skills involved

8. Select and care for suitable housing. programs of home economics curriculum in managing household tasks and finances

9. Select, use, and repair household revision which are under way. Helpful too

is only part of the job of homemaking furnishings and equipment. are guides developed cooperatively by education, however. Success in the job

10. Find and use community resources home economics teachers, school admin

of homemaking can be judged only by which contribute to better family living. istrators, parents, and pupils which were

such intangible outcomes as the quality 11. Take some responsibility for propublished in 1949. These curriculum of family life, the happiness, health, and

viding resources in the community which guides represent group thinking about the sense of security of family members, or contribute to better family living. contributions of home economics programs

the ability of the family to adjust to emerto the school, the home, and the community. gency demands or unexpected catastrophe. Different Today They include outlines for the intensive prepHomemaking education should furnish a

The concept of home economics has aration of girls for homemaking responsi. background for the prospective home

changed over the years. When home ecobilities and suggestions for effective maker's assuming the major responsibility nomics was struggling in the early days for contributions to general education for home in caring for children and achieving satis- place in the high-school curriculum, the and family living for junior and senior high- factory relations in the family and between technical and scientific aspects of the work school boys and girls. Philosophy and the family and the community.

were emphasized. “Domestic science” concourse content for teachers working with

sisted largely of a study of the chemistry adult homemaking programs also are dealt Helping All Students

of food and textiles and work on the skills with in these curriculum patterns.

A few schools are recognizing their re- of cooking and clothing construction. That many schools are accepting the sponsibility for helping boys assume their

More and more has been included in the challenge of improving the quality of home

areas of management and human relationlife through education for homemaking is Courses for boys have been part of the regu- ships, until today home economics has com indicated in reports reaching the U. S. lar homemaking program for many years in to be a course based upon real problems of

sons and fathers in families.

roles as

boys and girls, problems they face now in extending and applying their home eco- wholesome recreation in school and with their own families and those they expect to nomics learning through home experience, their families. Future Homemakers of meet as they begin to establish their own and in most communities it also includes America now has over 260,000 members homes. In many schools classes meet in time to visit the students at home and and New Homemakers number more than rooms as much like homes as is practical in advise with them and their parents as the 33,000. Both organizations carry on many a school situation. Some departments occasion demands.

worth-while projects in the field of intermaintain a “homemaking apartment” which Good homemaking courses use the home national understanding along with their students furnish and care for, and where and community to the maximum extent in local programs which are largely centered they work and plan. Others have a “liv. providing realistic training for the career around the family. Some of these intering center" in the homemaking classroom of homemaking for both boys and girls. national projects are participation in the which serves as the laboratory for home Resources of the community are drawn upon

World Christmas Festival, adoption of furnishings work, as an informal atmos- to make the topics under consideration live. home economics classes in foreign countries, phere for discussions of home and family Planned field trips to a furniture store, and correspondence with members of these problems, and often as one of the social electrical equipment center, locker plant, or classes. Future and New Homemaker centers of the school.

wholesale food company, or to see a house chapters have sent sewing equipment,

under construction, bring to life for the fabrics, books, paper, pencils, and other Home and Community Experiences students the subjects discussed in class. supplies for homemaking instructions to The effective home economics program, A talk by an insurance man, a banker, or a

adopted classes. whether it is primarily a course for inten- building and loan agent not only keeps the sive homemaking training or one designed subject of finance from being dull and far

In the Total High School Program to give a broad background for better home removed, but affords an excellent way of

The program of Life Adjustment Educa. and family living, only begins within the furthering acquaintance of boys and girls

tion for all youth has brought more forcefour walls of the classroom. Boys and with the communities in which they live.

fully to the attention of administrators, girls are encouraged to use their new knowl

teachers, and parents, the second half of the edge about homemaking techniques and

Future Homemakers and New twofold purpose of the homemaking educafamily relationships in real situations. Homemakers

tion program. Life Adjustment Education Obviously, a 55-minute class period cannot Closely connected with home economics is the term which is used to describe an eduprovide much opportunity for experience work and helping to supplement class dis

cational program designed to meet the imin any area of homemaking. Few and cussions and laboratory work are the

perative needs of all youth. It is directed simple are the meals which can be prepared Future Homemakers of America and the

toward achieving a secondary school curriand served within this time limit. Even New Homemakers of America. These culum which will provide an education when children are brought into the class

groups are made up of pupils who have equipping all American youth to live demo- . room or play school for observation, con- taken or are taking homemaking. FHA is cratically with satisfaction to themselves tacts with children are necessarily limited a Nation-wide organization with chapters

and profit to society as home members, in a school situation. The living center's in 46 States and the District of Columbia. workers, and citizens. Among the unmet couch may present one real problem in NHA is an organization of Negro home

needs referred to in discussion of Life Adselection or construction of a slip cover, but making students in the 17 States where, by justment Education none is more urgent it cannot serve as a learning experience for law, there are separate schools for Negroes.

than the need for sound, practical educa. many individual pupils who may be inter. The activities of Future and New Home- tion for home and family living. The home ested in home furnishings. Principles makers supplement the work of the home

economics program has an important confrom the field of personal relationships making classroom by giving students a

tribution to make toward this end. Many must be tested in actual living with family chance to develop leadership ability through of the purposes set forth in the Life Adjustand friends if they are to have real meaning. presiding over or working on committees

ment Education program have long been Therefore, the home economics teacher en- in the local organization, taking part in

goals of homemaking education. courages pupils to plan and carry out proj. State and national meetings, and promoting

As the school's total program of educaects in their homes which will give them

tion for home and family living is dereal experience in applying the principles

veloped, techniques for better cooperation class work emphasizes.

