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' September/October, 1989 












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^ J? ) ^^^\ Volume XXXIII, No. 1 

' ' September/October, 1989 


Foreword, Annabelle Slocum, Linda Peterat and Linda Eyre 1 

Canadian Home Economics Association 1939 - 1989, Norma Bannerman, 

Shirley Rebus, and Arlene Smith .'. 2 

The Best for Home Economics Education Is Yet To Come, Heidi Adair "7 

Alice Ravenhill: International Pioneer in Home Economics 

Mary Gale Smith j 

In Search of Place, Wanda Young 15 

Home Economics Curriculum for Canadian Schools, Linda Peterat 18 

The Education of Home Economiccs Teachers in Canada, Beverly Pain 20 

Gender Equity and Home Economics Curriculum, Linda Eyre 22 

Computers in the Home: A Curriculum Project, 

Eda Favaro and Audrey van Alstyne 26 

Career Preparation— Programs for the Work World, Leslie Paris 33.......' 29 

Toward a Global Home Economics Curriculum, Linda Peterat and Mary Gale Smith 34 

Book Reviews, Linda Eyre 39 

Book Reviews, Linda Peterat 40 

Illinois Teacher of Home Economics 

ISSN 0739-148X 

A publication of the Division of Home Economics Education, 

Department of Vocational and Technical Education, 

College of Education, University of Illinois, 

Champaign, Illinois 61820 

Illinois Teacher Staff 

Mildred Griggs, Professor and Editor 

Annabelle Slocum, Visiting Lecturer and Managing Editor 

Norma Huls, Office Manager 

June Chambliss, Technical Director 

Catherine Burnham, Graduate Assistant and Ed.D. Candidate 

Sally Rousey, Graduate Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate 

Other Home Economics Education Division Staff and Graduate Students 
Alison Vincent, Graduate Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate 
Vida U. Revilla, Graduate Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate 

Volume XXXIII, No. 1, September/October, 1989. Published 
five times each academic year. Subscriptions $15.00 per year. 
Foreign, including Canada, $18.00 per year. Special $10.00 per 
year ($12.00 Foreign) for undergraduate and graduate students 
when ordering by teacher educator on forms available from 
Illinois Teacher office. Single copies $3.50. Foreign $4.00. All 
checks from outside the U.S. must be payable through a U.S. 

University of Illinois 
352 Education Building 
1310 S. Sixth Street 
Champaign, IL 61820 

Telephone: 217/244-0820 



Welcome to Volume XXXIII and to a new academic year. The central theme of 
Illinois Teacher for 1989-90 is critical and reflective questioning of our 
understanding of home economics toward action. This issue is guest edited by our 
neighbors to the north, Canadian home economists celebrating the fiftieth year of 
their professional organization. We hope you will enjoy learning about their 
history, some of what has formed and shape home economics in Canada, and the 
scope and understanding they bring to home economics education through their 
reflections on the past while looking toward the future. 

Annabelle Slocum 
Managing Editor 

In 1989, Canadian home economists mark fifty years of professional 
organization. This occasion was one reason to assemble a special issue focusing on 
home economics education in Canada. In this issue, we have attempted to provide 
a picture of what home economics education is like and what some of the current 
movements are. However, in a country as large and diverse as Canada, a complete 
picture is never possible. 

Our lead article reviews some of the history of the Canadian Home Economics 
Association. In the articles that follow, authors lead us to reconsider the past while 
pondering the future. The enthusiasm of new educators comes together with the 
reflective tones of the more experienced. The international influences, particularly 
from Britain and the United States, which have always been a part of home 
economics education in Canada, are brought to life in the study of Alice Ravenhill. 
Analytical and questioning voices raise issues related to curriculum and teacher 
education. Many articles convey the sense of turning point in education and home 
economics currently, and express the sense of opportunity and challenge present. 
These themes are present in the articles specifically addressing issues of practice: 
career education, global education, computers, and gender equity. 

With greetings from Canada 

Linda Peterat and Linda Eyre 
Guest Editors 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 1 


1939 - 1989 

Norma Bannerman — Food Consultant 
Shirley Rebus — Consultant Home Economist 
Arlene Smith — Clothing and Textile Instructor 
Calgary, Alberta 


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Shirley Rebus 

Arlene Smith 

Norma Bannerman 

In July of 1939, Winnipeg hosted a gathering of 
enthusiastic home economists who were intent on laying 
the groundwork for a national association. By that 
time home economics was not a new field of study in 
Canada. University degree programs were well 
established in ten universities, and the subject was 
widely taught to junior and senior high school students 
and groups of adult women. Local associations of home 
economists existed in a number of centers, but these 
groups were scattered, few in number, and there was no 
mechanism to bring them together for shared 
professional activities. The spark to achieve this came 
from the Manitoba Home Economics Association. 

The Founding Convention 

The founding convention was held July 4-6, 1939 at 
the Royal Alexandra Hotel in Winnipeg. Although 
most of the 116 delegates were from Winnipeg, all 
provinces except Quebec, Nova Scotia and Prince 
Edward Island were represented. The delegates 
included teachers, university lecturers, hospital 
dietitians, homemakers, and home economists in home 
service, government, and journalism. 

In the first few minutes of the business meeting, a 
motion to organize a national association was 
unanimously passed. This was followed by a motion 
naming the new organization the Canadian Home 
Economics Association (CHEA). The accepted aims and 
objectives of the organization were: 

1. to bring about a closer cooperation between the 
branches of home economics, 

2. to coordinate the aims and objectives of all 
branches of the profession and of the provincial and 
other Canadian groups, 

3. to promote the welfare of the Canadian home and 
to serve the community life of Canada, and 

4. to encourage and aid investigative research and 
surveys and to make available reports, pamphlets, 
etc. relating to home economics. 

The program featured sessions on nutrition, 
synthetic fibers, Ontario's new province-wide 
curriculum, and the work of home economists in various 
occupational settings. There were public lectures on 
"Home Economics and the Community" and "The Home 
Economist and the Consumer." 

But it was not all work. Although it would not 
have been called networking back then, there were 
several opportunities for delegates to strengthen 
friendships and discuss their work with colleagues. 
The University of Manitoba hosted a tea in the newly- 
constructed practice house, the Swift Canadian 
Company provided luncheon following a tour of the 
plant, the Men's Press Club gave a cocktail party, and 
the Winnipeg Tribune hosted dinner at the St. Charles 
Country Club. 

The convention received excellent coverage from 
the two Winnipeg newspapers. Jane Horn of the 
Winnipeg Free Press pointed out that it was: 

no ordinary convention of people but a meeting 
of women whose work is vitally allied with 
everyday living.. .their research... the means to 
the end of making life more pleasant, 
healthful and economically sound for the 
homemakers of the nation and consequently for 
the nation at large. 

2 ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 

Conventions Over the Years 

For CHEA members, conventions have been a time 
of meeting and sharing. From concluding remarks at 
early conventions, we sense the excitement and unity 
fostered by the newly-formed association. 

The 1950's was a time to define the organization 
and set standards. Incorporation was one lasting result. 
Many conference sessions focused on family living, and 
this intensified throughout the 1960's when 
communication and public relations were also new areas 
of interest. 

The biggest issue of the 1970's was preparing for, 
coping with, and planning for the future. There were 
also sessions on ethics in marketing, the needs of 
minority groups, the new consumer climate, single 
parenting, daycare, and the metric system. 

The 1980's became more introspective and focused on 
professionalism. There was recognition of strength 
through diversity, professional development, and the 
need to broaden the role of the home economist. 
Networking, job sharing, professional reentry and 
management were issues of concern. Research 
presentations were also included in the program. 

As the conferences moved back and forth across the 
provinces, delegates experienced the diversity of this 
country. Local talents, specialties and resources helped 
to make each gathering memorable and unique. Menus 
featured lobster in the Maritimes, beef in Alberta, a 
salmon barbecue in British Columbia, and an evening of 
I Quebec cider and cheese in Montreal. Entertainment 
included a Maritime hoe-down, Ukrainian dancers in 
Edmonton, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police 
(RCMP) Sunset Ceremony in Regina. Activities 
included a picnic supper by the Avon River at the 
Stratford Shakespearean Festival, a drive to Butchart 
Gardens in Victoria, a tour of a fish processing plant, a 
double-decker bus tour of Ottawa, and on and on - 
always the opportunity to better know the country and 
its people, and to expand the horizons of home 


In an association with widely-scattered members, 
communication was important. The first newsletter, 
published seven months after CHEA was formed, 
included a message from President Jessie McLenaghen, 
reminiscences of pioneer home economists, and accounts 
of addresses given at the founding convention, a list of 
conveners of standing committees. A chart showing 
membership by province indicated that membership 
had grown to 292 in just a matter of months. 

For several years there was discussion about 
expanding the newsletter into a journal. In 1950 the 
newsletter was replaced by the quarterly Canadian 
Home Economics Journal. Although there was more 

emphasis on professional information, the Journal 
continued to publish news about the Association and its 
members. This continued until 1985 when the 
newsletter, Rapport, once again carried news items 
while the Journal focused on scholarly articles. In 1973, 
in response to a recommendation from the Canadian 
University Teachers of Home Economics (now the 
Canadian Association for Research in Home 
Economics), the Journal introduced a refereed research 
section. By 1986 the research section had earned 
scholarly recognition and was supported by the Social 
Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. 

Reflections of the Times 

The Newsletters and Journals were a reflection of 
their times. For example, journal articles written 
during World War II show that Canadian home 
economists were committed to assisting the war effort 
through fund-raising activities, by providing 
information about food dehydration, and in training 
chefs for the Royal Canadian Air Force. In the 1940's 
there was concern about standardization and labelling 
of consumer goods, the new radar cooking range, the 
chemical treatment of fibers to impart desirable 
qualities, and the appointment of a CHEA member as 
director of the Chatelaine Institute and editor of the 
housekeeping section. Topics of the 1950's included 
"Mental Health and the Family", "Good Taste in the 
Home", "Around the World With Canadian Home 
Economists", "Canadian Fabrics Foundation Accepts a 
Challenge", "Skinfold - A Measure of Obesity", and 
"Careers for Home Economists" (a series of fourteen). 
Articles in the 1960's reflected the growing concern for 
global well-being, the effect of the technological 
explosion, and the impact of sociological change. There 
were items about food technology, new products and 
equipment, the effect of women working outside the 
home, the need for daycare and nursery schools, and the 
changing roles of men and women. 

The 1960's and 1970's were times of change within 
the profession. A major concern of the 1960's was 
whether or not men were welcome, particularly in 
administrative positions. There were strong positions 
on both sides of the question. In the 1970's there was 
discussion as to whether home economics was the best 
name for the profession. Numerous articles addressed 
the topic of professional identity, but none was more 
provocative than Jennifer Welsh's "Letter from a 
Closet Home Economist." She shocked readers with 
her assertion that home economists were viewed as 
academically inferior, promoters of myths, and 

Since the late 1970's, the newsletter has featured 
"Operation Alert," which invites members to alert the 
executive to concerns they have regarding social issues. 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, September /October, 1989 3 

Alerts have been raised on issues such as misuse of the 
terms nutritionist and home economist, sale of 
children's T-shirts with psychologically damaging 
slogans, sexual discrimination, Playboy television 
channel, nutrition labelling, stereotyping of home 
economics teachers, and removal of the spousal tax 
exemption. Follow-up articles report action taken by 
the executive on these issues, primarily that of writing 
to media, government, school boards and store officials. 
Professionalism dominated the themes of the early 
1980's. In the last half of the decade, more attention 
has focused on the areas of home economics practice 
such as the family, the aged, health, and education. 

Sharing Expertise With Developing Countries 

Very early on, Canadian home economists' concern 
about the welfare of families extended abroad. In 1945 
the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization 
(FAO) was established, including a home economics 
branch directed by Canadian home economist Margaret 
Hockin. In the years that followed, several home 
economists from Canadian universities pioneered 
higher education abroad. Out of this grew a 
commitment in the developing countries toward the 
creation of outreach programs for rural development. 

In the 1970's, CHEA began to explore ways of 
becoming officially involved in international 
development. With encouragement from the FAO, the 
International Federation of Home Economics and 
financial support from the Canadian International 
Development Agency (CIDA), CHEA's first twinning 
relationship was established between the Toronto 
Home Economics Association and the Caribbean 
Association of Home Economics in 1979. This joint 
project produced three textbooks for junior high school. 
Since then 16 other twinning partnerships have been 
established through local and provincial international 
development committees across Canada. In addition to 
textbook development, projects have included daycare 
centers and daycare worker training, consumer 
education, secondary school home economics curriculum, 
teaching/learning packages for primary schools, 
nutrition education, and a vocational training program 
for students leaving school before graduating. All of 
these focus on the needs of the local people and are 
designed to allow individuals in developing countries 
to have more control over their destinies. In 1983, 
CIDA provided funding for a program administrator, 
and in 1987 for a development education officer. 
Development education became an important part of 
the program, with educating Canadian home 
economists about development issues going hand-in- 
hand with twinning. To achieve this, audiovisuals and 
educational kits were created to help members examine 
specific development issues. 


In 1939 the CHEA founders established 13 standing 
committees; today there are 21. Many committees have 
continued through the years, sometimes with a change 
of name or focus. Three committees central from the 
beginning were the Extension Services Committee 
(recently renamed Home Economists in Government), 
the Home Economics Women in Business (later Home 
Economists in Business) and the Education Committee 
(now known as Home Economists in Education). Each of 
these committees has a story to tell, but the focus of 
this paper will be the work of the Education 

Home Economists in Education 

The objective of the early education committee - 
quality, effective home economics education in schools 
and universities - has endured. Only the focus and 
means of achieving this objective have shifted as times 
and needs have changed. 

From the outset, the Education Committee was 
concerned about the content of home economics courses 
and the qualifications of teachers. In 1939, the 
Committee conducted a country-wide survey of home 
economics in elementary, junior and senior high schools, 
and universities. 

In 1942, CHEA polled members to determine their 
views on minimum standards for the education of home 
economics teachers and for their opinions on 
appropriate textbooks. When each research project 
was completed, letters were sent to the provincial 
departments of education. Overall, CHEA 
recommended that home economics supervisors be 
appointed for each province and that high school home 
economics teachers should be well trained and have 
qualifications equal to those required for the teaching 
of other high school subjects. In 1943 a report by Dr. 
Hope Hunt, chair of the Education Committee, stated 
that educators should be urged to employ only qualified 
teachers and that home economics should begin by 
grade 6 for boys and girls, at least in relation to health 
and family living. She suggested, as well, that 
university departments expand according to the 
particular needs in their part of the country. The 1945 
education report contained an outline of minimum 
requirements for undergraduate training of teachers, 
and during the ensuing year, the Committee considered 
minimum course standards and devised a course of 
studies for an undergraduate program in extension work. 

In 1949, with financial assistance from the 
membership, and from the Canadian Life Insurance 
Officers Association, Grace Duggan (Cook), Associate 
Professor in the School of Household Economics at the 
University of Alberta, was appointed to conduct a 
nation-wide study of home economics education. This 

4 ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 

project involved meetings with home economics faculty 
members, graduates, and prospective employers across 
Canada. This study found that significant changes had 
occurred in educational institutions. The Duggan Report 
found that students' primary reason for enrolling in 
home economics was not preparation for marriage, as 
was earlier the case, but rather their desire to earn a 
living in a women's profession. The committee which 
studied the report concluded that: 

The universities must place more emphasis on 
preparing graduates for a professional 
career... More intensive training is required in 
the specialist courses, so that graduates will be 
more fully prepared to meet the demands of the 
business world. ...More specialization is 
required if the universities are to meet the need 
for adequately trained women in home 
economics.... (and) emphasis should be placed 
on the possibility of providing a two-year core 
of general education subjects, followed by two 
years of specialization. 

Over the years universities gradually changed to 
four-year programs and developed areas of 
specialization. Teacher training qualifications were 
raised and were more standardized across the country. 
Home economics curriculum in schools had always been 
under provincial jurisdiction, and curriculum concerns 
were frequently dealt with by provincial home 
economics associations. As a result, the efforts of the 
Education Committee shifted to actively supporting 
the teachers in the profession. 

The 1968 annual report indicated that the 
Education Committee was gathering information about 
opportunities for graduate work in Canadian 
universities, and on vocational and technical programs 
in secondary schools in each province. A summary of 
family life and child development courses was sent to 
the Departments of Maternal and Child Health, and 
National Heath and Welfare. 

By 1970 there was growing awareness of the 
importance of consumer education, and the annual 
report contained the results jof an extensive survey of 
Canadian university-level courses in consumer 
education and management. The survey indicated that 
there was "a growing awareness of the importance of 
[these] courses..." and pointed out the necessity of 
extending them "to all areas of the university." 

i Building Closer Links 

Through the 1970's and into the early 1980's there 

was concern with structure and terms of reference for the 

; Education Committee. The committee was structured so 

I there was representation from each province, and closer 

liaison was possible because CHEA conferences were 
held annually. In 1977 the chair of the Education 
Committee, in recommending future directions, 
suggested that this group could be more effective if the 
professional aspects of teaching were emphasized. It 
was thought this could be done by planning an 
education session at each annual conference to examine 
issues related to the profession of teaching. 

The 1978 annual report mentioned such a session for 
teachers at the conference, and subsequent reports 
indicated that special sessions and workshops for 
teachers were a responsibility of the Education 
Committee. The success of the computer workshop at 
the 1983 conference precipitated the idea of a 
travelling workshop in co-operation with the 
affiliates across Canada. As part of the recognized 
need for on-going professional development, joint 
ventures in continuing education have been undertaken 
at the provincial level. 

In the early 1980's there was growing concern about 
the trend to downplay the importance of home 
economics in schools. Members in the field of education 
were asked to report any concerns in their areas to the 
Education Committee for further action by the board. In 

1984 a position paper on home economics/ family studies 
in Canadian schools was written. The report was 
released to members and internal groups prior to the 

1985 annual meeting, and to the public in mid- August of 
that year. Members were encouraged to distribute the 
paper and use it for information and lobbying in their 
school area. 

Shaping Public Policy 

The education position paper was but one of many 
resolutions, briefs, position papers and reports that 
CHEA has prepared over the years. By 1941, the 
Association had advocated that the Department of 
Agriculture provide legislation for a simpler food 
grading system, for regrading of fruit removed from 
storage, for extension of meat grading to include all 
fresh meats, and for pasteurization of milk in all 
provinces. The Association had endorsed a proposal to 
the Federal Department of Health to establish 
Canadian food values, and recommended establishing a 
National Bureau of Textile Testing and Research to 
serve the Canadian consuming public. 

Throughout the 1940's, CHEA continued to present 
its positions to the government. These included 
recommendations that piece goods and ready-made 
garments be labelled as to fiber content, that school 
lunch programs be emphasized, and that a public 
education campaign be undertaken to encourage the use 
of whole wheat flour. In 1949, a brief was presented to 
the Royal Commission on the National Development in 
Arts, Letters and Sciences regarding what home 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 5 

economics had to offer to the cultural development of 
Canada. In the 1950's CHEA recommended standard 
sizes for baking utensils, and standard abbreviations for 
teaspoon (tsp.) and tablespoon (Tbsp.). Twenty-five 
years later, the association worked with the 
government to establish standards for metric measures. 
In the 1980's CHEA responded to government papers on 
nutrition labelling, pensions, pornography and 
prostitution, child care, and divorce mediation. 

In looking at the history of the Canadian Home 
Economics Association, it is evident that some things 
change and some things stay the same. The issues and 
means of responding may be different, but CHEA's 
concern for the welfare of individuals and families has 
been constant. 

References and Sources 

CHEA newsletters, 1940-1950 and 1975-1988. 

Canadian Home Economics Journal, 1950-1988. 

CHEA Minutes of Executive, Board and Annual 

Meetings, 1939-1988. 

CHEA Annual Reports, 1940-1988. • • • 

Note: The authors of this paper are in the final stages 

of editing the manuscript for We Are Tomorrow's Past: 

A History of the Canadian Home Economics 

Association. The publication has been prepared to 

commemorate the 50th anniversary of CHEA. Those 

wishing to read the complete book are invited to order 

a copy. Cost is $10.00 + $1.50 handling for members, 

and $15.00 + $1.50 handling for non-members (Canadian 

funds). Cheque or money order should be sent to: 

Canadian Home Economics Association 

901, 151 Slater Street 

Ottawa, Ontario 

KIP 5H3 

(Peterat, Continued from page 19.) 

Peterat, L (1986). Home economics in Canadian schools. 

Journal of Consumer Studies and Home 

Economics, 10, 271-278. • • • 
Peterat, L (1984). Home economics, A survey of 

provincial curricula at a secondary level 

(unpublished report). Fredericton, New 

Brunswick, University of New Brunswick, 

Faculty of Education. 
Peterat, L (1985). Home economics education in 

secondary schools. Canadian Home Economics 

Journal, 35(2), 80-83. 

(Young, Continued from page 17.) 

many areas of specialization were offered for the size 
of the faculty. Most criticized were the laboratory 
classes in foods, clothing, interior design, and communi- 
cations which required additional space for the 
laboratory and time for the application of theory in a 
practical way. Finally, at the October 1988 meeting of 
the senate, President Kristjanson stated that the Col- 
lege of Home Economics was being closed for economic 

A Sense of Place 

The pioneer families came to Saskatchewan with a 
sense of place. They thought that this province was a 
place where they could raise families in freedom. For 
most of the century home economists have had a place 
in the educational system of the province, assisting the 
families to survive with a satisfactory quality of life. 
The future is obscure. Now it is the home economists 
who are searching for a sense of place as closure of the 
College of Home Economics is planned in 1990. As a 
profession we must focus on the role of home economics 
education in a changing world. Which curriculum 
concepts are home economists best prepared to teach? 
What problems of the family are the mandate of home 
economics teachers? 


Begin, M. (1988). Debates and silence. Reflections of a 
politician. Daedalus, 117(4 Fall), 335-362. 

Calendar of the University of Saskatchewan. (1910), 

Rowles, E. (1964). Home economics in Canada. Saska- 
toon, Saskatchewan: Modern Press and University 
of Saskatchewan Book Store. 

Statistics Canada. (1976). Census of Canada popula- 
tion: Demographic characteristics: Mother tongue. 
Ottawa, Ontario: Statistics Canada. 

Young. W. E. (1975). A chronology of changes at the 
University of Saskatchewan. Unpublished 
manuscript. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: Archives 
of the University of Saskatchewan. 

Young, W. E. (1984). A content analysis of the Home 
Economics Bulletin. A paper presented at the 
American Home Economics Association 75th Annual 
Meeting, June 25-28, Anaheim, California. • • • 

6 ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 

The Best for Home Economics Education 

Is Yet To Come 

Heidi Adair 


Fort Frances High School 

Fort Frances, Ontario 

Will home economics education survive into the 
21st century? Why should we, as home economics edu- 
cators, want to continue and how can we ensure our place 
in future societies? These are some of the very impor- 
tant questions that are being asked today by home eco- 
nomics educators. In order to plan our future, we must 
first look into our past; for it is the past that gives 
meaning to our present actions as well as helping to 
formulate our future plans. By studying demographics 
we can analyze the probable composition of future soci- 
eties and predict what their needs will be. Our history 
and our future are important for educators to study in 
order that we might develop and instigate programs 
now that will help all individuals shape their lives, 
i By looking back to where we as a profession have been 
i and looking forward to where society is headed, we can 
I see what we as home economics educators need to do 
! now to ensure our place in the 21st century and beyond. 

I Where Have We Been 

I The history of home economics education began in 
I the mid to late 1800's when rapid and dramatic 
changes were taking place in society due to the techno- 
i logical advancement of the times. The impact on the 
I family was staggering as the agrarian way of life 
, evolved into an urban industrial lifestyle. The family 
J unit which had formerly been relatively stable, self- 
supporting, and geographically and emotionally close 
i was becoming increasingly dependent, separated, and 
j alienated (Lund, 1976). 

In earlier times, the home was the center of every- 

i thing. As well as being a place for nurturing and love, it 

was the center of production in which the work done by 

women was valued equally to that done by men. When 

i men moved into wage-paying jobs in factories, the work 

of women was devalued because no direct financial ben- 
efit was evident. 

It was during this period of rapid social change and 
upheaval that a group of scholars came together in the 
ten Lake Placid Conferences. Their objective was to de- 
vise a new discipline that would respond to problems 
facing individuals and families (Lund, 1976). Born out 
of a concern for the plight of overworked women, 
undernourished children, and the unsanitary living 
conditions of the early 1900's, the discipline's goal has 
been that of improving the well-being of the family 
and individuals. Historically, in all cultures, the 
family has been the cornerstone of any society, instill- 
ing the value systems of the times and socializing the 
next generation to be effective citizens (Lund, 1976). It 
was felt that during this era of such rapid change, 
which had never before been experienced to such a de- 
gree, that a profession and knowledge discipline was 
necessary that would help individuals cope with 

The need for this field was reemphasized by World 
War I and II when homes increasingly became centers of 
consumption rather than centers of production. At this 
time, educators came to the forefront by teaching young 
homemakers the importance of conserving resources, not 
only food but also money, and emphasis was placed on 
being a "time efficient" housekeeper. The primary aim 
of home economics education throughout its short his- 
tory has been to react and respond to the social changes 
of the time. The field of home economics evolved from 
the accumulated experience of individual's reactions to 
serious social need, and a successful future depends upon 
the actions taken by teachers in the field today (East, 
1982). We must now become the innovators of the future 
as well as reactors to the present and start shaping our 
future instead of deciding how we fit into a precon- 
ceived future others make for us. 

Our Future 

Home economics education has come a long way in a 
relatively short period of time and throughout this 
time educators have tried to meet the needs of the stu- 
dents and their families. In this modern era of rapid 
change in our society, it is necessary that we study the 
demographic trends to deduce what the needs of our 
students will be in the future and design programs now 
to prepare them well for that future. 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, September /October, 1989 7 

One predominant change in future civilizations 
will be in the variety of family forms recognized by so- 
cieties (Whatley, 1974). There will no longer be one 
typical family but, as Martin and Light (1984) state, 
there may be as many as 13 different types of house- 
holds. One characteristic of these future families will 
be that a great number of women will be working out- 
side the home (Cetron et al., 1985). As a result of this, 
child bearing will be delayed and the birth rate will 
continue to fall. By the year 2000, the school aged 
population (age 5-17) will have dropped to 28% from 
32% in 1982 and, along with this trend, our population 
will continue to age with the fastest growing age group 
being those 85 and over (Cetron et al., 1985). These de- 
mographics show home economics educators that peo- 
ple in the future should be able to understand the dy- 
namics of all family forms and how the quality of fam- 
ily life contributes to all of its members throughout the 
entire life cycle. Home economics education should 
provide an integrated program that prepares 
individuals for both the role of making a living and for 
living itself (Harriman, 1977). 

Other social problems such as the problems of 
crime, mental illness, health problems, suicide, drug 
and alcohol abuse, spousal and child abuse, teen preg- 
nancy, unemployment, poverty, and discrimination, all 
continue to rise at an alarming rate and are a direct 
threat to the families of today and tomorrow (Spitze, 
1984). Education should not merely be a preparation for 
progressively higher learning but more importantly, 
the preparation for life as individuals, families, and 
as a society. All of these problems reduce the quality of 
family life and are most often the cause or result of 

As home economics educators, we should help 
families develop positive skills for creating good in- 
terpersonal relationships that are built on realistic ex- 
pectations (Spitze, 1976), and foster the ability to find 
alternatives and rationally analyze the consequences. 
Individuals and families can then deal with stress 
without abusing their spouses and children, teenagers 
can analyze the alternatives open to them and make 
positive choices concerning sexuality and, by dealing 
with stress, we will all have more healthy lifestyles. 
Developing programs for the future in this rapidly 
changing world requires that the home economics 
professionals be constantly aware of new technology 
and its impact on the family. 

What We Need To Do Now 

No matter what predictions are made for the fu- 
ture, home economics educators must begin taking steps 
now to ensure their place in that future. Home eco- 
nomics teachers have good reason to be worried about 
their future. Because this is an era of rapid change, 

depleting resources, and declining enrollments, putting 
money or time into one program often means reductions 
in another (Moxley, 1984). The implication of this for 
the home economics teacher is clear; we must teach 
something of consequences, teach it effectively, and tell 
others about it. 

As a profession, we must all be competent in our 
knowledge of our subject areas. Being professionals, it is 
essential to continue to be competent by allowing time 
and energy for professional growth (Moxley, 1984). We 
cannot, in the future, teach students to use equipment 
which will soon be outdated, or to sew on fabric which 
may become obsolete, or plan meals that are out of the 
individual's price or time range (Spitze, 1976). 
Perhaps in time professionals can devise among 
themselves ways to avoid incompetence by requiring 
continual updating. Is it ethical as teachers, who have 
as a major educational objective to develop in students 
the love of learning, (Spitze, 1984), not to continue to 
learn themselves? 

Home economists must continue to be assertive in 
letting others know their actions and intentions in order 
to broaden the understanding of society as to what 
home economics is all about. Most people base their 
perceptions about home economics on what they 
experienced in their junior and senior high school years 
(East, 1982). Since home economics was traditionally 
an all female field, most males in influential positions 
(such as legislators, administrators, and curriculum re- 
view committees), and parents are basing their beliefs 
about home economics on ignorance (Glines, 1985). It is 
the responsibility of all home economics educators to 
continue communicating the realities of the profession 
to others (Swope, 1974) and, through involvement in 
the community with parents and administrators, we can 
educate others about home economics today. 

Home economics teachers must become involved po- 
litically and support those from our profession who 
take leadership roles in schools, school divisions, and 
government. As a profession we have often been re- 
garded as "nice, likeable ladies" who are "doers and 
not thinkers" (Moxley, 1984). If we are dedicated and 
believe we are teaching something of consequence, the 
time has come to stand up and be heard. This is why it 
is imperative that we support our professional organi- 
zations. They serve as the strongest voice for our pro- 
fession and unify the many subject areas of home eco- 

The most important step we can take now is in de- 
signing a curriculum that meets the needs of today and 
tomorrow. As our society changes, so should our curricu- 
lum to better meet the needs of society (Spitze, 1976). 
In Spitze's article (1976), the author states that our 
curriculum should include more information on the 
dynamics of marriage, parenting, and child 

8 ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 

development so that future generations will have 
realistic expectations for their relationships and the 
ability to deal with stress. In the new curriculum 
guides for Manitoba, these topics are a major component 
of the senior high school Family Studies program. 

Home economists should let all administrators and 
students know how home economics courses can affect 
their future lives. With budget restraints and a "back 
to basics" movement, it is important that we become 
visible and show that what we are teaching is basic — 
basic to life. Dagenais (1987) states we must be careful 
not to overstate our programs by claiming that we are a 
little bit of everything, losing the focus of the family. 
We are teaching the basics for life: food, clothing, 
shelter, and interpersonal relationships. 

Just as an outdated curriculum will no longer meet 
student needs, traditional teaching techniques will also 
need to be revised (Whatley, 1974). All types of 
teaching techniques must be used for variety is the key 
to reaching all students and much used, older techniques 
are recognized as ineffective in teaching many of 
today's students. The classroom setting should move 
beyond food and clothing laboratories into other 
3 settings for experiential learning — social agencies, 
community organizations, government. This would 
change the perceptions others have of home economics 
and help others to see its value in a new way (Haney, 

The last step and perhaps the most controversial is 
that we must stick to our name and work as home eco- 
nomics educators. Many schools have dropped the 
name of home economics in favor of other terms such as 
life skills, yet all this serves to do is confuse students 
about what goes on in our classrooms. Many home eco- 
nomics teachers believe that because our field has 
changed, that the title home economics no longer re- 
flects what we do, and thus conveys inappropriate 
stereotypes that work against us in recruiting students. 
Although a name change might provide some immedi- 
ate relief to an image problem, it is not a long-term so- 
lution! Rather, our common title should serve as a uni- 
fying bond between all members of our profession and, 
through the development of effective public relations 
programs in our schools, we can communicate to all stu- 
dents and staff what is now going on in our classrooms. 
We have been home economists since the Lake Placid 
Conferences (1899-1909) and have a history to be proud 
of. If we take action now, we can continue to be proud of 
our contributions to society in the future. 


In summary, home economics education will con- 
tinue into the 21st century by taking important steps 
now to help society prepare for the future. It is time to 
stop making excuses for ourselves, our programs, enroll- 

ments, and our name (Dagenais, 1987). Instead, we must 
look to the future and what it holds so that we can pre- 
pare individuals to look positively into the future, an- 
ticipate and create change (Brun, 1976). As a novice 
home economics teacher, I do not feel that this profes- 
sion is at risk but rather that, due to dedicated profes- 
sionals in the field and the fresh new ideas that arise 
each day, the best for home economics education is yet 
to come! 


Brun, J. K. (1976). Futurism as focus for home economics 
education. Illinois Teacher, 20(1), 2-8. 

Cetron, M. J., Soriano, B., & Gayle, M. (1985). How 
American business and education can cooperate to 
save our schools. Toronto: McGraw Hill. 

Dagenais, R. (1987). Home economics education: A 
profession at risk in a nation at risk. Illinois 
Teacher, 30(4), 129-133. 

East, M. (1982). A look back to plan ahead: The fences 
and the stakes. Illinois Teacher, 26(1), 19-21. 

Glines, D. (1985). Home economics and the future. 
Illinois Teacher, 28(3), 103-105. 

Haney, P. H. (1985). Orienting to the future. Illinois 
Teacher, 27(1), 6-11. 

Harriman, L. C. (1977). Changing roles: Implications 
for home economics. Journal of Home Economics 69, 

Lund, L. A. (1976). The future of the family. Journal of 
Home Economics, 68, 9-11. 

Martin, R. E., & Light, H. K. (1984). Preparing stu- 
dents for family life beyond the 80's. Illinois 
Teacher, 28(1), 28-30. 

Moxley, V. M. (1984). Home economics at risk. Illinois 
Teacher, 28(2), 46-48. 

Spitze, H. T. (1976). Home economics in the future. 
Journal of Home Economics, 68, 5-8. 

Spitze, H. T. (1984). Yes, our nation is at risk, but. . . 
Illinois Teacher, 28(1), 2-4. 

Swope, M. R. (1974). The future: What's in it for sec- 
ondary school home economics. Illinois Teacher, 
18(1), 6-9. 

Whatley, A. E. (1974). Indignation, an impetus for 
change: Implications for the professional home 
economist. Illinois Teacher, 18(1), 10-13. ••• 

(Peterat, Continued from page 19.) 

Peterat, L (1986). Home economics in Canadian schools. 
Journal of Consumer Studies and Home 
Economics, 10, 271-278. • • • 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, September /October, 1989 9 

Alice Ravenhill: International Pioneer 

in Home Economics 

Mary Gale Smith 
Graduate Student 
Faculty of Education 
University of British Columbia 

As the Canadian Home Economics Association 
celebrates its fiftieth anniversary, it seems timely to 
consider the work of its first honourary member, Alice 
Ravenhill. Recognized by the American Home Eco- 
nomics Association as a founding member and the first 
woman to be conferred a fellowship of the Royal Sani- 
tary Institute in her native England, Alice Ravenhill 
was truly an international pioneer in home economics. 
As a woman from an upper class family who was not 
allowed to pursue a career until family financial re- 
sources declined, she became an authority on public 
health and was noted for her stimulating public 
lectures. In 1900, at the Annual Congress of the Royal 
Sanitary Institute held in Paris, her interest was 
sparked by "the prominence given to the American 
methods of handling "Home Economics" (Ravenhill, 
1951). From then on she actively promoted her vision of 
home economics in England, Canada, and the United 
States. This vision was very much influenced by her 
health and sanitation background. 

A Brief Life History 

Born in 1859, Alice Ravenhill grew up in the En- 
glish countryside. She was educated at home and at 
residential schools for daughters of the privileged un- 
til family financial reversals forced her to return home 
at seventeen. Her father rejected her proposals to 
attend public day school and to train as a hospital 
nurse. It was not until she was almost thirty that her 
father finally allowed her to fulfill her desire to be- 
come part of the social welfare movement. 

Our grandfather had left to each of us a small 
annuity, and I was determined mine should suf- 
fice.. .to prepare for the diploma given by the 
National Health Society to those who passed 
the requisite examinations for County Council 
Lecturers in rural districts on "Home Nursing," 

"First Aid," and "Health in the Home" 
(Ravenhill, 1951). 

An excellent student, Ravenhill was encouraged to enter 
nurses' training but she declined recognizing "the 
greater call of preventive work" (Ravenhill, 1951). 

Ravenhill worked as an itinerant county council 
lecturer travelling to various villages and small towns 
in the west of England, giving short courses in hygiene. 
However the constant travelling and living conditions 
taxed her somewhat fragile health so she returned to 
London to the position of secretary to the Royal British 
Nurses Association and continued to give lectures when 
the opportunity presented itself. This commitment 
lasted three years until a severe bout of influenza 
forced her resignation. 

In 1897, she began a two year tour of the larger cen- 
ters in England giving a series of lectures on the Public 
Health Laws. Through this work Ravenhill concluded 
that support for legislation would only come about 
when "a general and better informed interest had been 
aroused in public sanitary reforms based upon sounder 
insight into the fundamentals of healthy living" 
(Ravenhill, 1951). While lecturers and publications 
were two ways of arousing public interest, Ravenhill 
could also see the potential of the formal education 

One of the most progressive educational authori- 
ties, the West Riding of Yorkshire County Council ap- 
proached Ravenhill in 1899, to train women teachers 
for a Home Nursing course for girls. She declined be- 
cause rather than emphasizing prevention the course 
held a "too strongly morbid interest in illness and dis- 
aster" (Ravenhill, 1951). Instead she proposed that 
" opportunity might be offered to teachers of boys 
as well as girls to prepare themselves for diffus- 
ing.. .'health' interest and practice in their schools" 
(Ravenhill, 1951). Her proposal was accepted and she 
pioneered a thirty lesson class in September, 1899. This 
work continued at centers in Yorkshire, Leeds, Bradford 
and Wakefield until 1904. During this period, while 
attending the Annual Congress of the Royal Sanitary 
Institute in Paris, she became interested in home eco- 
nomics and decided to propose to the Special Report 
Department of the Board of Education that she carry 
out an enquiry into the methods of teaching home eco- 
nomics in the schools and colleges of the United States. 

10 ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 

Thus, as special commissioner of the Board of Edu- 
cation of England and Wales, she attended the third 
Lake Placid Conference in 1901 and presented a syl- 
labus: Teacher Training Courses in Practical Hygiene. 
An abstract of her address in the proceedings of the 
conference summarizes the course as comprising: 

...a study of nutrition. ..the general structure of 
the body and functions. ..personal hy- 
giene. ..domestic hygiene. ..municipal hy- 
giene. ..cursory surveys of vital statis- 
tics.. .sanitary law, and the scheme of local 
governments in England... (Lake Placid 
Conference, Proceedings, 1901). 

She returned to teaching in Yorkshire. While 
there she published her report on degree courses in 
Household Economics in the United States. As a result, 
she became the first woman Fellow of the Royal Sani- 
tary Institute. Poor physical health continued to 
plague Ravenhill. In 1904, she was forced to leave her 
work in Yorkshire and return to London where she be- 
came involved in committees concerned with school 
hygiene. She lectured on such topics as hygiene, public 
health, and physical development in childhood and 
carried out investigations in health, child develop- 
ment and moral training. 

All the while, Ravenhill was pursuing another ob- 
jective, that of a course in Household Economics at Lon- 
don University. After years of tireless lobbying: 

Thus it came about that the somewhat suspi- 
cious faculties of the University of London 
agreed to sanction the introduction of post- 
graduate and undergraduate courses in social 
and household sciences, by the usual procedure 
of first granting a diploma and later, after the 
course has been sufficiently tested and shown to 
have reached university standards, granting a 
degree (Ravenhill, 1951). 

The course was offered at King's College for Women in 
October, 1908. Ravenhill lectured there until the close 
of the academic year in 1910.- 

Ravenhill left the work she was so devoted to 
when her nephew, who had attended agricultural col- 
lege, and her brother decided to homestead in Canada. 

...I must confess the shock to me was startling 
when my sister insisted that she and I must join 
our men folk as soon as we could and make a 
home for them both during the early years of 
pioneer life (Ravenhill, 1951). 

These "urgent family claims" brought her to Shawni- 
gan Lake, Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Well 
into her fiftieth year, Ravenhill and her sister em- 
barked on a life of hard physical work, homemaking in 
the bush while her brother an nephew cleared the 

In Canada she found her services in demand and her 
career as a lecturer continued. In 1911, Ravenhill began 
a long association with the Women's Institute when she 
responded to an invitation from the Department of 
Agriculture to address these women's groups in the 
province. She also spoke to teachers in Victoria, 
Vancouver and Nanaimo about child and school hy- 
giene. One of her biggest challenges was that of 
principal speaker in an appeal to the University of 
British Columbia for the establishment of home eco- 
nomics. (More than thirty years would pass before this 
came into being.) Of all her public speaking, the invi- 
tation from Mrs. Massey Treble, to give the inaugural 
address at the official opening of the Household Sci- 
ence Building at the University of Toronto was consid- 
ered "one of the great compliments" (Ravenhill, 1951). 

In 1915, Ravenhill began a four year period of 
working almost exclusively in the United States. She 
addressed home economists in Seattle on the topic of 
economics and efficiency. She gave "...a series of lec- 
turers on what might be termed the Science of Human 
Life..." (Journal of Home Economics, 1916) at Oregon 
State Agricultural College. Ravenhill became the first 
international lecturer appointed by the American 
Home Economics Association as trustees of the Ellen H. 
Richards Memorial Fund. In 1917 she embarked on a 
lecture tour of the United States which took her to six- 
teen universities and colleges; her topic was "Physical 
Development in childhood." The first stop on her tour 
was Salt Lake City, Utah where the State College 
officials invited her to Logan for two years to 
reorganize and expand the Department of Household 
Economics. Although she accepted the assignment, she 
was unable to fulfill the commitment as age, the 
altitude, and a severe bout of Spanish influenza forced 
her retirement in 1918. 

She and her brother and sister purchased a home in 
Victoria and closed the book on active promotion of 
health and home economics, although she maintained 
her interest through reading and correspondence. In 
1926, the Women's Institute asked for her advice on 
how to adapt native designs to the making of hooked 
rugs. Little did they know that the interest they 
sparked would become the new focus of Ravenhill's 
abundant energy. From that time until her death in 
1954, she used her talents to draw attention to the arts 
and crafts fo the native people of British Columbia and 
it was for that contribution as well as for her work in 
the advancement of social welfare that she was 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 11 

and crafts fo the native people of British Columbia and 
it was for that contribution as well as for her work in 
the advancement of social welfare that she was 
awarded an honourary degree of Doctor of Science from 
the University of British Columbia in 1948. 

The Purpose of Education 

Ravenhill preferred preventative work. Her ini- 
tial work in education developed because she believed 
that education could prevent many social ills. It was in 
the national interest to have healthy, productive 
citizens. Her guiding principle was " that public 
health means public wealth, mental, moral, and 
physical, as well as financial" (Ravenhill, 1902). 
Ravenhill's beliefs were consistent with the general 
theme of schooling at the time — nationalism. The aim 
of education was threefold: to maintain the greatness 
and glory of the state; to train for patriotic citizenship; 
and to protect the state from external attack and 
internal disintegration. She wrote: 

Once convince the people and the Press of the 
vital connection between my subject and na- 
tional efficiency, and the suitable inculcation 
of hygienic rules for the maintenance of sound 
health must and will find an honored place in 
educational institutions for all ages and for 
both sexes (Ravenhill, 1902). 

As a result of her trip to the United States, she fre- 
quently used the American system as an example: 

School life and interests are there really 
"national," and the nation looks to the schools 
to cooperate with the homes in the manufacture 
of a human product second to none in the uni- 
verse (Ravenhill, 1902). 

And she was always quick to point out that "the study 
of elementary hygiene and physiology.. .is the only 
obligatory subject required throughout the States" 
(Ravenhill, 1902). 

It is interesting to note the terminology used by 
Ravenhill. "Efficiency," "inculcation," "manufacture 
of human product" all point to the metaphor of the 
school as a factory. Another frequently used term was 
"imperial" as in a woman's "imperial service" or 
"imperalism." The term usually means "of or pertain- 
ing to an empire" but in Great Britian it has the added 
significance of "designating the principles and aims of 
the Imperial Federation Committee established in 
1893, which invited the colonies to take a share in the 
cost of imperial defense" (Webster's International Dic- 
tionary, second edition, 1935). 

In Canada, Ravenhill referred to imperialism and 
the advancement of the empire in her address at the 
opening of the Household Sciences Building at the 
University of Toronto in 1913 when she stated: 

This function attests to the forging of another 
link in the chain of imperialism by which our 
great empire is united for the advancement and 
protection of its people.. ..It is quite legitimate 
to describe household economics equally with 
imperialism.. .for its aim is to promote the 
welfare of our race... Imperialism recalls to the 
individual the responsibilities attaching to 
the goodly heritage he enjoys; also does family 
life (Ravenhill, 1913). 

She also included that "the full scope of this compre- 
hensive subject (was) the right conduct of human life in 
the home" (Ravenhill, 1913). Nowhere in her writing 
does she address the value question of who decides on 
the "right conduct." Perhaps it is the result of her up- 
per class upbringing that allowed her to make pro- 
nouncements as she felt". ..most reforms, if not all, filter 
from the higher to the lower strata of society" 
(Ravenhill, 1913). 

At the end of her career in home economics educa- 
tion, Ravenhill described what should be included in a 
college course on child welfare. In 1919, she was still 
concerned with the state of infant mortality statistics, 
the increasing death rate of those over thirty years of 
age, the prevalence of infections and disease, and the 
effects of such things as defective feeding and insuffi- 
cient sleep. She continued to believe that education 
was the answer as she wrote: 

Each individual is answerable to the commu- 
nity for the contributions he makes to the wel- 
fare and prosperity of the nation... The new ed- 
ucation will insist that the cultivation of 
health is a public duty and that preventable 
sickness is a dereliction of such duty... 
(Ravenhill, 1919). 

Ravenhill's beliefs about the function of education re- 
mained fairly constant throughout her lifetime. She 
continued to believe that the main function of education 
was to promote the welfare of the nation by preventing 
conditions which caused deterioration. She maintained 
that the home was the foundation of society and it was 
there that the problems must be addressed. 

The records of history afford a wealth of sound 
evidence that the quality of human life and 
the character of the homes in which it is 
reared and maintained underlie every interna- 

12 ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 

Thus, the children in school must be educated by experts 
on how to live properly and women must be trained to 
administer the home properly. 

It is not for economic competition with their 
brothers that we urge girls to attend college; it 
is not for immediate economic independence and 
relief from the restraints of the family circle 
that the doors of our universities have been 
thrown open to them; but to afford them right- 
ful opportunities for self-development on the 
one hand and of essential equipment for their 
highly dignified national responsibilities on 
the other (Ravenhill, 1920). 

Although she advocated a liberal education for women 
it was to help them perform their "national responsi- 
bility" which was the maintenance of the home and 
the production of healthy productive citizens. 

A Vision for Home Economics Education 

Ravenhill's vision of home economics was best re- 
vealed in a critique, which she wrote in 1917, of a syl- 
labus of home economics subject matter for universities 
and colleges which had been prepared by the American 
Home Economics Association. The following is a sum- 
mary of her main points: 

1. The aim of home economics is to promote human 

Its object is the inculcation of right methods and 
practice.. .Its aim is to release mankind from 
bondage to unnecessary physical, moral, and 
mental disabilities, and to set human nature 
free to realize its full inherent powers 
(Ravenhill, 1917) 

2. Home economics is but a part of hygiene. 

Hygiene, — the conservation and maintenance 
of health, — is to me the lens through which 
we should focus all learning upon the advance- 
ment of life...(H)ome economics students fail to 
grasp that their primary object is the promo- 
tion of health, physical, mental, and moral; 
and that instead their chief end is rather the 
production of., clothing, and shelter 
(Ravenhill, 1917). 

3. Home economics is a broad, comprehensive, in- 
tegrated subject area. 

The habitual arrangement of subject matter into 
the three main sub-divisions of food, clothing 

and shelter. ..are of undeniable importance to 
the right conduct of human life; each is closely 
linked to the other through mutual relations to 
the whole; but this latter fact is liable to the 
obscured by the general method of emphasized 
subdivision (Ravenhill, 1917). 

4. Home economics involves the application of 
scientific principles from both the physical and 
social sciences. 

Fewer hours shall be spent.. .in actual prepara- 
tion of food and in the mere setting of 
stitches;.. .personal hygienic practice, the re- 
sponsibilities of parenthood, the physical as 
well as the psychological development of 
children, the social and civic relations of the 
home, must all receive more definite and more 
extended and more suitable coordinated treat- 
ment... (Ravenhill, 1917). 

5. Home economics is a course for both males and 

Home influence is the earliest and most perma- 
nent element in the formation of character as 
well as in the protection of health; it must now 
advance a step further and recognize that this 
responsible influence is based upon certain fun- 
damental principles which must be studied and 
applied equally by men and women (Ravenhill, 

6. The main objective of home economics is the better 
understanding and maintenance of human life. 

The relation of selves to society; emphasis upon 
the moral and economic aspects of "being well 
born," well tended, well trained, well recre- 
ated, well exercised, in home life; all these 
factors in human welfare and many more.. .are 
vital elements, inadequately emphasized, in- 
sufficiently coordinated, in most of our courses 
(Ravenhill, 1917). 