Homemaking Publications among teachers, administrators, parents, Home experiences are planned with the

and students need to be worked out. All of

Frontiers in Homemaking Education Procooperation of the parents whenever pos

grams for Adults. Federal Security Agency,

these groups should be represented when sible. In every case, whether parents actu- Office of Education, Home Economics Series goals are set up, general programs outlined, ally sit in on project-planning sessions or

No. 25, 1919. 60 p. 20 cents.

and plans for evaluation made. Home econot, the teacher helps the student think

Space and Equipment for Homemaking

nomics' contribution in developing in all

Programs. Federal Security Agency. Di. through the effects the projects he wants to

vision of Vocational Education, Misc. No.

students the abilities previously listed, undertake will have upon the family purse 9, 1950. 72 p. 35 cents.

should give homemaking education a vital and family relationships. In the vocational

Order from Superintendent of Documents,

place in the program of every high school.

U. S. Government Printing Office, Washhome economics teacher's schedule, time is

More pupils are already getting the benefit set apart for conferring with students about

ington 25, D. C.

(Continued on page 138)

Why do boys and girls drop out of school

What can we do about it?

AT THE REQUEST of superintendents of mation in the published report is of such current
schools in cities of more than 200,000 popula- interest to high-school administrators and teach-
tion, a conference was arranged by Earl James ers, as well as to youth and their parents, SCHOOL
McGrath, U. S. Commissioner of Education, to LIFE presents excerpts from it on these pages.
discuss the question of high school drop-outs, and The report itself is available as Circular No. 269,
what educators can do about them.

from the Superintendent of Documents, Govern-
The conference was held in Chicago, Ill., early ment Printing Office, Washington 25, D. C. The
in the year, and the report of the conference just title is, “Why Do Boys and Girls Drop Out of
issued by the Office of Education is attracting School, and What Can We Do About It?” The
favorable attention. Because much of the infor- price is 35 cents.

The Curriculum as It Influences the School's Holding Power

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HAT BOYS and girls leave secondary 2. The secondary school has the responsi. practices should discourage rather than en

schools in great numbers before gradua- bility for providing education so that each courage social stratification. tion is symptomatic of curricular and other student's program shall be balanced in

7. The emphasis in teaching and learning factors related to pupil adjustment. Early terms of general and special education in

should be on effective community living and school leaving results, at least in part, from line with his individual needs and abilities.

adjustment rather than on the contents of curricula which fail to provide sufficient

3. Learning experiences should be pro- books. flexibility and adaptability required by the needs, abilities, and interests of all youth. vided in many different forms (within the

8. Increased opportunity should be proschool and out) so that progress is possible Although general agreement is developin terms of each individual's needs, abilities,

vided for school experiences which require ing with regard to curriculum principles

"doing" and the demonstration of perand interests. Such experiences should be and theory, there is a considerable lag

formance in real life situations. between curriculum principies and their

provided in other ways than by adding to

the number of courses. application. This lag is believed to be re

9. Standards of achievement should be in sponsible for a large proportion of early 4. Curriculum planning and the develop

terms of behavior and individual ability to school leavers. ment of teaching procedures in each school

learn rather than in terms of the mastery of It is believed that if the following prin- should be based on understanding and subject matter.

. ciples are incorporated into curriculum knowledge of the community in which the

10. Evaluation of student progress should planning and practice by individual schools, pupils live.

be made on the basis of modified behavior, their observance will aid in reducing the

5. Teachers and administrators should be and teachers should seek meaningful ways number of school leavers by making school experiences so worth while that all youth

encouraged to be always alert to the neces- of reporting student progress. will want to remain in school. sity for curriculum modification in terms of

11. With individual achievement the basis the changing needs of pupils and com1. The primary purpose of the secondary

of progress and evaluation, students will be school is to continue the general education munity

able to progress from grade to grade with of all youth.

6.* School organization and curriculum a minimum of repetition and failure.

12. More instructional materials must be adapted to the ability and maturity of students using them.

13. The relationship between teacher and students is particularly important. Each student needs to feel that at least one teacher knows him well, and is interested in him as an individual. Teachers should be selected for their ability to make a contribution to students rather than solely on the basis of their competency in a subject field.

teachers, so that they can be used in indi. the secondary school so that it will reach vidualizing instruction.

all students before compulsory attendance

laws permit them to leave.
15. Opportunities should be provided pu-
pils for the realistic consideration of vo-

18. Curriculum planning should be done cational interests and for the special edu

by teachers and other school workers who cation required in advancing them.

are responsible for implementing and carry. 16. Specialized vocational training should ing out plans. be deferred as long as possible so that it

19. Curriculum planning and teaching promay come just prior to the student's leaving

cedures should be based on the increasing or graduating from school and actual employment.

quantity of research on how children learn. 17. The general education which is needed 20. Increased attention should be directed by all students as citizens, homemakers, and to inform parents as well as students of workers should begin sufficiently early in what the schools are attempting to do.