7. Home economics education should develop a 
wholistic form of knowledge. 

I aim to direct attention to the existing risk of 
neglecting the synthetic by exaggerated devo- 
tion to the analytic... (Ravenhill, 1917). 

8. Home economics education should include study of 
the broad cultural and historical aspects of the 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, September /October, 1989 13 

(Such study) will foster that sense of perspec- 
tive, that perception of the relation of the 
parts to the whole which maintains balance 
and adds dignity and responsibility to the 
course (Ravenhill, 1917). 

9. Home economists and home economics educators 
have a responsibility to advance their cause. 

A deprecatory, retiring attitude is not the best 
advertisement of a great cause... (Ravenhill, 

As frequently pointed out by historians there was not 
consensus in the field. Not everyone agreed with 
Ravenhill's conception of home economics. Isabel Be- 
vier (1918), for example, differed with Ravenhill 
especially with her choice of a "measuring unit" 

Some contradictions in Ravenhill's work also need 
exploring. How do you, for example, reconcile 
"inculcation" with "synthetic reasoning"? Many would 
take issue with Ravenhill's view that home economics 
is but a part of hygiene although most would agree that 
hygiene, or health as it is more commonly referred to 
today, is a part of home economics. Although Raven- 
hill does mention the development of human powers, 
one must ask of her, to what end? Ravenhill would 
probably align with the good of the state while others 
would align with a more humanistic view considering 
the well-being of the individual and family. 


While there was considerable preoccupation with 
management as evidenced in the themes of "efficiency" 
and "economy," which leads one to believe that home 
economics was a very technical occupation which could 
be learned by "inculcation," Ravenhill also expressed 
concerns with which home economics educators continue 
to struggle, for example: the "wholeness" of home eco- 
nomics; the health and well-being of families; educa- 
tion of both males and females; child care, critical 
thinking versus rote learning; and the promotion of 
home economics. Although we may not always agree 
with her interpretation of home economics education, 
Ravenhill lived her life believing that she could make 
a difference and she challenges us to do the same. 

Journal of Home Economics. (1916). News from the 
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Lake Placid Conference on Home Economics. (1901). 
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Ravenhill, A. (1902). The teaching of hygiene. Amer- 
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Ravenhill, A. (1913). Address at the University of 
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Ravenhill, A. (1917). The scope of home economics and 
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Ravenhill, A. (1919). Reconstruction in relation to 
home economics. Journal of Home Economics, 22(10), 

Ravenhill, A. (1920). The open forum. Journal of Home 
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Ravenhill, A. (1944). Notes on her life. U.B.C. Spe- 
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Ravenhill, A. (1951). Alice Ravenhill — the memoirs 
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and Sons. • • • 

(Eyre, Continued from 25.) 

Sadker, M., & Sadker, D. (1986). Sexism in the class- 
room: From grade school to graduate school. Phi 
Delta Kappan, 67(7), 512-520. 

Shakeshaft, C. (1986). A gender at risk. Phi Delta 
Kappan, 67(1), 499-503. 

Spender, D. (1982). Invisible women: The schooling 
scandal. London: Writers and Readers Publishing 

Tetreault, M. K. T. (1986). The journey from male de- 
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Thompson, P. J. (1984). Home economics: A knowledge 
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Weiner, G. (Ed.). (1985). Just a bunch of girls. Milton 
Keynes, U.K.: Open University Press. • • • 


Bevier, I. (1918). Comment and discussion [Letter to the 
editor]. Journal of Home Economics, 20(1), 40-41. 

14 ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 

In Search of Place 

Dr. Wanda Young 
College of Home Economics 
University of Saskatchewan 
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 

The purpose of this paper is to review the history 
of home economics education in the province of 
Saskatchewan, Canada. The review will include a 
statement about the search for a place to live by set- 
tlers from many parts of Europe. Another statement ex- 
plains the place of education in the value scheme of 
these people, especially of a higher education and of 
home economics education. As a university expands, 
faculty are drawn from other places. From which 
places were the faculty of home economics drawn? 

It was the important value placed upon the family 
that gave home economics education its place or posi- 
tion in the educational system. What role or place 
have men had in the development of the discipline of 
home economics? What has been the location or place 
for the study of home economics in Saskatchewan? 
What is the position or place of other specializations 
in the field of home economics? At what point or place 
was a need felt for a professional organization in home 
economics education? These are the questions which 
guide the consideration of the following scenarios. 

The Settler's Place 

The man looked across the creek to the hill which 
broke the flow of westerly wind. To the right there 
was a wave of golden color from the aspen trees which 
stretched from the top of the hill to the plain. To the 
j 1 left, or south, a similar band of color worked its way 
down the hill. The central portion was filled with 
bushes and there the color was a rich red. Across the 
creek a flat sweep of land stretched to the base of the 
hill, surrounded it and disappeared both to the north 
and south. "There," he said to the sturdy dark woman 
by his side, "there is where we will build our home. 
We can use logs from the parkland and cement them 
with mud from the creekbed. It will be like our parents 
home in the Ukraine." And so another European family 
settled in what was to become Saskatchewan. 

Further south on the plains, a prairie wagon had 
remained at home all summer. As weather turned 
cooler the young Irish wife suggested to her husband 
that they cut the sods and stack them to make a house, 

using the peat cutting skills they had developed in the 
homeland. Many rural families today point with pride 
to the log cabin or sod shanty still standing on the 
family property, built by the grandparents. 

The mother languages spoken in Saskatchewan in- 
dicate the multicultural nature of the settlers. English, 
German, Ukranian, French and native Indian, in that 
order, and the predominant languages (Statistics 
Canada, 1976). The shapes of church towers in the 
small communities are as diverse as the languages. Re- 
ligion does shape the thinking and the values of Cana- 
dians (Begin, 1988). 

The Place of Education 

These settlers had left Europe, in search of a place 
where they could be free to till the soil, to raise a fam- 
ily, to worship together, and to provide education for 
that family. The University of Saskatchewan charter 
was instituted in 1907 to answer the needs of these pio- 
neers for higher education which would be of service to 
the people of the province (Rowles, 1964). The 1910 
Calendar of the University of Saskatchewan includes 
the Statutes of the Charter. Statute IX refers to the 
establishment of faculties: "There shall be established 
a School of Domestic Science and Art at such time as 
the Governors determine" ( 1910). Although President 
Murray promised such a school it was not until 1928 
that he was able to see it established (Rowles, 1964). 
Meanwhile, the settlers wanted assistance with 
beginning domestic problems. Short courses about 
women's work were offered by the Extension Division of 
the College of Agriculture beginning in January 1909 
(Young, 1975). In 1913 the Department of Education 
offered a summer school course to train teachers of 
Domestic Science. In 1914 the contract for summer 
school classes was offered to the University of 
Saskatchewan. In 1916 President Murray sought a staff 
member to offer such courses during winter term as well. 
A year later, Mrs. Ethel Rutter came to the university 
to organize a certificate of specialization in home 
economics in the College of Arts and Science. By 1924, 
this specialization included training for dietetics. In 
1928 the School of Household Science became a reality. 

A Place for Faculty 

Saskatchewan did provide a place for faculty. 
Mrs. Ethel Rutter, the first home economist, came with 
a Philosophy degree from the University of Chicago. 
Before she became director of the school of Home Eco- 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 15 

nomics in 1928 she had earned an M.A. at Columbia 

Other early faculty, Bertha Oxner, Edith Patrick, 
and Helen Wilmot, had undergraduate degrees from 
the University of Toronto or the University of 
Saskatchewan. They had studied at either the Uni- 
versity of Chicago or Columbia University and com- 
pleted M.A.'s before being promoted. 

In total, 61 faculty members have taught in the 
College of Home Economics at the University of 
Saskatchewan. Of these, 19 took their undergraduate 
degree at the University of Saskatchewan. They went 
on to graduate study at other universities, mainly in 
the United States. From a study of the calendars from 
1910 to 1988, it was found that home economics faculty 
had earned 43 master's degrees and 14 doctor of philos- 
ophy degrees. 

The 43 master's degrees included 28 science degrees 
and 15 arts degrees. Three or more of the degrees were 
from Cornell, Manitoba, Columbia, Chicago, Min- 
nesota, Wisconsin and Michigan State University. 
Other master's degrees were obtained from Toronto, 
Iowa State, Saskatchewan, London (England), Oregon 
State, University of British Columbia, Ohio State, Is- 
rael, Montana State, Texas Women's University, and 
the University of Leeds (England). 

The first faculty member in home economics to have 
a doctor of philosophy degree was Dr. Hope Hunt who 
came in 1940 to direct the school, to change it to the 
College of Household Science in 1942, and to change the 
name to the College of Home Economics in 1954. Dr. 
Hunt obtained her degree from the University of Min- 
nesota. Two or more of the doctorates have been 
achieved at Cornell, Michigan State, Minnesota, and 
the University of Edinburgh (Scotland). Other faculty 
with doctorates had studied at Columbia University, 
Wisconsin, Texas Women's University, Georgia, Al- 
berta, and Cambridge. 

The Place of Home Economics Education 

In Survival of the Family 

It was in 1908 that M. Python, of the canton of 
Freiburg in Switzerland met with a group of women 
from the canton, who were teaching about household 
tasks (Young, 1984). They were all concerned about the 
effect of the industrial revolution on the families of the 
canton as more women went outside of the home to work. 
This meeting resulted in the formation of the Interna- 
tional Federation of Home Economics. The British of 
the higher classes at this same time were concerned be- 
cause they were losing household helpers to the fac- 
tories; housecraft classes were begun to train servants 
and the wealthy housewives who managed them. In 
Eastern United States and Canada, home economics 

classes were begun in order to help the migrants adjust 
to life on the new continent. On the western prairies, 
domestic science classes were commenced in order to 
help the families survive in the harsh environment, 
with little transportation to bring products from the 
commercial centers of the east. The common element in 
these situations across the globe is survival of the 
family; survival against the forces of industrial- 
ization; survival from diffusion of the family caused by 
migration; survival from the impact of 
commercialization; and survival in the environment. 

In Saskatchewan, the element of survival continued 
with the drought of the "dirty thirties." Teachers and 
university professors received worthless paper in lieu 
of salaries. In the forties it was survival in the condi- 
tions of World War II. In the period from 1950 to 1975 
times were good and it was necessary for the family to 
survive the force of materialistic values. Divorce be- 
came common. Recently, the family has had to survive 
the destruction of natural resources, including another 
drought that is damaging the land and forcing farm 
families into bankruptcy. 

In Relation to Men 

Another common element in the stories of home 
economics in Switzerland, Britain, Eastern Canada, and 
in Saskatchewan in the early years of the profession 
from 1875 to 1925, was the role that men played. They 
established the advanced training for home economics 
teachers, the professional organizations, the 
universities in the United States and Canada, and the 
research institutes. Today men do not seem as concerned 
with professional help for families. 

Through the years after World War II, home 
economists urged administrators to admit men into the 
colleges as students. There are some today, primarily 
in nutrition, textiles, design, and family and consumer 
studies at the graduate level. During the past ten years 
home economics courses at the elementary and sec- 
ondary level have increasingly included courses for 
young male students. These classes have been more 
popular in the comprehensive and technical schools 
than in the academic high schools. 


If the meaning location is given to the word 
"place," there have been a number of changes in the 
place of home economics in Saskatchewan. The first 
home economics classes were the short courses offered 
by the Extension Division. These continued well into 
the seventies. Today home economists are employed by 
the Extension Division but they work with 4H clubs, 
with women's studies, and in general adult education. 

The first credit courses were in home economics 
education in the College of Arts and Sciences. Training 

16 ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 

of home economics teachers continues today. In the past 
twenty years a home economics teacher could pursue a 
I four year degree in the College of Home Economics 
(formed in 1942 as the College of Household Science 
(and renamed in 1954) and then proceed to a one year 
j diploma course in the College of Education. Another 
| approach is to pursue a four year Bachelor of Education 
I with a double major in home economics. The first ap- 
| proach provided more content classes in home eco- 
( nomics. The second approach gave students an opportu- 
nity to be in the classroom each year. Adjustment to 
i teaching was made quickly by graduates from the sec- 
| ond approach. In 1990 the College of Home Economics is 
to be phased out. The College of Education has been 
[charged with the task of studying the best way to pre- 
j pare home economics teachers in the future. This study 
is conducted by Dr. Beverly Pain. 

Other Specializations in Home Economics 

Dietetics and Nutrition 

When small hospitals were built in the province in 
the early 1920's, a dietetics program was added to the 
j offerings in home economics in the College of Arts and 
: Sciences. This was expanded to include nutrition 
sclasses. In 1966 there was a major in Food Science, to 
I service the agriculturalists of the province, as well as a 
major in Dietetics and Nutrition. The Food Science ma- 
jor was transferred to the College of Agriculture in 1983. 
(The Division of Nutrition and Dietetics within the 
[College of Pharmacy was formed in 1987 by transferring 
students and faculty from the College of Home Eco- 

Clothing and Textiles 

Clothing and textile classes have been offered for 

teachers from the early years. A major in Clothing and 
[Textiles was formed in 1966 for home economists in 
ibusiness. With the phasing out of the College of Home 
1 Economics in 1990, these courses will disappear. A 
(course in socio-economic aspects of clothing and textiles 

may be included in the program of home economics edu- 

Household Economics and Management 

A major in Household Economics and Management 
was set up in 1966. This was absorbed into the Division 
of Family and Consumer Studies in 1980. Currently a 
program in Family Resource Management is before the 
^Academic Affairs Committee of Council. Although the 
farm crisis makes such a program essential, there is no 
guarantee that this program will be initiated. 

Housing and Design 

Finally, a major in Housing and Design was set up in 
1966. Graduates from this program have succeeded in 
becoming registered designers in the Interior Designers 
of Saskatchewan, a professional body. The environ- 
ment of Saskatchewan has some unique qualities for re- 
search in housing and design. Nevertheless, the origi- 
nal objective of service for the people of Saskatchewan 
seems to have been forgotten. The program in Housing 
and Design will be discontinued in 1990. 

The Place of Professional Organizations 

The Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation provides 
support to a number of subject councils. The 
Saskatchewan Home Economics Teachers Association 
(SHETA) was formed at a meeting in April 1968. The 
author was a member of the committee that wrote the 
constitution setting out the objectives: to improve the 
effectiveness of home economics education; to encourage, 
enrich, and promote qualities of family life education 
essential for a diverse society; to facilitate better 
teaching of home economics; to furnish advice to the 
Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation regarding home 
economics education. For a number of years SHETA was 
a member of an umbrella organization called the Coor- 
dinating Council, meeting with representatives of the 
Saskatchewan Home Economics Association, the 
Saskatchewan Dietetic Association, the Regina and 
District Home Economics Association, the Saskatoon 
and District Home Economics Association, the Parkland 
Home Economics Association, representatives to the 
University of Regina Senate and the University of 
Saskatchewan Senate, the Home Economics Study 
Society, and the faculty of the College of Home Eco- 
nomics. VISTA, the publication of SHETA was first 
published in 1968. In 1988 there were two issues of 
VISTA and two newsletters for members. Surveys have 
been conducted regarding standards for teaching 
certificates. A brief was presented to the Core 
Curriculum Committee. Currently there are 222 
members in SHETA. 

Closure of the College of Home Economics 

At approximately ten year intervals from 1954, the 
College of Home Economics was evaluated. The 1954 
evaluation and the final evaluation in 1986 were con- 
ducted by external evaluators. The 1966 study and the 
1974 Role study were conducted within the university 
community, including alumni. Curriculum changes re- 
sulted from each evaluation. 

Reasons given for the closure of the College of 
Home Economics in 1990 include statements that too 
(Continued on page 6.) 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 17 

Home Economics Curriculum for 

Canadian Schools 

Linda Peterat, Assistant Professor 
Home Economics Education 
Faculty of Education 
University of British Columbia 
Vancouver, B.C. 


W «v 1 


One feature which distinguishes home economics 
education and all of education in Canada is that 
education is a provincial matter and therefore there is 
no national office of education. Each province has a 
minister and department of education usually 
responsible for education of students, kindergarten to 
secondary graduation. It is common for a second 
department to have responsibility for post-secondary 
education. The provincial ministers of education meet 
periodically for the exchange of information and 
coordination of some activities. This administrative 
structure leads to considerable diversity in education 
across Canada. 

The Canadian Home Economics Association has 
been a means through which home economics educators 
have communicated, shared concerns and made joint 
representations to departments of education. Over the 
years, several reviews of home economics education 
have been completed (Bannerman, Rebus and Smith, 
1989), with the most recent in 1984 (Peterat). 

This article summarizes the main features of home 
economics curriculum in Canada. It focuses on current 
developments and suggests some central challenge for 
curriculum projects as they focus on the future. 

Features of Curricula 

Unlike in the United States, in most provinces of 
Canada, home economics curricula has not been 
identified with vocational education but has more 
commonly been a part of the practical arts and general 
education. Curricula guides are written in most 
provinces for grades 7-12, although in four provinces 
programs begin at grade 8, in one province they end at 
grade 11 and in one province at grade 13. A common 
pattern in recent years has been for curricula guides to 
be revised about every ten years. Although they vary 
from province to province, curricula guides tend to serve 

as guides to practice allowing for considerable judgment 
and initiative by teachers. Nevertheless, curriculum 
development tends to be centralized in departments of 
education. Local school jurisdictions, if involved in 
curriculum development projects, tend to develop 
supplementary materials. 

Home economics programs are known by two 
different names across the country. In Ontario, and 
Newfoundland and Labrador the programs are called 
"family studies", while in all other provinces they are 
identified as home economics. The curricula study in 
1984 revealed that home economics courses across the 
country were identified by 58 different titles. Course 
titles ranged from "Textile Arts and Crafts", to "The 
Canadian Family in Perspective" to "Food for Life" and 
"Economics and Family Living" (Peterat, 1986). 

The form in which curriculum guides are written 
varies considerably although the common form includes 
conceptual frameworks, objectives, generalizations and 
suggested activities. None are written in an issue or 
problem format nor are any of the current curricula 
explicitly based on recent reconceptualizations of home 
economics education (Brown, 1980). 

The 1984 study of curricula concluded that two 
philosophies dominated in home economics curricula in 
Canada: management and decision making, and 
personal and family development. The management 
emphasis was evident in curricula of three provinces 
while the individual and family emphasis existed in 
the remaining seven provinces (Peterat, 1984). 

Home economics tends to be an elective course in 
Canadian schools. If compulsory, it is more likely to be 
so at the junior secondary grades for one or two years. In 
1984, three provinces had some compulsory courses at 
junior secondary level. In the other provinces, whether 
the course is compulsory for junior secondary students 
and whether it is compulsory for girls and boys is often 
dependent on policy within schools or local school 
districts (Peterat, 1985). 

Current Developments 

A concern of many home economics educators during 
the past several years has been with the perceived 
overlap with and relationship to other school courses 
such as health, family life education and religion. 
Recent years in Canada have seen a re-vitalizing, 
particularly of health programs, with health being 

18 ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 

defined to include physical, mental and social well- 
being. In many provinces, new health curricula are 
being re-written and health content is commonly 
compulsory for students up to grades 8 or 9. Particular 
overlap in content has occurred in the areas of 
individual and family relationships, and nutrition. 
Different solutions are being worked out in various 
provinces. At the junior secondary levels and to some 
extent at the senior secondary levels curricula are being 
written in modular format. This means that a course is 
made up of a number of core and elective modules, with 
each module consisting of a delineated set of concepts 
and an established number of instructional hours. This 
format has lent itself to integrating health, home 
economics, industrial education and sometimes other 
courses in the timetable. This trend at junior secondary 
grades results in more students being reached by home 
economics but the length of time for exposure has been 
lessened. The recent Royal Commission report on 
education in British Columbia has proposed a common 
curriculum for students up to the end of grade 10. This 
has opened discussion about appropriate curriculum for 
kindergarten to grade 7 and the possibility of including 
home economics (along with the other practical arts) 
throughout all grades of schooling is perhaps an 
initiative long overdue. 

Another current development in curriculum for 
students beyond grade 9 has been the introduction of 
courses in some provinces focusing on life skills, or career 
and life management. A recent example of this is the 
Career and Life Management course introduced in 
Alberta during 1988-89. Every student will take it once 
during grades 10-12 to meet graduation requirements. 
The core course contains five themes: self-management, 
well-being, relationships, careers and the world of 
work, and independent living. Content may range from 
the stock market to sexually transmitted diseases, with 
the main emphasis on "self-management skills - the 
ability to organize and shape one's life occupationally, 
financially, and socially" (Alberta Education, 1988, p. 

II). Similar courses are being developed in other 
Interestingly, leadership has been given in many 
provinces by home economics educators to the 
developing of health programs at the junior secondary 
levels and life management-type courses at the senior 
i secondary levels, although the courses resulting are not 
identified as home economics courses. These 
developments can be seen positively as recognizing the 
value of much of the content traditionally taught in 
home economics; or they can be seen negatively as the 
continual misunderstanding of the scope and 
I philosophy of home economics. 

Challenges for the Future 

The organization of education in Canada poses 
particular challenges now and into the future. There is 
need for nation-wide professional dialogue on and 
leadership in home economics education. Provincial 
curriculum development tends to be influenced by 
concerns of politics and immediate social problems 
leaving a lack of philosophical and conceptual 
leadership in home economics curricula. Consequently 
the influence then falls to developments beyond 
Canada and the question of the extent to which a 
Canadian vision is evident in or should be evident in 
Canadian curricula remains (Peterat, 1984). 

The current developments cited above leave open 
the question of the relationship between health and 
home economics curricula. Is health a part of home 
economics or home economics a part of health? These 
are questions that will work themselves out as curricula 
is renewed and teacher education programs move in new 
directions. Many home economics teachers are teaching 
the new health and life management type courses and 
benefiting from being a part of the core or compulsory 
curricula in schools. Whether these new courses signal 
a new and positive opportunity for home economics will 
depend on the initiative and vision of home economics 

As reflected in other articles in this journal, many 
challenges and opportunities will also impact on 
curricula in the future: How should we respond to the 
new technologies impacting on education and families? 
What is our responsibility in relation to career and 
work education? What is our role as part of the 
practical arts in education? How should we respond to 
issues of gender equity in schooling and in relation to 
the content of our discipline? How should we respond to 
the current teacher shortage to assure quality home 
economics education for all students? 


Alberta Education (1988). Career and life management 

20, Prescribed course of studies. Edmonton, 

Alberta: Author. 
Bannerman, N, Rebus, S., & Smith, A. (1989). 

Canadian home economics. Illinois Teacher, 

XXXII (1) 2-6. 
Brown, M (1980). What is home economics education? 

Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of 


(Continued on page 6.) 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 19 

The Education of Home Economics 

Teachers in Canada 

Beverly Pain 
Associate Professor 
College of Education 
University of Saskatchewan 

The education of home economics teachers has been 
formalized in Canada for almost a century. This paper 
will focus on how home economics is currently defined in 
the Canadian context, a brief look at the origins of 
home economics teacher education in Canada, a listing 
of the institutions which currently offer programs in 
home economics teacher education, and a summary of 
the types of programs available. 

Home economics in a Canadian context 

The Canadian Home Economics Association (1984) 
adopted the following definition of home economics in 

Home economics is concerned with all aspects of 
daily living including human relationships and 
development, resource management, 
consumerism, foods and nutrition, clothing and 
textiles, housing and aesthetics. Home 
economics brings together knowledge from its 
own research, the sciences and the arts and uses 
this knowledge to assist individuals and 
families in enhancing their daily lives. 

In the 1985 policy statement on home economics/ family 
studies education in Canadian schools, the Canadian 
Home Economics Association supported the view that 
home economics in schools is a practical science which 
focuses on the daily problems of: 

What should be done about... securing housing, 
acquiring appropriate clothing, caring for 
children, etc. Unique to its considerations are 
the substantive areas of human relationships 
and development, resource management, 
consumerism, foods and nutrition, clothing and 
textiles, housing and aesthetics (p. 117). 

While this may appear to be a rather simple 
straightforward statement of the focus of home 
economics education in Canadian schools, the question 
of how this might be put into practice through the 
preparation of home economics educators is not simple, 
nor straightforward. 

Elizabeth Feniak pointed out in 1979 that when we 
look at university courses in home economics, 
particularly when there might be a comparison with 
those in other countries, "some facts about Canada 
should be noted. It is a country with a very large land 
mass (approximately 3.8 million square miles) and a 
relatively small, scattered population" (p. 72). The 
United States in comparison comprises approximately 
3.6 million square miles. In comparing populations, the 
United States has a population of approximately 235 
million while Canada has 25 million - a population 
comparable to the state of California. 

Another factor which must be noted is that in 
Canada education falls under provincial jurisdiction 
(Feniak, 1979, p. 72; Peterat, 1985, p. 80; Rowles, 1958, 
p. 9). "This leads to differences from province to 
province in the education of home economics teachers" 
(Rowles, 1958, p. 9). An additional complicating factor 
is related to certification. Certification requirements 
vary from province to province, and in some provinces 
anyone who is a certified teacher may be assigned to 
teach home economics or any other subject. 


The teaching of home economics classes, or domestic 
science classes as they were then known, occurred in 
Canadian schools prior to the establishment of home 
economics courses in teacher education programs. Edith 
Rowles Simpson credits the teaching of domestic science 
in the schools along with the organization of the first 
Women's Institutes, with creating the "need for teacher 
training in home economics" (Rowles, 1958, p. 9). The 
first regulations concerning the preparation of domestic 
science teachers in Canada were introduced by the 
Department of Education, Province of Ontario in 1898 
and in 1899, 16 students had passed the tests and 
received Domestic Science Certificates (Rowles, 1964). 

"By 1898 the Normal Schools [teacher education 
programs] of Ottawa and Toronto were providing 
courses of lectures in domestic science" (Rowles, 1964, p. 
17). This was followed by the opening of the Ontario 

20 ILUNOIS TEACHER, September /October, 1989 

Normal School of Domestic Science and Art in 
Hamilton in 1900 and the move in September 1903 of 
this school to Guelph, Ontario to become the 
MacDonald Institute (Rowles, 1964). 

Institutions Currently Offering Home Economics 
Teacher Education 

Peterat and Pain (1989) identified 13 institutions 
currently offering home economics teacher education 
programs in Canada and graduating approximately 100 
new teachers in 1989. While the original three 
institutions were all located in Ontario, programs now 
exist in all provinces except Newfoundland. The 
spread of programs from Ontario to other areas in 
Canada followed the settlement of Canada and the 
creation of sufficient populations in these areas to 
sustain programs. 

Today, Ontario has two institutions offering home 
economics teacher education programs: the University 
of Toronto and the University of Western Ontario. The 
province of Quebec also has programs at two 
institutions, McGill University and Universite Laval, 
as does the province of New Brunswick at the 
University of New Brunswick and the Universite de 
Moncton, and the province of Nova Scotia at Acadia 

i University and Mount Saint Vincent University. The 
following provinces each have one institution offering 
home economics teacher education programs: British 

I Columbia, at the University of British Columbia; 
Alberta, at the University of Alberta; Saskatchewan, 
at the University of Saskatchewan; Manitoba, at the 
University of Manitoba; and Prince Edward Island at 
the University of Prince Edward Island. 

Types of programs 

The types of programs offered were examined by 

Peterat and Pain (1989). Twelve of the 13 institutions 
; offer post-degree programs. The University of New 
I Brunswick offers only a four year Bachelor of Education 

program. This was the only program at the time of the 
; study in which the home economics content classes were 

provided by the faculty in the Faculty of Education. 

The University of New Brunswick, however, does 
: accept students who already have a home economics 
| degree. The students are able to complete the second 

degree in Education in about two years. 

In addition to post-degree programs the University 

of Alberta and the University of Saskatchewan have 

four year Bachelor of Education programs and the 
I University of Manitoba offers an integrated two degree 
I five year program. 

The move to post-degree programs is a rather recent 

phenomenon in a number of institutions in Canada. This 

is occurring at a time when degree programs in home 

economics are being terminated at a number of 

universities, such as the University of Saskatchewan 
and the University of Windsor. This is a matter of 
some concern as it leads to the question of what 
constitutes an acceptable first degree for teachers of 
home economics. 

There are eight programs which specified 
particular home economics course requirements with the 
number of courses, including electives, ranging from 10- 
22. When comparing courses by content areas, courses in 
foods and nutrition ranged from two to six, courses in 
family and consumer studies ranged from three to five, 
courses in clothing and textiles ranged from two to five, 
and courses in housing and aesthetics ranged from zero 
to three. There was some overlap in the latter two 
areas in which classes related to both design and 
clothing were combined in some programs. However, 
the number of hours per course is not known in all cases 
and this must be kept in mind when comparing 

Another trend in recently revised teacher education 
programs is the lengthening of the student teaching 
practicum. All programs have some practicum 
component. The length of the practicum ranged from 
four to twenty one weeks, with the majority of programs 
having a practicum length of about 12 to 16 weeks. Of 
the 13 institutions offering teacher education programs, 
six had active master's programs and two offered 
doctoral programs in education. 


As mentioned earlier, a central issue for home 
economics teacher educators in Canada currently is the 
question of what constitutes an appropriate first degree 
for admittance to home economics teacher education 
programs. Students having a major in sociology and 
psychology with a family emphasis are being 
admitted to some programs while most programs 
require a comprehensive (or general) home economics 
degree. This issue is compounded with the recent loss of 
some home economics degree programs from the 
universities across Canada. 

Another central concern is the few new teachers 
being graduated by the universities. In 1984, there were 
approximately five thousand home economics teaching 
positions in the country (Peterat, 1984). With the 
universities graduating only about one hundred this 
year, this number falls far short of that required for 
replacement of teachers likely leaving positions this 

Our look at teacher education programs across the 
country was an attempt to summarize the current state 
of programs. Considerable diversity of programs exists. 
Even the names of programs, which may be influenced 
by the orientation of school curricula in a province 
(Continued on page 38.) 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, September /October, 1989 21 

Gender Equity and Home Economics 


Linda Eyre 
Doctoral Student 
Faculty of Education 
The University of British 


Since the early 1970's, in Canada and in the United 
States, different solutions have emerged in response to 
the call for gender equity in schooling. Initially, 
attention was directed at equality of educational op- 
portunity for female and male students; efforts were 
made to sex balance course enrollments and curriculum 
materials were evaluated for sex stereotyping and sex 
discrimination. These concerns resulted in: 1) changes 
in core subject requirements, which directed female stu- 
dents into mathematics and science courses and male 
students into subjects such as home economics and the 
humanities, primarily in coeducational classes; and 2) 
the development of gender free curriculum materials 
(Houston, 1987). These efforts, however, have been 
criticized by researchers who have shown that 
coeducational classrooms, and gender free curricula, 
mask gender bias and allow discrimination to continue 
in more subtle ways (Sadker & Sadker, 1986; Shake- 
shaft, 1986; Spender, 1982). 

More recent approaches suggest that gender equity 
is more likely to be achieved through a gender sensi- 
tive and gender balanced curriculum (Eichler, 1987; 
Martin, 1981, 1986; Tetreault, 1986). A gender sensitive 
approach would attend to differences between women 
and men, and would provide different treatment to 
compensate the disadvantaged. A gender balanced 
curriculum would address the male biased knowledge of 
schooling, and would include women's lives, interests, 
and experiences as an integral part of the education of 
all students and across all subjects in the curriculum. 
Others argue that gender equity will not be achieved 
without a complete reconstruction of the political, 
economic and social conditions which presently 
reinforce women's subordination, including the educa- 
tion system which hitherto has been rooted in male ex- 
perience and unexamined assumptions about what it 
means to be female and male (Lecke, 1987). 

In summary, those who advocate equal opportuni- 
ties and gender free curricula assume that equality of 
access will ensure equality of outcome, and thus gender 
equity will be achieved; whereas those who advocate 
a gender sensitive and gender balanced curricula, and a 
reconstruction of education, argue that gender equity 
will not be achieved unless fundamental changes in 
schooling occur. Such changes must bring to light 
"patriarchy, power, and women's subordination" 
(Weiner, 1985) 

Criticisms of coeducational and gender free 
curriculum materials raise important questions for home 
economics educators. Since the purpose of home 
economics in secondary schools is to prepare young peo- 
ple for family living, as well as providing equal 
opportunity for female and male students to participate 
in home economics, I would argue that this subject 
should also promote transformation rather than main- 
tenance of traditional gender relations. This article, 
therefore, will examine approaches to gender equity 
adopted by home economics and will raise questions 
about the appropriateness of the response. 

The use of the term curriculum in this paper in- 
cludes not only curriculum guides and teaching materi- 
als, but also the total school environment including 
school organization, school knowledge, classroom in- 
teraction, and classroom pedagogy. Also, it is impor- 
tant to emphasize that attention to gender equity does 
not preclude the importance of a similar critique of 
racism and classism in curriculum; gender, race, and so- 
cial class intersect, and each illuminates to light the 

The Equal Opportunities Solution 

In home economics, the movement to coeducational 
classes is an example of a liberal-feminist equal 
opportunity solution to gender equity. Those educators 
who support coeducational home economics claim, 
generally, that when home economics is taught in a 
coeducational setting this subject no longer contributes to 
the maintenance of traditional gender relations since it 
promotes equal participation by females and males in 
the private sphere. The assumptions underlying 
coeducational, however, are: 1) female and male 
students can be educated together, 2) male and female 
students can learn to share roles better if they are 
taught together rather than apart, 3) students can learn 

22 ILLINOIS TEACHER, September /October, 1989 

from each other, and 4) having both sexes together in 
the classroom has little impact on what is taught or 
how it is taught (Laird, 1989). 

My experiences, however, as a home economics 
teacher, and as an ethnographic researcher in a 
coeducational home economics classroom (Eyre, 1988), 
have caused me to question these assumptions. For ex- 
ample, observations in a food and nutrition classroom 
revealed that female students took control of domestic 
tasks and directed action in the setting; they frequently 
i told male students what to do and how to perform tasks 
correctly. Boys were directed to fetch items for girls 
and responded to girls' directions; girls frequently at- 
} tempted to correct boys' behavior in the domestic set- 
C ting. At the same time analysis of teacher student in- 
I teraction revealed that male students demanded and 
received more attention from the teacher than did fe- 
, male students; attention was drawn toward boys be- 
cause they were unable to perform certain tasks, and 
because boys, more than girls, engaged more frequently 
in off-task behavior. 

This glimpse into student life in a home economics 
i classroom raised many questions; those which are par- 
ticularly relevant here are: 

1) How might home economics teachers provide an 
equitable educational environment for female and 
male students when, due to past experiences, young 
women are often more advanced than young men? 

2) What can teachers do to avoid being drawn to the 
dominant male group? 

3) How might teachers use the example of the class- 
room experience itself to illustrate how women ex- 
perience oppression and why men may reject the 
domestic role? 

4) How might classrooms be structured to encourage 
cooperation, sharing, and nurturing, rather than 
competition, authority, and control? 

5) How do social class and ethnicity influence gender 
interaction? How might teachers accommodate 
differences yet provide a gender equitable environ- 

The Gender Free Solution 

Home economics curriculum has attempted to over- 
come sex role stereotyping primarily by the use of non- 
gender specific language, and through the use of illus- 
trations which show women and men participating in 
homemaking and parenting activities. Criticisms of 
these liberal-feminist attempts at gender free cur- 
riculum, however, raise questions about whether this 
approach allows unexamined, masculine values to in- 
fluence curriculum content and classroom pedagogy in 
home economics. 

For example, the criticism that non-gender specific 
language hides rather than illuminates the different 
experiences of women and men, can be applied to home 
economics curriculum. Do non-gender specific concepts 
such as family life cycle, parenting, aging, adolescence, 
poverty, housing, relationships, divorce, family 
violence and communication, frequently used in home 
economics curriculum guides and materials, suggest that 
these experiences are the same for both men and women, 
when in reality they're not? If so, home economics is 
not contributing to gender equity, because, critics argue, 
the dominant masculine position will be assumed to be 
true for everyone (Gaskell & McLaren, 1987). 
Similarly, home economics curriculum guides and texts 
often use the work of theorists such as Piaget, Erickson, 
and Kohlberg or theories built primarily from the 
experience of male subjects (Gilligan, 1982). Again, if 
theories such as these are not critically questioned from 
a women's perspective, gender equity is in jeopardy. 

Criticism of a gender free approach can also be 
applied to the stance taken by home economics to fam- 
ily issues. Do home economics curriculum guides and 
materials represent the concerns of women when deal- 
ing with practical problems of families? My analysis 
of the British Columbia Family Management curricu- 
lum and its accompanying text (Leavenworth, et al., 
1985), builds on the work of Bernice Hayibor (1988, and 
reveals that: 

1) the politics of health care are not mentioned — the 
male medical model of childbirth is presented — 
feminist concerns about reproductive technology are 

2) a patriarchal "blame the victim" approach under- 
lies topics such as poverty, unemployment, family 
violence, health care, and nutrition; 

3) communication units take a business approach — 
they do not address sexist language and the silenc- 
ing of women; 

4) relationships are assumed to be heterosexual — gay 
and lesbian relationships, are treated as other; 

5) work refers to the outside of the home; housework 
is ignored other than vague references to the shar- 
ing of responsibilities — still a major difficulty for 
many families, and a barrier to the wellbeing of 

6) community services are taken as given — availabil- 
ity, accessibility, and affordability, as well as the 
different requirements of women and men, are not 
questioned; and 

7) housing concerns center around the purchase and 
design of a middle class home, and neglect the real 
housing issues faced by lone parents and those who 
live at or below the poverty line, most of whom are 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 23 

Also, because gender free curriculum guides and 
materials, such as those examined previously, allow 
masculine values to dominate, they tend not to name, or 
tell the truth about, what happens in families and in 
society. The battering of women, and incest glossed over 
by the use of the terms spouse abuse and child abuse, 
and real concerns such as legislated poverty, 
unemployment, and the lack of child care facilities and 
affordable housing receive only superficial attention. 
There is also a tendency to suggest that family 
problems can be solved by effective communication and 
decision making when in reality many problems 
originate in political, economics, and social conditions 
beyond the control of the individual. 

Also, in focusing on the family as the unit of study, 
too often the traditional nuclear middle class family is 
portrayed as the ideal, and other family arrangements 
as anomalies. In addition, when the experiences of the 
individuals in families — women, girls, boys and men — 
are ignored, a male biased view of family is promoted. 
In other words, family is defined ideologically, by the 
dominant masculine hegemony. Margrit Eichler (1988) 
writes of ideological familism, a form of sexism which 
avoids the many dimensions of family, and ignores the 
reality for the lives of individuals within families. 
The statement "families take care of their elderly 
members," is an example of familism, because usually it 
is women who do this work. 

A male bias is also evident in home economics cur- 
riculum which manifests the masculine virtues of in- 
dividualism, competition, and control, rather than the 
feminine virtues of cooperation, caring, and nurturance 
(Noddings, 1989). Such curricula: 1) adopt a technical, 
managerial approach, i.e., family management; 2) 
place the teacher in control of learning; and 3) 
emphasize mastery of specific skills and memorization 
of content. Also, gender free curricula tend to accept the 
validity of differing values, needs, and wants. As a 
result, conflicts in society related to gender and the 
distribution of power, are not fully addressed. For ex- 
ample, the effects of too much power for men and too 
little for women, in government, the media, working 
conditions in and outside of the home, and in relation- 
ships, are rarely dealt with in a critical manner. 

A Gender Sensitive and Gender Balanced Solution 

In contrast to a gender free home economics cur- 
riculum, a gender sensitive approach recognizes the 
different experiences of women and men and draws on 
past actual (neither stereotyped nor ideological) expe- 
riences of both. Rather than being biologically deter- 
mined, gender role is recognized as a cultural 
construction which is, therefore, open to change. 
Students explore topics such as mothering, fathering, 
women and aging, men and poverty, women and housing 

men and divorce, etc. Teachers are alert to the amount 
and kind of attention given to female and male 
students. Teachers are sensitive to the possibility of 
differences in ways of learning between girls and boys, 
and women and men (Belenky, 1986) — differences based 
on their past experiences as gendered beings. Teachers 
attend to these differences when working with 
students, and provide additional experiences to support 
the disadvantaged group. In the home economics 
classroom this might mean attention to the lack of male 
experience in domestic tasks, and to the oppression of 
women students in a mixed sex group. 

A gender balanced home economics curriculum em- 
phasizes the value of work in the private sphere for 
both men and women, provides a learning environment 
which manifests the virtues of caring, nurturing, shar- 
ing, cooperation, and collaboration. It is not assumed, 
as Patricia Thompson (1984) warns, that because stu- 
dents participate in home economics activities they 
necessarily have a shared understanding of the value 
and meaning of work in the private sphere. Nor is it 
assumed, because home economics has the domestic re- 
productive sphere as its focus, that the feminine virtues 
are necessarily evident in home economics classrooms, 
since the masculine virtues of competition, power, and 
control, i.e., the dominant values of society, influence 
thinking and action in the schools. 

Curriculum content in a gender balanced curriculum: 

1 ) openly addresses equity issues; 

2) explores the relationship between sexuality and 
oppression at school, in the workplace, and in the 

3) seeks the true experiences of individuals in fami- 

4) acknowledges the experiences of women's oppres- 

5) critically examines problems of the individual, the 
family and society from a political, economic, per- 

6) views values as having been shaped by society and 
as therefore open to critical examination; and 

7) evaluates the experiences of the home economics 
classroom in terms of providing a gender equitable 

Summary and Implications 

Despite the efforts made by home economics, and 
other school subjects, to contribute toward a gender 
equitable education, recent assessments indicate there 
is still much to be done. The question is raised of how 
autonomous can any school subject be? Marjorie Brown 
(1985) suggests home economics historically has been 
molded by political, economic, and social forces exter- 
nal to the field. For example, at the turn of the century, 

24 ILLINOIS TEACHER, September /October, 1989 

the view of home economics which prevailed, reflected 
the Victorian ideology of natural, separate, and gen- 
dered public and private spheres. Acceptance of the 
scientific model of home economics also reflected 
industrialization, when industry looked to the schools 
to provide efficient and willing workers (Danylewycz, 
Fahmy-Eid, & Thivierge, 1984). During war time when 
women were encouraged to work outside of the home, 
home economics curriculum guides promoted dual career 
families; by the 1960's, however, when government 
policies and practices were reversed, home economics 
guides did likewise (Prentice, 1988). 

Thus an equal opportunity and gender free home 
economics curriculum can also be linked to prevailing 
ideologies. A post industrial capitalist society which 
is divided economically and socially, and which 
values individualism and moral relativism (Fisher & 
Gillgoff, 1987) is unlikely to promote a critical gender 
sensitive and gender balanced pedagogy. Particularly 
at a time of close government control of education, and 
conservatism, schools are likely to reflect the dominant 
hegemony of the period. 

A difficulty, therefore, which arises is how to cre- 
ate spaces for growth and change when one is submerged 
in reality. I suspect that this requires encouraging 
teachers to appreciate education as a political and a 
moral enterprise. Through reflection, in which we as 
teachers, and as women, discover our personal history, 
we may come to question the virtues which inform our 
curriculum and classroom pedagogy and come to under- 
stand how gender equity and democracy are threatened 
when home economics is allowed to be molded by male 
biased knowledge and masculine values. We may, in 
time, be able to bring collective power to bear on home 
economics education. Without a gender sensitive and 
gender balanced perspective home economics is good for 
patriarchy; it is neither good for women, nor men, nor 
ultimately for family well-being. 


Belenky, M. F., Clinchy, B. M., Goldberger, N. R., & 
Tarule, J. M. (1986). Women's way of knowing: The 
development of self, voice, and mind. New York: 
Basic Books. 

Brown, M. (1985). Philosophical studies of home eco- 
nomics in the United States: Our practical 
intellectual heritage, Vol. 1. East Lansing, Michi- 
gan: Michigan State University. 

Danylewycz, M., Fahmy-Eid, N., & Thivierge, N. 
(1984). L'enseignement menager et les "Home Eco- 
nomics" au Quebec et en Ontario au debut du 20e 
siecle une analyse comparee. In J. D. Wilson (Ed.), 
An imperfect past: Education and society in Cana- 

dian history (pp. 68-119). Vancouver: The Univer- 
sity of British Columbia. 

Eichler, M. (1987). The relationship between sexist, 
non-sexist, women centered and feminist research in 
the social sciences. In G. H. Neimiroff (Ed.), 
Women and men: Interdisciplinary readings on 
gender (pp. 21-53). Canada: Fitzhenry & White- 

Eichler, M. (1988). Nonsexist research methods: A 
practical guide. Winchester, MA: Allen & Unwin. 

Eyre, L. (1988, September). Gender equity in curricu- 
lum. Presented at the biennial conference of the 
Western Regional College and University Profes- 
sors of Home Economics Education. Oregon State 
University, Corvallis. 

Fisher, D., & Gillgoff, B. (1987). The crises in B. C. 
public education: The state and the public interest. 
In T. Wotherspoon (Ed.), The political economy of 
Canadian schooling (pp. 69-93). Toronto: Metheun. 

Gaskell, J., & McLaren, A. T. (Eds.). (1987). Women 
and education. Calgary: Detselig. 

Gilligan. C. (1982). In a different voice: Psychological 
theory and women's development. Cambridge, MA: 
Harvard University Press. 

Hayibor, B. (1988, June). A feminist criticism of the 
family management 11/12 course as outlined in the 
B.C. curriculum guide. Paper presented at the An- 
nual Conference of Canadian Association for Re- 
search in Home Economics, University of Windsor, 

Houston, B. (1987). Should public education be gender 
free? In G. H. Nemiroff (Ed.), Women and men: In- 
terdisciplinary readings on gender (pp. 139-149). 
Canada: Fitzhenry & Whiteside. 

Laird, S. (1989, March). Needed: Research on 
coeducation. Paper presented at the annual meeting 
of the American Educational Research Association, 
San Francisco. 

Leavenworth, C, Hendricks, G., Gay, K., Harriman, L. 
C, & Kreinin, M. M. (1985). Family living. New 
Jersey: Prentice Hall. 

Lecke, G. M. (1987). Feminist pedagogy, liberation 
theory, and the traditional schooling paradigm. 
Educational Theory 37(3), 343-354. 

Martin, J. R. (1981). The ideal of the educated person. 
Educational Theory, 32(2), 97-109. 

Martin, J. R. (1986). Bringing women into educational 
thought. Educational Theory, 34(4), 341-353. 

Noddings, N. (1989, March). Developing models of 
human caring in the professions. Paper presented at 
the annual meeting of the American Educational 
Research Association, San Francisco. 

Prentice, A. (1988). Canadian women: A history. 
Toronto: Harcourt Brace and Jovanovich. 

(Continued on page 14.) 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/ October, 1989 25 

Computers in the Home: 
A Curriculum Project 

Eda Favaro 

District Principal of Home 

Vancouver School District 
Vancouver, British Columbia 

Audrey van Alstyne 

Teacher and Curriculum Chair for 

Computers in the Home Project 
Sir Charles Tupper Secondary 

Vancouver, British Columbia 



Recent market surveys predict that by the end of 
the century a personal computer will be found in eight 
out of ten households. The 1990's will become the 
golden era of home computers use (Wakefield, 1986). 
Given this prediction, home economics teachers might 
do well to ask themselves: What are we doing to pre- 
pare students for this high tech world? Will our stu- 
dents have the decision making and critical thinking 
skills to use a rapidly changing technology to enhance 
the quality of family life? Are girls as well as boys 
encouraged and enabled to participate in and gain from 
this computerized world? As a result of raising and 
addressing these questions, home economics teachers at 
Sir Charles Tupper Secondary School in Vancouver, 
developed an innovative and dynamic action plan for 
their school and district. 

The first stage of this plan was to foster coopera- 
tion, collaboration and interaction among home eco- 
nomics and computer science teachers in the school to- 
gether with school and district administration to gar- 
ner sufficient support and funding for computer educa- 
tion in home economics. This group was successful in ob- 
taining a grant from the provincial Ministry of Educa- 
tion Funds for Excellence and the project was on its way. 

The major goal of stage two was to develop and im- 
plement a curriculum designed to enable students to 
examine, experience and evaluate household 
applications of microcomputers, and to encourage course 
enrollment of a broad spectrum of students at the grade 
9/10 level, non-computer users in particular. 

Once again, home economics and computer science 
teachers worked together to produce a program resource 
guide titled Computers in the Home based on the fol- 
lowing student objectives: 

1. To develop a critical understanding of the im- 
pact of computers on personal and family life. 

2. To increase awareness, knowledge and use of 
microcomputer technology in daily living. 

3. To use the computer effectively as a creative 
tool; as a means to an end and not an end in it- 
self in dealing with the needs and interests of 
individuals and families. 

4. To identify, preview and evaluate software 
applicable to home economics, organized in the 
broad categories of: Design (including clothing, 
textiles, interior and architectural), Health 
and Fitness (including food preparation, diet 
analysis, nutrition, and bio-feedback and stress 
analysis), Leisure Activities (including 
creating art work, creating music, and family 
entertainment), and Family Management 
(including budgeting, telecommunications and 
word processing). 

Concomitant with development of the program guide, 
complex decisions were made regarding hardware and 
software acquisition. After careful consideration the 
Apple IIGS system was selected for several reasons, in- 
cluding availability of software, graphics and sound 

Software selection was an ongoing process carried on 
in conjunction with students in the program with the 
goal of locating appropriate user-friendly software for 
each area of home economics. In addition to the pur- 
chase of commercial packages, a software program in a 
game format was developed to reinforce and evaluate 
specific learning outcomes of the Computers in the 

26 ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 

bank of questions for review or test purposes, organized 
in a format which can be edited or expanded to reflect 
changing curriculum content. 

Program implementation at Tupper began in the 
spring of 1987 with a cluster of six computers in a loca- 
tion central to the home economics classrooms. There 
were several important benefits of this location: 1) the 
home economics area provided a supportive and non- 
threatening atmosphere for those students with a ten- 
dency to shy away from computers; 2) female home eco- 
nomics teachers became role models in the predomi- 
nantly male-oriented computer discipline; and 3) stu- 
dents expanded their view of home economics to include 
a different technology. Through the use of this com- 
puter cluster, eight home economics teachers enhanced 
their program with new technology and provided a 
practical and positive introduction to the world of 
computers. (A list of software which accomplished 
these ends is attached). In spite of frequent and frus- 
trating computer bugs, teachers and students alike 
enjoyed their learning experiences, and were prepared 
to make the transition the following year to a sixty- 
hour course Computers in the Home. 

Having sparked the interest of some seventy eager 
trade ten male and female students, the course moved to 
a computer lab setting. Teachers introduced the course 
with two hours of hands-on experience using Your Tour 
of the IIGS (Apple Canada, 1986), to become familiar 
with the machine. During the hands-on sessions, 
teachers provided one-on-one instruction as needed, so 
that students could work and progress at their own 
pace. It has been said that using Print Shop 
(Broderbund, 1987) is as easy as falling off a log. The 
students would agree. Using Print Shop GS and Dazzle 
Draw (Broderbund, 1987, 1986) they created and 
applied designs to produce personalized T-Shirts. A 
mouse driven, user-friendly program called Multiscribe 
GS (Scholastic, 1988) provided the introduction to word 
processing and inspired the students to present all of 
their course work on letter-quality printout. 

As in other computer courses, databases and 
spreadsheets had a variety of uses. It was difficult to 
find appropriate software until the recent release of 
AppleWorks GS (Apple Canada, 1988). Coupled with 
templates, this program was used for budgeting, 
wardrobe and other inventories, as well as for a variety 
of research projects. 

A very popular unit with students was "Healthy 
Lifestyles." Computer technology was used to monitor 
body activities with the aims of learning to cope with 
pressure and improving fitness. Other applications in- 
cluded diet analysis, health inventories and self-as- 
sessment, and decision making related to drug and alco- 
hol abuse. 

Computer camps where groups of non-computer users 
were invited to be individually tutored by the students, 
were a highlight of the course. The first camp featured 
Tupper students tutoring home economics teachers from 
a neighboring school. As a result of this positive 
experience, a camp for senior citizens and one for young 
children were held with great success. Students 
assumed the role of expert which did wonders for their 
self-concept and also assisted them in better 
understanding people at each stage of the life cycle 
(Hall & Short, 1987>. 

Beyond general applications, this course stimulates 
students to address questions on a variety of issues. For 
example, how will piracy and security problems affect 
us in the future? Is it legal to copy software? What do 
we look for when purchasing a personal and family 
computer? What is the best location for a 
microcomputer in our home and why? What technology 
has the microchip generated in our environment? What 
benefits will accrue and what problems will arise for 
our families as a result of technology? Will computers 
enhance or control our lives? What tasks can be best 
performed with a computer as opposed to using 
traditional methods? 

All in all, the students benefitted from a course de- 
signed to be flexible, that focused on student needs and 
interests, and was paced to ensure that individuals 
master each task before moving to the next level of 
skill development. 

Evaluation of the Computers in the Home course, 
focuses on change in the attitudes of students towards 
computer use in home economics and across the curricu- 
lum as well as on changes in student perceptions of home 
economics as a discipline. It is premature to draw con- 
clusions at this point in this longitudinal study. 

A less scientific but more tangible mark of the suc- 
cess of the course is evident in enrollment for the 1989- 
90 school year, which has doubled to 57 boys and 75 
girls. Positive student response has also encouraged the 
senior Family Management teacher to offer Family 
Management 11 with a focus on the computer as an im- 
portant tool for family use. This focus parallels the 
conceptual framework included in the Wisconsin Home 
Economics Guide for Curriculum Planning, "The Family 
and Technology" (Hittman, 1987). 

The final stage of the action plan looks outward to 
share experiences with other local and provincial 
teacher groups through presentations and workshops 
with the intent of encouraging awareness and more 
widespread implementation of the Computers in the 
Home course. In Vancouver, these workshops were en- 
thusiastically received by school administrators and 
home economics teachers. As a result, a second Vancou- 
ver secondary school has established a home economics 
computer lab and the remaining sixteen secondary 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, September /October, 1989 27 

schools are in various stages of acquiring computer 
hardware and software. 

In summary, the Computers in the Home project is a 
unique and inspiring example of an interdisciplinary 
approach where computer science and home economics 
teachers interacted and shared their particular exper- 
tise to produce a relevant and challenging course. The 
computer science teachers involved in developing this 
curriculum came away with a better understanding of 
the content and scope of the home economics program. 
On the human dimension, computer science and home 
economics teachers experienced a new level of appreci- 
ation for and interaction with their colleagues. 

The Home economics program in British Columbia 
has benefitted in the short term through the materials 
that have become available. The Computers in the 
Home - Curriculum Resource Book developed for the 
course has expanded the use of computers in home eco- 
nomics in Vancouver and elsewhere in the province. In 
the long term, it is anticipated that the products of this 
experience will be included in the revised home eco- 
nomics curriculum. This project has been a major break- 
through for home economics in British Columbia. It has 
forged a new and important link between current tech- 
nology and the traditional focus and concern for indi- 
viduals and families. 

SOFTWARE: Computers in the Home Curriculum 

To choose relevant and innovative packages in each 
area of home economics is a challenging exercise, as 
software is continually being updated. The following 
list includes programs for the Apple IIGS that teachers 
selected and were using in the spring of 1989. 


Clothing and Textiles 

Print Shop GS (Broderbund) 

Color Your World (MCE Publishing) 

Fiber Basics (Learning Seed) 

Fabric Identification (Learning Seed) 

Interior and Architectural Design 
Floor Plan (Learning Seed) 
Color Your World (MCE Publishing) 


Foods and Nutrition 
Food Facts (MECC) 
Nutrition Vol. 2 (MECC) 
Senior Level 

- Food Preparation (MC Media) 

- Introductory Nutrition (MC Media) 
Fitness and Health 

Cardiovascular Fitness (HRM) 

Learning to Cope with Pressure 

Biofeedback Microlab (HRM) 
Teen Health Maintenance 

(Planned Parenthood) 

Dazzle Draw (Broderbund) 
816 Paint (Baudville) 
Music Studio (Activision) 

Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? 

Print Shop GS (Broderbund) 


Child Development 

Create a Story Series (D.C. Heath) 

Appleworks GS Templates 
(Apple Canada) 

Budgeting Simulation (EMC) 
Word Processing 

Multiscribe GS (Scholastic) 

Apple Works GS (Apple Canada) 

The Computers in the Home - Curriculum Resource Book 
is available from the Vancouver School Board, Pro- 
gram Publications, 2530 East 43rd Avenue, Vancouver, 
BC, V5R 2Y7. In early 1990, a teacher resource guide 
will be completed and available both in printed format 
and on disk. 


Apple Canada. (1988). AppleWorks GS [Computer 

Software]. Toronto, Canada. 
Apple Canada. (1986) Your Tour of the IIGS [Computer 

Software]. Toronto, Canada. 
Broderbund. (1986). Dazzle Draw [Computer 

Software]. Santa Fe, California. 
Broderbund. (1987). Print Shop GS [Computer 

Software]. Santa Fe, California. 
Hall, B., & Short, B. (1987). Family computer camp. 

The Computing Teacher, 14(7), 61-63. 
Hittman, L. (1987). Family and technology: Educating 

for the 1990's and beyond. Home Economics Forum, 

2(2), 3-6. 
Scholastic. (1988). Multiscribe GS [Computer 

Software]. Toronto, Canada. 
Wakefield, R. (1986). Home computers and families: 

The empowerment revolution. The Futurist, 20(5), 

18-22. • • • 

28 ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 

Career Preparation — Programs for the 

Work World 

Leslie Paris 

Home Economics Teacher and 

Department Head 
Burnaby School District 
Burnaby, British Columbia 


What programs are available in our schools for the 
non-college-bound or potential drop-out high school 
student? At present very little is available for these 
students. Most of the education system is geared to the 
university bound student. In reality approximately "20 
million Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 are not 
likely to embark upon undergraduate education" 
(William T. Grant Foundation, 1988), and "4.3 million 
between the same ages drop out of school and never 
graduate" (Hahn, 1987). A total of about 78% of this 
age group either never completes high school or goes to 
university. In Canada, the statistics are similar. In 
1983, 57.8% of the 4.4 million youth (15-24 years old) 
were out of school (Employment and Immigration 
Canada, 1983). Three quarters (74%) of Canada's youth 
had no education beyond high school. In 1983, 1.876 
million (42.5%) youth had dropped out of school before 
i graduation (Employment and Immigration Canada, 
1983). Further statistical data cited in Youth/Jeunesse 
\A new statistical perspective on youth in Canada, 
indicated that these young people had higher 
unemployment rates, longer periods of unemployment, 
and stayed dependent longer. 

What do we as educators offer these young people 
that will enable them to get and keep jobs — jobs that 
| will offer reasonable wages, provide medical insurance 
I and other fringe benefits, and opportunities for ad- 
vancement based on competence and diligence? We need 
to be offering them opportunities to gain competencies 
(that will enable them to get and keep jobs — jobs that 
i will help to decrease the high cost of unemployment. 

In a report, The Forgotten Half: Non-college - 
Bound Youth in America, the William T. Grant 
Foundation Commission on Youth (1988) suggests that 

The young people need some assistance, and ed- 
ucators allied with employers and community 
leaders can provide it by giving students 
opportunities to reach beyond school walls. By 
moving education into the community, educators 
not only tap rich learning possibilities but also 
give youth the exposure and confidence they 
need to make it on their own. 

In this report it is suggested that there are several 
ways that schools can help potential high school 
dropouts, or students with no job skills, to succeed. The 
suggestion is to provide school -to- work programs. In- 
cluded in these programs should be: monitored work 
experiences, involvement in community and neighbor- 
hood services, redirected vocational training and career 
information and counseling. 

Another report, "Reaching out to America's 
dropouts: What to do?" supports this proposal and in- 
dicates that it is: 

Very important to recognize that most studies 
show that, regardless of how badly youngsters 
have fared in school, they are strongly moti- 
vated to succeed in the workplace. These stud- 
ies show that these youngsters want to work 
and do work when opportunities are available. 
If anything their motivation to work is too 
strong for the school to hold them (Hahn, 

In a review of the second chance programs aimed at 
keeping these students in school, several important 
lessons were learned about designing programs to pre- 
vent students from dropping out. The following were 
indicated as necessary components of program de- 
velopment that would bridge the gap between school 
and work: 

1. Isolated work experience programs have 
little value in increasing the employabil- 
ity of dropouts. Dropouts should work, but 
the experience from the work sites should 
be integrated into a classroom component 
that is clearly connected to the job. 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 29 

2. Dropouts should learn, but the curriculum 
should relate to the functional skills 
needed in the workplace. 

3. Dropouts should be prepared for the labor 
market through pre-employment/ work- 
maturity services — but not until they are 
genuinely ready to conduct a job search. 
Writing resumes and exit services — not the 
centerpiece of dropout prevention or reme- 

4. Above all, program services must to some 
degree be intensive; in the jargon of profes- 
sional educators, there must be sufficient 
"time on task" (Hahn, 1987). 

One attempt to address these problems is the Ca- 
reer Preparation Programs that are part of the ap- 
proved curriculum of the British Columbia Ministry of 
Education. Career Preparation Programs are designed 
to help students, especially non-college-bound students 
to focus their studies and energies on an area that has 
potential for employment once they leave school. 

The career preparation programs in British 
Columbia senior secondary schools are designed 
to provide students with options that enable 
students to enter the work force, proceed to a 
college or provincial institute or to pursue fur- 
ther academic studies leading to a professional 
career. Courses related to career fields at the 
senior secondary level are intended to improve 
the transition of students between school and 
employment and between school and post-sec- 
ondary institutions. Students enrolled in a ca- 
reer preparation program will participate in 
cooperative career preparation studies to spend 
part of their school time in a learning situation 
in the community at a training station. The ex- 
perience is designed to provide practical expe- 
rience for a student in an occupation field di- 
rectly related to a program specialty in the 
school (Ministry of Education, N.D.). 

employer-employee relations, job application and 
safety procedures. 

A second goal is to help students decide before they 
enter the work force, or college, whether the area of 
specialization is right for them. If by taking the pro- 
gram and doing the actual work of a person in that field 
they discover it is not what they want to do they have 
lost little, and hopefully have gained positive work 
habits and attitudes. Graduates of a career prepara- 
tion program will be able to proceed directly to em- 
ployment with marketable skills and may be qualified! 
to pursue further studies toward a profession, or to at- 
tend a college or trade school to acquire furtherr 
specialized education. 

Benefits of the Career Preparation Program 

The complementary nature of school instruction and 
on-the-job experience has benefits not only for the stu- 
dent but also for the school, employer and the commu- 
nity. The schools benefit by having access to facilities 
and resources in the community that allow students to 
have experiences they otherwise might not have. The 
programs also allow schools to hold onto students for a 
longer period of time increasing the probability that 
the students will become self-sufficient adults. The 
schools also gain by having direct avenues for keeping 
abreast of new developments in the business and 
industrial world, and for meeting some of the needs of 
the community. 

The employers benefit from extra help in the busi- 
ness and it gives them a chance to be exposed to adoles- 
cents who are skilled in the area and who they can as- 
sess as potential future employees. The employers also 
may have an avenue for input into the training 
provided by the school, increasing the value of the stu- 
dents being trained. 

The community as a whole benefits from the in- 
creased school and community relations that are a re- 
sult of the interaction between businesses and schools. 
It allows the community to have a part in reducing the 
number of untrained people that could become a burden 
on the community. The cooperation between business 
and school is essential if the programs are to succeed. 
The programs have potential benefits for all concerned. 

Goals of Career Preparation Programs 

One goal of these programs is to give students an 
opportunity to focus on a particular area of interest and 
to gain knowledge and skills that will assist them in 
entering the work force. Their participation in real 
work situations, as well as in school instruction, enables 
the students to gain the essential generic skills neces- 
sary for employment. Such generic skills relate to 
punctuality, appearance, cooperation, self discipline, 

Subject Areas for Career Preparation Programs 

In British Columbia, there are Career Preparation 
Programs available to students in the career areas of 
Hospitality/Tourism, Business Education, Mechanics, 
Woodworking, Metalwork, Power (industrial) Sewing 
and Human Services. The three programs that relate 
directly to the field of Home Economics are Power 
Sewing, Hospitality/Tourism and Human Services. 
Home economics is an ideal field for career preparation 
programs because it teaches not only basic skills but 

30 ILLINOIS TEACHER, September /October, 1989 

accompanying knowledge as part of the curriculum. The 
value of coupling career preparation and home 
economics courses is in the easy translation of the 
school-learned skills into job-related skills. 

The Human Services Program is divided into three 
areas, Family Services, Health Care, and Children's 
Services. At present there are four Career Preparation 
Programs in Children's Services operating in British 
Columbia. There are programs in Vancouver, Burnaby, 
Kelowna, and Victoria. There are numerous programs 
operating throughout the province in the Hospital- 
ity/Tourism area, and one in Power Sewing in Vancou- 
ver. It is in the context of the Children's Services, that 
I will describe the overall program. 

Components of the Program 

There are four component parts to any career 
preparation program. First, the program must have six 
core courses that the students must complete in their 
last two years of high school. In the Children's Ser- 
vices program these are: Child Development 11 and 12, 
Family Management 11 and 12, Work Study 11, and 
Work Experience 12. The Child Development courses 
cover the theory that the students will need in order to 
work with preschool children. Areas include: the de- 
velopmental stages, the essentials for healthy devel- 
opment (nutrition, health, safety, play and child 
abuse), and the recognition and integration of special 
needs children. 

The Family Management courses cover aspects of 
the student's own growth through adolescence and 
adulthood, the development and maintenance of rela- 
tionships, the use of resources, and the functioning of 
families. A good understanding of individual growth 
and the functioning of families is essential in jobs deal- 
ing with children and their families. 

The Work Study 11 course covers the many skills 
that are necessary for getting and keeping a job, in any 
field. Skills such as filling in job applications, resume 
writing, interviewing, and positive work attitudes are 
taught and practiced. Students are made aware of the 
responsibilities and the rights of workers in both union 
and non-union situations. The emphasis in this course is 
on child care skills such as: first-aid, developing ap- 
propriate children's activities, arranging schedules 
and routines, discipline and motivating, observing and 
communicating with both children and parents. 

The Work Experience 12 course gives the students 
opportunities to apply the theory and the skills that 
they have learned in their previous courses to practical 
on-the-job-situations. These are unpaid work 
practicums. The students are placed in a work-setting 
under the guidance of a qualified supervisor where 
they work directly with children for 100 to 120 hours. 

The program of placing students into the labor force 
under controlled conditions is done in British Columbia 
with the cooperation of the school boards, the Ministry 
of Labor, the Board of Industrial Relations, the labor 
unions, the British Columbia Teacher's Federation and 
business people. The student can be placed in union 
shops with prior approval of the union. Each student, 
teacher and job supervisor enters into an agreement 
covering the terms of employment. 

My students work in two different settings, a li- 
censed day care centre for children 22-4 years old and 
in a preschool for 3-4 year olds. The work that a stu- 
dent may do includes: feeding, diapering, soothing and 
putting children to sleep, preparing art activities, 
telling stories, conducting circle time, supervising in the 
playground, cleaning up the facilities and helping on 
field trips. 

The students work under the constant supervision 
and direction of the center's supervisor. The student is 
visited regularly by the classroom teacher who makes 
observations, gives suggestions and evaluates the stu- 
dent. The student is evaluated on: general work habits, 
personal habits, motivation, the ability to work with 
little direction, and the ability to apply the skills and 
knowledge learned in the classroom to a work situation. 
The workplace supervisor gives the student an evalua- 
tion that counts for one half of the student's letter 
grade. An accurate evaluation requires a good working 
relationship between the supervisor of the center and 
the classroom teacher. This is one of the important as- 
pects of the program because a good supervisor is aware 
of what the students should know and what the 
teacher's expectations are. I have been very fortunate 
to work with the supervisors that I have. They have 
learned a lot about adolescents and I have learned a lot 
about the child care field. They have offered encour- 
agement and advice freely and wisely especially dur- 
ing the initial development of the program. 

High School Graduation Requirements 

The second part of the program is the successful 
completion of the basic high school graduation re- 
quirements. The completion of English, social studies, 
mathematics and science courses, at a minimum essen- 
tials or trades level, ensures that the students have 
basic academic skills. When completed in conjunction 
with a job training program these courses tend to take on 
greater importance for the student and the completion 
rate is higher. 

Postsecondary Articulation 

The third component of the program is the 
articulation with a postsecondary institute, college or 
vocational school that will recognize the training that 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 31 

has taken place and allow some preferential treatment 
for the student. This may be in the form of giving ad- 
vanced entry, a work experience credit, or an otherwise 
unavailable opportunity for an entrance interview. The 
completion of a good work experience practicum is an 
indication of experience and commitment to the field; a 
prerequisite for entry into some further training pro- 

Advisory Boards 

The fourth component of the program is the forma- 
tion of an advisory board to oversee the program. The 
committee is composed of representatives from the 
school (the principal, the classroom teacher), the in- 
dustry (job supervisors, company contacts), the school 
board, and the articulating postsecondary institute. 
This committee operates to ensure that the needs of the 
student, and the employer are being met and that the 
program is meeting its goals and objectives as produc- 
tively as possible. The committee members for the 
Children's Services consist of the classroom teacher, 
the school principal, the school board Career Prepara- 
tion coordinator, the daycare supervisors, the preschool 
supervisors, and the school nurse. The advisory board 
is a good communication mechanism ensuring that the 
school and business are meeting each other's needs and 
that expectations are congruent. 

Qualifications for Teaching A Career Preparation Pro- 

Teachers who are teaching classes in a Career 
Preparation Program must have a thorough knowledge 
of the speciality area that the program covers. This 
knowledge includes not only the theoretical but also 
the very valuable practical applications. Some of the 
programs require that teachers hold journeyman papers 
in the speciality area. In addition to knowledge di- 
rectly related to the speciality area, the teacher also 
must be able to make contact with businesses in the 
community that will give the students worthwhile and 
relevant experiences. The teacher must be able to assess 
quality, safety and the appropriateness of the work 
that will be assigned to the students. 

Program Success 

The success of this program requires not only the 
commitment of the students to complete the require- 
ments for graduation including the six core courses but 
the cooperation of teachers and employers to arrange 
meaningful work experience. One of the most important 
aspects of the program has involved the cooperation of 
the day care centers and preschools in accepting the 
students for their work experiences. After three years 
they are still enthusiastic about the contribution the 
students make to their programs. 

The second important factor is the cooperation and 
support of the school administration in the scheduling 
of the courses. Scheduling is critical when trying to 
place students in daily work placements without hav- 
ing them miss too much of their other courses. I have 
been fortunate in that the students in Work Experience 
12 have been triple blocked into the afternoon classes 
which facilitates their going out to do their work 
experience. They can go every afternoon and still keep 
up with their other classes. Students enrolled are also 
often the envy of other students, which is a wonderful 
confidence and self-esteem builder for students. Other 
ways of scheduling work experience is to have the stu- 
dents do three one-week sessions spread evenly 
throughout the year, to use a combination of during- 
school and after-school hours, and to use school 
vacation time to be on the job. When working with low 
achieving or unmotivated students it is important to 
give them every opportunity to succeed and limited 
opportunities to fail. Many students achieve great i 
success while on the job that they have never received! 
from in-school classes. 


Ties exist between the career preparation programs | 
in British Columbia and the four recommendations 
made for second chance programs listed earlier in this 
article. There is a direct and deliberate connection! 
between classroom instruction and on-the-job experi- 
ence. The program also directs much of the content to 
generic work skills that can be applied not only to jobs 
in a specific subject area but to any employment oppor- 
tunity. Time-on-task in the career preparation pro- 
grams is a minimum of one third of the course require- 
ments in the final year. This amount appears to give 
students enough time to discover if they are suited to 
the field, and to demonstrate their competence both in i 
the specific skills required and in important general i ' 
work habits. 

The value of career preparation programs in facili- 
tating the transition from high school to the job market 
has not been researched but I am convinced of its value. 
The value may not lie in students getting a job that will 
last a lifetime but rather in acquiring some marketable 
skills that allow entry into the job market. The 
securing of a job that is interesting and relevant is 
important to any individual and especially to a student 
who does not have the ability, motivation or self con- 
fidence to continue in school. Success for the students is 
difficult to measure as there is little or no contact with 
them once they leave school. They leave the program 
enthusiastic about working with children and keen to 
find a job. 

The one disadvantage of this program in British 
Columbia is that no one can work in a licensed child 

32 ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 

care facility unless s/he is 19 years old and are either 
working on, or holds, an Early Childhood Certificate. 
Therefore, students usually find first jobs in non-li- 
censed family day care, in nanny positions or babysit- 

To date, the Children's Services Center Prepara- 
tion Program offered at Burnaby North Secondary 
Schools has placed six students directly into child care 
jobs, and at least six more into child-related training 
(Early Childhood Education Diploma program, nanny 
program and nursing). To this point the program has 
graduated 28 students in 2 classes (of 2 years each) and 
has the potential to graduate at least 20 more students 
over the next two years. The number of students enter- 
ing the program is stable at a manageable number. 

Success of this program cannot be measured imme- 
diately, if at all, as many of these students are only just 
embarking on jobs, careers, further education and par- 
enting. Success also cannot be measured because the 
number of students who would not have completed high 
school or would not have successfully been able to get a 
job is unknown. Another factor, the previously men- 
tioned age restriction on entry to further training for 
work in preschools or licensed child care centers, is only 
just now allowing students who graduated in 1988 to 
apply for entry to further study programs. If the pro- 
gram has given the students some child care skills that 
can be used in the job market or in a family situation, 
some generic employment skills and a knowledge of the 
child care field, then it has attained the goals set for 
the program. I feel comfortable that it has met at least 
one of these goals for each student. 

In both large and small communities in British 
Columbia there are facilities that feed people and care 
for small children. With an ever increasing need for 
trained people in both the food industry and the child 
care field it makes good sense to expand on the skills 
learned in foods and human relations to give non-col- 
lege-bound students avenues to the work place. If there 
are community facilities and businesses willing to take 
students in a non-paying employment situation, then 
the potential exists for programs that will help young 
people to get into the job market while gaining some 
basic academic skills and increasing their feelings of 

The issue of enabling young students to become self- 
sufficient adults is an important one, one that not just 
the schools, but the community as a whole, can address. 
The cooperation of businesses and schools to give po- 
tential dropouts or non-college-bound students a helping 
hand is an exciting and worthwhile endeavor that de- 
serves our attention. 


Employment and Immigration Canada. (1983). 
Youth/ Jeunesse a new statistical perspective on 
youth in Canada. Ottawa, Ontario: Authors. 

Hahn, A. (1987). Reaching out to America's dropouts: 
What do do? Phi Delta Kappan, 69(4), 256-263. 

Ministry of Education, Curriculum Development 
Branch. Province of British Columbia, (undated). 
Career Preparation Program Curriculum Guide for 
Hospitality /Tourism, Industry, Tourist Services. 

William T. Grant Foundation Commission on Work, 
Family and Citizenship. (1988). The forgotten 
half: Non-college-bound youth in America. Au- 
thor. • • • 

(Book Reviews, Peterat — Continued from page 40.) 

These girls... were being commercialized; we had 
typewriters provided in our schools; we were offering 
everything to enable them to fill commercial 
occupations, and we were not doing one thing to develop 
the domestic side. In other words, we were trying to 
draft masculine tendencies on feminine stock, and that 
has been the tendency of our system of education for 
some years. 

(Adelaide Hoodless, 1910 in MacDonald, 1986, p. 

Domestic Science is the application of scientific 
principles to the management of the home. It teaches 
the value of pure air, proper food, systematic 
management, economy, care of children, domestic and 
civil sanitation and the prevention of disease. It calls 
for higher and higher ideals of home life and more 
respect for domestic occupations. In short, it is a direct 
education for women as homemakers. The management 
of the home has more to do in the moulding of character 
than any other influence, owing to the large place it 
fills in the early life of the individual during the most 
plastic stage of development. We are therefore, 
justified in an effort to secure a place for home 
economics or domestic science, in the education 
institutions of this country. 

(Adelaide Hoodless, undated, in MacDonald, 1986, 
p. 46) • • • 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/ October, 1989 33 

Toward a Global Home Economics 


Linda Peterat Mary Gale Smith 

Assistant Professor Graduate Student 

Home Economics Education Faculty of Education 

University of British Columbia 


In recent years the Canadian Home Economics 
Association has promoted development and global ed- 
ucation in the schools by providing educational kits in 
conjunction with World Home Economics Day and 
World Food Day. Along with twinning projects 
(partnerships with developing countries to identify 
needs and implement projects) of associations 
throughout the country, they have pursued an active 
role in international development (Channer, 1987). 
Likewise, the Global Connections project of the Ameri- 
can Home Economics Association has highlighted the 
call for a global home economics education 
(Montgomery, 1987). In this paper we ask the question: 
Why should we care about global education? We ex- 
plore some of the reasons fundamental to building a 
rationale for global education. Secondly, we offer a 
checklist for examining how global our current programs 
are. The checklist is intended to be used for raising 
discussion among groups of educators about issues central 
to global education. 

Why care? 

Anderson responds to this question by saying that 
it's a non-sensical question (1982, p. 155). We cannot ig- 
nore the global nature of our world. Telecommunica- 
tions media make us immediately aware of events 
around the world. Mobility and immigration has made 
it increasingly possible for more peoples 
in the world to become neighbours. The availability of 
consumer goods from a wider range of countries reminds 
us daily of our interconnectedness. The consumer choices 
we make have economic and political implications for 
other peoples in the world, and for our national 
economies. We are increasingly aware that the natural 
environment we share does not recognize national 
boundaries. The society in which we live is a global 
one. This fact should be reflected in our school 

Global education has been broadly defined as 
"education for responsible participation in an interde- 
pendent global society" (Anderson, in Becker, 1979, p. 
99). Kniep (1986) identifies the substantive focus ofl 
global education as the domains of global systems, ofl 
global issues and problems, of human values and! 
cultures, and of global history. Global education has 
also been defined in terms of its vision or goal to 
develop in students a global perspective. Hanvey 
(1986) states "education for a global perspective is thati 
learning which enhances the individual's ability to 
understand his or her condition in the community and I 
the world and improves the ability to make effective 
judgments" (p. i). 

Home economics is also often defined in terms of its 
vision, goal or mission: 

The mission of home economics is to enable 
families, both as individual units and gener- 
ally as a social institution, to build and main- 
tain systems of action which lead 1) to matur- 
ing in individual self-formation and, 2) to en- 
lightened, cooperative participation in the 
critique and formulation of social goals and 
means for accomplishing them (Brown and 
Paolucci, 1979, p. 23). 

Home economics education aims to develop the systems 
of action referred to in the mission statement: "Action 
in rational-purposive production or procurement of the 
physical entities required by the family for the good 
life" (Brown, 1980, p.101). Essentially, this is instru- 
mental action involving technical tasks such as the 
preparation of food, clothing and shelter. Since the 
procurement of food, clothing and shelter is a basic hu- 
man necessity, the study of how people in different 
countries and locations in the world solve these basic 
needs can move the study of instrumental action into a 
global perspective. 

The second system of action referred to in the mis- 
sion statement was "Communicative action within the 
family and with social groups outside the family for 
understanding and for consensus in defining the good 
life, i.e., in the formation and determination of values 
and goals" (Brown, 1980, p. 101). Since communicative 
action both within the family and in the broader soci- 
ety requires that the different experiences and interests 

34 ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 

of individuals and groups be considered in relation to 
practical problems, considerations of different na- 
tional, cultural and religious beliefs and values can 
move communicative action into a global perspective. 

The third system of action referred to in the mission 
statement was "Emancipative action in freeing indi- 
viduals, the family, and society from dogmatic beliefs 
and from social forces which are dominative or ex- 
ploitative" (Brown, 1980,p.l01). Since emancipative 
action implies the critical analysis of oppressive fea- 
tures of one's social conditions, emancipatory action re- 
quires the seeing of other possibilities which compar- 
isons and contrasts with other societies and belief sys- 
tems in a global perspective offer. 

In many ways it appears that home economics edu- 
cation as conceptualized by Brown (1980) and global 
education have a lot in common. That commonality 
includes increased awareness and understanding of the 
gaps between social ideals and current realities that 
affect people worldwide, and a commitment to action 
are shared goals. They both seek to justify a value 
stance in terms of some notion of the good. Brown (1980) 
mentions such things as human happiness, the good life 
and the evolution of a free society. Global education is 
often justified on the basis that not to do it would cause 
harm, that is, students would be dysfunctional in 
society (Daniels, 1983; Anderson, 1982). Both assume 
that education can make a difference and that schools 
should respond to and be agents of social change. 

We suggest that global education is fundamental to 
home economics education if we are to educate for self- 
formation and the critique of social goals. The central 
concepts of home economics - families, daily living and 
basic needs - are universal concepts and are also global 
concepts. While central in some form to the experiences 
and actions of people world-wide, there are certain 
common features (accounted for in being universal) and 
differences (necessary to account for in being global). 
This global nature of home economics education has not 
been emphasized, however. Rather, the common em- 
phasis on technical reason and action has assumed 
monolithic and unchanging families which is no longer 
(if it ever were) justifiable in a global society. Because 
of the emphasis on technical reason and action, the 
need for global perspective has not been widely ad- 
dressed through considerations of value issues, ade- 
quate teacher preparation and curriculum development. 

In regard to curriculum development, Joyce and 
Nicholson (1979) have outlined five imperatives 
which they suggest could be viewed as the 
[philosophical basis for the generation of new curricula 
in global education. Consideration should be given to 
reconciling the various conflicting interests of indi- 
viduals and entities who share the same earth; to the 
complexity of the global scene; to the promotion of cul- 

tural pluralism; to the development of international 
citizenship; and to creating a belief that one's efforts 
can be efficacious in the improvement of the world con- 
text. Imperatives such as these point to the importance 
of developing curricula that are morally realistic, that 
display a respect for people, that avoid oversimplica- 
tion, stereotyping, polarity and relativism, and that 
show a degree of optimism. Moral questions cannot be 
ignored and students must be taught how to make 
defensible judgements about what is fair and just. 

Like Anderson, we suggest that a global emphasis 
in education is inevitable if our schools are to be so- 
cially relevant. Home economics teachers should care 
about global and intercultural education. There are 
several implications that follow from such caring. In- 
tegrating global education and home economics educa- 
tion must be done carefully and cautiously and under- 
taken for the right reasons. We must not be just jumping 
on the bandwagon or as Popkewitz (1980) states, 
adopting a "slogan system". A well thought out and 
ethically defensible rationale is imperative. Some 
argue that home economics ought to stay at home in its 
focus rather than become another social studies by fo- 
cussing on global concerns. An appropriate rationale 
will need to retain the centrality of families while 
placing them clearly in the reality of a global society. 

Preparing teachers to teach from a global 
perspective is also important. The role of the teacher 
in a program which encourages problem posing, 
perspective taking, problem solving, and critical 
thinking is quite different from a program which is 
essentially information giving or training. Developing 
curricula which supports global home economics 
education becomes a major requirement. These are the 
challenges facing home economics educators as we take 
our part in a global society. 

A Curriculum Analysis Checklist 

This checklist is a self-analysis device for home 
economics teachers. 1 The intention is to stimulate 
thought and discussion about the ways global education 
is or can be a part of home economics curricula. In re- 
sponse to the following sixteen items, circle either YES 
or NO. There is no right or wrong response for each 
item, rather implication responses are offered as a way 
of stimulating thought about global education. If 
possible, we recommend discussing the implication re- 
sponses with other teaching colleagues. 

1. Do the goals or rationale for your program include 
the need to educate young people for living in an 
interdependent world? 


ILUNOIS TEACHER, September /October, 1 989 35 

2. Does your program encourage understanding of the 

various cultural groups within Canadian society? 


3. Are differences and similarities of peoples of the 

world a part of the teaching/learning activities in 
your classes? 


4. Are problems of housing, child care, and food sup- 

ply studied in relation to the stage of economic de- 
velopment of various countries? 


13. Do students propose, analyse and /or evaluate solu- 

tions to global problems? 


14. Do you encourage students to take action directed at 

improving or solving global problems? 


15. Do you promote and model conservation and sound 

ecological practices in your classroom, for example, 
avoidance of waste, limiting the use of plastics, 
and recycling? 


5. When a technique is taught, for example bread 

making, is it used as a way to examine the global 
practice of the provision of bread? 


6. Do you teach about problems such as malnutrition, 

sanitation, and poverty in Canada and the world? 


7. Do you teach about policies and regulations on food 

and clothing production in your province or Canada 
but not in other countries? 


8. When teaching about peoples and problems of 

various countries, do you begin with activities 
which foster empathy and identification with the 
people of the other country? 


9. When teaching global issues, is the issue considered 

from the perspective of the experiences and conse- 
quences of various people within each country? 


10. Does your home economics program explore the in- 

ternational linkages in your own community, for 
example, Red Cross, Amnesty International, Ox- 
fam, etc.? 


11. When examining traditions, policies and problems 

of various countries, do you emphasize their 
consequences on individuals and families? 


12. In teaching about global problems, is an emphasis 

placed on the complexity and difficulty of the 


16. Do you emphasize knowledge of facts rather than 
problem solving/critical thinking? 



1. If NO, you may be preparing students for a future in 
which they will lack the global understandings 
necessary to solve larger global issues of interde- 
pendence - trade, economics, peace, pollution con- 
trol, human health, and well-being. If YES, global 
education is more likely an explicit goal apparent I 
to students, parents and administrators as well. If 
it is a stated goal, is it a goal for all areas of home 
economics, not only foods and nutrition, but also 
clothing and textiles, and family studies? 

2. If YES, you are fostering multicultural education I 
which can be a part of and a first step toward I 
global education. If NO, you may be missing an op- 
portunity to understand global issues through ex- 
ploring local connections. 

3. If YES, you are likely encouraging students to ap- 
preciate the common-ness along with the unique- 
ness of all peoples. If NO, an emphasis on 
similarities will mask some of the real differences 
of peoples which are influenced by various cultural 
and national features. An emphasis on differences 
risks portraying others as strange and different in a 
negative way. 

4. If YES, you are helping students to understand the 
relationship between the larger economy of country 
and the daily living practices of families and the 
various forms this relationship takes in countries at 
different stages of economic development. If NO, 
you may be emphasizing global polarity which as- 
sociates different practices and values with devel- 
oped and developing countries. 


36 ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 

5. If YES, you are helping students to understand hu- 
man resourcefulness in the meeting of basic needs, 
and the source of different food traditions. If NO, 
you are missing an opportunity to move beyond skill 
development to emphasize the relationship be- 
tween daily living practices and resource avail- 
ability and use. 

6. If YES, you have the opportunity to explore with 
students how these problems may have similar, 
different or contradictory causes around the world. 
If NO, and these problems are studied only in coun- 
tries other than Canada, you will convey that 
these problems do not occur in Canada and foster 
the idea of Western superiority. 

7. If YES, your program may be setting advocacy and 
promotion of local industries ahead of understand- 
ing the interrelationships and interdependence in 
global trade and production. If NO, and your 
teaching includes global trade and production of 
materials necessary for living, you have an excel- 
lent opportunity to foster an understanding of global 

3. If NO, you are missing the opportunity for students 
to understand through experiencing and feeling how 
other people may feel or think given a set of 
conditions or circumstances of daily living. If YES, 
you are using an approach effective for countering 
the we/ they dichotomy in our thinking which 
emphasizes differences and objectifies peoples 
different from ourselves. 

). If YES, students will see that there are many dif- 
ferences and similarities among peoples in a country 
as there are between countries. If NO, you may be 
emphasizing stereotypical and universal experi- 
ences within a country. Problems should be studied 
with sensitivity to the different perspectives of 
various classes; men, women, and children, rural 
and urban families within various countries. 

0. If YES, you are encouraging students to see the pos- 
sibility of "thinking globally/acting locally". If 
NO, you are missing an opportunity to help students 
understand a range of responses individuals can 
make to global problems both locally and in inter- 
national agencies. 

If NO, students may be unclear as to why global 
education should be a part of home economics and 
see little difference from what they learn in other 
courses. If YES, you are supporting other educators 
working for a global education and developing the 

unique focus of home economics on the individual 
and families. 

12. If YES, this may create feelings of helplessness, 
despair or guilt which can evoke from students a 
resistance to caring and being interested in others' 
problems. If NO, you may be emphasizing the 
human story, for as complex and difficult as some 
global problems are, they are also stories of human 
resilience, resourcefulness, cooperation, and caring. 
Thus, the daily living of the conditions and 
consequences is also a source of human hope. 

13. If YES, you are likely helping students to see that 
conditions can be changed and helping them to feel 
empowered to act in contributing to appropriate so- 
lutions. If NO, students may feel helplessness and 
despair as mentioned above. 

14. If YES, you are encouraging students to act according 
to their commitments and beliefs and to realize 
that they can make a difference. If NO, again, 
students may feel overwhelming despair as noted in 
12 and 13 above. 

15. If NO, you are missing an opportunity to model 
global responsibility in a small way and risk losing 
credibility with your students. If YES, you are 
modeling small globally responsible actions which 
we all can do daily. 

16. If YES, you may feel a lack of information and un- 
ease in teaching global issues and topics. If NO, 
you may find problem solving and critical thinking 
approaches lend themselves more easily to entering 
into cooperative and joint learning approaches (e.g. 
simulations, group discussion, and research) with 
your students on issues of global concern. It is usu- 
ally necessary to go beyond consideration of facts in 
teaching global issues. 


1. In developing this checklist, we acknowledge the 
use of an earlier one by Dena G. Stoner and T. Elaine 
Staaland (1978) Creating a Family Focused Cur- 
riculum, Illinois Teacher of Home Economics, 22(2), 

This checklist was developed as part of the Re- 
search and Development in Global Studies Project, 
Centre for the Study of Curriculum and Instruction, 
University of British Columbia. The project is 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 37 

funded by the Public Participation Program, Cana- 
dian International Development Agency. 


Anderson, L. F. (1982). Why should American educa- 
tion be globalized? It's a nonsensical question. 
Theory into Practice. 22(2), 155-161. 

Becker, J. M. (1979) (Ed.). Schooling for a global age. 
New York: McGraw-Hill. 

Brown, M., & Paolucci, B. (1979). Home economics: A 
definition. Washington, D.C.: American Home 
Economics Association. 

Brown, M. (1980). What is home economics education? 
Minnesota Research and Development Center for 
Vocation Education. Minneapolis, MN: University 
of Minnesota. 

Charmer, S. (1987). World Home Economics Day: An 
Effective Teaching Strategy. Illinois Teacher, 
32(2), 78, 82. 

Daniels, L. (1983). Review of Development education: 
The 20th century survival and fulfillment skill. 
Canadian and International Education. 22(3) 199- 

Hanvey, R. (1976). An attainable global perspective. 
New York: Global Perspectives in Education. 

Joyce, B. R., & Nicholson, A. M. (1979). Imperatives 
for global education. In J.M. Becker (Ed.), Schooling 
for a Global Age. (pp. 95-110). New York: McGraw- 

Kniep, W. (1986). Defining global education by its 
content. Social education. 50(6), 437-446. 

Montgomery, W. et al. (1987, Spring). Global 
connections: Linking third world concerns with 
American teens through the home economics 
classroom. Journal of Home Economics, 79. 

Popkiewitz, T. (1980). Global education as a slogan 
system. Curriculum Inquiry. 20(3), 303-316. 

• • • 

We women have often said we are politicians because it 
has been shown to us that we cannot do our duty either 
to our own homes or to our country without being so . . . 
[Some critics thought politics 'degrading' but they] 
must be faced out. The criticism comes from (1) a very 
partial view of what a woman's life should be and (2) a 
low estimate of politics . . . 

(Lady Aberdeen in French, 1988, p. 85) 

(Pain, Continued from page 21.) 

varies. Three titles are in use: family studies, horr 
economics, and/or consumer studies. In a country s 
regionally diverse and large as Canada, period! 
reviews of educational programs have a purpose i 
showing similarities and differences. They raise th 
question of whether the programs best serve the guidin 
definitions of the field. There is a need for furthe 
communication on many issues emerging from thi 
review, and an opportunity for leadership from th 
profession in establishing guidelines and influencing 


Canadian Home Economics Association (1984) 

Rapport, September, 2. 
Canadian Home Economics Association (1985). Home 
economics/family studies education in 
Canadian Sshools. Canadian Home Economics 
Journal, 35(2), 116-119. 
Feniak, E. (1979). Home economics in Canadian 
universities, 1978. Journal of Consumer Studies 
and Home Economics, 3, 71-78. 
Peterat, L. (1984). Home economics, a survey of h 
provincial curricula at secondary level, 
(unpublished report) Fredericton, New 
Brunswick: University of New Brunswick, 
Faculty of Education. 
Peterat, L. (1985). Home economics education in 
secondary schools. Canadian Home Economics 
Journal, 34(2), 80-83. 
Peterat, L., & Pain, B. (1989). Directory of home 
economics/family studies teacher education 
programs in Canada. (Available from Dr. L. B. 
Peterat, Faculty of Education, University of 
British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., V6T 1Z5 
and Dr. B. J. Pain, College of Education, 
University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, • 
Rowles, E., (1958). Are our universities and colleges 
offering adequate programs in home economics? 
Canadian Home Economics Journal, 8(4), 9-10; 

Rowles, E., (1964). Home economics in Canada, the 
early history of six college programs: Prologue 
to change. Saskatoon, SK: University of 
Saskatchewan Bookstore. 

• • • 

38 ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 



Mnda Eyre 
"•octoral Student 

acuity of Education 

he University of British Columbia 

jtderson, K. L., Armstrong, H., Armstrong, P., Drakich, 
J., Eichler, M., Guberman, C, Hayford, H., Luxton, 
M., Peters, J. F., Porter, E., Richardson, C. J., & Tes- 
son, G. (1987). Family matters: Sociology and con- 
temporary Canadian families. Toronto; New York: 

landell, N. & Duffy, A. (Eds.) (1988). Reconstructing 
the Canadian Family: Feminist Perspectives. 
Toronto; Seattle: Butterworths. 

IcLaren, A. T. (Ed.) (1988). Gender and society: 
Creating a Canadian women's sociology. Toronto; 
New York: Copp Clark Pitman. 

These books were chosen because each provides a 
ender sensitive and gender balanced approach to fam- 
ly related concerns (see Eyre this issue). Each book 
learly identifies female and male perspectives on the 
amily, and each raises questions about traditional pa- 
riarchal interpretations of family living. These books 
an help us examine the ways we have traditionally 
tudied families, and help increase our understanding 
bout the reality of people's lives. I highly recommend 
ach book as a teacher reference. 

Family Matters challenges prevailing ideologies 
bout families. Having defined clearly the concepts of 
amily and household, and explored the various 
onceptual frameworks for studying families, this book 
>rings together several articles about specific issues 
vhich concern family living. Issues such as those 
vhich surround families and social policy, the rela- 
ionship between work in and outside of the home, di- 
vorce, and violence against women, are critically ex- 
plored. The authors show how family law and social 
>olicy are based on ideological notions about family 
iving and are justified through functionalist theories. 
U the same time the authors show that the notion of a 
raditional family is inaccurate - since historically, it 
\as never represented everyone. The authors expose 
differences among families and link these to larger 
brces in society. This book is written clearly and 
ivoids technical language. As well as being highly 
ecommended as a teacher reference Family Matters 
ivould also be suitable for senior high school students. 

Reconstructing the Canadian Family provides cur- 
■ent information about women's issues in the Canadian 

family, and challenges gender inequalities in the fam- 
ily and in society. The authors take apart our tradi- 
tional masculine notions about family living and recon- 
structs them from a gender sensitive and gender bal- 
anced perspective. The editor's stated goal is to work 
toward egalitarian rather than patriarchal relations 
in family living. The book is divided into three sec- 
tions. Part One examines the roles of women, wives, 
and mothers; men, husbands, and fathers; and children, 
from an historical and critical perspective. Part Two 
provides an historical overview of demographic 
changes in family patterns, and feminist critique of 
family power relations between women and men. Part 
Three addresses the impact of the political economy on 
families, and on women in particular. Questions are 
also raised about the new reproductive technologies, as 
well as state legislation, and the impact of each on 
women and families. Throughout, the diversity of 
women's lives in families is evident; as is the changing 
historical context of the family. A strength of the book 
is that it is based on the daily realities of women's 
lives as family members; a perspective which is often 
missing from texts on the family. 

In Gender and Society Arlene McLaren sets out to 
fill the gap in traditional male biased sociology texts, 
by providing a feminist sociological perspective of 
women in Canada. Of particular interest to home 
economists in education are articles which explore the 
relationship between women, men, families, the work- 
place, and the state. For example, the book includes 
articles which provide: a social and political analysis 
of childbirth; an understanding of how the state 
maintains patriarchal relations in families through 
welfare legislation; and an exploration of female and 
male high school students' understandings of their fu- 
ture occupational and familial roles. Articles about 
more specific family concerns explode our historical 
middle class, heterosexual, and patriarchal under- 
standings of family life and motherhood, and include: 
family demographic patterns of women in Canada from 
an historical perspective; an explanation of women's 
response to being battered; child custody and lesbian 
mothers; and the impact of new reproductive technolo- 
gies. Other articles specifically useful for home eco- 
nomics include: an examination of sex segregation in 
Canadian women's employment; an evaluation of solu- 
tions to sexual harassment in the workplace; an exami- 
nation of resistance to midwives by the state and the 
medical profession; and feminist critique of approaches 
to pornography and sexuality issues. • • • 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, September /October, 1989 39 


Linda Peterat, Assistant Professor 
Home Economics Education 
Faculty of Education 
University of British Columbia 
Vancouver, B.C. 

Chown, Alice (1988). The Stairway. Toronto: 
University of Toronto Press. (63A St. George Street, 
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A6). 

For those of us who have sought out and delighted 
in the reading of the The Stairway, first published in 
1921, this re-issue is a welcome addition to 
feminist/home economics literature. Diana Chown, a 
great-great niece of Alice, provides an excellent 
introduction, clarifying names of people and places 
given pseudonyms in the original text, and the 
dominant philosophies and social ideas influencing 
Alice Chown (1866-1949). 