14. Administrative procedures should be devised so that data and information on individuals and groups are made available to

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The Library is, as the name implies, the Library of Congress, and its services are primarily for Congressmen. But as the Library has developed, its services have come to include the entire governmental establishment and the public at large, so that it has become in effect a national seryice library.

The Library of Congress Can Help You

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by Elinor B. Waters


(Continued from page 135 ) HE LIBRARY of Congress can sell you serious contribution to knowledge, and

of carefully planned homemaking and fama photostatic copy of almost any book, when the materials can be spared without

ily living courses than most people realize, manuscript, picture, musical score, or record depriving Congressmen or Government

but many more could profit greatly from in its collection. Sometimes you can bor. agencies of needed services.

some study in this area. row the material itself through your local Researchers can also use library ma

With the recognition of the fact that edulibrary. Teachers will be glad to know terials by having them reproduced in photo

cation for home and family living is needed that the material in the Library is not solely stat or microfilm form. If you

by all youth have come an increasing num. need

maps, for advanced research and that a great deal manuscripts of historic significance, rare

ber of new homemaking departments and of it can be used for elementary and sec- books, or musical scores, in the Library's

attempts to plan student programs so that

every high-school pupil will receive at ondary school purposes. As a general rule, collection, this is worth investigating. . anything in the Library can be reproduced Costs for this service depend on whether or

least a minimum of home economics de. which is not copyrighted or under restric- not the material has been previously photo. signed to improve his ability to be a good tions placed upon it by the donors. graphed, and on the number of pages which

family member. As adjustments are made The prints and photographs available can be photographed in one exposure, but

to include home economics in the schedules have both decorative and informative value. the rates are generally moderate.

of more high-school pupils, the attention of The Prints and Photographs Division now The reference services of the Library are

administrators and others has been focused has some five or six hundred separate and also helpful to out-of-town students. The

upon problems of space, equipment, and

teaching staff. The number of students to varied collections of illustrative material. Library can refer students to the location of

be served needs careful consideration in For example, you may purchase pictures of rare research materials in libraries throughhistoric American buildings, photographic out the country. It also has prepared bib

planning space and equipment, both in new portraits, engravings, etchings, early Amer- liographies on a great variety of subjects

. buildings and in replanning use of space

already available. ican photographs deposited for copyright, The Library sells to libraries, or to persons and pictures of American life taken largely interested in a particular subject, printed

The preparation for home and family livduring the 1930's by the Farm Security Ad- catalog cards on all the books which it cata

ing given in high school, through a special ministration. Many of these prints can logs itself.

course or through better emphasis on the then be reproduced in your publications. You can borrow braille books and rec

subject in many high-school courses, can Music teachers can buy transcriptions of ords for use on talking book machines

be strengthened if the training and expefolk songs, instrumental music, and speech either directly through the Library or from

rience of the homemaking teacher is used recordings. (You can obtain lists of avail

any of the 27 regional distribution libraries. most effectively. Since her schedule allows able recordings from the Recording Lab- There is no charge for this service.

time for visiting homes, she can contribute oratory, Music Division, Library of Con- The Library of Congress was created by information needed for better counseling, gress.) In addition, recordings, scores, an Act of Congress in 1800 providing for guidance, and schedule-making for individmanuscripts, and books on music can some- "the purchase of such books as may be ual students. Her experiences in using times be borrowed through interlibrary necessary for the use of Congress at the said

group techniques and informal, pupil-cenloans, or they can be photostated by the city of Washington, and for fitting up a suit

tered planning should be shared with other Library and then sold to you. The Re- able apartment for containing them.”

teachers who want to make their classrooms cording Library also sells recordings of Since that time the Library's collections

less academic and more realistic in their poets reading their own works.

have grown until today it is the largest Interlibrary loans are one way by which

programs of preparation for home and single library in the world, with more than

family living. The homemaking teacher the Library makes its resources available 8,000,000 printed volumes and pamphlets, to people throughout the country. If you about 11,000,000 manuscripts, over 1,500,

may suggest interesting teaching procedures want to obtain material which is not avail. 000 maps, nearly 2,000,000 volumes and

such as demonstrations, use of various able locally, and which your local librarian pieces of music, and 500,000 fine prints, types of illustrative materials and visual cannot obtain elsewhere, she may be able plus large holdings of phonograph records,

aids, and activities and projects which can to borrow it for you from the Library of newspapers, motion pictures, and micro- be used to supplement class discussion. In Congress. Such loans are granted when the films. These materials are arranged on doing so she will be contributing to a more purpose of the loan may be construed as a 250 miles of steel shelves.

effective total high-school program.

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