The Stairway is the reflective journal writings of 
Chown from 1906-1919. In the introduction, Diana 
Chown aptly describes the book as: 

The story of a single, middle-aged Canadian 
woman who was a radical intellectual during 
the first quarter of the twentieth century. It not 
only relates the tale of her work and 
achievements but also reveals the problems she 
sometimes encountered - loneliness, rejection, 
semi-poverty, and illness. To portray herself as 
lonely and rejected was not, of course, Alice 
Chown's intention. She hoped that she could 
reach others, particularly women, with a 
message of love, empowerment, and truth to one- 
self by telling her own story from a particular 
point of view (p. xi). 

Chown is well known for her contribution at four of 
the Lake Placid Conferences. College educated, her 
ideas of home economics contrasted sharply with 
Adelaide Hoodless'. Shunning institutions, her 
interests and activities ranged beyond home economics. 
Diana Chown describes her diverse career as: 
"feminist, suffragist, pacifist, settlement worker, 
writer, home economics advocate, journalist, 
labour/activist, labour college teacher, and peace 
activist" (p. vi-vii). 

40 ILLINOIS TEACHER,September, October, 1989 

The Stairway offers a rare portrayal of thi 
personal and intellectual life of a turn-of-the-centun 
woman. Recommended reading. 

MacDonald, Cheryl (1986). Adelaide Hoodless, 
domestic crusader. Toronto: Dundurn Press. (2181 Queen 
Street East, Suite 301, Toronto, Ontario M4E 1E5). 

Relying primarily on the Hoodless family papers 
bequeathed to the University of Guelph in 1966, Mac- 
Donald offers the first book length biography of 
Adelaide Hoodless (1857-1910). Hoodless is the 
woman most often credited with leading the struggle to 
have domestic science introduced into the public schools 
in Canada. After attending the International Congress 
of Women at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893 until her 
death, this was her driving goal. As well, Hoodless, 
had an active role in establishing other women's 
organizations of the time: the Victorian Order of 
Nurses, the Women's Institutes, the Young Women's 
Christian Association, and the National and 
International Councils of Women. 

While Hoodless has been widely written about and 
criticized in recent years by feminists and educators, 
MacDonald presents a sympathetic portrayal. She 
offers little analysis and interpretation of the 
character, and doesn't develop any particular or 
explanatory story-line on her life. She offers some 
details of Hoodless' family and personal life. She 
offers some insight to the relationship between 
Hoodless' and other early home economists, suggesting 
that Hoodless' lack of college education was a barrier 
to her continuing leadership among home economists 
and educators as the subject became established in 
education. Much detail is offered on Hoodless' struggle 
in her home city of Hamilton to have domestic science 
taught in the schools. 

MacDonald offers a useful book for those interested 
in the founders of home economics in Canada. Its 
weaknesses are the somewhat narrow scope of research 
on which it is based, the often confusing sequence of 
events and detail offered, and the almost too 
sympathetic treatment of the character which left me 
feeling I still didn't know this woman very well. 

(Continued on page 33.) 



1. Articles, lesson plans, teaching techniques are welcome. 

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rent professional position, location, and title. 

5. Document your references using APA style. 

6. Submit articles anytime. 

7. Editorial staff make the final decision about publication. 

8. Please forward articles to: 

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Send for: "Information for Prospective Authors" 




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f \y ' VOLUME XXXIII, No. 2 

November/December, 1989 



Foreword, Mildred Barnes Griggs 41 

Strengthening Single-Parent Families, Beverly Uhlenberg 42 

Implementation of the Components Needed for a Teenage-Parent Program, 

Barbara J. Mitchell 45 

LIFESPAN: Experiential Learning About Family Development, 

Benjamin Sillitnan 48 

Family Life: Using Premarital Agreements as a Teaching Tool, Tommie Lawhon 50 

Teaching Survival Techniques in A Changing World, Irene Storrer 54 

Content Analysis as an Innovative Teaching Technique for Home Economists, 

Paula W. Dail 56 

Building Self-Esteem in Middle School Students Through Home Economics 

and Industrial Technology, Marguerite Mellin and Beverly Forbes 61 

SUPERMARKET SAFARI, Tracking Down Good Nutrition in the Grocery Store, 

Darlene Gubser and Barbara A. Holt 64 

Marketing Home Economics: Let's Stop Assuming and Start Selling, 

Machelle Bonde 65 

Inductive Teaching: A Strategy to Teach Housing Concepts, 

Deborah G. Wooldridge, Marge Sebelius, and Susan Ross 68 

The Issue of Curriculum Change in Clothing Studies, Susan G. Turnbull 72 

Suggestions for Extension Home Economists Programming At Congregate 

Nutrition Sites, Janette K. Newhouse 76 

Philosophy Narrative, Judith T. Tebo 79 

Book Reviews, Joseph L. Wysocki 80 

Illinois Teacher of Home Economics 

ISSN 0739-148X 

A publication of the Division of Home Economics Education, 

Department of Vocational and Technical Education, 

College of Education, University of Illinois, 

Champaign, Illinois 61820 

Illinois Teacher Staff 

Mildred Griggs, Professor and Editor 

Norma Huls, Office Manager 

June Chambliss, Technical Director 

Linda Simpson, Graduate Assistant and Ph..D. Candidate 

Sally Rousey, Graduate Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate 

Other Home Economics Education Division Staff and Graduate Students 
Catherine Burnham, Graduate Assistant and Ed.D. Candidate 
Alison Vincent, Graduate Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate 
Vida U. Revilla, Graduate Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate 

Volume XXXIII, No. 2, November /December, 1989. Published 
five times each academic year. Subscriptions $15.00 per year. 
Foreign, including Canada, $18.00 per year. Special $10.00 per 
year ($12.00 Foreign) for undergraduate and graduate students 
when ordering by teacher educator on forms available from 
Illinois Teacher office. Single copies $3.50. Foreign $4.00. All 
checks from outside the U.S. must be payable through a U.S. 

University of Illinois 
352 Education Building 
1310 S. Sixth Street 
Champaign, IL 61820 

Telephone: 217/244-0820 



Welcome to Volume XXXIII and to a new academic year. I recognize that 
this is the second issue of the current volume, however, the first one was 
guest edited and the greetings came from the guest editors. We at Illinois 
Teacher hope you enjoyed that issue written by our neighbors to the north 
about home economics in Canada. 

Our focus this year is on curriculum more specifically we have 
encouraged authors to give recommendations about content and rationales 
for it. We encourage you to take a critical look at what you are teaching, how 
you are teaching and why you are teaching it. Are your reasons satisfactory, 
do they stand up under your reflective scrutiny? 

This issue contains suggestions for content in several areas, a few teaching 
techniques, things to reflect on and career advice. We hope you will find it all 

We had a staff change in August. Annabelle Slocum left to take a position 
at University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada. Best wishes to 

Readers, please let us hear from you. We value your input. 

Mildred Barnes Griggs 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, November /December, 1989 41 

Strengthening Single-Parent Families 


Beverly Uhlenberg 
Assistant Professor of 

Home Economics 
Department of Home Economics 

and Nutrition 
University of North Dakota 
Grand Forks, ND 


Families have been a strong, healthy, and re- 
silient basis of our society for centuries. They have sur- 
vived because of the ability to change to meet the needs 
of individuals and society. It is through the family 
that the race is continued through new births. Chil- 
dren are socialized, economic support is provided, and 
individuals receive emotional support, intimacy, and 
love (Winch, 1971). Home economists have long recog- 
nized the importance of strong families to our society. 
In fact, the purpose of the American Home Economics 
Association, as stated on the contents page of each issue 
of the Journal of Home Economics, is to improve the 
quality and standards of individual and family life. 

It is important both for our society as a whole and 
for each individual family member that the home en- 
vironment be a healthy one for both children and 
adults. At present, many single-parent families are ex- 
periencing more problems than are two-parent families. 
Too little money to provide a healthy environment is a 
major problem for many single-parent families, but the 
poorest are the never-married. Never-married parents 
tend to have the least education, the fewest job skills 
and the highest rate of unemployment (Displaced 
Homemakers Network, 1987). Divorced females 
experience dramatic reductions in their standard of 
living following a divorce and an increase in family 
responsibilities. These experiences often cause feelings 
of anger, resentment and guilt. Low self-esteem is 
reported by both types of single parents (Weiss, 1979). 

Of the many types of families in the United States 
today it is the single-parent family that is increasing 
in numbers most rapidly. In 1986, 24 percent of children 
under 18 years of age were living with a lone parent 
(Glick, 1988). Approximately one-half of all single- 
parent families are headed by the never-married, 
however (Norton & Glick, 1986). Ninety percent of 
single-parent families are headed by females. 

42 ILLINOIS TEACHER, November/ December, 1989 

Classes for Single Parents 

One of the ways of assisting single parents to im- 
prove the home environment is by offering classes ir 
self-help skills. Data from a study of single parents ir 
North Dakota in 1986 (Uhlenberg & Estrem, 1988] 
revealed that single parents were very interested in 
learning self-help skills. They were particularly ' 
interested in developing high self-esteem, managing , 
stress, developing personal relationship skills, and . 
learning parenting skills. They also were quite 
interested in learning about money management, health! 
and wellness, home and time management, and meal 

It is important to schedule these classes at a con- 
venient time for single parents. Daytime hours might 
be good for the young, never-married parents, but those 
who are employed may find lunch hour classes more 
convenient. Classes could be held over the dinner hour 
if brown bag meals were provided. Evening classes 
could be held if child care were provided. In some 
communities the child care could be provided by 
students who need experiences planning children's 
activities and evaluating their effectiveness. Plans 
which provide enrichment activities for children 
while parents are learning self-help skills can be 
particularly effective for the entire family. 

Characteristics of the Curriculum 

Cary Estrem and I developed a curriculum guide 
(Uhlenberg & Estrem, 1988) to be used in classes where 
self-help skills are taught. Because single parents dif- 
fer from each other in age, level of education, socio-eco- 
nomic background, ages and number of children, and 
personal motivation, we attempted to develop materi- 
als that would meet the needs of this diverse group. 
Some of the characteristics of the curriculum are: 

1. Non-sexist. The curriculum is written using gender 
neutral language. The subject matter is applicable 
to both men and women. 

2. Low reading level. Parents of all educational 
backgrounds can benefit from the handouts and ac- 

3. Activity oriented. The many activities enable 
single parents to practice the life skills they wish 
to learn. 

• • 



Topics were chosen by single parents. Information 
and skills that single parents indicate a desire to 
learn are arranged in five units: self-esteem and 
assertiveness; managing stress; raising happy, 
healthy children; managing money matters; and 
food for healthy families. 

May be used with individuals or groups. A group 
setting offers the advantages of support from oth- 
ers and the sharing of ideas, which often results in 
better decision-making. However, the materials 
may be used with individuals, also. 

Requires little preparation by the leader. Back- 
ground information is provided for each topic and 
complete instructions are given for each activity. 
Activity sheets are ready to be reproduced for 
each student. 

Can be adapted to different time frames. The 
leader and students select the activities so it is 
easy to adapt to various class schedules. 

v Teaching Problem Solving 

Problem solving and decision making are impor- 
:ant life skills taught by this curriculum. These skills 
are essential for effective management of one's life. 
Problems are a fact of life, a daily occurrence experi- 
enced by everyone. The chance to solve them should be 
viewed as a challenge and an opportunity to take 

, charge of one's life. Opportunities to practice these 
skills are provided in each of the curriculum units. 

The curriculum incorporates the Practical Action 
Teaching Approach (Laster, 1982). This is a model for 
teaching problem solving that enables learners to solve 
their own problems and to acquire new information and 
skills based on their own needs. It is an individualized 
teaching approach used within a group setting that 
takes advantage of the pooling of ideas, experiences 
and skills of the group members. Each student uses the 
following four-step plan to solve problems: 


Identify my problem. 

Describe how I would like my problem solved. 


List many solutions to my problem. 
Identify and evaluate the advantages and 

disadvantages of each solution. 
Choose a solution. 


Gather information and develop skills needed 
to carry out my solution by: 

- talking with others 

- making phone calls 

- reading about it 

- taking a class. 

List the steps I must take to solve my problem 

and when I will do them. 
Carry out the steps for solving my problem. 


Ask myself: 

- Has my problem been solved? 

- What must I continue to do to keep my 

problem under control? 

- What else could I do to solve my problem? 

A single parent might be experiencing the follow- 
ing problem. "People ask me to do more things than I 
have time for. I don't know how to say no without feel- 
ing guilty." The parent would like to learn how to say 
no without fearing the loss of friendships or contacts. 
Possible solutions would then be identified, such as to 
avoid the people who ask the parent to do things. The 
disadvantage of this solution is that contact with these 
important people would be lost; the parent is not 
willing to do this. The solution the parent chooses is to 
learn how to say no without offending anyone. This 
skill is learned by using the activities concerned with 
"I" statements, which are included in the curriculum 
guide. After using "I" statements in real situations the 
parent would evaluate the effectiveness of this ap- 
proach. If the solution were not effective, a new 
solution would be adopted and necessary skills learned. 

According to Bruffee (1987), single parents will 
learn best how to create effective solutions to their 
problems by working in groups. They will learn these 
skills better and more quickly if they work with others 
than if they practice the skills alone. Each group 
member has had different experiences and is able to 
evaluate the proposed solutions of others in a unique 
way. The group members also provide support, which 
assists the single parenting in carrying out the plan or 
in persisting until the skill is learned. 

There are several benefits of using the problem 
solving approach described above. One important bene- 
fit is that single parents will learn to solve problems 
effectively and take charge of their lives. This is a 
real self-esteem builder because being able to do what 
is needed or expected is a very important part of self- 
evaluation. Being able to solve problems effectively 
reduces stress, which is another skill single parents 
wanted to learn. Being a good problem solver prevents 
additional problems, so life is easier to manage. It 
enables persons to outgrow their need for helpers 
because they become more independent as they become 
more able. 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, September /October, 1989 43 

A second advantage of using the problem solving 
approach is that the single parents will learn informa- 
tion and skills that they can apply immediately to 
their lives. They will be more effective family 
managers which will be beneficial both them and their 

A third advantage comes from the opportunity to 
learn in groups. The pooling of ideas, experiences and 
skills can help individuals find better solutions to their 
problems more quickly than by solving problems alone. 
The single parents will also feel support from others. 
This important social interaction is often missing from 
their lives. 

Class Benefits 

Being a teacher of a class for single parents of any 
age or either sex is a challenging task but also a very 
rewarding one. These teachers have the opportunity to 
do the following, plus much more: 

1. Promote the development of self-confidence 
in single parents. 

2. Provide single parents with learning oppor- 
tunities and facts. 

3. Help single parents to see the available op- 

4. Serve as a cheerleader as single parents are 
encouraged to solve their own problems. 

The focus of the class should be to strengthen 
single-parent families by empowering parents to solve 
their own problems. Teaching problem solving skills is 
like an old Chinese proverb: 

Give people fish, and you feed them for a 
day. Teach people to fish, and you feed them 
for a lifetime. 

Our updated version is: 

Solve parents' problems, and you prepare 
them for the day. Teach parents problem 
solving skills and you prepare them for a 


Bruffee, K. A. (1987). The art of collaborative learning. 
Change, (March/April), 42-47. 

Displaced Homemakers Network. (1987). A status re- 
port on displaced homemakers and single parents 
in the United States. Washington, DC: Author. 

Glick, P. C. (1988). Fifty years of family demography: 
A record of social change. Journal of Marriage and 
the Family, 50(4), 861-873. 

Laster, J. F. (1982). A practical action teaching model. 
Journal of Home Economics, 74(3), 41-44. 

Norton, A. J., & Glick, P. C. (1986). One parent fami- 
lies: A social and economic profile. Family Rela- 
tions, 35(1), 9-17. 

Uhlenberg, B. M., & Estrem, C. E. (1988). Life skills for 
single parents: A curriculum guide. Grand Forks, 
ND: University of North Dakota Bureau of Educa- 
tional Services and Applied Research. 

Weiss, R. S. (1979). Going it alone. New York: Basic 
Books, Inc. 

Winch, R. F. (1971). The modern family (3rd ed.). New 
York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. • • • 


To obtain a copy of the Life Skill For Single Parents 
Curriculum send a $15.00 check or money order for each 
copy to: 

The Bureau of Educational Services 

and Applied Research 
Box 8158 University Station 
University of North Dakota 
Grand Forks, ND 58202-8158 

People and Practice: 
International Issues for Home Economists 

People and Practice is a new publication that is 
intended to promote dialogue about the issues facing 
home economics in the contemporary world. The 
booklets come in a brief, easily read form providing a 
philosophical and theoretical base followed by some 
examples of the use of the ideas in practice at various 
levels and in different world settings. They are 
designed for practicing professionals and professional 

Please direct subscriptions and any enquiries to: 

Dr. Eleanore Vaines 

School of Family and Nutritional Sciences 

2205 East Mall 

University of British Columbia 

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 


44 ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 

Implementation of the Components 
Needed for A Teenage-Parent 


Barbara J. Mitchell 
Home Economics Teacher 
Staunton River Annex 
Moneta, VA 

Teen pregnancy is a problem that is not going 
away. There is really no single or simple solution to 
the problem of "children bearing children" in commu- 
nities all over the country. "People — administrators, 
home economists, church and community leaders, and 
teens — are recognizing that something has to be done" 
(Babies can wait, 1987). Due to the dramatic change 
in our societal norms, there is less stigma attached to 
being an unwed mother today. Teen pregnancy is an 
epidemic social problem that affects all socio-eco- 
nomic and intellectual levels, all races and all reli- 
gious affiliations. It is a serious national problem 
that affects all of our lives (Bleyer, 1986). 

Over one million teenagers become pregnant annu- 
ally in the United States. What happens to these one 
million plus teens? A majority, about 80 percent, drop 
out of school. The long term social, economic and 
health costs associated with school-age pregnancy 
are immeasurable. Congress acknowledged the prob- 
lem of single parents, including teenagers, and pro- 
vided funds for programs for them in the Carl D. 
Perkins Act (Kister, 1987). 

How to educate our nation's teens on the risks and 
long-term effects of teen pregnancy is an ongoing de- 
bate among Americans. Many programs have been ini- 
tiated by state and federal agencies as well as by 
schools, and community and church groups to address 
the problem of teen pregnancy. Although some recent 
efforts have been made to incorporate sexuality edu- 
cation for young men, the majority of programs are 
still aimed at reaching the female population. 
Groups attempting to address the issue of teen preg- 
nancy agree that networking of churches, schools, 
parents and the media is necessary (Pecoraro, Ro- 
bichaus, and Theriot, 1987). 

Secondary school personnel have the opportunity 
to provide leadership to the effort to coordinate par- 
enthood education. Schools are the logical place to 
reach the majority of teens. Cooperation with health 
department, hospital, and community agency spon- 
sored programs can be used to further enhance school 
programs. Parenthood education should provide 
teenagers with a foundation upon which to make deci- 
sions regarding parenthood, and the knowledge and 
skills to perform parental responsibilities effectively. 
This paper addresses major components that need to be 
included in a teenage-parent program within the 
home economics curriculum. 

Advisory Committee 

An advisory committee is a group of individuals 
selected from community, business, education, and lay 
citizen sources that can become a critical component for 
a successful parenting program. In the initial stages of 
the development of a program, the committee can use 
its well-defined goals to engender community support 
for it. As the program matures, continued support of 
the advisory committee plays a critical role. This 
committee works with the home economics teacher(s) 
to bring community attitudes and beliefs as well as 
knowledge into the school as a basis for planning, 
evaluating and vitalizing the program (Wiley, 1983). 
This committee can help facilitate needs assessment 
by designing and administering a questionnaire to 
"key informants" in the community. 

Needs Assessment 

A well-planned needs assessment can serve as a 
useful guide to identify, prioritize, and implement 
programs (Chandler, 1985). Needs assessment data 
can be used to identify an emerging clientele, aid in 
developing the instructional model, and justify imple- 
mentation of the program components. This process 
should be coordinated by the advisory committee that 
can be responsible for collecting and tabulating the 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, November/ December, 1989 45 

Program Goals and Objectives 

Once the need for a community program has been 
determined and support from school officials has been 
established, the next step is the development of goals 
and objectives consistent with the philosophy of the 
school and the cooperating agencies. "The program 
needs to help teens understand themselves and build 
decision making skills" (Kenny, 1987). An overall 
goal for the program would be assisting students to 
complete their high school education while giving 
priority to their parenting-education needs. Receiv- 
ing credit while attending the program may be an 
incentive to stay in school. The high school diploma 
will prove to be an important credential for obtaining 
employment or postsecondary education. 

Program Location 

A school based program can include appropriate 
vocational training, academic and home economics 
classes. It can also help the teenage parent move 
through this potentially difficult period of trying to 
become a good parent and lead a productive life. 

A program that draws upon the resources of a 
school, various agencies, and community organizations 
may provide more stability and a better support 
system than could be provided if they worked inde- 
pendently to meet the teen-parent's special needs. In 
urban areas, the number of eligible students in one 
school may be sufficient to constitute the total enroll- 
ment. In small communities, a unified program for 
several schools can bring all pregnant teens and teen- 
parents in the area to a vocational school, alternative 
school or career center site. 

Program Funding 

The Carl D. Perkins Vocational Education Act of 
1984 (Public Law 98-524) requires that each state use 
Title III, Part B to: 

make grants to States to assist them in con- 
ducting consumer and homemaking education 
programs. Such programs may include (1) in- 
structional programs, services and activities 
that prepare youth and adults for the occupa- 
tion of homemaking, and (2) instruction in the 
areas of food and nutrition, consumer educa- 
tion, family living and parenthood education, 
child development and guidance, housing, and 
home management (including resource man- 
agement), and clothing and textiles. 

In addition to federal funding, grants for a 
teenage-parent program are becoming available in 

many states. Drawing upon support services within 
the total community can ensure greater quality and ef- 
fectiveness than could be generated by the school 
working alone. Home economics teachers should make 
a concerted effort to apply for these grants. Funding 
needs to be acquired for salaries, contractual services, 
equipment and supplies, travel, textbooks, audio- 
visual aids, resource materials, other related 
expenses, and indirect costs. Consideration needs to be 
given as well for child care services related to the 
program, as many social services now include such 

Program Coordinator 

An important component of the program's success is 
the program coordinator. This individual should be a 
certified home economics teacher who is well quali- 
fied in child-care education, counseling, and adminis- 
tration. The coordinator needs to be a caring, sensitive 
person and responsive to student needs. This person 
also needs good communication skills in order to repre- 
sent the program well to school boards, community 
agencies, and other groups. It is important that the 
coordinator be secure in his/her own life and have 
several years of successful teaching experience that 
will provide expertise in curriculum planning and co- 

Program Curriculum Units 

A vital part of the teen-parent program is the cur- 
riculum. A curriculum that includes a two-prong, 
proactive and reactive approach is best. The proac- 
tive curriculum provides students with the knowledge 
and skills necessary to become contributing members of 
the family and society. The reactive curriculum is de- 
signed to deal with special needs of the students. 
"Each unit should be competency based so that the 
attitudes, behavior, skill or understanding can be 
demonstrated by the student at a specific performance 
level" (AHEA, 1987). Topics that need to be included 
in a parenting program are: (1) value clarification, (2) 
self-esteem, (3) problem-solving techniques, (4) money 
management, (5) nutrition, (6) health care, (7) human 
sexuality, (8) responsibilities involved in being a par- 
ent, (9) child development, and (10) career planning. 
These ten areas may be augmented if the needs assess- 
ment shows that other content is needed. 

The program should provide skills for employ- 
ment and /or further postsecondary study. In addition 
to providing "hands on" experiences with their own 
babies or children, the program needs to provide pre- 
natal and postnatal care, education and counseling, 

46 ILLINOIS TEACHER, November /December, 1989 

family planning information for the father and moth- 
ers when possible. 

Child Care Services 

To receive "hands on" experience a day care center 
becomes an essential component of the program. Each 
i teenage parent would be expected to participate in the 
day care center for a required number of hours each 
month. Participation helps students learn the 
tremendous responsibility and skills of group child 
care and the extra effort needed to bring the baby to 
school each day. On-site services can enable the 
mother to continue her education. Adolescent mothers 
are more likely to take advantage of these services 
when they are readily available and built into an ed- 
ucational and support system (Holman & Arcus, 1987). 

Networking Services 

A number of successful teenage parent 
programs provide support and referral 
through the development of linkages among 
community agencies. These agencies include 
those that offer legal advice, health care, 
emergency funds, shelter and protection, 
substance abuse counseling and housing. 
Information about each "networking" service 
should include facts about the resources they 
offer and their availability (Burge, 1987). 

The practical experience the teen-parents gain by 
visiting resource sites such as the health department, 
extension office, police department, hospital, and li- 
brary, can help them overcome their fears and learn 
about the services available to them and how to take 
advantage of them (Langone, 1986). 

Most programs refer mothers to other social agen- 
cies within the community for specialized services on 
a basis of individual need (e.g., intensive social 
casework assistance). Some programs provide medical 
and nursing staff to give prenatal care to the students 
in the school classroom while other programs have 
arranged for the student to receive this care at a des- 
ignated clinic time (Wiley, 1983). 


Evaluation is an important component of any pro- 
gram. A well-thought-out evaluation plan can iden- 
tify accomplishments, illustrate strengths and weak- 
nesses, and provide data to be used for upgrading and 
' revising the program. Publication of the evaluation 
results can also keep the community informed concern- 
ing the benefits and impact of this teenage-parent 

program (Young, 1985). The merit of the program for 
individual students will be documented by the number 
of students who complete the program with proven 
curriculum competency. 

Job Placement/Follow-Up Services 

Some form of follow-up is important to the success 
of the program. Past experiences with various pro- 
grams have shown that when a program loses contact 
with the student after her baby is born or the student 
graduates from high school, some of the gains made 
during the student's participation in the program are 
lost. Although the limitations of staffing sometimes 
can prohibit a full fledged follow-up program, an 
"advocate" can be an effective follow-up for a pro- 
gram. The "advocate" must be a designated person 
who can be available to the teen-parent when a crisis 
occurs. This might be a counselor, nurse, teacher, pro- 
gram coordinator, or an aide (Wiley, 1983). 

The vocational guidance counselor or the voca- 
tional teacher could help with job placement for stu- 
dents who had vocational training during the pro- 
gram. Here again the "networking" with local com- 
munity services that have been involved with the 
program will be an asset in job placement. According 
to Burge (1987), "Community colleges provide another 
source for opportunities for furthering career education 
and vocational training for teenage parents." 


"Babies don't come with directions. They grow 
through love and understanding, guidance and pa- 
tience, knowledge and skills that can be learned" 
(AHEA, 1987). Home economists must continue to ad- 
dress this national crisis, and communicate to the pub- 
lic and our decision makers the important role of home 
economists and home economics programs (AHEA, 

The strength of the teenage-parent program lies in 
its cooperative nature and the integration of services 
from several different agencies which serve teenage 
mothers and their children. Promoting the much 
needed teenage-parent education program is where 
home economists can have a great impact. "Every 
community has the human and technical resources to 
develop such a program, but unless some person, group, 
or agency takes the initiative, the development does 
not take place" (Tucker, 1987). 

(Continued on page 49.) 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, November/December, 1989 47 


LIFESPAN: Experiential Learning 
About Family Development 

Benjamin Silliman 
Assistant Professor 
Family and Child Studies 
College of Home Economics 
Louisiana Tech University 

Home economics educators have traditionally 
been concerned with providing active, experiential 
learning experiences for students (Brown & Paolucci, 
1979; Sheek, 1984). Student observation of and inter- 
views with families have been used by social science 
educators with positive results (Gunter, 1974). In ad- 
dition to facilitating direct experience with a variety 
of family lifestyles and issues, self-directed partici- 
patory learning experiences help promote develop- 
ment of analytical skills and intellectual autonomy 
(Helm, 1987; Hultgren, 1987). Use of a wide variety of 
teaching methods in the classroom accommodates a 
variety of learning styles (Njus, Hughes, & Stout, 
1981; Martin, 1986) and presents a model of diversity 
in teaching for home economics educators-in-training. 
This paper discusses a project developed at Louisiana 
Tech University to promote experiential learning in 
an introductory child and family development class. 

Description of LIFESPAN Project 

LIFESPAN is the major out-of-class project in a 
sophomore level college class which examines growth 
and change in individual and family life from birth to 
death. At the beginning of the quarter students are 
given a guide to and explanation of the project. Re- 
quirements for LIFESPAN include the following se- 
a ) selection of a topic of study (varied by quarter) 

- stages/ types of families (newborns, preschoolers, 

school-age, teenage, college-age, young adult, 
middle age, older adults, ethnic families, single 
parent families, blended families, families 
with handicapped members); 

- dimensions of family development (physical, 
intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual); 

- issues for families (work and family, child care, 
drugs and alcohol, clothing needs, budgeting, ca- 
reer development, teen pregnancy, stress and 
coping, cohabitation, enriching marriage, di- 
vorce, remarriage, single parenting, aging par- 
ents, retirement, facing death); 

b) identification of a family to interview (her/his 
own or another; family can remain anonymous, but 
must sign release); 

c) selection and outline of a three to five page article 
from a popular magazine (Time, Newsweek, U.S. 
News and World Report, Psychology Today) on a 
relevant suggested or self-selected topic; 

d) development of ten interview questions (based on 
articles read) to be the focus of investigation with 
the family; 

e) interview the family, including as many members 
as possible and collecting slides and artifacts of 
family life; 

f ) write a short summary report of the interview [on 
a word processor (to facilitate computer skills)], 
including a description of the ecological setting 
(urban/rural, housing, family health and well- 
being), roles and personalities of individual fam- 
ily members, and the family's responses to five to 
ten of the student-generated questions (depending 
on length of interview); and 

g) preparation and delivery of a five-minute presen- 
tation that includes a summary of the article, a 
description of the family, and characteristics of 
family life development. 

Several insights for implementing a LIFESPAN 
project have been gained through experience. First, 
instructions and grading criteria need to be written out 
very clearly to help focus student energies. Clear in- 
structions would be even more important for imple- 
menting the research/ interview assignment with 
high school students. After the first term, examples 
of successful projects should be available to guide con- 
struction of new projects. Regular checks on progress 
will reduce uncertainty and procrastination among 
students. Careful class planning will insure inclusion 
of everyone without missing important lecture 
material. Upperclass student helpers will reduce 
workload on the teacher, especially if there are more 

48 ILLINOIS TEACHER, November /December, 1989 

than 30 students in class. Helping with LIFESPAN 
may provide these students with opportunities for 
practicum experience. Finally, positive feedback, es- 
pecially for the first group of presenters, serves to re- 
duce anxiety and reinforce positive models for present- 
ing LIFESPAN findings. 


Brown, M., & Paolucci, B. (1979). Home economics: A 
definition. Washington, DC: American Home 
Economics Association. 

Gunter, B. G. (1974). Using volunteer families in 
teaching family sociology. The Family Coordina- 
tor, 23(3), 261-268. 

Helm, G. R. (1987). Relationships— Decisions 
through the life-cycle: A course to stimulate 
thinking skills. Illinois Teacher, 30(4), 127-128, 

Hultgren, F. (1987). Leaping into the neighborhood 
where thinking resides. Illinois Teacher, 30(4), 

Njus, H. P., Hughes, R. P., & Stout, B. L. (1981). 
Cognitive style, teaching mode, and learning 
outcomes. Home Economics Research Journal, 9(4), 

Martin, R. (1986). Tools of the profession: Learning 
and thinking in home economics. Illinois Teacher, 
30(2), 54-56. 

Sheek, G. W. (1984). A nation for families: Family 
life education in public schools. Washington, DC: 
American Home Economics Association, 32-36. 

9{gthing maizes a person 
more productive than the 
tost minute — 


(Continued from page 47.) 

American Home Economics Association. (1987). At is- 
sue: Teen pregnancy. Journal of Home Economics, 
79(2), 63-64. 

Babies can wait. (1987). Forecast, 32(7), 18-19. 

Bleyer, D. R. (1987). Building vocational incentives: 
A prevention strategy for teenage pregnancy. 
Family Life Educator, 4(4), 16-17. 

Burge, P. L. (1987). Career development of single par- 
ents. Columbus, OH: ERIC Clearinghouse on 
Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, The 
National Center for Research in Vocational Edu- 
cation, p. 26. 

Chandler, R. M. (1985). Needs assessment: A frame- 
work for determining community needs. PACE, 
#33, Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Cooperative 
Extension Service, 1-4. 

Holman, N., & Arcus, M. (1987). Helping adolescent 
mothers and their children: An integrated multi- 
agency approach. Journal of Applied Family and 
Child Studies, 36(2), 119-123. 

Kenny, A. M. (1987). Teen pregnancy: An issue for 
schools. Phi Delta Kappan, 68(10), 728-736. 

Kister, J. (1987). GRADS— A successful model for ad- 
dressing the educational needs of school-age par- 
ents. Tips & Topics, 27 (\), 3. 

Langone, C. A. (1987). Teacher training for effective 
parenting education. Tips & Topics, 27(\), 5. 

Pecoraro, A. G., Robichaus, F. B., & Theriot, J. G. 
(1987). Teen pregnancy: Effect on family well-be- 
ing. Journal of Home Economics, 79(A), 7-10, 59. 

Tucker, J. L. E. (1987). Teenage pregnancy and parent- 
hood: How home economists can help. Tips & 
Topics, 27(1), 2-4. 

U. S. Congress. (1984). Carl D. Perkins Vocational Ed- 
ucation Act. Public Law 98-524. Washington, DC: 
U. S. Government Printing Office. 

Wiley, C, & Border, B. (1983). Teenage parenting ed- 
ucation: Program components. Nontraditional 
home economics: Meeting uncommon needs with 
innovative plans. Bloomington: IL: McKnight 
Publishing Company, 73-85. 

Young, M. (1985). Community support for family life 
education. Family Life Educator, 3(4), 20-22. 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, November /December, 1989 49 

Family Life: Using Premarital 
Agreements as a Teaching Tool 


Tommie Lawhon, Professor 
Child Development and 

Family Relations 
University of North Texas 
Denton, TX 

Home economics teachers have a vital interest in 
the development of the family and are constantly 
searching for new ways of guiding students so that they 
can reap the greatest benefits in the future. We are in a 
position to help students recognize that marriage is a 
contract between two people and the state which brings 
with it responsibilities, obligations, duties, and rights. 

Since marriage counselors have found that a com- 
mon problem among married people is a feeling of being 
treated unfairly (Gass, 1974), premarital discussions 
and agreements may have a positive effect upon the 
marital relationship. Some findings indicate that 
shared and agreed-upon roles, values, and goals (Bowen 
& Orthner, 1983), and discussions of personal feelings 
and concerns (Jorgensen & Gaudy, 1980) prior to mar- 
riage have been related to marital satisfaction. Un- 
happy couples tend to hold unrealistic expectations 
about marriage (Epstein & Eidelson, 1981), and myths 
contribute to these expectations (Crosby, 1985; Larson, 
1988). Certainly home economists help to dispel some 
of the myths and misconceptions. 

The recognition of personal feelings is related to 
successful marriage, and individuals contemplating 
marriage can evaluate their suitability by openly 
communicating their needs and desires. Couples profit 
from devoting time to the discussion of roles, responsi- 
bilities, expectations, career aspirations, and their 
feelings about children (Gullotta, Adams, & Alexan- 
der, 1986). 

*A portion of this paper was presented at the Annual 
Conference of the Texas Council on Family Relations, 
April 1988, Houston, Texas. 

Some students expect to live the life of Cinderella i 
and Prince Charming; when differences arise, they can j 
be devastating. Common sources of quarrels in marriage 
are related to money matters, different ideas on child I 
rearing, sex, sharing of household chores, and leisure 
time activities. When there is too much conflict, -, 
dissatisfaction can result in both people feeling lonely, 
unhappy, misunderstood, rejected, and insecure 
Havemann & Lehtinen, 1986). 

The Changing World 

Before entering into premarital discussions and 
agreements which involve many areas, including 
housework, child care, and employment, the growing 
trend toward the mother's employment needs to be con- 
sidered. Half of all married mothers, 9.5 million 
women, are in the labor force. Of these, 2.8 million 
have children younger than age 2; moreover, 50% or 
more of all mothers with preschoolers are employed. 
Seventy-one percent of employed mothers with chil- 
dren under 18 work full time (Children's Defense Fund, 


Dual-earner families are becoming the norm, an 
role overloads and strains are experienced by many 
households (Lawhon, 1984; Pleck & Staines, 1985). 
There are at least two possible solutions for this prob- 
lem. One remedy for this time and energy bind is to 
hire household help, and a second is for both parties to 
share the total workload at home and on the job 
(Berardo, Shehan, & Leslie, 1987). Some solutions or 
ways to avoid this type of role overload could be nego- 
tiated before marriage and then renegotiated before 
and after the birth of a child. 

Students need to explore new ways of planning to 
avert or remedy certain situations, and home economics 
teachers are in a position to encourage this exploration. 
Consider the growing number of problems associated 
with family life. Surely, some of these could have been 
avoided if more cautious premarital and marital plan- 
ning had taken place. In certain cases, parties may rec- 
ognize deep-seated problems that can affect marriage 
and family relationships. For example, one who was 
abused as a child is more likely to abuse, but by ac- 
knowledging and working through this problem, other 
avenues of behavior can replace the pattern learned in 
childhood. In 1986, an estimated 1.9 million children 
were reported abused and neglected. This represents 

50 ILLINOIS TEACHER, November/ December, 1989 

more than a 50% increase since 1981. Abuse can be in- 
flicted upon a child of any age, however, about 40% of 
those reported abused and neglected were of preschool 
age. Almost one-fourth were teenagers (Children's De- 
fense Fund, 1988). 

Problems and concerns centering around families 
seem limitless; however, with more realistic and atten- 
tive premarital planning and agreements, many 
hardships can be avoided. The growing number of 
homeless families with children, the increase in chil- 
dren being produced where the father is absent from the 
home, the continuing concerns centered around the col- 
lection of child support, and the growing number of fam- 
ilies living below the poverty level are but a few of the 
reasons for using open communication techniques and 
mutual agreements before creating families. 

The Purpose 

The basic purpose of the inquiry from which this 
article resulted was to find teaching methods that 
could be used in an effort to improve a student's chances 
of having a satisfactory marital relationship. This 
could lower dissatisfactions, disillusionments, divorces, 
desertions, separations, costly mediations and legal 
fees, and fights over child custody, child support, and 

Open discussions of potential responsibilities and 
an agreement upon acceptable ways of behaving could 
reduce marital failures and marital dissatisfactions. 
Some ways to achieve these goals are through ac- 
knowledging that marriage involves work, that fair- 
ness in marriage includes defining and observing each 
other's rights, and that the goal is to reach a level of 
agreement and practice that is acceptable to both. One 
method of recognizing and establishing these guide- 
lines and specific points is through a premarital 
agreement (National Conference of Commissioners of 
(Uniform State Laws, 1987; Texas Family Law Practice 
Manual, 1986). 

There is a growing awareness that some 
agreements are needed before marriage. Between 1985 
and 1987, 11 states adopted a "Uniform Premarital 
Agreement Act" (National Conference of Commissioners 
on Uniform State Laws, 1988). A premarital agreement 
is made by the prospective spouses whereby they agree 
to various provisions governing the marriage. Some 
(items that may be included relate to household duties, 
allocation of household expenses, provisions regarding 
ithe location of the couple's home, terms defining the 
structure and extent of the parties' marital 
relationship, tax liabilities, preexisting debts, record 
keeping, disclosure during negotiations, independent 
counsel, insurance, and other matters (Ingram & 
Johnston, 1986). 

Furthermore, Havemann and Lehtinen (1986) iden- 
tified additional items where agreements could be 
reached. Some of these areas were career development, 
family ties, friendships, religion, responsibilities for 
each other's parents and other relatives, birth control, 
money management, infidelity, household tasks, and 
division of property in case of a divorce. 

Other items that could be discussed are: mainte- 
nance of spouse and children, support of children by a 
previous marriage, property brought into and acquired 
during the marriage, and property rights upon the dis- 
solution of the marriage whether by death, divorce, 
annulment, or declaration of voidness (Ingram & John- 
ston, 1986). 

Individuals and conditions change, and adjust- 
ments and readjustments are necessary throughout the 
life cycle. Havemann and Lehtinen (1986) noted that 
the parties may want to set a time limit when the 
agreement expires unless both want to renew it, either 
in the original form or with revisions. 

Reasons for Opposing a Prenuptial Agreement 

A premarital or marital agreement will not neces- 
sarily be enforced in court. If there are concerns about 
how binding an agreement is or can become, persons must 
seek advice prior to the ceremony from an attorney who 
practices law in that state. It is wise to hire a personal 
lawyer or to postpone the wedding when there are feel- 
ings about fairness, even before the marriage. 

Another disadvantage is the possibility that a 
premarital agreement may be too specific to allow for 
flexibility. When an agreement is confining in all ar- 
eas, then the restrictions may lead to feelings of dissat- 
isfaction, and hostility can result. However, an 
agreement that is too vague or totally flexible can be a 
waste of time. 

Circumstances may change and one may be unwill- 
ing to modify the original plan. Conflict can result 
when one tries to live with an unworkable situation. 

Whether this is a disadvantage or an advantage 
may be debatable, but some relationships will wither 
during the discussions intended to lead to premarital 
and marital agreements. Talking about the realities of 
marital relationships and behaviors can dispel a num- 
ber of myths that certain engaged couples enjoy. Poten- 
tial mates may decide that they are not ready for mar- 
riage because of the multiple responsibilities; others 
may elect to find someone with more similar expecta- 
tions, values, and goals; and some couples may feel that 
they have a firm foundation for marriage. 

Reasons for Premarital Agreements 

Students will find that similar views will be eas- 
ily recognized when discussing some areas relating to an 
impending marriage; however, when negotiations are 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 51 

necessary and are entered into honestly and fairly, 
many differences may be resolved and compromises 
reached. Some areas to be discussed during premarital 
agreements in addition to those already mentioned ear- 
lier in the literature are reflected below: 

1 . To recognize joint and individual goals and priori- 
ties (Weitzman, 1981). 

2. To provide one form of safeguard for individuals 
who are incompatible but may not realize it unless 
they sit down and put their feelings into writing 
(Sheresky & Marines, 1972). 

3. To develop a contract to meet the needs and prefer- 
ences of both parties (Gullotta, Adams, & 
Alexander, 1986). 

4. To establish proposed timing for life events such as 
marriage and education (Weitzman, 1981). 

5. To agree upon the duration of the relationship as 
lifelong or renewed periodically (Weitzman, 

6. To consider each person's assets, incomes, debts, 
and financial obligations, and to determine 
whether resources will be pooled or remain sepa- 
rate (Weitzman, 1981). 

How Can A Teacher Help 

Many activities can be used to increase the 
likelihood of having successful planning for premarital 
and marital agreements. Some classroom experiences 
that encourage students to recognize and discuss poten- 
tial responsibilities that could reduce personal stress, 
marital failure, and marital dissatisfactions are of- 
fered below. These have been selected to complement 
the review of literature in this article. 

1. An experienced attorney can talk with the 
class about contracts, premarital and marital agree- 
ments, and the legal implications of marriage and par- 

2. "How much can you afford for housing?" is a 
realistic topic to be presented by a realtor or by a 
banker. The local classified advertisements provide 
the information necessary to ascertain the cost of 
rentals, leases, and home sales. Students could compare 
the cost of housing to their potential earning power. 

3. Guest speakers are good resources for present- 
ing points on "How our lives changed during pregnancy 
and after the arrival of the baby." 

4. "What if" games bring out feelings about 
home management and employment. For example, you 
and your mate are both employed full time and ride to 
and from work together. Upon arriving at home it is 
obvious that the floors need to be cleaned, dinner pre- 
pared, the dog fed, and the laundry run, but your mate 
sits down to watch three hours of television and expects 
you to do the chores. How do you feel? Did you have 
agreements about the division of household labor be- 

52 ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 

fore you married? How will you handle these tasks: 
(a) when you are initially struggling to establish your- 
self at work, (b) when there is an infant, and (c) when 
there are two young children? 

5. A spending guide or an annual budget is a ben- 
eficial tool for the class members to use as they work in 
small groups to determine how three couples, with very 
different income levels, allocate finances to meet needs 
and wants. 

6. Effective communication skills can be ob- 
served through selected media and explained through 
mini-lectures which reflect the differences between ag- 
gressive, assertive, and non-assertive techniques. 
Assertive techniques are helpful when applied to prob- 
lem solving, decision making, negotiating, and other 
methods of resolving or avoiding conflicts. Role 
playing may be utilized as a follow-up to illustrate the 
points clearly. 

7. Popular television programs which are built 
around the family unit can serve to illustrate how fam- 
ily and parenting philosophies vary from individual to 
individual and from household to household. The 
"What if" game could be used by the students as they 
determine with which family they would most like to 
live, which family member they would elect to be, and 
why they made those selections. 

8. Develop a time management plan for the cou- 
ple in #4 above that includes leisure time spent to- 
gether, time to be alone, time for utilizing stress-reduc- 
tion techniques, and time to complete the work at home 
and on the job. 

9. Comparisons of costs, quality, marketing, se- 
lection and care of food, clothing, automobiles, and 
other necessities might begin with student reports on 
student-selected items. Specialists can serve as invited 
guest speakers. 

10. Popular sayings include "Birds of a feather 
flock together," "Like father, like son," "Like mother, 
like daughter," "Daddy's little girl," and "Mama's 
boy." Students could speculate on the possible impact 
that each saying may have upon relationships during 
dating and marriage. They can also explore why it is 
essential to become well acquainted with a potential 
partner's family and religious beliefs and practices be- 
fore deciding or making a commitment to marry. 

11. Students who develop short- and long-range 
personal, career, and family goals will have a frame- 
work for decision making. A kickoff for the unit could 
be a brief vignette that includes a breakdown of illus- 
trative goals. 

12. Characteristics associated with successful 
marriage, like compatibility, cooperation, similarity 
of values, and the timing of major life events, could be 
discussed. Methods of encouraging the healthy devel- 
opment of these areas and the value of premarital and 

marital planning and agreements for the timing of ma- 
jor events like marriage and parenting may be explored. 

Any or all of the twelve experiences listed above 
will lead to more realistic plans for marriage and fam- 
ily life. Communicating expectations and establishing 
areas of agreement are important to one's feelings of be- 
ing treated fairly. 

How can a teacher encourage the development of 
premarital or marital agreements? First, a teacher 
might discuss some pros and cons of premarital agree- 
ments. Then each student could develop at least four 
lists: one to reflect personal contributions in a marital 
and family relationship, one to note what will be ex- 
pected of a mate, another to explore individual goals 
and priorities, and a fourth to recognize joint responsi- 
bilities. Once a list is complete, the students may move 
into small groups to share ideas and the teacher could 
direct the group discussion through pertinent questions. 

Following the presentation of all four lists the 
students could develop a premarital agreement based 
upon their feelings. The agreements may be collected 
and analyzed for logical reasoning, sequencing of 
events, and other factors that serve as keys on which a 
meaningful unit relating to some of the realities of mar- 
riage and family living might be developed or con- 

Negotiating abilities are important in sharing 
views. Teachers can guide students as they develop ne- 
gotiating techniques that may be used with peers, fam- 
ily members, and others. Some basic background on the 
art of negotiating is in the January /February 1988 issue 
of the Illinois Teacher (Lawhon, 1988). 


Considering the high rate of marital failure and 
marital dissatisfaction, the time has come to encourage 
students to explore methods that can lead to a greater 
degree of fairness in marriage and a more realistic atti- 
tude about marital dissatisfaction. Only through 
communicating can individuals and couples share and 
agree upon roles, values, and goals which enhance the 
parties' chances of marital success. One method of 
reaching a consensus on many issues that would be ac- 
ceptable to both is through premarital agreements. 
During these discussions there will be many opportuni- 
ties to observe temperaments, negotiating abilities, and 
perceptions regarding families, careers, and other mat- 
ters. This process can aid in dispelling some myths and 
unreasonable expectations which create conflict for the 
individual and the couple. 


Berardo, D. H., Shehan, C L., & Leslie, G. R. (1987). A 
residue of tradition: Jobs, careers, and spouses' time 

in housework. Journal of Marriage and the Fam- 
ily, 49, 381-390. 

Bowen, G. B., & Orthner, D. F. (1983). Sex-role congru- 
ency and marital quality. Journal of Marriage and 
the Family, 45(1), 223-230 

Children's Defense Fund. (1988). A call for action to 
make our nation safe for children: A briefing book 
on the status of American children in 1988. Wash- 
ington, DC: C.D.F. 

Crosby, J. (1985). Illusions and disillusion: The self in 
love and marriage. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. 

Epstein, N., & Eidelson, R. L. (1981). Unrealistic be- 
liefs of clinical couples: Their relationship to ex- 
pectations, goals, and satisfaction. American Jour- 
nal of Family Therapy, 9, 13-21. 

Gass, G. Z. (1974). Equitable marriage. Family Coordi- 
nator, 23, 369-372. 

Gullotta, T. P., Adams, G. R., & Alexander, S. J. (1986). 
Today's marriages and families. Monterey, CA: 

Havemann, E., & Lehtinen, M. (1986). Marriage & 
families. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. 

Ingram, D. O., & Johnston, D. A. (1986). Antenuptial 
contracts. In B. A. Kazen (Ed.), Family law Texas 
practice and procedure (pp. 10-1 - 10-73). New 
York: Matthew Bender. 

Jorgensen, S. R., & Gaudy, J. C. (1980). Self-disclosure 
and satisfaction in marriage: The relation exam- 
ined. Family Relations, 29(3), 281-287. 

Larson, J. H. (1988). The marriage quiz: College stu- 
dents' beliefs in selected myths about marriage. 
Family Relations, 37, 3-11. 

Lawhon, T. (1984). Work and stress: How do you help 
in the family? Journal of Home Economics, 76(4), 

Lawhon, T. (1988). Teaching students to negotiate. 
Illinois Teacher, 31(3), 134-135. 

National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform 
State Laws. (1988). Pocket parts. Uniform laws 
annotated. St. Paul, MN: West, 9B, pp. 6-7. 

National Conference of Commissioners of Uniform State 
Laws. (1987). Uniform premarital agreement act. 
Uniform laws annotated. St. Paul, MN: West, 9B, 
pp. 369-380. 

Pleck, J. H., & Staines, G. L. (1985). Work schedules 
and family life in two-earner couples. Journal of 
Family Issues, 6, 61-82. 

Sheresky, N., & Mannes, M. (1972). A radical guide to 
wedlock. Saturday Review, 55, 33-38. 

Texas Family Law Practice Manual. (1986). Austin, TX: 
State Bar of Texas, Council of the Family Law 
Section, pp. 31.1-32.35. 

Weitzman, L. J. (1981). The marriage contract: Spouses, 
lovers and the law. New York: Free Press. • • • 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, September /October, 1989 53 


Teaching Survival Techniques in A 

Changing World 

Irene Storrer 
Cimarron, KS 

As teachers it is our responsibility to teach 
students skills which will enable them to survive in 
this fast changing world of ours. Because I believe 
this so strongly, I tell my junior high home economics 
students and their parents that our three goals for 
the semester are to learn to read and follow 
directions, to listen and communicate, and to 
cooperate with others. These are survival skills 
usable every day of their lives, important skills in 
helping them cope with the problems they face 
today and the problems they will encounter in future 

Home economics is an ideal class for teaching 
students to read and follow directions. My students 
begin by learning to name the parts of the sewing 
machine and how to thread it by reading the 
instruction book. Their first project is a simple 
football pillow with four seams. A simple 
sweatshirt or jacket is their second project. 

I do not intend to make tailors out of these 
students, but I do want to teach them to read and 
follow directions. With this skill they can thread 
any sewing machine and even someday, if they 
desire, make a tailored suit. I tell their parents if 
they bring home a sweatshirt with one sleeve 
attached to the bottom, it's a sure sign they had 
problems reading and following directions. If the 
student brings home a completed, wearable sweat 
shirt, it's a bonus to our original goal of learning to 
read and follow directions. Learning to read and 
follow directions will not only help them thread a 
sewing machine, but it will also enable them to 
accomplish other tasks, such as turning on a computer 

and running a computer program, or filling out an 
application form. Teachers won't always be there to 
help, and students must learn to be self-reliant. 

I help my students accomplish our second goal, 
listening and communicating, by having them play 
with Tinkertoys. First I pair off the students and 
seat them back to back. Then I divide the Tinkertoys 
into numbered plastic bags, each containing exactly 
the same Tinkertoy pieces. One student begins to 
assemble his Tinkertoys. S/he is the communicator 
and is to tell her/his partner, the listener, how to 
put the Tinkertoys together. When the task is 
completed, the objects created should be identical. 
However, usually the two objects aren't exactly 

This activity gives us the opportunity to discuss 
the problems the students encountered in 
communicating. In our discussion students make such 
comments as: 

"S/he didn't describe the pieces well 

"S/he called them all little round orange 

"S/he talked too fast." 
"I couldn't hear her/him." 
"S/he didn't tell me left from right." 
"Did s/he mean her/his left or my left?" 
"It would be easier if we could ask each other 


After we've discussed these problems, roles are 
changed. This gives the listener a chance to become 
the communicator. 

To supplement the Tinkertoy lesson, I use a paper 
activity to encourage good listening skills. One 
person is given a paper with geometric figures drawn 
on it. S/he is to describe the drawing, and the other 
students are to copy it on their papers, following 
his/her directions and asking no questions. The 
results are similar to the Tinkertoy activity in that 
the drawings rarely look like the original. By 
understanding the problems involved in 
communicating, the students learn to become better 
listeners and better communicators. 


These activities lead naturally into our third 
goal: learning cooperation. No matter how good a 
communicator or listener may be, if one person doesn't 
choose to cooperate, the project can fail. Sometimes 
projects fail because one person doesn't understand 
how to cooperate. In order to cooperate the person 
must first understand the problem. S/he must then 
believe s/he can help, the instructions must be clear, 
and everyone must think of the other person as well 
as her/himself. 

In one activity I use to teach cooperation, the 
class is divided into groups of five or six students. 
Each group is given a large box of Tinkertoys. The 
students are encouraged to listen to directions, to 
communicate questions and ideas, and to cooperate in 
accomplishing the task. The task is for the group to 
construct one continuous model of as many Tinkertoys 
as it can in 40 seconds. Each group is to post its goal 
and is given time before we begin to plan strategy, 
but it may not practice. Most groups end up with sev- 
eral small models instead of one continuous model at 
the end of 40 seconds. This is a good activity to 
repeat several times, allowing students to plan new 
methods of cooperation for reaching their goal. 

This task is comparable to a business planning 
marketing techniques. The task force would read to 
see what marketing ideas had been used in the past, 
would listen and communicate new ideas, and would 
cooperate to create a new marketing strategy. If the 
students have difficulty in putting Tinkertoys 
together (and they do), how many more problems 
will they encounter in a real-life situation as they 
become business people? 

Another activity I use to teach cooperation is 
called Cooperation Squares. Before beginning this 
activity, we discuss what people need to know before 
they can cooperate. I ask them these questions: Can 
a fan who hasn't practiced play on a football team? 
Can someone without medical training help a person 
with a broken leg? Can a person with no mechanical 
ability help people with car trouble? When we 
play Cooperation Squares, the students are placed in 
groups of five. Each student is given puzzle pieces 
that will form five squares exactly the same size 
when pieces are exchanged with others in the group. 
They are not to talk and may cooperate only by 
giving some of their pieces away. Not only must 
each student work to complete her/his own square, 
but s/he must also be keenly aware of the needs of 
the others in her/his group. Each student is 
dependent upon other group members to see what 
pieces s/he needs and to offer them so s/he may 
complete her/his puzzle. S/he must first recognize 
the other members' problems. Perhaps they don't 
have all the pieces they need. S/he then asks 

himself/ herself, "Can I help?" (only if s/he has the 
piece and wants to offer it.). S/he must follow the 
rules of the game: no one is allowed to talk, no one 
can take pieces away from a member, members can 
only offer pieces. Finally, s/he must think of the 
other person as well as her/himself. S/he knows 
s/he's taking a chance when s/he gives his puzzle 
piece away. Perhaps the other person won't give it 
back when s/he needs it. But if s/he doesn't do 
something to help the team member, the group could 
sit there forever, or another team could win. 

After the students have assembled the squares, 
we discuss their feelings of frustration when one 
person held a puzzle piece another person needed to 
complete a square. How did they feel when a person 
withdrew from the group after s/he had completed 
his square? How can they use what they learned 
about cooperation with their families and friends, at 
school and later in business? 


I have attempted to teach both individual and 
group skills which students may use to address 
questions such as these: How do I use a sewing 
machine or a computer? How can we fix a bicycle? Is 
this garment washable? How do we make pizza? 
What do I do on this test? What needs to be done? 
How can I help? What is the problem? What is my 
assignment? How can we help balance the family 
budget? What makes the music group produce a 
pleasing sound? How does the athletic department 
develop a winning ball team? What will build 
better families and school systems? What makes a 
business run smoothly? We read and follow 
directions, listen and communicate questions and 
ideas, and we cooperate with other individuals in 
the group. 

Students begin by developing individual skills 
and ideas. They start by reading and following 
directions. They expand into listening to others and 
developing good communication techniques. They 
cooperate with each other for the benefit of 
themselves and for the group as a whole. Students 
begin to realize the importance of working together, 
whether within families, between friends, as co- 
workers, with community members, or even on a 
national level. • • • 

ILLINOIS TEACHER,November/December, 1989 55 

Content Analysis as an Innovative 
Teaching Technique for Home 


Paula W. Dail 
Co-Director and Leader 

of the Research Program 
Virginia Polytechnic Institute 

and State University 
Blacksburg, VA 


Although the term content analysis is only about 50 
years old, the concept itself has roots that go back to 
the beginning of our conscious use of symbols and lan- 
guage. Gradually, as magical interpretations of sym- 
bols were replaced by more systematic efforts to under- 
stand the use of language and characterizations as a 
means of communication, a method for accomplishing 
this task evolved. Today, the concern for symbolic 
phenomena has been institutionalized in literature, 
mass media, education, academic disciplines, practical 
pursuits such as political analysis, and so on. The 
primary concern of all of these is the function and ef- 
fects of the use of symbols, constructed meanings, and 
messages upon human behavior. 

As a result of massive advances in technology, the 
average individual is bombarded with various kinds of 
messages from a wide variety of sources. Some have ar- 
gued persuasively that this intensive exposure to vast 
amounts of information often surpasses the human 
capacity to readily absorb, process, and understand the 
full meaning of the message (note: for a more compre- 
hensive discussion of this issue, see Dail, 1987). How- 
ever, a reality of today's world is that it is possible to 
saturate our environment with information, accurate 
and inaccurate, good and bad, and needed and unneces- 
sary. Under these conditions, individuals often receive 
more information than they want, need, or is useful to 
them. Thus, it is appropriate to devise some technique 
to assist in managing the messages that are received. 
Home economists who, more than in any other 
discipline, teach about managing family and in- 
dividual life in today's more complex world, will find 
the use of content analysis an effective teaching tool. 

56 ILLINOIS TEACHER, November/ December, 1989 

Content Analysis as a Teaching Technique 

Because it permits meticulous inquiry into the com- 
plex structure of both written and verbal communica- 
tion, content analysis is one technique for processing the 
information that is presented. As the methodology has 
become more sophisticated, it has taken on greater 
significance as a technique for educating individuals 
about the subtle messages which flow through every- 
day life, primarily from the mass media. Becoming 
skilled in content analysis enables one to develop very 
useful critical thinking skills which act as a filter 
through which information may pass. In this way, it is 
possible to more fully understand the messages which 
are being received, and thereby avoid being victimized 
by incorrect, inaccurate, and unnecessary information. 

The technique is particularly useful with socially 
disadvantaged groups, who may be particularly vul- 
nerable to misinformation which may be forthcoming 
through various media forms, particularly television. 
These are individuals who commonly lack sufficient 
personal resources, such as education and money, and 
may not have had opportunities to learn to make ra- 
tional, thoughtful choices about managing the resources 
which they do have. This is a population which 
would benefit enormously by developing the critical 
thinking skills which content analysis as a learning 
experience can provide. 

The Basis of Content Analysis 

The foundation upon which content analysis is built 
is helpful background information for the teacher who 
uses the method in an educational setting. The tech- 
nique began as a research tool for the social scientists, 
and thus, has a research basis behind it. This is briefly 
discussed in the following paragraphs. 

Content analysis has been popular in the public 
domain for a long time, and is commonly used to deci- 
pher the meaning of information which appears in the 
mass media, particularly newspapers and television. 
Political analysts frequently use it to try to discover 
the real meaning behind public statements by candi- 
dates for public office, and even to predict election out- 
comes, based upon the nature of information which par- 
ticular individuals are sending. However, its use 
within areas of academic inquiry and as an educative 

tool is fairly recent, and has increased in popularity 
only as the methodology has become more precise 
(Dail, 1987). Most scientific, empirical research using 
content analysis methodology is relatively recent. 

Krippendorff (1980) has written a seminal text on 
content analysis methodology, thus permitting the 
phenomenon to become science. In this volume, he pro- 
vides a fairly comprehensive review of research using 
this technique. He fails, however, to address the use- 
fulness of the methodology itself as an educative tool 
which assists in uncovering the subtle messages which 
are present in language and symbols. Because of this 
omission, many researchers using content analysis 
methodology have not interpreted the findings with an 
educative goal in mind. 

More recent studies that have addressed the 
educational value of the findings from content analysis 
research include a study of prime time television 
portrayals of parenting behaviors (Dail, 1983; Way, 
1982); prime time television portrayals of the elderly 
in the context of family life (Dail, 1988); and 
observations of the consumer content of prime time tele- 
vision (Way, 1982). In each case, the findings from 
these studies were interpreted with a view toward the 
implications for curriculum development and edu- 
cational programs. Even so, the usefulness of the tech- 
nique itself as an educational experience has been 
i largely ignored. 

Content Analysis Methodology as a Teaching Tech- 

Using content analysis as a teaching technique is a 
scientific endeavor which involves three logically 
separate activities: design, method, and interpretation 
of the findings. It is important to note at the outset 
that content analyses, like science, are rarely ever 
completed. Although a good design will, in fact, an- 
swer some questions, it should also pose new ones which 
should suggest further investigation. When using the 
technique as a teaching tool, it is important to ap- 
proach the project with a scientific, investigative 
frame of mind, and integrate it into the curriculum in 
this light. 

1. Design - The design of a content analysis project 
involves nine aspects. The most relevant ones for 
teaching include: 

a . Applying a framework for content analysis. As 
with any scientific investigation which is motivated 
by a desire to empirically know or to better understand 
something, some framework for pursuing this end must 
be applied. Thus, the first step is to determine what 
the investigator really wants to know or find out. 

Second, a decision about what sources of informa- 
tion would best help to answer the question is made. 

For example, if one wishes to inquire into the nature of 
information being presented about family life for sin- 
gle-parent families, one would logically use data 
sources which contain information about various forms 
of family life, such as printed or broadcast media. 

b. Searching for suitable data. The source of the 
information for a content analysis project must be rele- 
vant to the project. Using the example of family life 
for single-parents again, it would be pointless to exam- 
ine sports magazines for the contents of messages about 
the child rearing styles in these families because the 
subject is not likely to be addressed by this media 
source. On the other hand, if one only wanted to know 
the frequency of the mention of single-parent families 
in popular magazines, it would be possible to randomly 
select from all popular magazines which are avail- 
able, and examine these for evidence of the appearance 
of information about single-parent families. The im- 
portant point here is that the source of the information 
must match the questions being asked. 

c. Searching for contextual knowledge. In order to 
justify any interpretation of the findings of a content 
analysis project, it is critical to have some empirical 
knowledge about the data themselves and what they 
may be saying, in the context in the larger society. This 
permits the investigator to put the information from 
the study into a suitable frame of reference and make 
statements about what it may indicate. In other words, 
if one were to find a very high incidence of the 
appearance of information about single-parent 
families, one could conclude that single-parent families 
are regarded as being a significant portion of the popu- 
lation and an important marketing group for the media 
to target. 

d. Developing plans for sampling. Once the in- 
formation source has been identified, some systematic 
way of examining it must be devised. This plan has to 
be detailed and explicit so as to result in a procedure 
which is replicable and accurate. To begin, the entire 
universe of potential data sources is identified (for ex- 
ample, print media). From this, specific sources are de- 
termined, based upon some predetermined criteria such 
as volume of readership. Once having decided upon 
which printed media to use (e.g., magazines and 
newspapers) it is obviously necessary to impose further 
limitations on the sample because it would be impossi- 
ble to examine all magazines and newspapers. The 
final sampling plan might be to randomly sample from 
the two national magazines having the highest 
readership in 1985 and from the Sunday edition of the 
three largest circulating newspapers in the country. 
The important key is to have some defined plan for ob- 
taining the sample for the content analysis. 

e. Coding the information. After having deter- 
mined the question to be addressed and the sample from 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, November/ December, 1989 57 

which to draw, it is necessary to decide how to code the 
information. Categories of information must be chosen 
and defined. Those who will be collecting the 
information must be carefully instructed in how to do so 
with the least amount of error. In looking for messages 
about single-parent families, for example, it is 
necessary to decide what constitutes a positive 
message, a negative message, or a neutral message. 
Each coder must be in agreement about these 

f. Analyzing the information. The information 
generated in content analysis is numerical data which 
are determined simply by counting the frequency of 
occurrence. Most often, data are analyzed using fre- 
quency distributions (which may include percentages, 
means and standard deviations). The techniques chosen 
to analyze the data depend upon the nature of the re- 
search questions being addressed. For ordinary class- 
room use, percentages and averages are sufficient. 

g. Quality standards. The quality standards of a 
content analysis refer to the reliability and validity of 
the findings. Standards of validity are much more 
powerful than the standards of reliability, but both are 
important, and if reliability levels are low, then the 
validity of the data is questionable. It is important for 
the teacher to be mindful of these concerns even though 
it is not likely that a classroom project can approach 
the rigor of a true scientific endeavor in these regards. 

2. Methodology - Ideally, the execution of a well 
designed content analysis project should be routine, fol- 
lowing the research design already determined. In re- 
ality, some problems are bound to emerge, and most of- 
ten these occur in the area of quality standards. If the 
validity and reliability of the data are below the min- 
imum standards decided upon in advance, then the 
design must be modified, keeping the overall goal of 
the project in mind. 

3. Interpretation and Reporting - This is an au- 
thoritative account of the project, describing what was 
done, why it was undertaken, what was accomplished, 
and what was learned. If the project has been designed 
as an educational experience, it is important to care- 
fully discuss what was learned in terms of skills gained 
by the student which may be generalized to other set- 
tings (e.g., an ability to more carefully attend to the 
contents of messages without automatic acceptance of 
the message as true). This is also the place to de- 
termine what new questions have emerged from the 
findings of the project. 

A Model for Designing a Content Analysis Project 

A content analysis project can be an exciting and in- 
formative educational experience which will finely 

58 ILLINOIS TEACHER, November/ December, 1989 

tune one's critical thinking and analytical skills. In 
the space following is a brief outline exemplifying a 
content analysis project which would be suitable for and 
useful in an educational setting. To maximize the 
educational benefits, it is important that the teacher 
fully discuss each step of this model with the students. 

1 . Design 

A. The Problem and Its Context - Today there is 
acute concern for the welfare of single-parent 
female-headed households, since more than half of 
families headed by females fall below the poverty 
line. Many argue that children in these families grow 
up disadvantaged for many reasons, chief among these 
being a lack of good parenting skills among single 

It is commonly accepted that television is an impor- 
tant source of information about various aspects of life, 
including parenting. There are many family-oriented 
programs presented on television, and media research 
has suggested that many people use television as a 
model for behavior, particularly when the situation 
being portrayed is relevant to the viewer. Thus, it is 
appropriate to examine television programs for their 
portrayals of single-parent, female-headed families in 
order to more fully understand the messages about this 
lifestyle which are being sent to television viewers, 
particularly single-parent mothers. 

B. The Questions to be Addressed - (Note: It is 
important to read about other studies on the topic 
which the project is designed to investigate prior to 
deciding upon the research questions, as the available 
literature on a topic can assist in clarifying appropriate 
issues to address.) 

a. How many single-parent, female-headed 
households are being presented on television? 

b. What is the parenting style of the single- 
parent mothers (e.g., authoritarian, 
authoritative or permissive)? 

c. What is the economic status of these 

d. What is the household composition of these 

2. Method 

A. The Sample - Prime time (8 to 11 pm EST) 
television programs meeting the following criteria will 
be examined for their portrayals of parenting styles of 
single-parent mothers: 

1 . program appears as a serial 

2. program appears for at least 13 weeks 

3. the central theme of the program is single 
parenting for females 

All programs meeting these criteria will be content an- 
alyzed for 13 sequential weeks of the regular viewing 

season. Summer reruns and commercials will not be in- 

B . The Data Collection Instrument - An instrument 
will be developed which allows for recording of the 
program title and air time, the household composition 
(mother, number of children, other adults present), and 
economic status. Parenting styles will be defined by 
ascribing appropriate descriptors to the terms 
"authoritarian," "authoritative," and "permissive." 
For example, an authoritarian behavior might be de- 
scribed as harsh, cool, unresponsive, demanding, reject- 
ing; while an authoritative parent might be seen as 
flexible, negotiating, expressive, firm but not demand- 
ing, etc. These descriptors are needed to insure that the 
findings are valid, and that the study is measuring 
what it intends to measure. Figure one is an example of 
a coding instrument which could be used for the type of 
study being described. 

C. Procedure - Everyone who is doing the project 
will learn how to identify the appropriate programs on 
television, accurately define the households, and ap- 
propriately identify authoritarian, authoritative, and 
permissive behaviors. There should be at least 85 
percent agreement among all who are working on the 
project as to the behaviors being coded. This procedure 
assures reliability of the findings. After it is certain 
that everyone is seeing the same thing, each person is 
assigned certain programs to watch for the 13 weeks of 
data collection. 

D. Data Analysis - This project intends to describe 
the parenting styles of single mothers. It also identi- 
fies how many programs about single-parent, female- 
headed households are presented, and the economic 
status and household structure of these families. The 
data are nominal (real numbers) and are reported as 
averages and percentages as well as actual numbers. It 
is also possible to make some comparisons. For exam- 
ple, one could compare whether or not mothers are more 
authoritarian towards daughters than sons, etc. 

3. Reporting 

After the information has been collected and ana- 
lyzed, the results are reported. At this time it is possi- 
ble to make inferences about the findings, such as 
whether or not these messages are positive or negative 
(e.g., authoritative parenting is generally regarded as 
ithe most positive.. .if the predominant parenting style 
appears to be authoritarian, then the message about 
parenting styles of single mothers can properly be in- 
terpreted as negative), and whether the messages are 
accurate (e.g., does economic status and household com- 
position accurately reflect the known social context of 
single mothers?). This process is generalizing from the 
actual information to the context in which it is seen, 
and allows for interpretation of the results of the study. 

A second, important aspect of the reporting process 
is to interpret the findings for their educative implica- 
tions. For example, if other single-parent mothers are 
seeing very authoritarian parenting styles being por- 
trayed on television, are they likely to model this be- 
havior in their own parenting? Is this information im- 
portant to know when planning parent education classes 
specifically for single-parent mothers? Students 
should also carefully consider what they learned from 
the process of a content analysis. Careful attention 
should be directed toward the accuracy of the 
information as well as how the student interprets the 
information for him/her self. 


The example of a content analysis project outlined 
in this paper is a very simple one. The process lends it- 
self to much more sophisticated efforts to unravel the 
messages being sent through various media forms. More 
complex research designs which are properly con- 
structed and executed can generate data that permit 
statistical analysis which will reveal comparisons, 
significant differences, and the discovery of even more 
complicated interrelationships among variables. 
However, as a classroom learning experience, the sim- 
plified version presented here is probably the most ef- 
fective and easily undertaken, and the desired results, 
which include development of critical and analytical 
thinking skills among students, will be accomplished. 

As noted earlier, the technique is particularly 
valuable when used among less advantaged student 
populations. These are persons who do not ordinarily 
have the needed family and social experiences which 
would foster critical thinking skills and enhance deci- 
sion making processes. The teacher who is able to assist 
the students in fully understanding the process of con- 
tent analysis as well as carrying through with a project 
as a learning experience will have given the students 
an invaluable life skill which will generalize to many 
situations and circumstances. 


Dail, P. W. (1988). Prime time television portrayals of 
older adults in the context of family life. The 
Gerontologist, 28, 5, 700-706. 

Dail, P. W. (1987, November). Technology and educa- 
tion: Some relevant philosophic considerations. 
Paper presented to the National Council on Family 
Relations Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA. 

Dail, P. W. (1983). Possible television influences upon 
parental socialization: Implications for parent ed- 
ucation. Dissertation Abstracts International, 44, 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, November /December, 1989 59 


Dail, P. W. & Way, W. L. (1985). What do parents ob- 
serve about parenting from prime time television? 
Family Relations, 34, 491-99. 

Krippendorf, K. (1980). Content analysis: An introduc- 
tion to its methodology. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage 
Publishing Co. 

Way, W. L. (1982, July). The consumer content of prime 
time television: Implications for consumer educa- 
tors. Paper presented at the American Council on 
Consumer Interests. Columbus, OH. 

Figure 1: Coding instrument Single parent household 

Program Title Coder: 

Time (1/2-1 hour): 
Household structure: 

# male children 

# female children 

# adults 
Occupation of parent: 
Approximate socio-economic level: 

Parenting Styles: (Each time a particular style or be- 
havior is observed, mark in appropriate box. Count 
ONLY behaviors by mothers toward their children. At 
end of each program, total each category) 










Tip-Offs to Quackery 

FDA and the Council of Better Business Burea 
provide these tips to protect yourself fror 

- Be wary if a product's label or advertisini 
promises immediate, effortless or guarantee 

- Be wary of testimonials in ads or on labels fror 
satisfied users. They rarely can be confirmed. 

- Don't be taken in by a "money-back guarantee. 
A guarantee is only as good as the company tha 
backs it. 

- Be wary of promises that a product is effectiv 
for a wide variety of ailments. 

- Be wary of promises of complete relief from 

- Don't be taken in by promises that a produc 
offers a "cure." 

- Watch out for claims that a treatment or product 
has been approved by FDA. Federal law doesn' 
permit mention of FDA in any way that suggest ' 
marketing approval for any drug or medica 

- Don't give too much importance to the tern 
"natural ingredients." The definition o 
"natural" is elusive, and the word is oftei 

- Look out for other misleading words such a; 
"amazing," "secret," "miracle," "special, 1 
"vanish," "painless," "discovery/ 
"breakthrough," "exclusive," "instant," 
"immediate," quick," or "fast." 

- If the product sounds too good to be true, il 
probably is. 

Reprinted from: 

FDA Consumer, Vol. 22 No. 6 
Department of Health & Human Services 
Public Health Services 
Food and Drug Administration 
Rockville, MD 20857 

60 ILLINOIS TEACHER, November/ December, 1989 

Building Self-Esteem in Middle 

School Students Through 

Home Economics and 

Industrial Technology 

Marguerite Mellin, Home Economics Teacher 
Beverly Forbes, Industrial Technology Teacher 
Forest Park Middle School 
Forest Park, IL 

Marguerite Mellin 

Beverly Forbes 

Teachers have always played an important role 
assisting youth in developing self-concepts. It has only 
been in recent years that this facet of teaching has been 
acknowledged as part of the teacher's responsibility. 
;(Beane & Lepka, 1984, p. 6) 

A student's behavior, in school and out, is primar- 
ily determined by what s/he thinks of her/himself. 
What the student thinks of her/himself is known as 
self-esteem. Self-esteem is an abstraction, a mass of 
perceptions, something that is not easily defined. 

Self-esteem and self-concept can be thought of as 
wo different perceptions. In this paper we will discuss 
self-esteem. We feel there is a difference between self- 
esteem and self-concept. Self-concept refers to the de- 
scription of self in terms of role and attitudes. It is not 
eferred to as a positive or a negative. Self-concept is 
only a description of the perceived self and does not in- 
volve a value judgement. Self-esteem refers to the 
evaluation one makes of oneself; more specifically, the 
jiegree to which one is satisfied or dissatisfied with 
>ne's evaluation, either in whole or in part. For exam- 
ple, an individual describes him/herself as tall (self- 
:oncept), s/he then says s/he is either happy or un- 
happy with the self-esteem. Self-esteem judgements 


are based on value indicators such as attitudes, beliefs 
or interests. 

Investigations employing diverse tests generally 
indicate persons high in self-esteem are happier and 
more effective in meeting environmental demands than 
are persons with low self-esteem. We find that those 
students who exhibit low self-esteem withdraw from 
other people and show signs of stress. (Lounsbury & 
Vars, 1978, p. 19) 

The idea of seriously trying to know oneself can be 
traced back many centuries in the history of music, art, 
literature, and other areas of the humanities. In recent 
years interest in self-perceptions has increased. This 
new movement is less concerned with the humanities; 
instead more emphasis has been placed on attempts to 
analyze the causes and effects of self-perceptions in 
terms of behavior, attitudes towards others, and 
achievement. It is the areas of attitudes towards oth- 
ers and achievement that I am interested in improving. 

As educators we are charged with the task of 
helping young people experience healthy growth and 
development. Today we know this means more than just 
intellectual and physical growth. We must help de- 
velop ways of nurturing personal and social growth. An 
educational program without an emphasis on enhancing 
self-esteem is an incomplete program. 

Junior high or middle school students are going 
through a period of drastic change in their lives. Men- 
tal and physiological changes are taking place through 
normal growth and development. Divorce, peer pres- 
sure, drugs and alcohol are but a few extraneous events 
that vie for attention during this stressful period. 

Self-esteem serves as the basis of reality for the 
middle school student. It determines what s/he sees, 
experiences and perceives. Adolescents tend to see that 
which is consistent with their already existing concept 
of self. Once affirmed, the self-esteem becomes some- 
thing of a screen or filter through which everything 
else is seen, evaluated and understood. There is a cir- 
cular effect to self-esteem. It tends to maintain itself 
and reinforce its existence. For instance, a major prob- 
lem often is a pupil's belief that he cannot spell. 
Rather than any inherent lack of ability to spell, be- 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 61 

lieving s/he cannot, s/he does not, and s/he avoids 
opportunities to try. This vicious cycle thus perpetu- 
ates itself. The same cycle can work in a positive way. 
If the self-esteem is a learned belief then positive self- 
esteem can be taught. This is a fundamental premise for 
middle school teachers who seek to guide youth in 
their quest for identity and maturity. Change comes 
slowly for those students with low self-esteem, but 
change does occur as conscientious efforts are made to 
facilitate successful experiences and to reinforce posi- 
tive actions. Students who believe they can achieve 
are much more likely to succeed. 

The exploratory areas of a middle school not only 
have the potential for numerous self-enhancing oppor- 
tunities but usually include them. Home economics 
courses, often misinterpreted as simply sewing and 
cooking, usually include extensive work in family liv- 
ing, human growth and development, child care, human 
relations and nutrition. (Beane & Lepka, 1984, p. 91) 
Industrial technology deals with such topics as tech- 
nology in American life, plastics, the metric system, 
wood fabricating and finishing, and home repairs. 
Home economics and industrial technology often em- 
phasize creating projects, repairing clothing, care and 
use of appliances and tools, and the opportunity to sur- 
vey career choices. Students have a chance to develop 
and use skills that are personally satisfying and some- 
times economically rewarding in terms of part-time 
jobs. Once considered a dumping ground for those unable 
to do brainwork, industrial technology and home 
economics have a major role to play in our technological 
society (Lounsbury & Vars, 1978, p. 88). 

Home economics and industrial technology are two 
disciplines that lend themselves extremely well to 
building self-confidence and self-esteem in everyday 
living situations. For example, learning to deal with 
their emotions through role-playing affords all stu- 
dents a safe means by which they can explore and prac- 
tice coping techniques. Role-playing manners and 
behaviors suitable for a dance or a date can be a way to 
avoid some of the apprehension and concern most ado- 
lescents might have for these activities. Working 
through situations beforehand allows the student to see 
what behavior patterns work and which do not. When 
faced with the real situation, s/he feels more confident 
and self-assured. A home economics course can deal 
with many of these situations in a nonthreatening 
manner, yet afford the practice needed to gain the 
required skills. 

Another aspect of the home economics curriculum 
that is particularly valuable for building self-esteem 
and self-confidence is in the area of decision making. 
Learning to make intelligent decisions is not an easy 
skill to master. One must work at it and practice! In 
home economics classes this process can be developed 

and practiced under guided supervision. Decisions 
about project choice, materials, equipment and proce- 
dures can be made. The student can practice the deci- 
sion process and see results in a short time. By using the 
decision model, a student learns to cope with problems 
and can then transfer this knowledge to other real life 

Another way that a student's self-esteem may be 
improved in a home economics class is through projects 
As a student gain skills, s/he becomes more confident 
and feels good about her/himself. Carefully chosen 
projects allow every student to achieve success; some- 
times in a group, as in a cooking class (being able to eat 
your project is very rewarding and satisfying), and 
sometimes as an individual, as in a sewing class where 
one is able to have a finished product to take home. 
Also, during the class time when skills are being 
learned and practiced students can help each other. 
Learning to help one another makes one feel s/he be- 

Devising a curriculum that includes opportunities 
for the student to show his/her work to his/her family 
and friends builds esteem and makes the student proud 
of his/her achievements. Fashion shows, luncheons, 
parties, and displays are all ways of showing off fin- 
ished work. 

Adolescents need to feel that they can participate 
in the larger world as well as in a classroom. Projects 
can be made for donation to a hospital or other worth- 
while causes. Making candy or cookies at Christmas 
time for food baskets helps give the satisfaction of con- 
tributing to society and less fortunate others. The stu- 
dent can feel a sense of pride that they can help others. 

Many of the skills learned in home economics are 
life skills, skills that are needed to live in everyday 
life. Such things as learning to budget money, shop for 
food, prepare food, care for clothing, care for children, 
etc. are things everyone in our society must know. Fami- 
lies are not always capable of teaching these skills. A 
home economics class can teach many of these skills and 
allow the students to achieve success at practicing 
these skills needed for adult life. 

One of the interesting facets of home economics ed- 
ucation that is often overlooked in scholarly journals is 
the opportunity to learn skills that can be used for 
hobbies and as leisure time activities. Being able to 
make use of free time in interesting and exciting activi- 
ties not only makes one feel satisfied, it also leaves one 
with a sense of well being. 

Finally, a home economics education can also be 
used to train for job skills. The students practice how to 
set tables, prepare and serve food, clean up eating ar- 
eas, safely store and preserve food and many other 
skills required of entrance level jobs in the food field. 
They may learn how to fill out a job application and 

62 ILLINOIS TEACHER, November/ December, 1989 

how to interview for a position. All of these skills will 
help to make a beginning employee ready and able to 
perform a job. The student has a chance to feel self-re- 
liant and comfortable with an unknown experience be- 
fore actually encountering the task. 

Industrial technology and home economics are 
courses that blends learning and project work. A per- 
sonal performance is demanded of each student. That 
performance may be solo or as part of a group. 

The student's first experience in our industrial 
technology lab is one of skill building. Some students 
bring with them basic knowledge learned at home; 
these students come with positive self-esteem. It is 
these students who are likely to be chosen as peer 
teachers later in the term. Others who are not as 
fortunate and are frightened to use the tools in the 
workshop gradually begin to lose that fear as they 
observe others working safely with the equipment. No 
student is made to operate any tool that he does not feel 
comfortable using. As the students learn the safety 
rules and procedures they gain the confidence to use the 
shop equipment. They are very happy to relate the 
fact that they were able to help their parents make 
various repairs around the house. This not only builds 
self-esteem but gives them a preparation for the life 
skills needed in our society. 

In the first class the students are allowed to chose 
their project from a list presented to them. That first 
project is one that is interesting to adolescents and 
teaches them basic skills using tools. The project may 
be a toy or game. Each selection affords the student the 
opportunity to personalize it in his or her own way. 
S/he may paint or woodburn his/her initials or a fa- 
vorite rock group insignia or the project may be left 
plain; it is all up to the individual student. By allow- 
ing adolescents to make decisions and to receive posi- 
tive feedback, positive self-esteem is enhanced. 

A computer-aided design program is a popular 
project. This not only gives students who are interested 
in computers a chance to be creative but it also demon- 
strates the state of the art methods employed by indus- 
try in the field of drafting, architecture and industrial 
design. The finished printouts look professional. The 
student receives positive feedback not only from 
students but from family and staff as well. Comments 
like "You didn't do that, did you?" are not uncommon. 

Students with low self-esteem usually avoid in- 
terpersonal contacts to insure that they do not get nega- 
tive feedback regarding their perceived inabilities. A 
mass production unit is a good exercise for these stu- 
dents. In this project they must all work together. The 
members of each group are randomly selected. The 
group is then allowed to vote for officers in their com- 
pany. A chairman of the board is selected, vice presi- 
dent and so on down the line. Stock certificates are then 

sold to obtain capital; a project is selected and made 
and sold; and the dividends are distributed. Each stu- 
dent in the group has a specific job along with being on 
the assembly line. A student who shies away from re- 
sponsibility is usually pushed by the others in the 
group. This activity allows the student with low self- 
esteem to receive positive feedback from his/her peers, 
it helps her/him identify a strength s/he may have 
and improve her/his own concept of self-worth. It puts 
her/him in a position where s/he must interact with 
others. A positive experience is usually gained by ev- 
eryone involved in the group. This not only teaches 
self-esteem but helps explain the process of American 
industry and how the various jobs are interrelated. 

One of the activities the students enjoy the most is 
one that involves giving. It makes the students feel 
that they are special. Each class designs and makes 
toys, games, puzzles, jewelry holders, pencil holders or 
any similar project. Each project is somehow per- 
sonalized by the student craftsman. Those students who 
are better artists may paint or decorate the projects, 
those who are good at manipulating the power tools do 
the cutting, and the whole class gets totally involved. 
The students find their niche. This usually occurs 
around a holiday like Christmas, Hanukkah, or 
Easter. When the projects are all finished, bagged and 
tagged, the students go to the Shriners Hospital for 
Crippled Children and spend an afternoon with the 
patients. The students not only distribute the presents 
they have made but they make new friends and learn 
how some children their own age are coping with 
disabilities. Our students learn things through this 
project like self-esteem, a sense of giving to others, love 
and a sense of community. These are all important 
skills adolescents need in adulthood. 

Schools should be concerned not only with aca- 
demics but also with subjects that convey a satisfying 
lifestyle. It becomes the duty of every teacher to face 
his/her students with challenging situations and lead 
them not to a predetermined solution, but to their own. 
Industrial technology does not provide specific job or 
trade training, but provides insights into the processes, 
tools, and materials of American industry. Industrial 
technology is designed to provide orientation to modern 
industrial society and its problems through informative 
study and problem solving experiences. As with home 
economics, many of the skills learned in industrial 
technology can be used for hobbies and leisure time ac- 
tivities. These activities enhance the quality of life 
and make one feel self-satisfied. 

Some of the most important functions of a school 
today are those that may be emphasized the least. 
The traditional focus around academic disciplines does 

(Continued on page 67.) 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, November /December, 1989 63 



Tracking Down Good Nutrition 

in the Grocery Store 

Darlene Gubser 

Barbara A. Holt 

School of Vocational Education 

Louisiana State University 

Baton Rouge, LA 

Darlene Gubser 

Barbara A. Holt 

Foods classes hunting for good nutrition should find 
fair game in the local grocery store. Clues to nutritional 
quality can be spotted on food labels by students who 
see with trained eyes. The Food and Drug Administra- 
tion requires that every food label must state: 


the common name of the product, 
the name and address of the manufacturer, 
packer, or distributor, 

the net contents in terms of weight, measure or 
count, and 

the ingredients in descending order of predomi- 
nance by weight. 

Additional information on serving size, portion, calo- 
ries, protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins and minerals 
must be given on the label if any nutrition information 
or claim is made on the food package. 

In 1979 the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the 
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services de- 
vised a list of nutritional recommendations for Ameri- 
cans called the "Dietary Guidelines for Americans." 
These are: 

1 . Eat a variety of foods daily. 

2. Maintain a desirable weight. 

3. Avoid too much fat, saturated fat and choles- 

4. Eat foods with adequate starch and fiber. 

5. Avoid too much sugar. 

6. Avoid too much sodium. 

7. Use alcoholic beverages only in moderation. 

A grocery store tour can help students learn to track 
down information needed to follow these guidelines. 
By following a trail through six food areas-meats, 
breads, cereals, oils, dairy products and frozen conve- 
nience foods-students can learn to spot the best nutri- 
tional trophies. 

Meats: Fresh meats and poultry do not contain itemized 
labels that can be examined by the student, so the in- 
structor needs to point out the different cuts of meat and 
their fat contents. Good meat choices would be lean, 
well-trimmed cuts of beef, veal, lamb and pork with 
little marbling; chicken and turkey without the skin, or 
ground turkey, which contain only 15% fat; and fresh 
fish. Shrimp and crawfish are high in cholesterol, so 
these should be limited. Other sources of protein, such 
as dried beans and lentils and soy bean products, may be 
tracked down in other parts of the store such as the ce- 
reals section. Only six ounces of protein a day per per- 
son is recommended. Students may check the weight of 
a package of meat and decide how many people it will 

Breads: In touring the bread aisle, point out that just 
because a product is labeled whole wheat bread, it does 
not mean that the product is high in fiber. Keep an eye 
out for labels that say stone ground wheat, cracked 
wheat, or wheat bran to spot breads high in dietary 
fiber. English muffins and pita bread are among the 
low-fat bread choices. 

Cereals: Breakfast cereals are a source of B vitamins 
and fiber. Oat bran is a popular cereal due to its link to 
lowering blood cholesterol levels. The cooked oat bran 
and oatmeal cereals contain the highest quantities of 
oat bran. Good breakfast cereal choices should be low 
in fat-less than one gram per serving, which is about 
1/4 teaspoon-and high in fiber. Two to three grams of 
fiber per serving is good-four or more grams is excel- 
lent. (Continued on page 67.) 

64 ILLINOIS TEACHER, November/ December, 1989 

Marketing Home Economics: 

Let's Stop Assuming and 

Start Selling 

Machelle Bonde 

Home Economics Education 

South Dakota State University 
Brookings, SD 

Recently a great deal of attention has been given 
to the image of home economics, and the content and 
validity of home economics curricula has been ques- 
tioned. As our nation strives for excellence in educa- 
tion and a "back to the basics" approach, there have 
been fears that home economics programs might be 
eliminated. There has been a substantial increase in 
required courses for high school students. These re- 
quirements have left students with very few elective 
choices in their secondary plans of study. This situa- 
tion has led many schools to become selective in their 
elective course offerings. 

During the past few years, I have given some 
thought to my future as an instructor of home economics 
and the future of the course of study I hold so dear to 
my heart. I have always believed that since the life 
skills I am teaching are important and relevant to to- 
day's youth, no board of education would ever consider 
eliminating them. I discovered, however, that there 
is one major flaw in this line of thinking. I have my 
curriculum, ideas, and philosophies so clearly in mind 
that I tend to assume that others know and understand 
my program and its importance as well as I do. I as- 
sumed that after thirteen years in the same school 
system, everyone in the community knew why my 
home economics program was all about. I had made an 
incorrect assumption. 

I revise all of my courses each summer to keep 
them current and relevant to today's lifestyles. I as- 
sumed that their content communicated their value. I 
assumed that because my carefully prepared plan of 
study, including my conceptual outlines and task com- 
petency lists, was on file in the school office, the 
board members and administrators had carefully stud- 

ied it. By keeping my course content and my plans cur- 
rent, I believed that I was communicating and portray- 
ing a positive image that would demonstrate the va- 
lidity of my program. These were all incorrect as- 
sumptions. I have learned that we must verbally 
communicate about our programs directly to others if 
we want them to receive an accurate message. 

Our board of education, faced with enrollment de- 
clines and a tightening of the budget, decided to re- 
view the programs and curricula in our school system. 
One by one each department was given a chance to 
meet with the board of education and administration 
to explain its course of study. 

As I started thinking about how I might present 
all of the important concepts I cover in my home eco- 
nomics courses, I realized that I had probably been as- 
suming too much and selling too little. I was suddenly 
faced with the need to prepare a thirty minute presen- 
tation which would cover the important concepts from 
each course I teach. This seemed to be an impossible 

I was certain of one fact. I needed an absorbing 
presentation to which board members could relate 
based on their diversified life situations. I reviewed 
my conceptual outlines. I realized that it would be 
impossible to cover everything I teach in all of my 
courses in thirty minutes. My husband, a marketing 
instructor and professional sign painter, assisted me 
in narrowing down the concepts to issues that could 
easily be understood by those without a home eco- 
nomics background. He helped me develop a market- 
ing strategy for my program emphasizing the life 
skills through a series of posters. Each poster pre- 
sented a series of questions. My goal was for each of 
the board members to answer "yes" to every question. 
After reviewing the question, I discussed how my 
classes address these issues. 

The questions I selected to emphasize the impor- 
tance of my program were simple, but important. (In 
fact, perhaps the simplicity was the reason I had as- 
sumed that the administration and board of education 
knew the contributions home economics could make to 
students' educations and lives.) The questions I pre- 
sented to the board members are listed below: 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, November/ December, 1989 65 

7th Grade Skills for Adolescence 

Have You ever: 

lacked confidence? 
set goals? 

lacked self-control? 
made a decision? 
experienced a family concern? 
worked with peers? 
needed to communicate your feelings? 
explored your potential? 

made decisions about alcohol, tobacco, and other 

8th Grade Home Economics 

Have you ever needed to: 
be a wise shopper? 
know your rights? 
schedule your time? 
manage your money? 
conserve resources? 
select and care for clothing? 
care for your home and keep it safe? 
hire a qualified, responsible person to care for 

your children? 
use equipment and appliances? 
know what foods are good for you? 

Home Economics I 

Have you ever needed to know about: 
leadership roles? 
planning your career? 
high tech equipment? 
making choices and setting priorities? 
making responsible teenage decisions, such as 

those related to dating, pressures, sex? 
financial decisions? 
caring for young children? 
furnishing a room? 
planning space and storage needs? 
planning and preparing a family meal? 
the future? 

interpreting a direction sheet or recipe? 
repairing your clothing? 


Have you ever experienced: 
communication problems? 
stress or depression? 
the need to improve yourself? 

pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting? 

a lack of money? 

a family crisis? 

concern for today's families? 

Have you ever attempted: 

using a budget? 

using credit? 

setting up and managing your first home? 

managing your energy between home and work re- 

working with a child or adult with special 

coping with new trends and technology? 

Housing and Home Furnishings II 

Have you ever: 

rented, bought, or built a home? 

read a blueprint? 

purchased and used major appliances? 

furnished your home on a budget? 

experienced home maintenance problems? 

Textiles and Clothing II 

Have you ever needed to: 

purchase clothing for your family? 
have clothing altered? 
have a cost-effective wardrobe? 
make a good first impression? 
dress for success? 

Food and Nutrition II 

Have you ever had to: 

plan and prepare meals for your family? 
simplify meal preparation? 
safely store or preserve food? 
save money at the grocery store? 

Healthy Lifestyles 

Have you ever been concerned about: 

your health? 



weight control? 

what food to eat? 

food quackery? 

substance abuse? 

current nutritional issues, such as fat and choles- 
terol, fiber, sodium, caffeine, or supplements? 

diets for special groups, such as the elderly, chil- 
dren, or athletes? 

66 ILLINOIS TEACHER, November/December, 1989 

Have you ever felt the need for personal skills for 
living in today's complex and fast-paced society? 

I also felt it would be important for each board 
member to have information to take home with them, 
so I prepared packets for each of them. These con- 
sisted of abbreviated conceptual outlines for each 
course that I teach. I color-coded each outline, so 
they could easily see how the basic skills provided 
by home economics apply to other areas such as social 
sciences, science and health, math, reading and writ- 
ing, and oral communication. For example, the stud- 
ies of food preservation, and alcohol, tobacco and 
other drugs were coded for the application in science 
and health. The studies of marketing and budgeting 
the food dollar and using credit were coded for their 
relationship to math. 

I also stressed the importance of integrated 
Future Homemakers of America activities to make 
home economics learnings come to life. I shared my 
students' experiences in applying child development 
and foods and nutrition learnings as they developed 
and taught lessons on nutritious snacks and safety to 
elementary students as a Future Homemakers of 
America project. 

The end result of this challenging, yet rewarding, 
experience was an informed, impressed and support- 
ive board of education and administration. I am con- 
vinced that home economics teachers need to stop as- 
suming others know what we teach and start selling 
our home economics programs. When we take the 
time to communicate about home economics, it can sell 
itself. • • • 

(Continued from page 63.) 

not adequately reflect the varied purposes of an 
education, in particular those dealing with personal 
development and socialization. 

Both industrial technology and home economics 
courses can offer much in this area. They can 
contribute to establishing well developed individuals 
who have pride in their work, and who can contribute 
successfully to our society. 


Beane, J. A., & Lepka, R. P. (1984). Self concept, self- 
esteem, and the curriculum. Boston: Allyn and 
Bacon, Inc. 

Lounsbury, J. H., & Vars, G. E. (1978). A curriculum for 
the middle school years. New York: Harper and 
Row. • • • 

(Continued from page 64.) 

Oils: The total fat consumed daily should be about 30 
percent of the caloric intake. Of this, about ten 
percent should come from saturated fats, less than ten 
percent should come from polyunsaturated fats, and 
the remainder should be monounsaturated fats. 
Examples of saturated fats are palm oil, coconut oil, 
and solid shortening. Polyunsaturated fats include 
corn, cottonseed and soybean oils; and 
monounsaturated fats include olive and peanut oils. 
Safflower, sunflower and corn oils are good choices. 
All oils contain the same amount of calories. Some 
olive oils are marketed as "light," but this refers only 
to the color of the oil. 

Dairy Products: When a product is labeled "light" in 
the dairy section, such as "light sour cream," it indi- 
cates that the product is lower in fat than the normal 
product. Skim or 1 percent low-fat milk are excellent 
choices for milk. Yogurt and skim milk are good 
sources of calcium. To reduce fat intake, however, it is 
best to select low-fat or non-fat yogurts. Low-fat 
cheese choices are 1 percent cottage cheese, skim-milk 
ricotta, skim-milk mozzarella, and other "light-line" 
cheeses. Limit the use of cheddar, American, Swiss, 
Muenster, cream cheese, and Brie. Use these cheeses 
only for a meal, not a snack. 

Frozen Convenience Foods: These foods are usually 
very high in sodium and should be limited in the diet. 
The recommended daily sodium intake is 1,100 to 3,300 
milligrams. Many frozen dinners contain 1,000 or more 
milligrams of sodium per package. A few of the 
"light line" entrees have sodium levels between 500 
and 700 milligrams, but it must be pointed out that 
these are only entrees and the students will need 
vegetables, fruits and bread along with the entree to 
make a balanced meal. 

Other points of interest to be noted during the su- 
permarket safari are that items labeled low in 
cholesterol are not necessarily low in fat—peanut 
butter and potato chips are examples. Air-popped 
popcorn is the best choice of popcorns— many 
microwave popcorns are packaged in saturated fats, so 
examine the labels closely. Sorbets and fruit ices are 
the best choices for frozen desserts because of their low 
fat content. 

A tour of the neighborhood grocery store can be an 
effective way to track down the nutritional quality of 
foods. But the supermarket can be a jungle for students 
who do not know how to look for clues. The home eco- 
nomics teacher can be a good safari leader and point 
out ways for students to get on the right track for good 
nutrition! • • • 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, November/ December, 1989 67 


Inductive Teaching: A Strategy 
to Teach Housing Concepts 

Deborah G. Wooldridge, Assistant Professor 
Home Economics Education 

Marge Sebelius, Instructor 
Housing and Interior Design 

Susan Ross, Graduate Assistant 
Home Economics Education 

Southeast Missouri State University 
Cape Girardeau, MO 

Educating students for the 21st century will re- 
quire that they be taught independent, higher order 
thinking skills through the use of cooperative and 
active learning (Task Group on General Education, 
1988). The development of these skills will facili- 
tate formal operational thinking in students. 
Therefore, teachers need to develop an awareness of 
how students come to understand, interpret, and inte- 
grate ideas (Thomas, 1987). The development of 
these skills and abilities in students will enable 
them to be lifelong learners. 

According to Piaget (1952), formal operational 
thought is characterized by the ability to think ab- 
stractly, and move from concrete to abstract thought. 
Students who think at this level are able to think in 
terms of "what if." They are able to see a variety of 
solutions and are able to use hypothetical reasoning. 

Students cannot develop formal operational 
thought processes through the use of dialogue, ques- 
tioning, and verbal expression. However, much of 
what takes place in the classroom is the teacher 
talking to the students with very little time allowed 
for the students to respond verbally. Paul (1984) ex- 
pressed the need for teachers to explicitly teach stu- 
dents how to develop and express opinions and this is 
best done through the use of dialectic skills. 

One strategy which teachers can use to facilitate 
the development of formal operational thought is 
the inductive teaching model developed by Taba 
(1967). The inductive teaching model used reasoning 
from which general principles are derived from par- 
ticular facts or instances. Taba's model develops in- 
ductive thinking processes through three stages: con- 

cept formation, interpretation of data, and applica- 
tion of principles. 

During the concept formation stage, students de- 
velop a general idea or understanding which encour- 
ages the development on conceptual skills. The 
teacher uses techniques such as listing, grouping, and 
categorizing to encourage concept formation. The sec- 
ond stage allows students to begin interpreting and 
generalizing information. The teacher facilitates 
this stage by asking questions and engaging in dia- 
logue with the students in a cooperative learning set- 
ting. Finally, the students are ready to apply the 
learned principles to new situations. At this final 
stage, students begin to further develop formal oper- 
ational thought by utilizing higher order thinking 
which is characterized by the ability to generalize 
from concrete to abstract situations. 

The following is a sample plan for using the Taba 
model to teach about furniture styles. The same 
model can be used to teach concepts in foods, nutri- 
tion, child development, personal development, etc. 



GENERALIZATION: The design of furnishings re- 
flects economics, social, political and religious influ- 
ences of the culture of origin. 

1. The student will identify furniture styles. 

2. The student will be able to discuss the relation- 
ships between furniture styles and the economic, 
political, social and religious influences on the 
culture of origin. 

3. The students will be able to predict the influence 
of the changes in the economic, social, political, 
and religious climates on furniture design. 


Phase One: The teacher and students will enumerate 
and list information which is relevant to the prob- 

Teaching strategy : The class will brainstorm the 
following question: What political events do you 
think of in relation to these countries and periods: 

68 ILLINOIS TEACHER, November/ December, 1989 

Italy, England, Ancient Egypt, France, Middle Ages, 
America, and Spain? 

Write each term on newsprint and record student 
responses to each term. Next, ask the students to 
name significant historical events and record the re- 

Phase Two: The teacher will guide students in group- 
ing information with similar characteristics. 

Teaching strategy : Provide students with picto- 
rial examples of furniture styles related to the terms 
used in Phase One. Students will then be asked to 
place the examples beside the term they think best 
fits the furniture style. 

Phase Three: The students will begin labeling and 
categorizing information which reflects characteris- 
tics of all items in the group. 

Teaching strategy : The teacher will use a ques- 
tioning strategy to probe the students' level of under- 
standing, how they interpret information, and how 
they are integrating learning. Suggested questions: 

1. Why do you place the (pictorial) examples 
in these categories? 

2. What similarities do you notice among the 

3. Why do you think all of the items belong 
where you placed them? 

4. Why are these categories appropri- 

5. What similarities do you see between what 
you listed on the newsprint and the exam- 

6. Are there any examples you would like to 

After the questioning strategy and discussion, allow 
the students to open a textbook that has examples of 
furniture styles. Ask if their categorization agrees 
with that in the book. How are they alike or differ- 
ent and how they account for the outcome. 


Phase Four and Five: The students will be able to 
identify and explore critical relationships among 
the examples. 

Teaching strateg y: The teacher will use the ques- 
tioning technique to probe students' critical thinking 
abilities. Suggested questions: 

1 . What similarities do you see between what you 
have listed on the newsprint and the (pictorial) 

2. What similarities do you see among the groups? 

3. What differences do you see among the groups? 

4. What kinds of relationships do you see between 
history and furniture styles? 

5. What evidence is there of relationships be- 
tween religious events and furniture styles? 

6. What kinds of relationships do you see between 
the political climate and furniture styles? 

Phase Six: The students will begin making inferences 
by developing generalizations from the pictorial ex- 
amples and discussion. 

Teaching strateg y: The teacher will utilize the 
questioning strategy to lead students to making gen- 
eralizations related to the information. Suggested 
questions are: 

1 . What conclusions can you draw from what is 
listed on the newsprint and the pictorial ex- 

2. What does this mean? 

3. When you hear the terms related to furni- 
ture styles, what mental picture is created? 

4. In what ways does the economic climate af- 
fect furniture design? 

5. In what ways do social attitudes influence 

6. In what way(s) is design influenced by be- 
liefs and ideologies? 

7. In what ways do religious values influence 


Phase Seven: Students will predict consequences and 
explain unfamiliar phenomena by stating hypothe- 
ses on the generalizations or showing evidence of 
moving from concrete to abstract thought. 

GENERALIZATION: The design of furnishing re- 
flects economic, social, political and religious influ- 
ences of the culture of origin. 

Teaching strategy : The questioning strategy will 
be utilized again. Suggested questions: 

1. What would happen to furniture styles if a 
law were passed which banned the use of 
wood in furniture construction? 

2. Many furniture materials are petroleum 
based. How are families likely to be affected 
if the cost of producing furniture made of nat- 
ural resources increases? 

3. Taking current affairs into account, what 
changes might take place in furniture design 
by the year 2020? 

Next, discuss the consequences of the changes on fur- 
niture styles and how these changes will affect the 
family. (Continued on page 71 .) 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, November/December, 1989 69 

Clearing Up the Confusion About 


Reprinted from: 
Food Insight 

International Food Information Council 
Spring 1989 
1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. 

Suite 717 
Washington, DC 20004 

Cholesterol. The word conjures up images of arter- 
ies clogged with fat, prohibiting the passage of life- 
giving blood. 

In an attempt to avoid this terrible fate, some in- 
dividuals shun eggs, beef and other cholesterol-rich 
foods. But the specific degree to which dietary 
cholesterol raises blood cholesterol levels is not clear. 

Further confusing the issue, professionals and the 
public alike often use the terms "dietary cholesterol" 
and "blood cholesterol" synonymously. What is the 
difference? Is it important? In its ongoing look at far 
in our diets, Food Insight examines the confusion about 

Blood vs. Dietary Cholesterol 

Technically, cholesterol is not a fat, but rather a 
fat-like substance classified as a lipid. Cholesterol is 
vital to life and is found in all cell membranes. It is 
necessary for the production of bile acids and steroid 

Actually, most of the cholesterol in the blood is 
manufactured by the body, usually about 800-1,500 
milligrams a day, compared with 400-500 milligrams 
consumed daily by the average American in foods. 

It travels through the blood via particles called 
lipoproteins — combinations of lipids and proteins. 
Too much cholesterol can build up in the blood and ac- 
cumulate in the walls of the blood vessels, a condition 
known as atherosclerosis. This can ultimately reduce 
the flow of blood in major arteries. 

Although high serum or blood cholesterol has 
been identified as one of the significant risk factors in 
the development of coronary heart disease (CHD), 
the cholesterol we eat — or dietary cholesterol — is just 
one factor influencing blood cholesterol levels. 

And many experts say that's the case only for 
some people rather than the entire population. For 
others, the cholesterol content of the diet may have 

little effect. As few as 10- to 20- percent of adults may 
actually experience lower blood cholesterol levels as 
a result of eating less dietary cholesterol. 

In fact, for most people at risk, heredity is a 
stronger predictor of cholesterol levels than diet. Re- 
gardless of how little fat or cholesterol they eat, 
their bodies produce excess amounts of cholesterol 
that can spell trouble. Scientists may one day be able 
to identify a gene or phenotype that is carried by such 
"cholesterol responsive" individuals. 

From a public health perspective, dietary recom- 
mendations from the government and most major 
health associations advise reducing dietary choles- 
terol as well as the total fat and saturated fat intake 
to control risk for coronary heart disease. 

Coronary Heart Disease 

Risk factors for CHD include some beyond our con- 
trol — such as heredity, age, race and sex — as well as 
those which we can influence. For example, in addi- 
tion to reducing high blood cholesterol levels, we can 
reduce our risk of heart disease by avoiding cigarette 
smoking, controlling high blood pressure, preventing 
obesity, getting adequate exercise and managing 
stress. For those with diabetes, controlling blood glu- 
cose levels also is important. 

Blood cholesterol reflects the amount of three 
major classes of lipoproteins: very-low-density 
lipoproteins (VL DL), low-density lipoproteins 
(VDL), which contains most of the cholesterol found 
in the blood, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). 
LDL seems to be the culprit in CHD and is associated 
with cholesterol deposits on artery walls. 

In contrast, HDL is increasingly seen as more de- 
sirable. Recent studies indicate that the more HDL in 
the blood, the lower the risk for developing CHD. 
HDL apparently carries cholesterol out of the blood 
and back to the liver for breakdown and excretion. 

Therefore, LDL is the actual target for cholesterol 
reduction efforts. But because LDL contains most of the 
cholesterol in the blood, total cholesterol is more eas- 
ily measured as the first indicator of the relative risk 
for development of CHD. 

The average level of blood cholesterol in the U.S. 
adult population is approximately 210-215 mil- 
ligrams/deciliter (mg/dl). The National Heart, Lung 
and Blood Institute's National Cholesterol Education 

70 ILLINOIS TEACHER, November/December, 1989 

Program (NCEP) classifies risk for heart disease 
based on total blood cholesterol levels as follows: 

Under 200 md/dl— Desirable 
200-239 mg/dl— Borderline-High 
240 mg/dl— High 

NCEP recommends that individuals with choles- 
terol readings of 200 mg/dl and above — about half of 
all Americans — should have these readings confirmed 
through another test. Persons with borderline — high 
or high levels and having two CHD risk factors or di- 
agnosed CHD, should also have their lipoprotein 
levels analyzed, particularly the amount of LDLs and 

All adults over the age of 20 with desirable 
cholesterol levels should have their cholesterol lev- 
els rechecked every five years. 

Dietary Management 

NCEP recommends dietary modification as the 
first treatment for elevated blood cholesterol. The 
recommendations are designed to reduce intake of sat- 
urated fat and cholesterol and to promote weight loss 
for those who are overweight. 

NCEP recommends to first limit total fat to less 
than 30 percent of calories, saturated fat to less than 
10 percent of calories and cholesterol to less than 300 
milligrams daily — guidelines similar to those es- 
poused by most health authorities today. 

If that approach fails to reduce blood cholesterol 
after a six-month trial, NCEP recommends a harder 
line. Saturated fat is further decreased to 7 percent of 
calories and cholesterol dropped to no more than 200 
milligrams per day for another six months. If LDL 
levels cannot be reduced, drug therapy may be tried 
along with continued adherence to the diet. 

The Bottom Line 

Although dietary cholesterol may not play the 
major role in the development of CHD as once 
thought, Americans are likely on the right track 
when consuming moderate amounts of high-choles- 
terol foods. 

But perhaps the most important point to keep in 
mind when developing a plan to prevent CHD is that 
many factors are involved. And it's difficult to sepa- 
rate the impact of one factor from another. Alone, re- 
ducing cholesterol in the diet may have little effect. 

The best approach to avoid America's number one 
killer appears to be: a well-balanced diet, plenty of 
exercise, maintaining proper weight, avoiding smok- 
ing and getting prompt, effective treatment of diseases 
such as high blood pressure and diabetes. 

(Continued from page 69.) 

Phase Eight: The students will explain and provide 

supporting evidence for their predictions. 

Teaching strategy : Place students in groups and 
have them identify evidence that supports or 
negates a selected prediction. Then have them pre- 
sent the evidence to the class. A discussion will fol- 
low each presentation to help students clarify flaws 
in their logic. 

Phase Nine: The students will verify the predic- 

Teaching strateg y: During this phase, the 
teacher will help the students investigate political, 
social, economic, and religious trends to support their 


The home economics profession has evolved from 
an interdisciplinary model. The curriculum being 
taught in the secondary classroom is also interdisci- 
plinary in nature. The inductive thinking model in 
teaching can help students see interrelationships 
among subjects and between subjects and real life situ- 
ations. If students are to be lifelong, global, holistic 
thinkers they must be able to see the interdisci- 
plinary nature of knowledge. 


Craig, H. (1987). Homes with character. New 
York: Lipincott. 

Lewis, E. L. (1987). Housing decisions. South 
Holland, IL: Goodheart-Wilcox Publishers. 

Whiton, S. (1974). Interior design and decoration. 
South Holland, IL: Goodheart-Wilcox 

Sebelius, M. S. (1989). Housing, home furnishings, 
and equipment. Columbia, MO: Instructional 
Materials Laboratory, University of Missouri- 


East, M. (1980). Home economics: Past, present, and 
future. Boston, Mass.: Allyn & Bacon, Inc. 

Paul, R. (1984). Critical thinking: Fundamental to 
education for a free society. Educational 
Leadership, 42(1), 4-15. 

Piaget, J. (1952). The origins of intelligence in chil- 
dren. New York: International University Press. 

Taba, H. (1967). Teachers handbook for elementary 
social studies. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley 

(Continued on page 78.) 

ILLPNOIS TEACHER, November /December, 1989 71 

The Issue of Curriculum Change in 

Clothing Studies 

Susan G. Turnbull, Head 
Department of Clothing & Textiles 
Faculty of Human Ecology 
University of Manitoba 
Winnipeg, Canada 


Early in the twentieth century, English philoso- 
pher and educator Herbert Spencer (1905) posed the 
question: what knowledge is of most worth? The ques- 
tion continues to be a critical one for educators today. 
As knowledge changes and expands, the change itself is 
a dominant force that ensures a continuing difference in 
our lives. In the discipline of clothing and textiles, ed- 
ucators are cognizant of the need for change, and are 
constantly searching for ways of changing most effec- 

This paper explores issues relevant to change in the 
clothing studies curriculum. General educational 
change, home economics factors, and details of clothing 
studies content, teachers, and planning for the future 
will be discussed along with recommendations for 
teachers' involvement in curriculum planning. 

Educational Change 

Societal trends are recognized as influencing school 
curricula. Many authors agree that schools must be 
viewed as an integral part of the larger societal unit, 
and as such, curriculum perspectives must reflect society 
as society changes (Smith & Cox, 1976; Tyler, 1962, Van 
Til , 1974). However, some authors warn against plac- 
ing undo importance on the need to reform for reform's 
sake (Winn, 1983). 

The concept of change agents, first developed by 
Havelock in 1973, has meaning in the educational con- 
text. Agents of change were defined as individuals or 
groups of people with direct impact on educational 
change, being either inside or outside of the system. 
Goodlad (1975) build on Havelock's ideas by suggesting 
that schools themselves are agents of and for change. 

In Canada, Leithwood (1982) examined the broad 
field of decision-making in curriculum. Initially he 
commented that agents of change, as single units, often 
do not have a complete conception of the change pro- 
cess. He brought together many theories to form a con- 

ceptual framework of decision-making which would 
recognize the numerous incremental parts and stepwise 
progression of curriculum change. Within the frame- 
work he included teachers as agents in the educational 

Relevancy of educational curriculum is championed 
by many education experts. Chan (1984) examined the 
Canadian situation and stated that curriculum can be 
composed of subject areas perceived to be relevant to the 
present and future needs of the learners. He acknowl- 
edged that questions such as who does the perceiving 
and who assesses the student needs must be addressed. 

Several of the theories that place educational 
change in a futuristic frame are particularly relevant to 
this discussion. Tyler (1962) and Beck, Bernier, Mac- 
donald, Walton & Willers (1968) described the impor- 
tance of the relationship between societal trends and 
school curricula. Dyer (1984) and Gibbons (1984) identi- 
fied the need for educators, especially teachers, to con- 
tinually alter their performance vis a vis the 
"knowledge explosion" and changing social circum- 
stance. And both Chan (1984) and Leithwood (1982) 
emphasized the requirement for relevant future change 
in education, reinforcing the premise that educational 
change should be examined within the larger context of 
general social change. 

In addition to needed curriculum change, the recog- 
nition of the importance of teachers in the process is 
well documented (Chan, 1984; Common, 1983; 
Havelock, 1973; Hill, 1979). Research quantifying the 
perceived importance of teachers in the curriculum 
decision-making process was conducted in Ontario. 
Connelly, Kormos and Enns (1982) recognized the wide 
variety of sources of influence in the overall provincial 
curriculum establishment. While noting the great 
diversity in the data collected, their research showed 
that teachers ranked highest in perceived overall 
influence for both sample groups of teachers and 
administration-related personnel. 

The importance of teachers in the curriculum sphere 
was underscored by Morris (1982), who reviewed much 
of the work of futures-related educational theorists. 
He summarized the findings, and noted that futures-re- 
lated educational theory generally consisted of the 
change, conscious awareness, and cooperation. Morris 
agreed with Fullan (1982), who said that educators 

72 ILLINOIS Teacher, November /December, 1 989 

should concentrate upon "designing a curriculum of 
change, not merely a changing curriculum." 

Home Economics 

Individuals making curriculum decisions in home 
economics have long been supportive of the need to be 
aware of general developments in education and of the 
primary importance of the changing socio-economic 
conditions that directly affect family units (Simpson, 
1965-66). In 1962, Coon drew a U.S. national sample of 
schools to obtain up-to-date information about what 
home economics courses were being taught, where and 
how often, and the proportion of students enrolled in 
such courses. Hughes (1982) further examined the gen- 
eral shifts in focus and content following the publica- 
tion of Coon's work, by comparing high school curricu- 
lum guides from the late 1950s and of the 1978-80 
period. Hughes concluded that home economics 
curriculum had changed as a result of the differences 
evident in the surrounding environs reflecting 
employment changes, the movement from in-home 
production to mass production and marketing, and 
growing governmental involvement in the field. 

In a national survey of Canadian home economics 
secondary school curricula, Peterat (1984) noted the 
great variety of emphases of the general course offer- 
ings. The goals in most of the provinces were shown to 
be directed toward the development of individuals and 
families via management, decision-making, or problem 
solving methodologies which were set in present day 
environments. As an illustration of this, Hames (1980), 
investigating the Ontario family studies curriculum, 
noted that change within the educational system hap- 
pens almost automatically, even within individual 
classroom settings. From a list of subject matter topics 
obtained from the provincial curriculum documents, 
teachers selected topics which they would most likely 
teach. The topics represented content areas in which 
they had knowledge and confidence, thereby constantly 
changing the curriculum-in-action. 

Recognition and reinforcement of the change and 
relevancy axiom was endorsed by the general profession 
in the Canadian Home Economics Association's policy 
statement and position paper, "Home Eco- 
nomics/Family Studies Education in Canadian Schools" 
(1985). In this document, home economics programs 
were defined as focusing on the family in its changing 
environment and as using teaching strategies which are 
relevant to all students. 

Clothing Studies 

The curriculum of clothing studies has been exam- 
ined at the different levels of education at which it is 
offered. Within the post-secondary clothing and tex- 
tiles community, the Association of College Professors 

of Textiles and Clothing's Future Development Com- 
mittee methodically examined futures issues at an ini- 
tial Futures Workshop in 1983, and a subsequent series 
of regional workshops. Horn (1984) described the 
schema of the workshops as approaching the future by 
emergent design, which she defined as the encourage- 
ment of controversy, and exploration of many different 
alternatives to better our understanding of the possible 
family and societal actions of tomorrow. The work- 
shops allowed for a listing of strengths, weaknesses, 
opportunities, and threats, but did not include an exam- 
ination of what these elements might mean for future 

Using a similar technique, Turnbull (1986) con- 
ducted a workshop with New Brunswick junior and se- 
nior high school home economics teachers. The results 
contained many parallels to those identified by Horn; 
the strengths and opportunities of secondary school 
clothing studies curriculum identified by the teachers 
included the field's content, provision of aid to student 
self-development, opportunities for new teaching mi- 
lieus, and the use of technology. The weaknesses and 
threats were listed as general threats to the school sys- 
tems such as underfunding and lack of support, dis- 
interest of the students, and irrelevancy of the curricu- 
lum content. The overall results did indicate the will- 
ingness of teachers to be analytical in relation to the 
clothing studies curriculum. 

The work of Peterat (1984) provides additional in- 
formation on the various subject areas within Canadian 
secondary school home economics. She noted that in 
both specific clothing courses and those courses with 
clothing studies components, emphasis on clothing con- 
struction was predominant. In five of the ten Canadian 
provinces, courses were shown to deal exclusively with 
traditional topics of clothing studies: clothing construc- 
tion, clothing care, design principles, and grooming. 
There was some evidence in the other provinces of 
innovative teaching approaches to these concepts, as 
well as some expansion of the field using sociology, 
history, and economics as base disciplines. Examples 
included the management of needs and resources 
approach used in Quebec, use of indigenous groups to 
study clothing practices and crafts in Nova Scotia, and 
a course relating to Canadian designers and the fashion 
industry in Alberta. Some change from traditional 
content then was evident, but the clothing studies 
change was not a strong national movement. 

The issue of the over-emphasis on clothing construc- 
tion techniques within all of the clothing studies 
content area has been debated throughout the home 
economics and clothing education literature. Courtless 
(1982) noted that the amount of home sewing which is 
done outside of school-related activities is decreasing 
in the U.S. Margerum (1981) explored the issue of over- 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, November/ December, 1989 73 

emphasizing construction, to the detriment of other 
clothing studies topics, in times of economic stress. She 
echoed Horn (1981) by stating that educators must 
constantly monitor current events, considering clothing 
curriculum while evaluating the events. Spitze (1983) 
believed that an emphasis should be placed on other 
things that are already taught in clothing construction 
classes, such as decision-making and organizational 

The concept of perennial practical problems as a 
vehicle from which to approach home economics was 
developed by Brown and Paolucci (1979). MacCleave- 
Frazier and Murray (1983) believed it possible to con- 
centrate on the underlying principles and processes of 
the identified practical problems as they apply to 
clothing studies. They suggested a shift in the focus of 
teaching clothing studies at the secondary school level. 
They examined the need to consider clothing as a means 
of studying general issues in home economics and 
pointed out the importance of viewing clothing as a 
major factor in individual development, family rela- 
tionships and processes, and inter-relationships be- 
tween family structures and the societal environment. 
They also dealt with the place of clothing construction 
within this framework, positioning it as only one of a 
series of means to satisfy the clothing needs for family 

In an attempt to utilize home economics teachers as 
agents of change in determining suitable clothing stud- 
ies curriculum, Turnbull (1987) employed a futures ap- 
proach to investigate the question of curriculum content. 
Respondents to a mail survey that was directed to all 
anglophone junior and senior high school teachers in 
New Brunswick (n = 116) were first asked to read a two 
page description of anticipated future change in educa- 
tion, home economics and clothing studies. The "futures 
stimulus" was set in a near future time frame of five to 
ten years hence. Provided with this encouragement to 
think about future curriculum matters, the teachers 
then responded to a series of scales designed to measure 
the desirability of certain clothing studies topics for in- 
clusion in future provincial curriculum. Generally the 
results indicated that traditional topics of clothing 
study at the secondary level were viewed as maintain- 
ing their importance. It was interesting to note that 
"basic construction skills" was not placed in the most 
important rank of clothing topics to be taught, but 
rather in order of importance it fell below those of 
clothing care, clothing labels, and purchasing ready-to- 
wear. This provided evidence for the evolutionary pro- 
cess of curriculum development. Change in content was 
recognized by the teaching professionals as desirable; 
however the change was not so severe as to totally 
overturn the existing curriculum focus. 

They perceived that home economics in general has 
a promising future as a field of study and clothing stud- 
ies should retain its position as part of the field. In 
addition, there was strong evidence that teachers 
themselves recognized the importance of relevancy in 
the curriculum for today's students. But the concept of 
curricular relevancy was not considered a strength of 
the field, indicating a need for increased consideration 
of this element in planning for the future. 


What important factors can be drawn from this lit- 
erature overview? For teachers in general, the issue of 
change in education is pervasive. What the curriculum 
changes to, and how it is changes are questions that 
inspire no easy answers. Several theories of change 
that facilitate modelling exist, all of them having the 
common critical component of relevancy of curriculum 
content and a recognition of the need to place curriculum 
change within a futures time frame. Curriculum 
planners can not plan for today but must consider the 
needs of future individuals in society. Constant review, 
critical analysis and needs assessments must be 
conducted; forecasting skills must be developed to 
enable the development of suitable, relevant curriculum 
for tomorrow's students. 

Teachers should consider themselves as important 
players in the curriculum change process. The agents of 
change concept means that teachers themselves have a 
powerful foundation upon which to develop or redirect 
curriculum content. More processes need to be made 
available so that teachers can become actively in- 
volved in curriculum development. Changing member- 
ship on provincial curriculum committees and enhanced 
interaction between junior and senior high school 
teachers will aid the profession in self-recognition of 
their power base as curriculum change agents. 

Relevancy of curriculum demands an acute aware- 
ness of changing societal conditions on a local, provin- 
cial, national, and even international basis. Relevancy 
implies responsibility not only to social groups with 
vested interests in education, but more importantly it 
implies responsibility to the students as receivers, 
those individuals experiencing the curriculum content. 

In clothing studies, the relevancy concept must be 
attended to on an on-going basis. Construction will not 
likely disappear from clothing studies classes in the 
near future, but these classes should encourage students 
to consider construction as only one means of satisfying 
clothing needs. Class instruction must make provision 
for accommodating topics such as purchasing ready-to- 
wear and exploring the growing influence of technology 
on clothing production, selection, and use. 

74 ILLINOIS Teacher, November/ December, 1989 


Beck, C. E., Bernier, N. R., Macdonald, J. B., Walton, T. 
W., & Willers, J. C. (1968). Education for rele- 
vance. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. 

Brown, M. A., & Paolucci, B. (1979). Home economics: 
A definition. Washington, D.C.: American Home 
Economics Association. 

Canadian Home Economics Association. (1985). Home 
economics/family studies education in Canadian 
schools. A policy statement and position paper. 
Canadian Home Economics journal, 35, 116-119. 

Chan, T. V. (1984). Curriculum development for the 
classroom. A teacher's prerogative. Education 
Canada, 24(2), 31-35. 

Common, D. L. (1983). Who should have the power to 
change schools: Teachers or policy-makers? Educa- 
tion Canada, 23(3), 40-45. 

Connelly, F. M., Kormos, J., & Enns, R. J. (1982). Com- 
mercial and locally developed curriculum materi- 
als. In K. A. Leithwood (Ed.), Studies in curriculum 
decision making. Toronto: Ontario Institute for 
Studies in Education Press. 

Coon, B. I. (1962). Home economics in the public sec- 
ondary schools. A report of a national study. 
Washington, D.C.: Office of Education. 

Courtless, J. C. (1982). Home sewing trends. Family 
Economics Review, 4, 19-22. 

Dyer, J. (1984). Deterrents to change. Education 
Canada, 24(1), 28-33. 

Fullan, M. (1982). The meaning of education change. 
Toronto: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education 

Gibbons, M. (1984). Walkabout ten years later: 
Searching for a renewed vision of education. Phi 
Delta Kappan, 65, 591-600. 

Goodlad, J. I. (1975). The dynamics of educational 
change: Toward responsive schools. NY: McGraw- 
Hill Book Co., Charles F. Kettering Foundation 

Hames, P. K. (1980). Development of an evaluation 
model for implementation of home economics subject 
matter in selected schools in Ontario, Canada. Un- 
published doctoral dissertation, Texas Tech Uni- 
versity, Lubbock. 

Havelock, R. G. (1973). The change agent's guide to in- 
novation in education. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: 
Educational Technology Publications. 

Hill, J. W. (1979). Societal decisions in curriculum. In J. 
I. Goodlad et al. (Eds.), Curriculum inquiry: The 
study of curriculum practice. New York: McGraw- 
Hill Book Co. 

Horn, M. J. (1981). The second skin (3rd edition). 
Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. 

Horn, M. J. (1984). Clothing and textiles: Future by 
emergent design. Clothing and Textiles Research 
Journal, 2(2), 1-6. 

Hughes, R. P. (1982). 25 years of high school home eco- 
nomics and a look ahead. Illinois Teacher, 25, 156- 

Leithwood, K. A. (1982). Decision making in planned 
educational change. In K. A. Leithwood (Ed.), 
Studies in curriculum decision making. Toronto: On- 
tario Institute for Studies in Educational Press. 

MacCleave-Frazier, A., & Murray, E. C. (1983). Recon- 
ceptualizing the teaching of clothing consumer and 
homemaking programs: Implications for teacher 
preparation. University Park, PA: Home 
Economics Education, The Pennsylvania State Uni- 

Margerum, B. J. (1981). The clothing scene - The teach- 
ing guide. Journal of Home Economics, 73(1), 45-47. 

Morris, G. B. (1982). A conceptualization of education 
in the future. Canadian Journal of Education, 7(2), 

Peterat, L. (1984). Home economics: A survey of 
provincial curricula at secondary level. Frederic- 
ton, N.B.: University of New Brunswick. 

Simpson, E. ]. (1965-66). Curriculum development in 
home economics education. Illinois Teacher, 9(1), 1- 

Smith, F. R., & Cox, C. B. (1976). Secondary schools in 
a changing society. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and 
Winston, Inc. 

Spencer, H. (1905). Education: Intellectual, moral, and 
physical. London: Watts & Co. 

Spitze, H. T. (1983). Curriculum reform and home eco- 
nomics or, what do we do now? Illinois Teacher, 27, 

Turnbull, S. G. (1986). Using teacher self-analysis for 
curriculum change. The case of clothing studies. 
Illinois Teacher, 30,36-37. 

Turnbull, S. G. (1987). Clothing studies in New 
Brunswick secondary schools: Teacher assessment 
of future content. Unpublished doctoral disserta- 
tion, The Ohio State University, Columbus. 

Tyler, R. W. (1962). Curriculum development and re- 
search. In P. L. Hosford (Ed.), Using what we know 
about teaching. Alexandria, VA: Association for 
Supervision and Curriculum Development. 

Van Til, W. (Ed.). (1974). Curriculum: Quest for rele- 
vance (2nd ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. 

Winn, I. (1983). High school reform: Stuffing the 
turkeys. Phi Delta Kappan, 65(3), 184-18. ••• 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, November/ December, 1989 75 

Suggestions for Extension 
Home Economists Programming 
At Congregate Nutrition Sites 

Janette K. Newhouse 

Resource Development Specialist 

Virginia Cooperative Extension 

Home Economics 
Virginia Tech 
Blacksburg, VA 

With the aging of the American population, older 
adults are becoming an increasingly more visible and 
significant segment of society. Evidence exists to indi- 
cate that the Cooperative Extension Service (CES) has 
taken note of this phenomenon (Van Horn, Heasley, & 
Preston, 1985) and is intensifying its efforts to design 
programs to address the needs of older clients. 

One appropriate forum for bringing home 
economists employed by Extension together with older 
adults is the congregate nutrition site (group meal 
programs for older adults). The CES is one of the 
largest educational outreach organizations in the 
United States with a network of 11,240 agents in 3,150 
counties across the nation (Warner & Christenson, 
1984). To complement the pervasiveness of the Exten- 
sion system throughout the nation, there are nearly 
15,000 congregate nutrition sites in the country (U.S. 
Department of Health and Human Service, 1985). In 
addition to the nationwide geographical dispersion of 
these two networks, Extension involvement is suggested 
by Title IIIB of the Older Americans Act of 1965 that 
not only authorizes the Congregate Nutrition Services 
Program, but also provides for the inclusion of financial 
counseling, health education, and nutrition education 
(Ficke, 1985). Therefore, the opportunity exists for Ex- 
tension Home Economists to provide information for 
older adults in these established areas of program ex- 

Despite the goodness of fit between the educational 
resources of the Extension Home Economist and the 
elderly participants of the Congregate Nutrition 
Services Program, traditional program delivery models 
are often inappropriate to older participants. As home 
economists prepare to target Extension's educational 

programs to audiences at congregate nutrition sites some 
recommendations are offered. These suggestions are 
based primarily on the author's involvement in a 
national study of the role of CES in congregate nutrition 
programs (Newhouse, Scott, Hertzler, & McAuley, 
1989) and a post-doctoral experience studying programs 
at multipurpose senior center in West Virginia 
(Newhouse, 1986). 

Understand how the congregate nutrition sites in 
each community are organized. Research has shown 
that there is considerable diversity in the organiza- 
tion, operation, and programming at senior centers 
(Krout, 1985). They differ according to the chain of 
command; who makes the programming decisions; the 
hours and days of operation; the program format; when 
participants arrive, eat, and depart. Some centers are 
activity-oriented while others are primarily a point of 
socialization where elders come to visit, eat, and return 
home. Within other centers you might find both an ac- 
tivity and a socialization model operating simultane- 
ously with perhaps a third group who attend but 
choose not to be actively involved. Visiting the center 
prior to program planning is a good way to observe the 
facilities, clients, and organizational format. If a visit 
is not feasible, certainly a conversation with the site 
supervisor to help you more clearly understand the op- 
eration is warranted. 

Cultivate a positive working relationship with 
the Area Agency on Aging and other appropriate com- 
munity agencies. Find out which organizations and 
agencies are involved in the operation of the commu- 
nity nutrition program, then make them aware of Ex- 
tension's resources and interest in providing educational 
programs. It is not unusual for territory problems to 
evolve among agencies striving to serve similar clien- 
tele groups. Extension Home Economists need to empha- 
size that their service is the dissemination of research- 
based education— a service few other community 
organizations provide exclusively. Explore ways that 
CES can interact with sponsoring agencies to achieve 
common goals. 

The Area Agency on Aging (AAA) is likely to be 
involved in the implementation of the nutrition pro- 

76 ILLINOIS TEACHER, November/ December, 1989 

gram because it is the agency designated by the Older 
Americans Act to develop a comprehensive and coordi- 
nated system to serve older individuals (Ficke, 1985). 
For this reason, it seems imperative that Extension 
Home Economists foster a positive working 
relationship with AAA personnel. 

Find out what is unique about each audience. Re- 
search on senior center participants indicates that no 
congruent profile of center users versus non-users emerges 
with regard to sociodemographic indicators (Krout, 
1987). Consistent with this finding, congregate nutri- 
tion sites are likely to include a heterogeneous group of 
older people. Even among people who live in close geo- 
graphic proximity, people of different educational lev- 
els, different levels of functional abilities, various 
ethnic and racial backgrounds are likely to be attracted 
to the center. Without losing sight of individual dif- 
ferences, it is useful to look for some commonalities 
among the participants. Do they all reside in the same 
housing facility? Are they primarily female? Are 
many participants victims of the farm crisis? Do they 
live in an economically depressed region? Are there 
certain cultural or religious values that permeate the 
community? Understanding the basic similarities and 
differences among the older persons who participate 
will enable the educator to target programs to client 

Target program topics to the needs of the client. 
Ralston and Griggs (1985) found that a major obstacle to 
senior center utilization was the lack of interesting 
activities. To reiterate a previous point, consider the 
heterogeneity of the subgroups served by the center and 
plan programs accordingly. Consider cultural and 
regional values, religious differences, racial and ethnic 
norms and preferences as well as diversity in economic 
resources and living arrangements. For example, a 
program on vegetable gardening may be appropriate to 
a rural audience while it is of limited interest to a 
group of city dwellers residing in a high-rise apartment 
facility. Remember that it is inappropriate and often 
offensive to try to impose middle class values on elders 
who may have a different background and set of values. 
Design learning experiences that respect the uniqueness 
of each elderly participant. 

Don't assume that each congregate nutrition pro- 
gram client is willing to participate in the educational 
effort you are promoting. Even when the educator 
makes a concerted effort to involve the facility staff 
and participants in program development, there may be 
individuals whose needs are not met by the program 
being offered. Often in senior nutrition programs there 
are persons whose physical or mental limitations make 

them poor candidates for program participation. 
Others are limited by sensory deficits that make 
hearing and/or seeing a presentation difficult. If 
reading is a requirement those with low literacy skills 
may opt out. Some older persons who have been out of 
school for many years are uncomfortable in a classroom 
setting and others may simply not be interested in the 
topic. By accepting that not everyone will participate 
in the program, the home economist can avoid being 
offended by those who choose not to participate. 
Perhaps the home economist could announce, "There 
will be a video and discussion on reducing sodium in the 
diet. Everyone who wants to participate meet in the 
rear of the room in five minutes." It is better to have a 
few participants who are interested than a large group 
of disinterested and uncomfortable older people. 

Plan presentations that are short, visually stimu- 
lating, and do not interfere with the meal. It is just as 
important to plan short programs as it is to make activ- 
ities interesting and relevant. Segments longer than 15 
to 20 minutes may be too long to command the optimal 
attention of older audiences. If the pace of the program 
is inappropriate or the delivery is unstimulating, then 
it doesn't matter if the subject is targeted to the needs of 
the audience and other details are carefully designed 
because the older adult's attention may be focused 
somewhere else. Consider energizing programs by 
making them highly visual through the effective use 
of color and motion. Perhaps a puppet show, colorful 
posters, a well-designed exhibit, or a flannel story 
board might be strategies to capture the attention of 
audiences while imparting relevant information. 

Another important consideration with regard to 
timing is the scheduling of educational efforts so they 
do not infringe on mealtime or other planned activities 
(e.g., the arrival or departure of center vans and buses). 
Remember the meal and the accompanying socializa- 
tion are the primary agenda for many of the elders 
attending the center; all other activities are periph- 
eral and secondary in importance. 

Plan activities that have a beginning and an end. 
Home economists often feel frustrated by their in- 
volvement in congregative nutrition service programs 
because their efforts seem fragmented and difficult to 
evaluate. One way to make program involvement more 
meaningful is to play sequential learning activities 
that last for a specified period of time. For example, 
the Extension educator could design or adapt a six-ses- 
sion program on healthy eating for older persons and 
market it to senior centers throughout the county or city. 
By taking such a proactive stance, the home economist 
can avoid the reactive mode of responding to numerous 
calls to "come to the center and present a program on 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, September /October, 1989 77 

anything." Although these encounters often foster posi- 
tive agency relations and sometimes quality programs, 
the results of such sporadic efforts are difficult to 
evaluate in order to determine program impact. Fur- 
thermore, when the educator becomes less reactive to 
the demands of others, s/he can more effectively man- 
age scarce resources. For instance, the home economist 
can use a similar set of lesson plans for multiple audi- 
ences. S/he can also design an evaluation strategy to 
help assess the impact of the program. Other advan- 
tages to having a series of lessons are the opportunity to 
establish rapport with the audience and having an end 
point so the educator knows the program is over and 
that it is time to collect evaluation data. 

Consider roles other than teaching. Extension home 
economists have resources to offer the Congregate 
Nutrition Program other than direct teaching of pro- 
gram participants. Some potential roles are advisory 
committee member, volunteer coordinator, teacher 
trainer, staff training, program developer, and program 
evaluator. Some other ways to disseminate research- 
based information to senior center participants are 
newsletters, video tape presentations, bulletin boards, 
teaching placemats, a question box in which clients 
place nutrition or consumer questions for the home 
economist to respond to, or word activities such as 
crossword puzzles, matching and word search activi- 

Many opportunities exist for CES to provide valu- 
able educational services to elders at congregate nutri- 
tion sites. The challenge is to be creative as you 
endeavor to maximize your efforts with this important 
clientele group. 


Based on this author's experience in study partici- 
pants at congregate nutrition sites and in surveying Ex- 
tension Home Economists to determine their role in pro- 
gramming for this client group, these suggestions are of- 
fered to guide CES professionals in delivering programs 
targeted to the unique group of elders being served. For 
too long we have failed to acknowledge that 
differences exist not only between groups of older 
people, but also within such groups. Thus the 
underlying theme of this article is to make educators 
aware of the importance of offering programs that 
mesh with the needs and interests of the older adult 
audiences they serve which are compatible with the 
organization and operation of each specific congregate 
nutrition program site. In so doing, program 
contributions by Extension Home Economists are likely 
to be welcomed and evaluated positively. 


Ficke, S. C. (Ed.). (1985). An orientation to the Older 
Americans Act. Washington, DC: National 
Association of State Units on Aging. 

Krout, J. A. (1985). Senior center activities and services: 
Findings from a national survey. Research on Ag- 
ing, 7, 455-471. 

Krout, J. A. (1987, May). The frequency, duration and 
stability of senior center attendance. Paper pre- 
sented at the Seventh Annual Northeastern Geron- 
tological Society Conference, Hartford, CT. 

Newhouse, J. K. (1986). A study of multipurpose senior 
centers in southern West Virginia. Gerontological 
Society of America Post-doctoral Fellowship in 
Applied Gerontology Final Report, Virginia Tech, 
Blacksburg, VA. 

Newhouse, J. K., Scott, E. D., Hertzler, A. A., & 
McAuley, W. J. (in press). The role of Cooperative 
Extension in congregate nutrition programs for the 
elderly. Journal of Applied Gerontology. 

Ralston, P. A., & Griggs, M. B. (1985). Factors affecting 
utilization of senior centers: Race, sex, and socioe- 
conomic differences. Journal of Gerontological So- 
cial Work, 9, 99-111. 

U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. 
(1985). Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended 
(DHHS Publication No. 1985-527-319:30451). 
Washington, D.C.: U. S. Government Printing 

Van Horn, J. E., Heasley, D. K., & Preston, D. B. (1985). 
Shedding the cocoon of status quo. Journal of Exten- 
sion, 23, 4-7. 

Warner, P. D., & Christenson, J. A. (1984). The Cooper- 
ative Extension Service: A national assessment. 
Boulder, CO: Westview Press. • • • 

Continued from page 71.) 

Task Group on General Education. (1988). A new vi- 
tality in general education. Washington, DC: 
Association of American Colleges. 

Thomas, R. G. (Ed.) (1987). Higher order thinking: 
Definition^ meaning and instructional approaches. 
Washington, DC: Home Economics Education 
Association. • • • 

78 ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/October, 1989 

Philosophy Narrative 

Judith T. Tebo 

Home Economics Education Student 

University of Arizona 

Tucson, Arizona 

Editor's Note 

This article was written as a class assignment in a methods course. 
We hope that by reading it you will be encouraged to think about 
your own beliefs about teaching, students, learning, and home eco- 

There is no doubt that I was given many gifts: a 
sense of humor, an ear for music, and, best of all, the 
power of choice. As a result I see cups full and not half 
empty. I can handle rapid change because I choose to 
remain adaptable and flexible. 

Basically I am a black and white analyzer of 
what I observe of the world around me. I do acknowl- 
edge gray areas but the percentage of gray is small 
compared to what I see as black or white; while there 
may be four-plus/minus hours total for dawn and dusk, 
there are still twenty -plus/ minus hours of night and 
day. Since I do not entrap myself too often in gray ar- 
eas, I am decisive and can correct a wrong decision 
very quickly — I have Plan B and C ready. 

I feel I have the ability to do anything I make up 
my mind to do. The only limitations I have are the 
ones I put on myself, because I am the only one respon- 
sible for my behavior. I frequently limit my negative 
reactions to situations; I have learned it is less drain- 
ing to let go of the cause than it is to waste the energy 
on a display that could have a damaging effect on 
other people. As a result, I have the ability to work 
well with a variety of individuals. 

Seeing people as individuals rather than as types 
or groups enables me to teach more effectively because 
I believe students are PEOPLE. Each is a distinct, 
unique individual and should be treated as such. Just 
as there are no bad people there is no such thing as a 
bad student; there is only a good student who has erro- 
neously chosen to do bad things. Moreover, I am con- 
vinced students learn more effectively when the 
teaching approach is humanistic in nature. It is criti- 
cal that I teach students of all ages the desire to learn 
more because learning must precede growing. While 
the two are both prerequisites to successful living, the 
order or sequence must be maintained before individ- 
ual enjoyment of successful living can be achieved. 

Teaching is living as opposed to existing; it is 
change, challenge, excitement, frustration, suc- 
cess/failure, decisions, growth and enjoyment. My 
teaching experiences all through my life have been 
my best learning experiences. Now that I have ma- 
tured, it is even more important that I continue my 
learning to maintain the growing and enjoying phases. 

I have the energy to enter the profession at this 
late date because it is a challenge to help others in our 
industry bring about some much needed change. We 
need to improve our image; the responsibility to do 
that is OURS. I see many avenues we can choose to ac- 
complish this and other goals. We must learn to agree 
on basics, terminology, plans, and action. 
Environmental changes occur much more rapidly than 
we respond; as a result, pressure is put on us we could 
avoid, to a degree, if we spent less time disagreeing. 
We must screen prospective teachers more carefully; 
we must offer them a considerably different curricu- 
lum; and we must provide them with as many oppor- 
tunities for hands-on experiences as possible. We must 
take measures to police our own profession. If we truly 
are to be regarded as professionals, we need to recog- 
nize that professionalism is an attitude toward self, 
colleagues (both peers and superiors), students, par- 
ents, teaching, and continuing education; it is the way 
you think that is reflected in what you do and how 
you come across to others. 

My determination to invest even more energy to 
teaching junior high school students stems from the 
many decades I have been observing "Abandonment of 
the Adolescents." Not only does the public school sys- 
tem fail to provide continuity between the elementary 
grades and the secondary levels, but family stability, 
intracommunication, and support generally wane dur- 
ing these years. Family, as we traditionally know it, 
may well be an endangered species because of the in- 
creasing numbers of single parents, as well as crises in 
the home due to drugs, alcoholism, abuse, and vio- 
lence. Family is a concept that needs to be re-defined, 
strengthened, reinforced and appreciated. Since so 
many parents are not providing a sense of well-being 
and security in the family, young people turn to the 
school for a sense of direction and guidance they used 
to get at home. Since home is a state of mind, not a 
place, I intend to "be there" for as many as I can as 
long as I can to help them fill these voids, both aca- 
demically as well as socially. • • • 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, November/ December, 1989 79 

Book Reviews 

Joseph L. Wysocki 

Assistant Professor of Housing/Extension Specialist 

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

Homes: Today and Tomorrow (1990), Ruth F. Sher- 
wood. Mission Hills, CA: Glencoe Publishing Com- 
pany, 544 pages. 

Homes: Today and Tomorrow Teacher's Resource 
Book (1990), Ruth F. Sherwood and Eddye Eubanks. 
Mission Hills, CA: Glencoe Publishing Company, 429 

The fourth edition of this housing and home fur- 
nishings text for high school students reflects the 
rapid changes in housing. Included in the student 
text are seven units containing 25 chapters with top- 
ics such as human needs and housing; housing an soci- 
ety; careers in housing; housing styles; consumer 
concerns ( renting and buying); construction; housing 
and the environment; design and planning interiors; 
kitchens, baths, and storage; safety, security, and 
maintenance; and remodeling and renovating. 

Richly illustrated, each chapter begins with 
student objectives, household words, and a two-page 
"Putting Skills to Work" section. Personal inter- 
views are included with people in diverse housing 
careers such as community project leader, resident 
manager, carpet salesperson, closet organizer, uphol- 
sterer, and kitchen planner. Minorities and all 
levels of positions are well represented. Each 
chapter ends with a two-page review that covers 
chapter highlights, questions about the issues cov- 
ered, and do-it-yourself activities. 

Visual presentation is especially important in a 
housing and interior design text for use at the high 
school level. Learning about good design depends on 
seeing good design. A glance through the student text 
will quickly convince the teacher this book's whole 
look insures eye-catching student appeal as well as 
good design education. 

The inclusion of social, psychological, and cul- 
tural issues including designing homes for special 
needs, as well as the traditional construction and de- 
sign segments is especially appropriate for a student 

text and reflect the topics, trends, and concerns of 
housing today. A good blend of housing and interior 
design topics lay the foundation for students to 
become informed housing consumers. Sections on 
safety and home maintenance are also appropriate 
in a text at this level. 

Three chapters on housing styles may be more 
than is necessary. However, preservation, remodel- 
ing, renovating are good topics to introduce to young 
people at a time when they often equate "new" with 
better. Renting and home ownership should not re- 
ceive equal coverage because renting will probably be 
the first major housing decision young people make. 
In fact, the renting section should be expanded to in- 
clude information about dormitories, group, and 
shared living, especially for those students who are 
college bound. 

The Teacher's Resource Book (429) pages), writ- 
ten by "Ruth Sherwood and Eddye Eubanks, contains 
lesson plans, handouts, projects, transparency mas- 
ters, and test questions in a binder or book format. 
Although the book contains many useful materials 
they were difficult and confusing to use due to the 
book's organization. I would recommend the easier to 
use and less confusing binder format. In addition, 
some of the references in the beginning of the book 
are out of date (e.g., listing the 1975 edition of Inside 
Today's Home rather than the 1986 edition.) Other 
items that should be included are the University of 
Illinois Small Homes Council-Building Research 
Council circulars, Cooperative Extension Service pub- 
lications, and publications such as Practical 
Homeowner, Housing and Society, and Fine Home- 

Housing and home furnishings are often men- 
tioned by teachers as the subject matter areas in 
which it is most difficult to obtain up-to-date infor- 
mation. Homes: Today and Tomorrow and the 
Teacher's Resource Book both make useful contribu- 
tions to filling this existing void. 

School prices are $23.87 for the student text and 
$27.48 for the Teacher's Resource Book. To order, 
write Glencoe Publishing, 809 West Detweiller 
Drive, Peoria, IL 61615-2190 ••• 

80 ILLINOIS TEACHER, November/December, 1989 


1. Articles, lesson plans, teaching techniques are welcome. 

2. Submit two double spaced, typewritten copies. For computer 
generated manuscripts, please send a diskette along with the 
required number of hard copies. Include the name of the word 
processing program and give the file name of the manuscript. 

3. Include any visual aids or photographs which relate to the content 
of the manuscript. 

4. Include a small black and white photo of the author, as well as cur- 
rent professional position, location, and title. 

5. Document your references using APA style. 

6. Submit articles anytime. 

7. Editorial staff make the final decision about publication. 

8. Please forward articles to: 

Illinois Teacher 
352 Education Building 
1310 South Sixth Street 
University of Illinois 
Champaign, Illinois 61820 

Send for: "Information for Prospective Authors" 













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Volume XXXIII, No 3 
January/February, 1990 



Foreword, Mildred Barnes Griggs 81 

Vocational Home Economics Today Results of a National Phone Survey, 

Charlotte Carr and Diana Greene 82 

A Process for Curriculum Development: Putting a System Into Action, 

Joan Quilling, Betty B. Martin, and Paula Hartsfield 84 

Teaching and Evaluating Courses in Parenthood Education for Adolescents, 

Betty Cooke 86 

Rethinking the Role of Fathers: Meeting Their Needs Through Support Programs, 

Brent A. McBride and Rebecca J. McBride 89 

School-Age Child Care: Solution to Latchkey Problem, Mary M. Warnock 92 

Cooperative Learning, Jennifer Herget 94 

Maintaining Momentum, Harriett K. Light 96 

Are Workbooks Really Necessary?, Mary Ann Block 100 

A Phenomenological Platform for Teaching At-Risk Students, Marian White-Hood 101 

Challenges and Opportunities for Teaching Clothing in the 1990s, Betty L. Feather 103 

Adaptable Housing for Lifelong Needs, Patricia A. Tripple and Carole J. Makela 106 

Families Coping in a Technological Society, Jillian R. Boyd 110 

Community Meetings: A Tool for Assessing Local Needs, Sally J. Yahnke, 115 

Emma J. Gebo, and Cathleen T. Love 118 

Journey Toward Peak Performance: A Tribute to Dr. Hazel Taylor Spitze, 

Elaine F. Goodwin 120 

Illinois Teacher of Home Economics 

ISSN 0739-1 48X 

A publication of the Division of Home Economics Education, 

Department of Vocational and Technical Education, 

College of Education, University of Illinois, 

Champaign, Illinois 61820 

Illinois Teacher Staff 

Mildred Griggs, Professor and Editor 

Norma Huls, Office Manager 

June Chambliss, Technical Director 

Linda Simpson, Graduate Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate 

Sally Rousey, Graduate Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate 

Other Home Economics Education Division Staff and Graduate Students 
Catherine Burnham, Graduate Assistant and Ed.D. Candidate 
Vida U. Revilla, Graduate Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate 
Alison Vincent, Graduate Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate 

Volume XXXII, No. 3, January/February, 1990. Published five 
times each academic year. Subscriptions $15.00 per year. 
Foreign, including Canada, $18.00 per year. Special $10.00 per 
year ($12.00 Foreign) for undergraduate and graduate students 
when ordering by teacher educator on forms available from 
Illinois Teacher office. Single copies $3.50. Foreign $4.00. All 
checks from outside the U.S. must be payable through a U.S. 

University of Illinois 
352 Education Building 
1310 S. Sixth Street 
Champaign, IL 61820 

Telephone: 217/244-0820 



Sharing is a way to become more involved in your profession. If one of 
your resolutions for 1990 is to be more involved in home economics edu- 
cation, Illinois Teacher is a vehicle for accomplishing it. We invite you to 
share your ideas and success stories with our readers. 

This issue contains several articles that focus on recurring curriculum 
issues: What to teach; why certain content should be taught; how it should be 
taught and how to determine if the content has been learned. It also contains 
a few teaching ideas, speeches most of you may not have heard, reflections on 
teaching practices, reports of home economists' involvement in educational 
endeavors in non-school settings, and a tribute to an outstanding teacher. 

Best wishes from Illinois Teacher staff for a happy, healthy and enjoyable 
new year. 

The Editor 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/February, 1990 81 

Vocational Home Economics Today 
Results of a National Phone Survey 

Charlotte Carr 

Diana Greene 

Directors of the Illinois Plan 

for Home Economics Education 

Illinois State University 

Diana Greene 

curriculum. Eleven supervisors reported that they 
were not in the process of developing, and had not 
developed any new curriculum within the last three 
years (Fig. 1). These state supervisors volunteered 
that curriculum is usually developed in their states by 
colleges and/or universities, local school districts, 
individuals or other assigned groups of teachers by the 
state department. 

Question 1 
Number of States 

One of the challenges in the development and 
revision of curriculum is to determine the current status 
of curriculum. More importantly is determining the 
future curriculum content. With these thoughts in 
mind, the directors of the Illinois Plan for Home 
Economics Education initiated a telephone survey to 
state supervisors of Vocational Home Economics in the 
50 states and the District of Columbia. 

The phone survey was conducted during the 
months of September and October, 1988. Each of the 
supervisors was asked the following questions: 

1 . Is your state in the process or have you developed 
home economics curriculum within the last three 
years? If yes, briefly describe the curriculum 

2. Do you have any research in your state to support 
the value of home economics at the junior and 
senior levels? 

3. What changes would you make in home economics 
curriculum to meet the needs of students in the year 

4. How would you describe the "health" of home 
economics in your state? 

The combined responses of the 51 state supervisors 
for each question are listed below. 

Responses to Question 1: Is your state in the process or 
have you developed home economics curriculum 
within the last three years? If yes, briefly describe 
the content. 



Fig. 1. 

Number of supervisors responding to the 
question, "Is your state in the process or have 
you developed Home Economics curriculum 
within the last three years?" 

Forty state supervisors said their states were 
currently developing or had recently developed 

Five state supervisors reported curriculum 
development for culinary arts/food service programs. 
Three states were in the process of writing or had 
written curriculum materials with a work and family 
focus. Three other states were developing or had 
developed critical thinking materials. Two states 
emphasized curriculum for latchkey children and two 
other states emphasized family and individual 
health. Other curriculum topics mentioned only once 
which included disaffected youth, focus on you, 
pregnant youth, family and community 
interdependence, critical living skills, and technology 
and the home. 

82 ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 

Responses to Question 2: Do you have any research in 
your state to support the value of home economics at 
the junior and senior high levels? 

Although 41 supervisors reported that there was 
no current research being conducted to support their 
programs, ten supervisors reported that they had 
research projects underway (Fig. 2). Most states with 
completed curriculum research projects had published 
the results for local use only; however, two states had 
articles pertaining to their research published in 
national publications. 

Question 2 
Number of States 



Fig. 2. 

Number of states responding to the question, 
"Do you have any research in your state to 
support the value of home economics?" 

Current research themes reported include 
effectiveness of parenthood education, attitudes of 
home economics teachers and students, states needs 
effectiveness study, value of seventh and eighth grade 
home economics, and value of home economics and the 
gross national product. 

The supervisors recommended that more research 
be conducted to support the value of home economics; 
therefore, it is hoped that the findings of the above 
mentioned research projects be published nationally. 
Sharing information will help to strengthen the 

family and eleven recommended balancing of work and 
family. Eight responses each were reported for 
critical thinking and problem solving skills and for 
developing a more scientific approach to foods and 
nutrition classes. Two states have changed class titles 
from Foods and Nutrition, to Nutrition and Foods, and 
reported reflecting the scientific approach in these 

Five state supervisors reported a desire to 
incorporate academic basics, five suggested more 
parenting, and five others were in favor of a 
comprehensive health education or wellness 
component in the home economics curriculum. Four 
responses were for curriculum to help students adapt to 
change. Three responses encouraged the incorporation 
of employability skills into the curriculum. 

Other responses given to this question were: global 
awareness, AIDS education, values/concepts, home 
based businesses, student maturity levels, societal 
issues, resource management, and the electronic 

Responses to Question 4: How would you describe the 
"health" of home economics in your state? 

Question 4 
Number of States 



1 1 




Fig. 3 Number of supervisors responding to the 
question, "How would you describe the health 
of home economics in your state?" 

Responses to Question 3: What changes would you 
make in home economics curriculum to meet the needs 
of students in the year 2000? 

Answers to this question were quite varied, but 
there was considerable agreement on some topics. Most 
of the state supervisors had more than one response. 
Thirteen supervisors suggested issues pertaining to the 

Fifteen state supervisors reported an increase in 
home economics enrollments, several of them had 
comments which explained their growth (Fig. 3). 
Statements that were volunteered included: a former 
home economics teacher who had become a principal 
in a large district, strong programs had been able to 
add staff, the courses had been changed from one year 
(Continued on page 88.) 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 83 

A Process for Curriculum Development: 
Putting a System Into Action 

Joan Quilling, Associate Professor 

Research, Occupational Home Economics 

Betty B. Martin, Supervision Coordinator 
Home Economics Education 

Paula Hartsfield 

Home Economics Education 

University of Missouri-Columbia 

Betty B. Martin 


In order to increase the impact of vocational edu- 
cation programs statewide, the Missouri Department 
of Elementary and Secondary Education developed a 
cooperative agreement with the University of 
Missouri-Columbia, Department of Practical Arts and 
Vocational-Technical Education, in the early 1970s. 
The university was selected as one of the sites for 
establishing an instructional materials laboratory. 
The laboratory was designed to facilitate the prepa- 
ration, field testing and dissemination of curriculum 
materials in vocational education. The materials 
produced by the laboratory are an outgrowth of 
teacher advisory committees. Teachers in vocational 
programs reap the benefits of the Missouri system as 
they are able to obtain low-cost materials developed 
and verified by vocational teachers throughout the 

Missouri's Curriculum Structure 

In the early 1970s, the University of Missouri, 
Department of Practical Arts and Vocational- 
Technical Education, in cooperation with the 
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 
developed a cooperative arrangement for statewide 
curriculum development. The arrangement involved 
preparing curriculum materials for five service areas 
(home economics is one of them) in vocational 
education and special project areas that are identified 
by Missouri legislature. Economic data indicates the 
need for these programs. In order to incorporate 

grassroots input into the curriculum, the Department 
of Elementary and Secondary Education organized a 
system of satellite and steering committees to solicit 
advice during the curriculum development process. 

The State of Missouri was divided into seven re- 
gions. Each region formed its own satellite committee 
of home economics teachers with a chair responsible 
for calling the group together. Each of the seven com- 
mittees generated ideas for curriculum development in 
home economics. The committees typically meet in 
the fall of the year. In the spring, an overall curricu- 
lum steering committee made up of satellite chairs, 
teacher educators, and State Department representa- 
tives meets to review regional curriculum priorities 
and prepare a two-year program of work for home eco- 
nomics education. 

The development of curriculum materials in Home 
Economics Education is a continuous process. Within 
the past few years, emphasis has been placed on pro- 
ducing materials which incorporate an Instructional 
Management System, a priority of the State Board of 
Education. The Instructional Management System is 
called VIMS in vocational education (Vocational 
Instructional Management System). Curriculum guides 
incorporate this system with each guide containing 
instructional goals which are based upon a task 
analysis of consumer homemaking or occupational 
home economics. They also include content outlines, 
instructional methods and evaluation strategies for 
assessing student performance. 

The structure of home economics curriculum guides 
is based upon Missouri's Scope and Sequence for 
Vocational Home Economics. Scope and Sequence ex- 
emplifies VIMS. All home economics subject matter 
areas taught in secondary schools are included along 
with content outlines and student performance compe- 
tencies for each area. This publication serves as the 
basis from which curriculum materials are generated 
for the state. 

The Instructional Materials Laboratory 

The mission of the University of Missouri- 
Columbia Instructional Materials Laboratory is to 
facilitate the development of curriculum materials in 
all vocational areas. The editors in the laboratory 
assigned to work with home economics content get 
input from advisory committees that are formed in 

84 ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 

cooperation with the Department of Elementary and 
Secondary Education Home Economics staff. The 
committee develops the task analyses for subject 
matter areas scheduled for production each year. 
Editors also supervise individuals assigned to produce 
curriculum materials and prepare manuscripts for 

The laboratory is affiliated with larger regional 
curriculum networks. The affiliation enables home 
economics curriculum developers to become aware of 
materials produced by other states. An awareness of 
what other states are producing helps the Curriculum 
Steering Committee to avoid duplication of effort. If, 
for example, Missouri home economics teachers want a 
curriculum guide in home management and find one al- 
ready available from another state which meets 
Missouri's educational standards, the guide can be 
adopted by Missouri. The adoption process places 
copies of the guide in the laboratory and teachers can 
purchase these guides. All materials available from 
the laboratory are sold on a cost recovery basis. 
Although the laboratory was designed principally to 
serve Missouri vocational teachers, publication cata- 
logs are available upon request and a teacher any- 
where in the United States has access to these mate- 

together. Teachers using the table know 
which resources to use with specific portions 
of the content outline. 

F. Assignment sheets: these are typically pa- 
per-pencil activities designed to reinforce con- 
tent priorities. 

G. Transparency masters: visuals designed to re- 
inforce key concepts in the content outline. 

H. Handouts: information forms which supple- 
ment content outlines. 

I. Job sheets: activities to involve students in 
physical action with the content. These forms 
are based on a task analysis of content areas. 

J. Unit tests: evaluations which summarize the 
key content presented during a unit of instruc- 

As priorities in curriculum development change 
over time, curriculum guides change to reflect new and 
emerging instructional approaches. 

The process of curriculum development in the state 
of Missouri is a team approach. Teachers play a vital 
part in helping to conduct the task analyses that are 
used as the foundation for the curriculum guides. They 
also field test the guides to assure quality control of 
the materials. 

Curriculum Elements 

The curriculum used by vocational home economics 
teachers in Missouri is based upon a format originally 
developed by the Mid-America Vocational 
Curriculum Consortium located in Oklahoma. The 
home economics Curriculum Steering Committee 
agreed to adopt this format in the early 1970s. Over 
the years, the format has changed and adapted to the 
specific needs of teachers. Currently, the format is 
structured to accommodate the VIMS process. 

Each curriculum guide includes some of the follow- 
ing elements: 

A. Task analysis: a list of performance behav- 
iors viewed as essential for carrying out re- 
sponsibilities in a given subject matter area. 

B. Performance objectives: specific behaviors 
which teachers are asked to measure accord- 
ing to standards of performance. 

C. Content outlines: key concepts enabling stu- 
dents to comprehend a specific subject matter 

D. Procedures for implementation: references and 
resources needed to supplement the curriculum 

E. Cross-reference table: based upon a task anal- 
ysis of the subject matter area which illus- 
trates how all parts of the guide coordinate 

Curriculum Utilization 

The University of Missouri and the Department of 
Elementary and Secondary Education work 
cooperatively to facilitate the utilization of 
curriculum materials in the State of Missouri. 
Currently two strategies are followed to assist 
teachers in using the curriculum materials. These are: 

A. Field testing: Most of the curriculum 
materials take two years to complete. The 
first year is set aside to complete the task 
analysis and writing. The second year 
involves teachers field testing the materials 
and suggesting revisions. Field testers are 
selected during the summer and are expected 
to complete their use of the guide by the end of 
fall semester. The winter semester is used to 
revise and refine the guide and ready it for 

B. Introduction of the guide: The introduction of 
the new curriculum materials occurs in 
conjunction with the annual vocational 
association meeting held during the summer. 
The writers or teacher educators working with 
the guide are usually involved in presenting 
new materials during the conference. 

(Continued on page 102.) 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 85 

Teaching and Evaluating Courses in 
Parenthood Education for Adolescents 

Betty Cooke 
Research Associate 
Home Economics Education 
University of Minnesota 

Home economics educators have an important op- 
portunity to provide education for parenthood to ado- 
lescents—an opportunity and a responsibility which 
we need to be prepared to do well. I am not at all con- 
vinced that we know how to do this effectively, nor do 
we know how to effectively assess what it is we are 
teaching or should be teaching in this area. My com- 
ments in this article focus on what I see as two major 
areas to consider related to parenthood education for 
adolescents: course or curriculum design and delivery; 
and course assessment. 

Two recent studies involving assessment of the im- 
pact of parenthood education courses for adolescents, 
one focused on assessing change in adolescents' knowl- 
edge (Mann & Hunt, 1989) and one focused on assessing 
change in adolescents' attitudes (Tulloch & Omvig, 
1989), gave considerable attention to assessing out- 
comes of the courses. However, neither study paid 
much heed to what went on in these courses leading to 
whatever outcomes may have resulted. Before we can 
assess the impact of what it is we are teaching in par- 
enthood education for adolescents, we first need to be 
very clear about all aspects of course design and deliv- 
ery. This should include what it is we are or should be 
teaching, how it is or should be taught, and to what 
ends or for what purposes we are or should be teaching. 

We first need to clarify the goals of a parenthood 
education course for adolescents and the target audi- 
ence to whom it is directed. Parenthood education 
courses for adolescents often imply goals focused on 
prevention of adolescent pregnancy and provision of 
information to help adolescents who do become par- 
ents cope with this situation. However, the kind of 
parenthood education course designed to meet the 
needs of any adolescent who may someday become a 
parent and the kind of parenthood education course 
designed for the adolescent who actually becomes a 
parent should look very different in many respects. 
For example, a course designed for any adolescents 

might address the issue of parenthood as a choice and 
as a decision to be weighed seriously including consid- 
eration of such factors as financial and other responsi- 
bilities and changes in life style. In contrast, a par- 
enthood education course for adolescent parents would 
need to address the multiple concerns associated with 
adolescent parenthood which include, but go beyond, 
focus on the infant and its care and development. 
These concerns include the adolescent's health and 
development, education and job opportunities for the 
adolescent, financial needs, family support and rela- 
tionships, etc. I question if one curriculum or course de- 
sign can effectively address these two related but dif- 
ferent foci in education for parenthood for adolescents. 
Therefore, it is very important to be clear as to which 
of these goals and adolescent audiences a course in 
parenthood education is directed because of the impli- 
cations it has for what should be taught. 

Along with clarifying goals for a parenthood edu- 
cation course, how the course is or should be taught 
also needs to be considered. Curriculum in parenthood 
education often focuses on teaching knowledge in child 
development and parenting. Frequently knowledge 
that is taught in any course is not taught in a form use- 
ful for translating it into action. It certainly seems 
that increased knowledge should be available for 
translation into decision making and action for parent- 
ing or caregiving as a result of participation in a par- 
enthood education course. If knowledge taught in 
child development and parenting is to be available for 
translation into action, it must be taught through 
methods involving direct and fairly extensive obser- 
vation and experience with children. Instruction 
should include guiding adolescents in the analysis of 
this experience for identification and understanding of 
the concepts taught if what is taught is to have a last- 
ing impact on adolescent knowledge, understanding, 
and behavior. As suggested by Tulloch and Omvig 
(1989), adolescents may not be at a developmental 
stage where parenting issues are of concern or interest 
to them. For this reason, it is also important to relate 
what is taught in child development and parenting to 
the adolescent's own past and present experiences as a 
developing person and as a family member before be- 
ginning to have them think about the meaning of what 
they are learning to their future parenting. 

The suggestions made related to course design and 
delivery imply that there are a number of different 

86 ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 

potential goals and ways to design and teach a par- 
enthood education course for adolescents. This poten- 
tial for diversity is almost inevitable and exactly 
what we in the field should want to see given the di- 
versity of adolescent groups we are likely to teach It 
is obvious that these groups will differ on such demo- 
graphics as socioeconomic level, race, cultural and re- 
ligious background, geographic location, etc., as well 
as on other types of characteristics. Curriculum has 
been, and needs to continue to be, flexibly designed to 
allow teachers to meet these diverse needs. Given the 
likelihood and desirability of local individualiza- 
tion in course design and delivery even if a standard 
curriculum is used as a guide, it is not appropriate to 
evaluate such courses as if they were standardized 
across groups. 

This point leads me into the thoughts I have about 
the assessment of impact of a parenthood education 
course for adolescents. Monitoring of the implementa- 
tion of a parenthood education course or curriculum is a 
necessary first step in assessment. A record of the 
preparation of teachers in use of a curriculum, a record 
of what each teacher emphasizes or includes in the 
teaching of a curriculum (including any individualized 
adaptations they may make), and information on the 
experience and ability of the teachers assessed in 
their use of the curriculum is needed for effective 
course evaluation. When so little attention is given to 
the treatment in parenthood education courses, it is not 
surprising that there is often a lack of significant re- 
sults (Mann & Hunt, 1989; McClelland, 1984). If the 
manner in which a course is delivered is not known 
and, in the case of the use of an experimental design 
for assessment as is often done, no attempt is made to 
document the standardization of this treatment across 
classes, how can the results of assessment be meaning- 
ful and used effectively to make changes in that pro- 
cess? Whatever the treatment or course design and de- 
livery consists of, part of the process of evaluating the 
impact of any educational intervention is to provide a 
careful description of the nature of that intervention. 
This kind of monitoring and documentation should be 
an initial step in any course evaluation plan. 

The choice of an experimental design for evaluat- 
ing course impact and use of such an assessment design 
implies a standardization of treatment or implemen- 
tation. My comments related to program design and 
delivery indicate that I do not believe this should be 
the case, that is, we should not try to standardize our 
teaching of a parenthood education course. Therefore, 
rather than using an experimental design to assess 
course impact, there are other ways of conceptualizing 
and conducting an evaluation that would be more con- 
sistent with the local diversity in course design and 
delivery that is likely to occur. These suggestions are 

also consistent with the ideas expressed by 
McClelland (1984) in her critique of experimental de- 
sign as a method for assessing parenthood education. 
First, it would be useful to include process or formative 
forms of evaluation as well as impact or summative 
forms of assessment when evaluating a parenthood ed- 
ucation course. A process evaluation might focus on 
identification and understanding of course delivery 
variations to meet needs of particular groups of stu- 
dents and what could be learned from this to improve 
the curriculum being used. Impact or summative eval- 
uations could focus on questions of knowledge and atti- 
tude change as was done in the studies previously men- 
tioned, but they might also focus on questions related 
to changes in values, skills, and the meaning of the 
course to the students. Impact evaluation might also 
focus on identification and understanding of differen- 
tial outcomes in relation to diversity in course deliv- 

In assessing parenthood education courses, evalua- 
tion methods in addition to pre- and post-treatment 
questionnaires for determining impact should be con- 
sidered. For example, it might be possible to select a 
few students from a school site where a parenthood 
education course is to be taught for a pre-course inter- 
view with more open-ended questions related to their 
knowledge and attitudes toward parenting. After 
completion of the course, these same students might be 
interviewed again to determine changes in knowledge 
and attitudes and other areas where the course may 
have an impact upon them. Or a group of students 
might be interviewed after completing a course to de- 
termine what they thought participation in the course 
meant to them. Another alternative might be to ob- 
serve students enrolled in a course in interaction with 
children in order to assess their effectiveness in inter- 
action with children if developing skills for interac- 
tion is a course goal. Any or all of these assessment 
approaches might be combined in assessing the impact 
of a parenthood education course. 

Obviously, assessment approaches such as inter- 
views and observations may be more costly and com- 
plex to do than a questionnaire, but they are likely to 
provide a more meaningful and accurate picture of 
what change, if any, does occur in adolescents because 
of participation in a parenthood education course. 
These approaches to assessment are also more likely 
to get at some of the more subtle outcomes associated 
with participation in a parenthood education course 
that are not revealed by a multiple-choice question- 
naire. Changes of this nature could possibly be the 
most important outcomes of such a course. Such assess- 
ment approaches would also be likely to yield data of 
more use in refining and improving a course than that 
available from use of a multiple-choice questionnaire 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 87 

on child development knowledge or parenting atti- 
tudes alone. 

The ideas in this article related to teaching and 
evaluating parenthood education courses for adoles- 
cents are intended to stimulate teachers to think criti- 
cally about more appropriate and effective means for 
delivering and assessing parenthood education courses 
than those they may now be using. As indicated in my 
opening comments, I think this is an area in which 
home economics educators have an opportunity to 
make a significant contribution to the important soci- 
etal need for effective parenting, and I think we need 
to give much more thought to what and how we teach 
child development and parenting to adolescents as 
well as to how we assess the impact of the teaching 
we do in this area. 


Mann, M. B., & Hunt, S. N. (1989, March). Impact of a 
parenthood education course on adolescents' 
knowledge. Paper presented at the meeting of the 
American Education Research Association, San 
Francisco, CA. 

McClelland, J. (1984). Experimental design and eval- 
uation of parent education. Journal of Vocational 
Home Economics Education, 2, 54-63. 

Tulloch, C. R., & Omvig, C. P. (1989). Changing atti- 
tudes through parenthood education. Journal of 
Vocational Home Economics Education, 7, 104-113. 

(Continued from page 100.) 

constantly think through our presentations of concepts 
so students will continue to learn skills for the real 
world and not stand still in their attainment of 
educational ideas. 


Durkin, D. (1976). Strategies for identifying words. 

Boston: Allyn and Bacon. 
Harp, B. (1989). When the principal asks. The 

Reading Teacher, 42, 4, 326-327. 
Lusteck, C. C, & Bense, D. L. (1988). Student activity 

guide for Guide to good food. South Holland, IL: 

Goodheart-Wilcox Company, Inc. 
Spitze, H. T. (1979). Choosing techniques for teaching 

and learning. Washington, D.C.: Home Economics 

Education Association. • • • 

(Continued from page 83.) 

to one semester, several new programs for home 
economics were requested, and new curriculum had been 

One of the fifteen supervisors reported that 
teacher education units had been actively recruiting 
which had helped the health of their home 
economics program. Three state supervisors said they 
were experiencing a teacher shortage. Others 
predicted a shortage in the next few years. 

Twenty-five state supervisors reported that the 
program was maintaining itself. Their comments 
included: the role we play in AIDS education and 
sexuality is important; the percentage of the total 
enrollment is stable; strong teachers are doing fine; 
sewing is dead; receiving science and math credit for 
home economics classes has helped; more part-time 
teachers have caused enrollment to stabilize; and 
offering semester courses is helpful in light of 
increased graduation requirements. Additional 
comments were: occupational programs were healthy, 
consumer and homemaking were not as healthy; 
teacher meetings in a region are helpful; and 
leadership skills make or break a program. 

Eleven state supervisors reported a declining 
enrollment. Some of their comments included: much 
depends on the teachers; increased graduation 
requirements have hurt programs; and teachers are 
frustrated with legislated requirements including 
teacher evaluation and student testing. Other factors 
contributing to the decline are poor economic conditions 
in the state and that the school population has 

The information gained from the survey of state 
supervisors will serve as a basis for examining existing 
curriculum in Illinois and for determining future 
curriculum goals. 

The Illinois Plan for Home Economics Education is 
a project funded by the Illinois State Board of 
Education Department, of Adult Vocational and 
Technical Education. Dr. Charlotte Carr and Diana 
Greene, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois are 
the Directors. The final results of this project will be 
to print a conceptual framework document and a 
comprehensive home economics curriculum guide 
within the next three years. • • • 

88 ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 

Rethinking the Role of Fathers: Meeting Their 
Needs Through Support Programs 

Brent A. McBride, Ph.D. 
Asst. Professor, Early Childhood Education 
Research Fellow, Institute for Behavioral Research 
University of Georgia 

Rebecca J. McBride 

Consumer Information Specialist 

Atlanta Gas Light Company 

Brent A. McBride 

Rebecca J. McBride 

The roles of fathers are in a state of flux (McBride 
& McBride, in press). Societal expectations are 
emerging which call for men to assume a more active 
role in childrearing as dual-career families become 
the norm rather than the exception in two-parent 
homes. Being the family bread-winner is no longer ac- 
ceptable as the major function of father involvement. 
Men are being expected to participate actively in all 
aspects of childrearing. This more active form of fa- 
ther involvement is viewed as a way of relieving the 
role "overloads" mothers experience as they strive to 
be primary caretakers of their children while em- 
ployed outside the home. 

Many fathers are finding themselves unprepared 
as they attempt to meet these new societal expecta- 
tions for father involvement (Klinman, 1986). Due to 
the way they have been socialized when growing up, 
many lack the basic skills, knowledge and sensitivity 
that would allow them to become active participants 
in raising their young children. Parent education and 
support programs designed specifically for fathers 
maybe one way to help better prepare men to meet 
these changing expectations for paternal involvement, 
yet such programs are few and far between (Levant, 
1988; Klinman, 1986). 

The purpose of this paper is to describe one such 
program designed to encourage fathers to assume a 
more active parental role. 

Definition of Father Involvement 

A major problem in the development and imple- 
mentation of parent support programs for men has been 
the lack of a clear and consistent definition of father 
involvement. Just what is meant when we say we want 
to increase father involvement? It seems as if every- 
one has a different definition. In an effort to rectify 
this problem, Lamb and his colleagues (Lamb, Pleck, 
Charnov & Levine, 1987) have proposed a three-part 
taxonomy (1. Interaction, 2. Accessibility, 3. 
Responsibility) to identify and define the different 
categories that father involvement in childrearing 
might entail. This definition of paternal involvement 
has been utilized in designing our program for fathers. 

The first category in this model, Interaction, con- 
sists of the father interacting with his child in activi- 
ties such as playing with them, holding them, 
bathing, and dressing them, etc. In the second cate- 
gory, Accessibility, the father is involved in less di- 
rect interaction with the child yet still available to 
them. This type of involvement would include such 
times as when the father is in one room of the house 
and the child is in another (e.g., the father is avail- 
able to the child if needed). The third category of 
this taxonomy, Responsibility, has the father assum- 
ing responsibility for the welfare and care of his child 
through such activities as making child care arrange- 
ments, knowing when the child needs to go to the pe- 
diatrician, ensuring the child has clean and appropri- 
ate clothes to wear, etc. Our program is designed to en- 
courage fathers to assume a more active role in all 
three categories of this taxonomy. 

Structure of the "Dad's Day" Program 

The structure of our "Dad's Day" program is one of 
a parent education/play group model. In our program, 
fathers and their preschool aged children meet to- 
gether for two hours on 10 consecutive Saturday morn- 
ings. This program has two major components: group 
discussion and father-child play time. Fathers of 
preschool aged children are identified as targets for 
the program for two reasons: a) the rapid growth and 
development (social, emotional, cognitive & physi- 
cal) that children this age experience, along with the 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 89 

impact of familial influences on this development 
(Minuchin, 1987); and b) the lack of preparation for ef- 
fective parenting by many men during this important 
period of their children's development (Klinman, 

During the first hour of each Saturday morning 
session the fathers and their children participate in 
structured and nonstructured preschool type activities 
(i.e., finger-painting, block play, dress-up corner, story 
& music time, etc.). This portion of the program al- 
lows the fathers to explore and discover different 
ways of interacting with their children and to de- 
velop sensitivity to the needs of their children (see 
McBride, 1989a for a complete description of this 
aspect of the program). Not only are the fathers find- 
ing new ways of interacting with their children during 
this time that were previously unconsidered, but they 
also become aware of the importance of such activities 
in their children's overall development. Prior to par- 
ticipation in the program, most of the fathers view 
this type of activity as just being play and not a means 
of fostering their children's development. 

During the second hour of each Saturday session 
the fathers participate in a discussion group while as- 
sistants supervise and lead activities with the chil- 
dren. These discussion sessions address various topics 
related to father involvement. Each session is de- 
signed to address issues related to one or more of the 
categories outlined in Lamb's taxonomy (Lamb et al., 
1987) of father involvement, and are continually 
refined with each new 10-week program. A discussion 
group format was selected for this portion of the 
program due to the tendency of other more didactic 
parent education programs such as P.E.T., Adlerian, 
and Behavioral approaches to focus primarily on the 
child while excluding opportunities for parents to 
share their problems and perceptions with one 
another. The discussion group format allows the 
curriculum to be adapted to the fathers' background 
experiences, concerns, perceptions, etc., thus keeping 
fatherhood as the primary focus. 

Discussion Group Curriculum 

When we first started offering our Dad's Day pro- 
gram we left it up to each group of fathers to identify 
topics of interest for the discussion sessions. What we 
found after three years of offering such programs is 
that the same topics keep coming up with each new 
group. As such, we have been able to standardize the 
discussion group curriculum and develop activities and 
facilitator questions based on Lamb's taxonomy (Lamb 
et al., 1987) of father involvement. A description of 
the discussion topics and how they relate to the 
taxonomy follows. 

Opening Session - This session is designed to give 
the men a opportunity to get to know each other, and 
to learn the nature and goals of the program. This ses- 
sion is important in that for a discussion group format 
to be successful, the participants must feel comfortable 
with the group and its structure. A big portion of this 
session is spent with the fathers sharing why they 
signed up for the program and what they hope to gain 
from it for themselves and their children. 

Want-Ad for a Father - During this session the 
men brainstorm together as they attempt to write a 
newspaper want-ad to recruit a replacement father for 
their own child. Topics discussed for use in the ad typ- 
ically include the duties and responsibilities of a fa- 
ther, the types of preparation necessary for father- 
hood, the pay and benefits of fatherhood, time re- 
quirements, personality requirements, etc. The process 
forces the men to evaluate their own perceptions of 
what they believe a father should be, and then com- 
pare these perceptions with their own parental situa- 
tions. In discussing the types of interactions men are 
expected to have with their children, interaction 
issues are being addressed. Accessibility issues are 
being addressed when discussing the time requirements 
and constraints of fatherhood. In discussing the 
preparation required for fatherhood and the responsi- 
bilities once they become one, responsibility issues are 
being addressed. 

Educating Young Children - This session starts 
with a 25-minute video presentation of educating 
young children. The tape presents two opposing view- 
points on how preschoolers should be educated (i.e., 
Glen Doman's "Better Baby Institute" approach vs. 
David Elkind's notion of the "Hurried Child"). 
Discussion is spurred as the fathers share their reac- 
tions to these two extreme viewpoints. Responsibility 
issues are raised as the fathers become aware of how 
young children learn and the reasons why they should 
take an active role in this process. Interaction issues 
are also addressed as the fathers discuss ways in 
which they can help foster their children's learning 
in a developmentally appropriate way. 

Sibling Rivalry - This session is designed to help 
the fathers examine the reasons for sibling rivalry. 
Strategies are discussed as to how parents can effec- 
tively deal with these problems, as well as a discus- 
sion of why sibling rivalry occurs. This session also 
leads into a discussion of the problems associated with 
parents comparing their children, not only amongst 
their own, but with other children when in a group si- 
tuation. The goal is to encourage the fathers to appre- 
ciate the individuality of their children and to be 
aware of those things about the child they can and 
cannot change, and to know the difference. Interaction 
issues are addressed as the fathers discuss ways to dif- 

90 ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 

fuse rivalry situations and make each child feel 
unique and special. Accessibility issues are addressed 
as the fathers discuss the importance of spending 
"special" time with each child. As they learn more 
about the importance of acknowledging the uniqueness 
of each child and why not to compare children, 
responsibility issues are being addressed. 

Ages & States of Development - This session is 
spent discussing the various types of behaviors that 
are normal for each developmental state of a child. 
Although this usually happens with each topic dis- 
cussed, it is the primary focus during this session. The 
goal is to help the fathers become aware of the wide 
range of developmental differences among children, 
and how their expectations for child behaviors need 
to be reflective of these differences. Responsibility 
issues are being addressed as the fathers learn about 
children developing at a unique pace, and how 
parental awareness of the developmental needs of 
their children is critical. As they discuss develop- 
mentally appropriate ways to interact and play with 
their children, interaction issues are being raised. 

Super Hero/Fantasy Play - This session is based on 
a discussion of how parents can effectively counteract 
the violent nature and influence of super hero cartoons 
so prevalent of television. This is done by examining 
the various types of super hero, fantasy and dramatic 
play in which children engage. From this session the 
men become aware of the various types of learning and 
development that occur when children are engaged in 
fantasy and pretend play. Interaction issues are ad- 
dressed as the fathers discuss ways in which they can 
become involved in their children's pretend play, and 
how this involvement can be channeled into positive 
forms. Responsibility issues are addressed as the 
fathers discuss and learn more about why fantasy and 
pretend play is important for their children's devel- 
opment, and how they can create an environment that 
would encourage this type of play. 

Discipline (2 weeks) - Discipline is a very impor- 
tant topic for the fathers. As such, two weeks are de- 
voted to this subject. The two sessions are designed to 
encourage the fathers to discuss various aspects of dis- 
cipline, such as: why do children misbehave; what is 
the difference between punishment and discipline- 
why do young children want and need limit; what are 
different disciplines strategies; and so on. 
Accessibility and responsibility issues are being 
addressed as the fathers discuss why it is important 
for both parents to play an active role in family disci- 
pline, and why examination of alternative discipline 
strategies is important. Interaction issues are raised 
as the fathers discuss how their own behaviors and in- 
teractions (or lack thereof) have a strong impact on 
their children's behavior. 

Time Constraints/Role Strain of Fatherhood - 

This session is devoted to discussing the various fac- 
tors that push and pull on a father as he becomes more 
involved in childbearing. Reasons why these role 
strains and pressures occur are discussed, as well as 
strategies on how to deal with and overcome them. 
Issues in all three categories of father involvement are 
addressed in this session as well. 

Closing/Reflection - This last session is spent with 
the men reflecting back and sharing what they be- 
lieve was most beneficial to them and their children 
from participating in the program. As the men share 
their reflections, discussion on the changing roles of 
fathers is usually brought up, along with predictions 
on how paternal roles may change in the future. 
Again, issues in all three categories of father in- 
volvement are addressed in this session. 


Results from research conducted in conjunction with 
our "Dad's Day" program suggest that it has a signifi- 
cant positive impact on the types of involvement the 
fathers have with their children, their perceptions of 
parental competence, and the quality of interactions 
they have with their children (McBride, 1988, 1989a, 
1989b). Informal evaluations completed by the fa- 
thers suggest they believe that program participation 
had positive benefits for their children as well as 
themselves. Comments such as "I really enjoyed hav- 
ing the opportunity to talk with other fathers about 
being active parents," and "It was great realizing that 
I'm not the only father out there bumbling around try- 
ing to figure out what I should be doing as a dad," 
indicate another positive aspect of the program. Men 
have very few opportunities to come together and 
share their concerns with other men as they struggle 
with becoming actively involved fathers of their 
young children. We believe this informal support 
network created by our program to be one of its 
strongest components; one which can have a far reach- 
ing impact on the lives of the fathers and their fami- 

Parent education and support programs such as ours 
designed for father are few and far between. Family 
life and parent educators need to consider programs 
such as this one as they explore ways to meet the 
needs of families in our ever changing society. They 
also need to reevaluate their conceptualization of the 
roles of fathers as they develop programs for men. 
The father's role as primary bread-winner is no longer 
a valued portrayal of how men can be involved in 
childrearing. Lamb's three-part taxonomy (Lamb et 
al. 1987) of father involvement can guide the 

(Continued on page 93.) 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 91 

School-Age Child Care: 
Solution to Latchkey Problem 

Mary M. Warnock 
Associate Professor 
Clothing, Textiles and 

Department of Home Economics 
University of Arkansas 
Fayetteville, AR 

Specific Steps in Getting Started Include 


Editor's Note: Mary Warnock received the National Safety 
Council's Third Place Citation for Outstanding Service for her work 
with Project Home Safe. 

Do you and your spouse work and have one or more 
children attending elementary school? Is it 
impossible to meet your child(ren) when school is out 
for the day? Are you apprehensive about allowing 
your child(ren) to enter the home alone after school 
and spend time at work visualizing all the pitfalls of 
a child alone at home (fire, strangers, etc.)? Does it 
seem impossible to find affordable quality child care? 
If you have asked these same questions and discovered 
no real answers, starting a school-age child care 
program could be the solution. 

Getting Started 

If you have a need for school-age child care, 
others in your community also may have this same 
need. The criteria for getting your program off the 
ground is to find those persons interested in supporting 
such a community effort and acquiring the necessary 
skills and/or information to meet the need. 

One source of information has been the latchkey 
workshops sponsored by the American Home 
Economics Association (AHEA) (Plantz, M., Director, 
Project Home Safe, Washington, DC) and the 
Whirlpool Foundation under the title of Project Home 
Safe. These workshops provide home economists with 
the resources to start school-age child care programs. 
The Cooperative Extension Service may have 
brochures and information concerning these Project 
Home Safe workshops. The book by Baden, Genser, 
Levine and Seligson (1982) is an excellent reference 
that contains profiles of existing programs, imple- 
mentation, management and other operational 
criteria. Seaver and Cartwright (1986) book, Child 
Care Administration, is also a useful source. 

1 . Establish Community Coalition. Members would 
include persons in the community who have 
special interests or skills necessary for the success 
of the program. Persons to involve would be 
lawyers, bankers, contractors, mayor, school board 
members, principals, ministers, and parents. No 
more than nine members are necessary for the 

2. Conduct Needs Assessment Survey. Potential 
enrollment for the child care program needs to be 
determined. A needs assessment survey may be 
obtained from the State Department of Human 
Services for distribution to local school children. 
Permission from school superintendent and 
principal(s) of school(s) to be surveyed must be 
obtained before distribution. After data have 
been tabulated, potential enrollment and necessity 
for the program may be determined. 

3. Find Facility. The best location for a school-age 
child care problem would be the school(s) which 
the children attend. School cafeterias have been 
used successfully for this purpose. Community cen- 
ters and churches also are good facilities. 

4. Develop Policies. Community coalition will 
determine all policies for the child care program 
which will be presented in a parent's manual. 
These policies will cover such items as fees, 
enrollment, days and hours of operation, curricula, 
snacks, disciplinary action, medication 
procedures, permission slips and transportation. 

5. Hire Personnel. Community coalition will hire 
the director and any other personnel needed to run 
the child care program. Salary will be 
determined by the community coalition. 

6. Seek Incorporation and Licensing. The child care 
program needs to be a non-profit organization with 
the correct papers being filed with the state 
government. Licensing information may be 
obtained from the local county department of 
human services. 


1. Budget. The budget will be determined by the 
program design and vice versa. Salary of person- 
nel, curricula, equipment and food needs must be in- 

92 ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 

eluded. If child care fees do not cover all costs of 
the program, outside funding may be needed. 
Possible sources of funding include state and fed- 
eral agencies plus community businesses and lead- 
ers. Income and expenses must be listed. 

2. Program Design. Daily schedules should be 
written and posted for parents information. Types 
of indoor and outdoor activities plus snacks need to 
be included. Curriculum will be determined by the 
director in association with the community 

3. Publicity. Pertinent information needs to be 
forwarded to the community. How this is 
accomplished may depend on the needs of the 
community. Fliers, posters, newspaper ads, radio 
and TV spots plus brochures are just a few ideas. 

4. Enrollment. The doors must be opened and 
children enrolled in the program for it to be 
successful. The beginning date of the program will 
depend on the needs of the community, financial 
status of the program and how quickly legal 
requirements have been met. 

The Future 

The success of a school-age child care program in 
your community will depend on the commitment that 
you and the community coalition members have for 
providing a solution to the latchkey problem. Many 
hours of free service will be dedicated to such a 
project, but the rewards are very great. Your 
child(ren) will be provided with affordable quality 
day care in a clean environment with trained 
supervision. Involvement is the secret to establishing 
future school-age day care programs. 

The author is indebted to Dr. Era Looney for her 
assistance in establishing the Elkins School-Age 
Child Care Program, Inc., Elkins, AR, and developing 
this article. 


Baden, R. K., Genser, A., Levine, J. A., & Seligson, M. 
(1982). School-Age Child Care An Action Manual. 
Massachusetts: Auburn House Publishing Com- 

Seaver, J. W., & Cartwright, C. A. (1986). Child Care 
Administration. California: Wadsworth Pub- 
lishing Company. • • • 

(Continued from page 91.) 
development of programs designed to help men meet 
these changing expectations for father involvement. 

Examination of the changing roles of fathers, 
along with the design and implementation of pro- 
grams such as ours, should not be limited to those orga- 
nizations geared for adults. Home economists working 
with family life, parent education and child devel- 
opment programs for school-aged children should also 
consider addressing these issues. Involving elemen- 
tary, junior high and high school students in activities 
which draw attention to the changing roles of fathers 
will help guide them in rethinking their conceptual- 
ization of paternal and maternal behaviors. As such, 
these students may go into their adult lives with more 
open attitudes toward how mothers and fathers can 
both become actively involved in raising their chil- 
dren. Programs for fathers can even be set up in conjunc- 
tion with these classes. The "Touch Guys - Tender 
Father" program at West Jordan High School in West 
Jordan, Utah (Forecast, 1988) is one example of how an 
FHA chapter has addressed this issue. The positive 
response to their program is one indication of the stu- 
dents' interest in this topic. Programs and classes that 
ask students to evaluate the role of fathers, will help 
better prepare young adults (both boys and girls) so 
they can effectively meet the changing expectations 
for paternal involvement. 


Forecast, (1988). H.S. Students teach dads. Forecast, 
34 (3), 30. 

Klinman, D. G. (1986). Fathers and the educational 
system. In M. E. Lamb (Ed.), The father's role: 
Applied perspectives (pp. 413-428). New York: 

Lamb, M. E., Pleck, J. H., Charnov, E. L., & Levine, J. 
A. (1987). A biosocial perspective on paternal be- 
havior and involvement. In J. B. Lancaster, J. 
Altman, A. Rossi, & L. Sherrod (Eds.), Parenting 
across the lifespan: Biosocial perspectives (pp. 
111-142). Chicago: Aldine. 

Levant, R. F. (1988). Education for fatherhood. In P. 
Bronstein and C. P. Cowan (Eds.), Fatherhood to- 
day: Men's changing role in the family (pp. 253- 
275). New York: Wiley. 

McBride, B. A. (1988). The effects of a parent educa- 
tion/play group program on father involvement in 
childrearing. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, 
University of Maryland, College Park. 

McBride, B. A. (1989a). Interaction, accessibility and 
responsibility: A view of father involvement and 
how to encourage it. Young Children, 44, 13-19 
(Continued on page 99.) 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 93 

Cooperative Learning 

Jennifer Herget 

Teacher, Home and Career Skills 
Camillus Middle School 
Camillus, NY 

The Nation at Risk (1983) reports that 
"educational foundations are being eroded by a rising 
tide of mediocrity that threatens our future as a na- 
tion and a people" (p. 5). Within this report, national 
test scores and student achievement in America were 
shown as declining. In the past decade, when com- 
pared internationally, our student achievement test 
results came up short. The SAT scores were in an 
unbroken decline from 1963 through 1980. It was sug- 
gested that this trend stems from a weakness of pur- 
pose, a confusion of vision, an underuse of talent and a 
lack of leadership. The 1987 report still shows us at 
risk. Education secretary, William Bennett, stated 
that "We are doing better than we were in 1983, but 
we certainly are not doing well enough, fast enough. 
We are still at risk" (Goodwin, 1988, p. 51). 

As educators, we are responding to this issue in 
many ways. As teachers, as a school district, and as 
citizens, we are dealing with it in the many roles we 
play. The Nation at Risk (1983) reports our goal is "to 
develop the talents of all to their fullest." How are 
we doing at this? As classroom teachers, there is a 
learning theory we can implement that will make 
some marked improvements in our students, individu- 
ally and collectively. This theory results in improv- 
ing their individual talents and skills, while increas- 
ing their accountability and responsibility in the 
classroom. The theory is the Cooperative Learning 
Theory. The schools using it are seeing changes and 
saying "it works". Cooperative learning is a tech- 
nique that has many advantages for students. Today 
we need to improve the interpersonal skills and lead- 
ership skills of our students. Small group work has 
been a part of home economics for some time; however, 
the adaptation to cooperative learning would take 
only a slight effort. 

Cooperative groups can be used for activities, dis- 
cussion groups, and even for reading assignments. The 
most important part is the initial establishment of 

the groups, clearly stating and practicing the desired 
behavior, and evaluating often. 

Need for Cooperation 

The need for cooperation between people is re- 
flected in all aspects of life: the family, the commu- 
nity, the work force, sports teams and society in gen- 
eral. And yet so often in our schools and classrooms we 
over-emphasize learning environments which operate 
on an individual or competitive basis (Fehring, 1987). 
The student's need for cooperative learning was a pri- 
mary finding in related studies. Evidence showed the 
benefits for students were both academic and social. 
Cooperation has been found to promote more positive 
attitudes toward the instructional work than does in- 
dividualistic work (Johnson & Johnson, 1987). Most 
classrooms today are an individualistic approach, 
some are competitive and few are cooperative. In fact, 
small group learning techniques are used seven to 
twenty percent of classroom time (Johnson & Johnson, 
1987). With more cooperative learning, there will be 
greater student achievement, improved attitudes 
about school and the responsibility of learning placed 
back on the students (Smith, 1987). One of the most 
powerful study techniques known to psychologists, ac- 
cording to Pauk (1974), is the act of verbalizing newly 
learned information. Group learning can provide stu- 
dents with this opportunity. 

Cooperative Learning Theory 

Cooperative learning, defined by Slavin (1987), 
refers to "a set of instructional methods in which stu- 
dents are encouraged or required to work together on 
academic tasks" (Slavin's,1987, p. 31). Study on 
cooperative learning included the group contingency 
component. In group contingencies, groups of students 
are rewarded on the basis of the behavior of the group 
members (Slavin, 1987). Slavin (1987) has done 
comprehensive research since 1983 on cooperative 
learning and achievement. He began by looking at 
learning activities being a function primarily of their 
motivation and found groups to be motivating. When 
implemented effectively, they can be much more 
motivating than competitive or individualistic 
learning. In his 46 studies, Slavin (1987) found 
significantly greater achievement in cooperative 
learning classes than in control classes. If grouping 
has no reward, the results were not favorable. 

94 ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 

Smith (1987) feels that once cooperative skills are 
learned, students have little trouble staying on a task, 
enjoying their time together, caring about others and 
turning out higher quality products. Smith (1987) fa- 
vors cooperative learning and states that students do 
not function effectively just because they are placed in 
groups. The previously mentioned cooperative skills 
exhibited by groups were contributing ideas, encourag- 
ing others participation within groups, coordinating 
the efforts of all the group members and expressing 
support (Smith, 1987). Expected group behavior 
should be outlined for cooperative learning to be most 

The Basic Elements of Cooperative Learning 

• Positive Interdependence 

• Face-to-Face Interaction 

• Individual Accountability 

• Interpersonal and Small Group Skills 

• Group Processing 

(Johnson, Johnson, & Holubec, 1986) 

Grouping of Students 

The number of students in a small group differed in 
research. Small groups of two to six were suggested by 
Jacob and Mattson (1987) and groups of three to five 
students were suggested by Fehring (1987) to be more 
effective. Three groups of ten were recommended by 
Wood (1987) in secondary level classrooms. Groups are 
implemented for a number of different reasons, the 
content area, behavior problems, and desires for stu- 
dent achievement. The structuring of a group is very 
important and clear outlines of group behavior and 
goals should be made available. Groups allow the 
teacher and the students to deal openly with sources 
of conflict that may be causing surface behavior prob- 
lems. The purpose and type of group that is imple- 
mented will dictate specific outcomes (Coleman & 
Webber, 1988). Other variables in the decision to 
group consists of size of class, type and makeup of 
class, flexibility on the part of students, their feelings 
toward the subject and the ability of the students to 
work successfully (Gerleman, 1987). Due to all these 
variables, it is obvious that an initial attempt at co- 
operative learning may not be a sufficient indicator of 
its success for that teacher. 

Structure of the Groups 

The structure of the group is determined by the 
group's purpose and teacher's preference. In order for 
groups to be successful, structure and predetermined 
expectations must be established (Coleman & Webber, 
1988). This guideline is reiterated in many reports. 
Learning groups may need a clear, cooperative goal 
structure (Johnson, Johnson, & Stanne, 1986). Like any 

other instructional activity, groups require systematic 
movement toward predetermined goals and objectives 
(Coleman & Webber, 1988). Students should be told 
that each group member needs to assist the other 
members of the group with understanding the materi- 
als or completing the project (Johnson & Mattson, 
1987). There is a need to create an atmosphere of posi- 
tive interdependence between group members. Such in- 
terdependence provides the reason for working to- 
gether and thus encouraging cooperation (Fehring, 

Advantages for Teachers 

Advantages of cooperative learning for students, 
such as their improvement academically and socially, 
has been discussed. Teachers also have many benefits 
from grouping, yet some teachers prefer working with 
fewer students at a time because they feel it is easier 
to know how much to expect from students and how 
much to give them to do (Gerleman, 1987). Students 
with high level abilities were not bored, and those 
with lower abilities levels worked at their own pace. 
When their efforts brought success, they were more 
confident and as a result the students misbehaved less. 
One of the attractions of cooperative learning is the 
positive affects on the following variables: race 
relations, attitudes toward mainstreamed classmates, 
self-esteem, and other nonacademic outcomes (Slavin, 
1987). The grouping technique can be an effective tool 
for improved classroom management when 
implemented appropriately. Any capable teacher 
who is organized and somewhat flexible can group 
(Gerleman, 1987). 

The cooperative learning theory and steps are out- 
lined in reference materials. It is not just putting stu- 
dents in groups. Each student has a role and there are 
observation forms to be completed and a checklist of 

Important considerations mentioned were teachers 
enthusiasm, experience, style and flexibility. Two 
possible concerns for teachers were the fears of losing 
power and losing control (Gough, 1987). The loss has 
many gains for the student. Cooperative environments 
provide so many benefits when compared to competi- 
tive and individualistic environments. The suggestion 
was made for teachers to start independently then 
work with a group of colleagues who want to try it, 
which would be easier and more fun. A last benefit for 
teachers is that it will teach responsibility to the 
students resulting from their individual accountabil- 
ity to the group. Responsibility is a difficult concept 
to teach and to develop in today's students. There is a 
natural responsibility created in cooperative learning. 

(Continued on page 99.) 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 95 

Maintaining Momentum 

Harriett K. Light 

Dept. of Child Development 

and Family Science 
College of Home Economics 
North Dakota State University 
Fargo, ND 

Tips from the major theorists on how to handle a 
problem experienced by most of us at some time in our 
lives, dwindling energy and enthusiasm, are presented 
in this article. This problem has been addressed by 
Freud (1916-1917), Erikson (1963), Bardwick (1986), 
Ringer (1989), Maslow (1968), and James (1977). Their 
discussion of a common human dilemma is an indica- 
tion that the great theorists were very much like all 
of us. This realization helps theory come alive with a 
practical message for living in the high-tech 1990s. 

Erik Erikson: Care Deeply 

Erik Erikson said life was one darn thing after the 
other. In theoretical jargon, he said life consists of 
eight psychosocial crises. Each crisis must be success- 
fully resolved before the individual can progress to 
the next crisis. 

The eighth crisis is concerned with maintaining 
momentum in adulthood. It is termed generativity vs. 
stagnation. Generativity means a "...general concern 
for guiding and supporting the next generation" 
(Frager and Fadiman, 1984, p. 152). Continued cre- 
ativity and productivity in adulthood requires a gen- 
uine, caring concern about values that will promote a 
high quality of life for all of human kind. To care 
means to have a purpose in life that is outside of one- 
self and all the worries about the self. 

Dr. Wayne Dyer (1989), psychologist and prolific 
author explained generativity and life's purpose: 

"You find your purpose in service. Once you transcend 
yourself - that is, once you get outside of you, and all 
the pettiness, and all the worries about me, me, me - 
and you get into the world. ..all of the other things in 
terms of helping.. .people will begin to be a part of 
your life" (p.24). 

To care deeply about something that is worth- 
while allows us to advance confidently in activities 
that will make the world a better place for the next 
generation. To care deeply means living life on ethics 

and helping others develop their potential. It is from 
caring that we derive the energy necessary for main- 
taining momentum. 

Stagnation is the alternative. Like a pond in 
summer that has no fresh water flowing into it and 
sends no water out of it - there are no new ideas flow- 
ing into the stagnated mind; no new ideas flow out of 
the mind into the world. Self-indulgence, self-concern, 
inactivity and lifelessness are characteristics of a 
stagnated person. 

Erikson's tip for maintaining momentum and pre- 
venting stagnation can be summarized by saying that 
one must care deeply about something outside of self- 
serving interests. This means involvement in activi- 
ties which are based on values and ideas that will 
"...ensure the ongoing health and maintenance of our 
creations, ideals and principles. Unless the sphere of 
our care and productivity widens, we fall prey to a 
sense of boredom and stagnation" (Frager and 
Fadiman, 1984, p. 152). 

Judith Bardwick: Dare to Act 

If caring is the first step in maintaining momen- 
tum, the second step must be daring to act. Judith 
Bardwick (1986) stated that being plateaued means 
reaching a stage in work or life where there is no more 
growth or movement. Like that old song that Peggy 
Lee sings so well, we ask, " this all there is?" 

Plateaued people have lost momentum because 
they do not dare to act. They are scared of losing the 
security they have gained, scared of change, scared of 
being different from the crowd, scared to speak out 
against injustices, and scared they will never win in 
the race of life again. 

How can momentum be maintained when you have 
plateaued? Dare to act! Dare to shake off your long 
term case of chronic fatigue that has become a conve- 
nient excuse for inactivity. Dare to confront the rules 
that no longer make sense. Dare to give up attitudes 
and patterns of living that served you well in the 
past, but now are your liability. According to 
Bardwick, (1986) daring is the key to maintaining 
momentum. , 

Robert Ringer: Bear Life's Realities 

Too tired to care? Too tired to dare? Ringer (1989) 
would say you have exhausted your energy because you 
have had unrealistic expectations. Ringer (1989) is a 
contemporary author of three self-published best 

96 ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 

selling books. Striving without receiving what you 
think ought to be your deserved rewards and believing 
you have been singled out to experience unique prob- 
lems are reasons for failure to maintain momentum. 
He suggested that in order to maintain momentum, one 
needs to understand the basic realities of life. This 
will lead to an understanding of how the world works. 
This is necessary if you are to avoid becoming over- 
whelmed by the negative aspects of life. According to 
Ringer (1989) the realities are: 

1. Life is a continual stream of problems, obstacles, 
lost jobs and people who treat you unfairly. This isn't 
fair - but fairness isn't the issue. It's just reality. It is 
better to understand this reality that life is full of 
difficulties and dilemmas so you can spend your time 
and energy becoming skilled at resolving those diffi- 
culties as quickly and easily as possible. 

2. For every negative occurrence in the world, there 
is an equal and offsetting positive. Nothing in life is 
one way. There are positive aspects in every negative 
situation. A positive mental attitude does not ignore 
the negative; it looks for the positive outcome in every 
negative event. 

3. The law of averages always prevails in the long 
run. Your chances of succeeding are in direct proportion 
to the number of times you try. If you try forty times, 
your chances of succeeding are four times as great as 
they are if you try only ten times. 

Accepting problems as a part of life and working to 
solve them, (instead of wasting energy thinking of 
yourself as a helpless victim), and looking for the pos- 
itive outcomes in all negative situations and 
persistence when being faced with failure will help 
one maintain momentum, according to Robert Ringer 

Sigmund Freud: Confront Negative Situations 

Anxiety, triggered by various types of losses, was 
viewed by Freud (Frager & Fadiman, 1984) as an en- 
ergy consuming major obstacle to personal growth. 
Types of losses include loss of love and approval, an 
object or person, and self-respect. Anxiety consumes an 
enormous amount of energy. Anxiety is a major reason 
for failure to maintain momentum. 

According to Freud (1916-1917), there are two gen- 
eral ways to decrease anxiety. The most desirable 
way is to deal directly with the anxiety causing situa- 
tion. This involves resolving problems, overcoming ob- 
stacles, and coming to terms with problems to mini- 
mize their negative effect. 

On the other hand, if problems are not confronted, 
an individual may consume valuable energy by using 
defense mechanisms as protection from anxiety. The 
defenses avoid reality (repression), exclude reality 
(denial), redefine reality (rationalization), or reverse 

reality (reaction formation). They place inner feel- 
ings on the outer world (projection), partition reality 
(isolation), or withdraw from reality (regression). In 
every case, energy is necessary to maintain the de- 
fense. Defense mechanisms tie up psychological en- 
ergy which could be used for more effective activities 
(Frager & Fadiman, 1984). 

The disadvantages of not confronting and dealing 
with problem areas of life appears to be clear: an 
enormous amount of energy is consumed as one tries to 
"run" by using defenses. Momentum is lost. Self-confi- 
dence is diminished. How much better to take Freud's 
advice: deal directly with the situation and work to 
resolve problems and overcome obstacles. This can re- 
new energy because confidence is gained in handling 
the anxiety producing situations. 

Abraham Maslow: Immerse Yourself in Newness 

Maslow (1968) believed that behavior can be ex- 
plained on the basis of need fulfillment. Human needs 
are arranged in a pyramid fashion with psysiological 
needs, safety and esteem on the bottom. These must be 
met before the person can go onto the higher level need 
of self-actualization. Unfortunately, many people 
stop growing and become bored when their lower level 
needs are met, then there are no more challenges. This 
can be due to poor health habits (poor diets, addiction 
to drugs), group pressure, negative influences from past 
experiences and inner defenses (Frager & Fadiman, 

Momentum is lost when boredom sets in. Maslow 
(1968) refers to this loss of momentum as the Jonah 
complex. The Jonah complex is a refusal to try to real- 
ize one's full capabilities. "Just as Jonah attempted to 
avoid the responsibilities of becoming a prophet, so 
too many people are actually afraid of using their ca- 
pacities to the fullest. They prefer the security of av- 
erage and undemanding achievements, as opposed to 
truly ambitious goals that would require them to ex- 
tend themselves fully" (Frager & Fadiman, p. 392). 

Maslow's (1968) suggestion for maintaining mo- 
mentum is to become immersed in new and different 
challenges that require the use of latent abilities and 
talents. Immerse oneself fully in newness: new ideas, 
new skills, new actions, new feats. From the excite- 
ment of newness, comes energy to maintain momentum. 

James: Develop Wisdom - The Art of Knowing What 
to Overlook - and Will 

James (1977) is considered to be the father of psy- 
chology. Writing at the turn of the century (1890s), he 
viewed obstacles to personal growth as our own bad 
habits (self-destructive health habits, procrastina- 
tion), unexpressed emotions (anger or guilt can lead to 
physical or mental illness), errors of excess (excess of 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1 990 97 

love becomes possessiveness, an excess of loyalty be- 
comes fanaticism, an excess of concern becomes senti- 
mentality) and personal blindness (the failure to un- 
derstand another person). These obstacles consume en- 
ergy that could otherwise be put to constructive per- 
sonal growth activities (Frager & Fadiman, 1984). 

James (1977) experienced a long, severe period of 
depression. His diary recorded the steps in his recov- 
ery. On April 30, 1870, James made a conscious decision 
to end his depression. He chose to believe in free will. 
"My first act of free will shall be to believe in free 
will," he said (Frager & Fadiman, 1984, p. 244). 

Will is the center of James' (1977) theory-- the 
combination of attention (focusing thoughts) and effort 
(overcoming inhibitions, laziness, or distractions). 
"An idea inevitably produces an action unless another 
idea conflicts with it. Will is that process which 
holds one choice among the alternatives long enough 
to allow the actions to occur. We must ATTEND to a 
difficult object and hold it steadfast before the mind" 
(Frager & Fadiman, p 249). 

Momentum is maintained when thoughts are fo- 
cused on what one wishes to accomplish. Energy can 
then be utilized on the desired activity instead of dis- 
sipated on many competing thoughts. Knowing what 
to overlook, and thus conserving energy, helps one to 
invest personal energy wisely. 


Loss of momentum is a common human dilemma. 
Six theorists included this problem in their writings. 
The theorists' views are summarized on the following 
chart. Their views present several causes. However, 
their suggestions for maintaining momentum focus on a 
single commonality; action must be taken by the 
individual and effort must be consciously focused on 
maintaining momentum. Once a decision to maintain 
momentum is made, then the necessary skills must be 
developed. Only then will the individual be able to 
maintain momentum. 




Self-centered concerns; 
narrow view of world. 

Reach out to others; care about 
next generation. 


Anxiety caused by the 
losses in life, including 
loss of approval, objects, 
confidence, etc. 

Confront and deal with the 
anxiety causing situation. 


Fear of losing security; 
fear of change. 

Dare to act; challenge 
ineffective rules and old 
ways of doing things. 


Unrealistic expectations; 
meaningless strivings. 

Accept reality of life's 
problems; persist in 
problem-solving skills. 


Failure to develop one's 
abilities and talents. 

Lifelong learning; new 


Own bad habits; unexpressed 
emotions; errors of excess, 

Believe in free will; act on 
that belief; know what to 

98 ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 


Bardwick, J. M. (1986). The plateauing trap. New 
York: Bantam Books. 

Dyer, W. (1989). To make a difference in the word. 
Insight, Nightingale-Conant Corp. 76, 17-25. 

Erickson, E. (1963). Childhood and society (2nd ed.). 
New York: Norton. 

Frager, R., & Fadiman, J. (1984). Personality and per- 
sonal growth. New York: Harper and Row. 

Freud, S. (1916-1917). Introductory lectures on psy- 
choanalysis. Standard Edition, Volumes 15 & 16. 
Vienna: University of Vienna. 

James. W. (1977). The writings of William James. 
(John M. McDermott, ed.) 

Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 

Maslow, A. (1968). Toward a psychology of being. 
New York: Van Nostrand. 

Ringer, R. J. (1989). The power of PMA. Insight, 
Nightingale-Conant Corp., 76, 26-39. • • • 

(Continued from page 95.) 

The Teacher's Role in Cooperative Learning 

The teacher's role in cooperative learning is to 
be a facilitator and a manager. The language used 
may be as follows: our classroom, our rules of 
behavior, our responsibility, our decision, etc. 
(Fehring, 1987). Once groups are set up, teachers need 
to intervene and monitor, this is only after they have 
explained the task and desired behaviors (Jacobs & 
Mattson, 1987). Sometimes cooperative learning is not 
successful due to the teacher's perceived role and 
behaviors. Also grouping is not for everyone and 
teachers need to be comfortable with the mode of 
teaching they use (Gerleman, 1987). 

In conclusion, considering the variables and 
the effects, cooperative learning is definitely 
something to be implemented or at least try. The 
advantages far outweigh competitive and 
individualistic learning. 


Coleman, M., & Webber, J. (1988). Behavior prob- 
lems? Try groups! Academic therapy, 12(3), 265- 

Fehring, H. (1987). Cooperative learning strategies 
applies in the language classroom. Adelaide: 
Australian Reading Association. (ERIC Document 
Reproduction Service No. ED 285 122). 

Gerleman, S. (1987). An observational study of small- 
group instruction in fourth grade mathematics 
classrooms. The Elementary School Journal 88(\), 

Goodwin, I. (1988). Five years after "A Nation At 
Risk" US schools still seek better grades. Physics 
Today. June 1988, 50-52. 

Gough, P.B. (1987). The key to improving schools: An 
interview with William Glasser. Phi Delta 
Kappan, 68(9), 656-662. 

Jacob, E., & Mattson, B. (1987). Cooperative learning 
with limited-English proficient students. 
Washington, DC: Office of Educational Research 
and Improvement. (ERIC Document Reproduction 
Service No. ED 287 314). 

Johnson, R., & Johnson, D. (1987). How can we put co- 
operative learning into practice. Science Teacher, 
54(6), 46-48, 50. 

Johnson, R.T., Johnson, D. W., & Holubec, E. J. (1986). 
Comparison of computer-assisted cooperative, 
competitive and individualistic learning. 
American Educational Research Journal, 23(3), 

Lew, M., Mesch, D., Johnson, D., & Johnson, R. (1986). 
Positive interdependence, academic and collabo- 
rative skills, group contingencies and isolated stu- 
dents. American Educational Research Journal, 
23(3), 476-488. 

Slavin, R. (1987). Cooperative learning: Where be- 
havioral and humanistic approaches to classroom 
motivation meet. The Elementary School Journal, 
84(4), 409-422. 

Smith, R. A. (1987). A teacher's view on cooperative 
learning. Phi Delta Kappan, 68(9), 663-666. 

Wood, K. (1987). Fostering cooperative learning in 
middle and secondary level classrooms. Journal of 
Reading, 32(1), 10-19. ••• 

(Continued from page 93.) 

McBride, B. A. (1989b, April). The effects of a parent 
education/play group program on father involve- 
ment in childr earing). Paper presented at the 
Society for Research in Child Development 
Biennial Meeting, Kansas City, MO. 

McBride, B. A., & McBride, R. J. (in press). The chang- 
ing roles of fathers: Implications for family life 
and parent educators. Journal of Home Economics. 

Minuchin, P. (1987). Schools, families, and the devel- 
opment of young children. Early Childhood 
Research Quarterly, 2 , 245-254. • • • 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 99 

Are Workbooks Really Necessary? 

Mary Ann Block 

Deptartment of Home Economics 
Tarleton State University 
Stephenville, Texas 

As I remember workbooks from my own school 
days, I recall filling out my spelling workbook within 
2 weeks. Condensing the supposedly 36 weeks of work 
into 2 weeks was not work. It required little effort and 
filled my time that was not otherwise engaged. 

Did I learn from such a rapid endeavor? Did I 
forget the spelling or the definitions by the time the 
test was presented? Was the material presented on a 
low level that demanded little thought? These are 
difficult questions to answer. Perhaps I was good at 
memorization as are many students and the workbook 
filled my vacant study time. There may be many 
students who complete the exercises in workbooks yet 
do not learn very much as a result. 

In home economics, as in other subjects, student 
guides or workbooks have proliferated. Do we really 
need them? Are they helpful in promoting and 
developing the attainment of meaningful concepts for 
students? Do they facilitate critical thinking? Are 
these essential materials (Harp, 1989)? The answers 
to these questions require careful consideration. 

Learning that is meaningful comes from material 
that has relevance and importance to the student. 
Students retain concepts or ideas when they are used to 
help them achieve a desired goal or purpose. 
Workbooks have a tendency to be separate from the 
furthering of important ideas (Harp, 1989). 
Commercial materials or workbooks also have a 
tendency to not advance ideas (Durkin, 1976). We need 
to use the concepts of home economics in everyday life 
and to help our students to do so. 

In reviewing some of the workbooks or student 
guides in home economics, there were many 'fill-in- 
the-blank' pages, scrambled words, diagrams, charts, 
questions to which answers must be found, cross word 
puzzles, lists to be straightened, definitions to be 
written, and small blanks in which to do it. Such 
teaching materials represent a large amount of 
seatwork. If this is knowledge worth knowing, can 

home economists find more interesting, creative, 
innovative ways in which to present it? The answer is 
YES !!! 

Students could write their own workbook pages. 
Ask the students to pick out the most important ideas 
from the assigned reading materials and present it to 
the class in another form. Not only is this a good 
review but it can be an evaluation technique. You may 
have to give them some ideas but once they have the 
idea students may be very creative with the material. 
Instead of a fill-in-the-blank question on the effects of 
egg, vinegar, and salt on metal (Lusteck and Bense, 
1988, p. 51) students could demonstrate what actually 
happens to the different metals when exposed to 
different foods. Student demonstrations require a more 
thorough knowledge of the subject than the fill-in- 
the-blank. The teacher must give assistance to 
students and help them plan. 

The study of place settings in foods classes is 
important for on the job work as well as serving a meal 
to a family. Drawing the place settings in the book to 
fit a certain menu has value but making the material 
real will probably have a more lasting effect. 
Students could illustrate and actually set the table for 
many different menus, situations, and places. Students 
could then be asked to evaluate the setting for 
efficient use of time and energy and on the aesthetic 

The ages and stages of children could be more real 
by creating activities to actually use with children of 
different ages and abilities. Creating a 'quiet' book 
with learning activities which help children learn 
skills of dressing or by developing and equipping an 
inexpensive babysitters' kit would illustrate concepts 
of child development. These activities would require 
research as to age appropriate skills for the student to 
develop, and require the actual use and evaluation of 
the product. In place of fill-in-the-blank or true-false 
statements in a workbook, students could develop a 
babysitter's or child care handbook. The research and 
writing required by the students to complete such a 
project would be useful not only to the students but to 
others beyond the class. 

There are many ways to make learning meaningful 
and useful to students. Hazel T. Spitze (1979) 
indicated that a variety of learning experiences can 
accommodate a large class or a small class, and slow, 
average, or advanced students. As teachers we need to 
(Continued on page 88.) 

100 ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 

A Phenomenological Platform for Teaching 

At-Risk Students 

Marian White-Hood 
Doctoral Student 
University of Maryland 

We are all functioning at a small fraction of 
our capacity to live fully in its total meaning 
of loving, caring, creating and adventuring. 
Consequently, the actualizing of our potential 
can become the most exciting adventure of our 

—Herbert Otto* 

Taking a look at your life practice, beliefs, 
strengths, and feelings is an enabling process — one 
that stretches the existence and increases the capacity 
to live fully. This process leads to a phenomenologi- 
cal platform — a powerful theme for becoming. As a 
middle school teacher, I was committed to the process 
and now see it as a viable strategy for students who 
have been placed at-risk by peers, home life, overly 
formal education, and social pressures. These adoles- 
cents suffer from a barrage of injustices, mixed mes- 
sages, misunderstandings, and ideologies. They sit 
now on the limb of misfortune, awaiting winds of 
temptation and challenge. What kinds of activities, 
strategies, and curriculum decisions will nurture ado- 
lescents through the winds and ground them in hope, 
vision, and desire for learning? How does the teacher 
(as mentor) teach, make decisions that will benefit all 
students, and stimulate the cavalry of thoughts in the 
minds of middle schoolers? Further, what occurs in 
the process ~ for teacher and student? 

Building upon the mission of home economics 
education, I focused upon the individuals at-risk and 
the family. I sought ways to empower these young 
adolescents, helping them realize their potentials 
and abilities. I wanted each to engage in meaningful 
activities for personal growth -- establishing goals, 
examining resources, making their own decisions, 
resolving personal conflicts, and becoming successful 
individuals and family members in a highly 
technological and impersonal society. The mission 
motivated me to move beyond the standard course of 
study to something more personally, professionally, 
and educationally demanding. I sought funding for 
special projects, developed my own hidden curriculum, 
and looked to family and community members for 

support. Being "at-risk" was something that had been 
imposed upon the adolescents in the school -- like an 
injury of sorts — the prognosis was good and I was 
challenged to explore a process that would awaken 

Moving beyond the confines of the classroom walls 
into the community -- society in miniature, my middle 
school students explored real-life situations and 
developed a clear view of the problems that exist now 
and possibly will persist into the 21st century. We 
turned to mass communication, explored news articles, 
stories on television, and movies that portrayed 
teenagers as confused, hostile, apathetic, and 
indifferent. Why are so many people in pain? What 
causes hurt and misery? What has the world become? 
What can we do to help? These questions paved the 
way for action. Realizing that young people can work 
on their own and along with adults, the students began 
to set goals. They wanted to help alleviate and 
eliminate some of the suffering that was so prevalent 
in the world. 

Months passed and the phenomenological process 
took on new dimensions. We began to write poems, 
stories, and accounts of experiences. Middle schoolers 
talked more about the community and less about 
themselves. Concerned about such issues as human 
rights, ethnocentrism, violence, and help for the 
homeless, world hunger, and drugs, the students 
created mini-programs to address community needs. 
As each became more open to experience, current 
events, and conditions that were controlling and over- 
powering, stones were turned and students disclosed 
feelings of concern, empathy, appreciation for life, 
and respect. As they continued to work and discover 
together, cooperation and companionship grew 
stronger and more intense. Another dimension of the 
phenomenological process was reflected in aesthetic 
attunement. We began each class with a "thought for 
the day," a song of friendship, or a relaxer. Class 
sessions focused on: 

the communication of wants and needs 

living in the world 

social relationships 

increasing independence 

life plans -- work and the family 

community responsibilities 

financial fitness 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 101 

Goals we shared include developing self-confidence, 
setting high expectations, coping, communicating, 
building self-esteem, and increasing basic skills. I 
wanted to model what was important — what they 
wanted to know, learn and do. Open ended questions, 
end notes to the lesson, and humor offered warm 

Praise and positive reinforcement was first 
modeled by me then used by students to increase 
feelings of belonging and self-worth. Success stories 
were often shared and used as motivators on days 
when a warm smile or firm brow was just not enough. 
Further, using the names that the students wanted to 
be known by was important. Like sweet music to the 
ear, the sound of the right name reinforces student 
worth in the class. 

About mid-year, students who had been enrolled 
in home economics exhibited positive thinking. We 
planned an "Attitude Assembly" with a special 
speaker. We gave out buttons and made posters for the 
school. A bulletin board was created to promote the 
attitude theme. Positive phraseology was encouraged 
— students created their own list then used it on peers. 
They were not at-risk of failing, falling, or sinking 
into that imaginary pit that we tend to create when 
things go bad. Attendance had improved and students 
expressed sincere feelings about home economics. 

Knowing the students allowed me to learn more 
about their families. The class planned special parent 
involvement activities such as a health fair, drug 
program, restaurant field trip, career day, and parent 
recognition day. We shared accomplishments that 
were the result of schooling and focus on family styles. 

Middle school home economics had done it's work! 
Students demonstrated a greater awareness of the 
challenges of perennial and universal problems. They 
developed an appreciation for individual differences, 
while learning to cooperate and work together in 
teams. Many demonstrated the ability to set goals 
and follow plans through to completion. They began 
to understand and utilize humanitarian skills, while 
modeling character development skills. Further, the 
students in the home economics class experienced a 
sense of community. 

By the end of the year, I was able to examine the 
phenomenological platform that prompted my being 
for and with the students in the first place. It was 
slightly tarnished -- by the bruises and bumps that 
appeared at different points during the year. 
However, it was more sturdy than before. I felt a 
deeper commitment to the students, a desire to continue 
our work, and appreciated myself as a teacher ~ 
mentor — and friend (to me). As for the students, they 
progressed to high school and a new chapter begins. 

Stretching and working to capacity, the students 
know what individual potential is and how to use it. 
If used well, it will carry them a lifetime. They are 
also eager and excited as one door closes and another 
opens. I think about the year, the experiences, and our 
times in class activity together. I am reminded of the 
closing door, the phenomenological platform that we 
shared, and I say to each, "A window remains open for 
your return." 

What we do in middle school, what we teach, 
what they learn, and what we give will follow them 
through life. The window remains open and students 
do return to relive, recall, review, revisit, and retool. 
What they leave and what they find when they re- 
visit the experience of middle school provides the 
foundation for adult living. 

"Herbert Otto, cited in Leo Buscaglia, Love. Holt, Rinehart 
and Winston Distributors. Slack Publishers, 1972. Page 31. 

(Continued from page 85.) 
In the future, we will have to consider other ways 
to make teachers aware of the newly created curricu- 
lum material. One present concern is that a number of 
teachers do not attend the annual conference and 
therefore are not exposed to the materials available. 
Research is needed to determine the usefulness of the 


The system currently used by vocational home 
economics to develop curriculum materials has been in 
development for approximately 19 years. In that 
time, curriculum development has moved from one 
person being responsible for producing a set of 
materials to expanded involvement of teachers, 
advisors, and a host of writers and editors. With the 
assistance of the Instructional Materials Laboratory, 
the Department of Elementary and Secondary 
Education, and committed home economics classroom 
teachers, curriculum development efforts in the state 
have grown into a responsive network of people who 
listen to the concerns of public school teachers and 
make a concerted effort to respond to their needs. 


Instructional Materials Laboratory. (1987). Scope and 
sequence for vocational home economics programs. 
Columbia, Missouri: Instructional Materials 
Laboratory. • • • 

102 ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 

Challenges and Opportunities for 
Teaching Clothing in the 1990s 

Betty L. Feather, Ph.D. 
Professor and State Extension 

University of Missouri-Columbia 

A shift in the population distribution in the 1990s 
will create additional challenges for the American 
education system. The focus of our challenge will be to 
provide a quality education, to prepare students with 
life skills, and to retain borderline students in school. 
For the next three decades, there will be a decline in 
the percentage of young adults under age twenty-five. 
In fact, for the first time in the history of the United 
States, elderly persons will outnumber teenagers. The 
prediction is that American women can now expect to 
spend more time caring for an aged parent than a de- 
pendent child. Education continues to be the most im- 
portant service that the public can provide for the 
youngest segment of the population — those under 18 

Quality of education became a prominent issue in 
the 1980s. As a result in nearly every state, high 
school graduation requirements were increased. Some 
educators believe that today's younger generation will 
be the first in American history to receive a lower 
quality education than previous generations. While 
the percentage of the population that received high 
school diplomas rose from 24 percent in 1940 to 70 
percent in 1981, currently one of every four freshmen — 
25 percent — does not graduate from high school 
(United Way, 1987). In some urban schools, more 
students actually drop out of school than graduate. 
This drop-out rate has serious social implications. 
High school drop-outs are far more dependent on 
social aid, such as welfare and/or unemployment 
compensation, and are much more likely to be involved 
in criminal activities than high school graduates. 

It is predicted that employment opportunities in 
the 1990s will increase. More young adults should be 
able to find work because there will be fewer youth 
under age eighteen to compete with them. Job vacan- 
cies are expected to increase especially in industries 
that rely on young, low-wage workers — industries such 

as tourism, food service, sales, and hospitality. 
Ninety percent of the new jobs will be in the service 
sector — from janitors to bank clerks, from computer re- 
pair persons to lawyers. Although jobs will be avail- 
able, some observers fear that many of the nation's 
chronically unemployed will continue to be at a dis- 
advantage because they lack training and because 
these jobs will be concentrated in suburban areas. 

Female students should expect to be employed out- 
side the home most of their lives. The growing number 
of working women may be the single most important 
change affecting the American work force. Current 
trends indicate that by 1995, women will constitute 47 
percent of the work force. Women work due to economic 
need, because they are mainly responsible for their 
household, or because two incomes are necessary to en- 
sure a middle class standard of living. Women's par- 
ticipation in the work force has affected family struc- 
ture and the marketplace. While men have become in- 
creasingly more involved in child and household care, 
women seem to provide the greater proportion of care 
for elderly parents. These dually employed couples 
comprise a large, potential market for time-saving 
appliances, ready-to-wear clothing, convenience and 
commercially prepared food, and domestic help. 

Challenges in the classroom 

Research (Schultz, 1989) indicates that today's 
teenagers are realistic about the future. In the AHEA 
Survey of American Teens, teenagers voiced the impor- 
tance of employment and indicated they understood 
that it takes two incomes to be economically viable. 
Life skills education is being funded in many states 
through the provisions of the Carl D. Perkins 
Vocational Education Act. 

Life skills education includes concepts such as self- 
awareness, personal and family living skills, health 
and wellness, nutrition and foods, parenting education, 
consumerism, financial management, and career devel- 
opment. Home Economics teachers readily identify 
foods and nutrition, family and child care, and finan- 
cial management as life skills areas, but are unsure 
about how to incorporate topics in other areas such as 
housing and clothing. It is our responsibility as educa- 
tors to remind parents, administrators, and legislators 
that food is prepared in homes, families interact in 
homes, and individuals and families have to manage 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/February, 1990 103 

finances to afford homes. To carry out all of these in- 
teractions, people wear clothing, and spend consider- 
able time selecting garments, wearing, worrying about, 
and cleaning their clothes. Our role is to educate not 
only students but influential and interested others 
about the importance of education about housing and 

The importance of personal appearance is well 
recognized in interpersonal relationships, in peer 
group acceptance, and in interviewing for employment. 
Researchers (Cash, Winstead and Janda, 1986) have 
documented that young people, compared to older peo- 
ple, are more dissatisfied with their appearance. We 
need to help students have realistic standards and 
goals with respect to their appearance and body-im- 
age. Through the press, and perhaps even personal ex- 
periences, we are aware that extreme dissatisfaction 
with one's appearance can result in serious physical 
conditions including anorexia nervosia and bulimia. 

Students need help forming healthy attitudes to- 
ward grooming habits and taking care of personal 
clothing. Considerable amounts of time and resources 
are spent each week in laundering and grooming tasks. 
Many families can tell of the lessons in interpersonal 
relationships, family finances, and impression control 
that can be learned by self-examination. 

Body image and appearance relate to nutrition 
and health. "You are what you eat." Everyone knows 
that calories count, but not everyone realizes that 
calories need to be burned to avoid weight gain. 
Exercise burns calories and also tones muscles for im- 
proved appearance and enhanced self-esteem. As stu- 
dents examine their eating patterns and exercise 
schedules, they may be able to see the relationship 
between diet and appearance. 

Students today purchase most of their own cloth- 
ing. How can we as teachers help them make informed 
decisions? Whether or not they are using their own 
earnings for these purchases, they will be disap- 
pointed when purchases do not meet their expecta- 
tions. Because catalog shopping is so prevalent, it 
might be used as an easy way "to shop and compare" in 
your classroom. 

To what extent are clothing career opportunities 
related to clothing discussed in the classroom? For 
example, in Missouri there are approximately 25,000 
persons employed in the apparel industry — about the 
same number as are employed in the hotel and lodging 
industry. This number does not include people 
employed in retailing nor garment care industries such 
as dry cleaning, laundry, and alterations. According to 
Dickerson, Dalecki, and Meyer (1989) Missouri 
considers tourism a major industry but few people 
realize that apparel employs a similar workforce. 

Another fast growing segment of the job market is 
in providing personal care services to elderly persons 
in their own homes or in institutions. In a recent study, 
Feather and Dillard (1989) found that in-home care 
aides were asked by elderly persons most frequently 
for assistance in housecleaning (96.8 percent), then 
personal grooming (92.6 percent) and third, laundry 
(89.7 percent). Assistance with dressing was the sixth 
most frequent request with 66 percent of the clients 
asking for that service. Pensiero and Adams (1987, 
p.ll) noted that "Longevity of life has more value 
when there is quality to living, a sense of well-being, 
and some normalcy. Dress can be an important link to 
the outside world." We can help students understand 
that appearance continues to be important to most 
people regardless of age. Moreover, we can teach 
students about design features that will contribute to 
ease of dressing, ease of care, and yet not look 
"geriatric." Pensiero and Adams (1987) concluded that 
there is a great need for motivational strategies to 
encourage and help nursing home staff members. They 
found that elderly patients who dressed in their own 
day wear were treated differently from elderly who 
wore institutional clothing. But perhaps of more 
importance, elderly persons who were dressed in their 
own clothing showed greater independence and higher 
self-esteem. Many of our students will be working with 
elderly parents or clients in the future, are we address- 
ing this need? 

If you agree that clothing and textiles is a neces- 
sary part of life skills, then let's explore what is being 
taught in today's classroom. Remember as we teach, 
we are "modeling" attitudes and practices for our stu- 
dents to use. 

Opportunities for clothing in the 90s 

Naisbitt (1982) pointed out that interdependence 
builds understanding. Many times we think we know 
what other people do but it's only when we work with 
them that we begin to see things from their perspec- 
tive. To help others better understand what we do, 
they need to be involved in our classrooms. Bringing re- 
source people to your classroom not only enhances your 
classroom teaching,.but also educates them about your 
program. They may become your best advocates. 

Learning which is based solely on facts will soon 
be outdated. Toffler (1974) cited Lewis Carroll who 
said "That's why they're called lessons, ...because 
they lessen from day to day." Teaching strategies that 
rely on the four Cs — comprehension, critical thinking, 
communications, and coping — rather than information 
dissemination, will more adequately prepare students 
for improved decision making. 

You make many decisions about your clothing cur- 
riculum. What topics do you include? How much time 

104 ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 

do you allocate on each topic? How do the topics 
taught and time spent compare to what you taught 
five or ten years ago? Interviews with teachers and 
teacher educators indicate that considerable time con- 
tinues to be spent on garment construction. Ambry 
(1988) suggested that home sewing is more of a luxury 
activity today than one of necessity. Shouldn't we be 
teaching skills that students need? Is teaching cloth- 
ing construction a wise use of our time when there are 
so many appearance related topics to be taught? Is it 
wise to spend the majority of the school clothing bud- 
get on new sewing machines and sergers? 

As a State Extension Specialist for approximately 
15 years, I have had considerable interaction with 
consumers. The greatest number of calls to Extension 
offices across the country relate to clothing care. 
Recently over 300 in-home health care aides were of- 
fered a selection of educational publications free of 
charge for completing a survey related to care of 
elderly persons. The most frequently chosen publica- 
tion was a stain removal guide, followed by laundry 
procedures. The third and fourth favorite topics were 
"dressing slim, and "building a workable wardrobe". 
Elliott (1986) noted that nationally Home Economics 
Extension Program Leaders considered clothing con- 
sumerism a first priority and clothing maintenance, 

An important aspect of the process of buying and 
using garments is caring for them. If consumers fol- 
lowed good laundry practices and understood how to 
use laundry products effectively many problems could 
be avoided. Excellent educational materials are 
available from the Soap and Detergent Association 
(SDA), individual detergent companies, laundry 
equipment companies and the International Fabricare 
Institute (IFI), as well as county Extension offices. 

Several new text books include information re- 
lated to buying and caring for garments and have orga- 
nized content to include areas related to life skills. 
Fashion (Wolfe, 1989) focuses on six major areas which 
is consistent with the life skills focus: Clothes and 
Fashion (the importance of personal appearance and 
what it says about the individual), A pparel Industry 
(the production and distribution of merchandise), 
Textiles "Science of Apparel " (fibers, fabrics, and 
finishes), Design "Art of Apparel " (design principles, 
color, coordination), Consumers of Clothing (wardrobe 
planning, managing finances, labeling, maintenance), 
and Apparel Industry Careers . 

As teachers, you deal with a variety of student 
ages and a diverse curriculum. Curriculum and learning 
activities need to be developed in sequence and built on 
previous learnings. For example, in junior high school 
it may be appropriate to discuss personal appearance 
and its relationship to others. At the senior high 

school level, however, understanding the significance 
of clothing at different stages in life might be more 
appropriate. It is important that we address the scope 
of clothing content and not focus exclusively on one 
aspect, such as clothing construction, so that students 
have the life skills they will need in all clothing ar- 

Many students we are teaching now are going to be 
living in 2050! We can be certain there will be a 
tremendous amount of change by that time. By teach- 
ing the 4C's — comprehension, critical thinking, com- 
munication, and coping — we will help students apply 
principles to new situations, make informed decisions, 
and cope with a changing world. 


Ambry, M. (1988, October). Sew what? American 
Demographics, pp. 36-38, 58, 59 

Cash, T. F., Winstead, B. M., and Janda, L. H. (1986). 
The great American shape-up. Psychology Today, 
20(4), 30-37. 

Dickerson, K. G., Dalecki, M., & Meyer, M. (1989, 
July). Apparel manufacturing in the rural 
heartland. Bobbin, pp. 104-110. 

Elliott, E. A. (1986). Extension Textiles and Clothing 
in the Future. Proceedings of the National 
Extension Workshop in Textiles & Clothing and 4- 
H Clothing & Textiles Curriculum. Raleigh, NC: 
North Carolina Extension Service. 199-203. 

Feather, B. L., & Dilliard, B. G. (1989). In-home care 
aides' knowledge and perceptions of elderly 
patients' clothing needs. Paper presented at the 
meeting of the Association of College Professors of 
Textiles and Clothing, Atlanta, GA. 

Naisbitt, J. (1982). Megatrends. Ten New Directions 
Transforming Our Lives. New York: Warner. 

Pensiero, M., & Adams, M. (1987). Dress and self-es- 
teem. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 13(10), 10- 

Schultz, J. B. (1989). AHEA's Survey of American 
Teens. Journal of Home Economics. 81(2), 27-40. 

Toffler, A. (1974). Learning for tomorrow. New York: 

United Way of America. (1987). What lies ahead: 
Looking toward the 90s. Alexandria, VA: 
Strategic Planning and Market Research Division. 

Wolfe, M. G. (1989). Fashion. South Holland, IL: 

(Continued on page 109) 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/February, 1990 105 

Adaptable Housing for Lifelong Needs 

Patricia A. Tripple, C.H.E. 
University of Nevada-Reno 

Carole J. Makela, C.H.E. 
Colorado State University 

Patricia A. Tripple 

This paper is based upon data collected as part of the 
Regional Agricultural Experiment Station project (W-176) 
"Housing and Locational Decisions of the Maturing 
Population: Opportunities for the Western Region." 

Cited as the most important trend of our times is 
the aging of the American population. With aging 
comes the questions of how society will change from a 
youth oriented culture to one that has a more balanced 
mix of ages. From now and well into the next century, 
the most rapidly growing proportion of the population 
is the group over 75 (Figure 1). For the first time in 
American history, it is predicted that by 2030 the 
proportion of the population 65 and over will be simi- 
lar in size to that segment under 17 (Figure 2). Nearly 

Population 55 Years and Over 

By Age 


Population Millions 

100 - 
60 + 
















1980 2000 




Figure 1. U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging in conjunction 
with the American Association of Retired Persons, the 
Federal Council on Aging and the U.S. Administration on 
Aging (1989). Aging America: Trends and Projections, 
1987-88 Edition. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of 
Health and Human Services, 11. 

one half of the population over 65 has arthritis, three 
out of twenty have hearing deficiencies, and one out of 
ten has a visual impairment (National Center for 
Health Statistics, 1987). By age 85, one quarter of the 
elderly population needs assistance in walking, and 15 
percent need assistance with bathing. At this later 
age, about 30 percent need help to shop and do house- 
hold chores. 

Children and Elderly in the Population 
Actual and Projected 


Percent of Population 

40% - 

30% - 












- Plu« 

















Figure 2. U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging in conjunction 
with the American Association of Retired Persons, the 
Federal Council on Aging and the U.S. Administration on 
Aging (1989). Aging America: Trends and Projections, 
1987-88 Edition. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of 
Health and Human Services, 13. 

When people age they spend more time at home 
and lose agility, mobility and sensory acuity. As a re- 
sult, housing needs change, making the match between 
the physical environment and physical capabilities 
increasingly important. A well planned, pleasant en- 
vironment can compensate for mobility and sensory 
losses. Thereby allowing people to maintain indepen- 
dence in their own homes with greater feelings of secu- 
rity and lessened fear of accidents. Winston Churchill 
(1944) said, "We form our buildings and then our 
buildings form us." 

With the graying of America, attention needs to 
be given to the desired lifestyles and habitats of re- 
tirees. The expectations of the pre-retirement popula- 
tion during their retirement years gives direction to 
the services and facilities needed. The views of pre- 
retirees related to housing and (locational) decisions 
were studied by a cadre of researchers from nine mid- 
west and western universities (Makela, 1989). All 

106 ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 

university employees aged 40 and over were sampled 
and sent a questionnaire. Most respondents (62 percent) 
were faculty, administration or professional within 
the university. The remaining were clerical (19 
percent), and maintenance, technicians, and crafts (20 
percent). The major findings from 5,662 persons 
(Makela, 1989) were: 

1. Anticipation of retirement: Fifty percent of 
the respondents held positive attitudes toward re- 
tirement. A few (12 percent) indicated they were not 
looking forward to leaving university employment. 
The remaining were neutral about the event. 

2. Retirement decisions: Forty-four percent had 
decided where to retire; 38 percent when to retire; the 
remainder had made neither retirement decision. 

3. Community Preference Present community was 
the favored retirement choice. Only one-third 
indicated they would like to live somewhere other 
than their present community. 

4. Geographic preference: Areas near water 
(ocean, lake, river) (rather than the desert), moun- 
tains, and trees were preferred. Although altitude 
preferences were not often noted, when expressed, they 
were state specific. Respondents from Oregon and 
Washington for example, clearly preferred low alti- 
tudes while respondents from Colorado, Nevada and 
Utah preferred high altitudes. 

5. Location of residence: Most (45 percent) of the 
respondents in all states preferred living year-round in 
one location. During the first ten years of retirement, a 
small town away from the largest city or in the county 
was preferred. The second choice was a rural country- 
side less than 20 minutes from the largest city. 

6. Desired population age mixture: The choice of 
neighborhood age mix was to have all ages repre- 
sented. With advancing age, more pre-retirees be- 
lieved they would like to live in a neighborhood of 

7. Community characteristics: Regardless of the 
retirement location, community facilities are impor- 
tant. Ninety-six percent indicated medical facilities 
as an important service. Facilities for limited surgery 
available within 20 to 30 minutes by car from their re- 
tirement home was the minimum acceptable standard. 
Slightly fewer respondents desired to have facilities 
for general surgery available. Other services in order 
of importance were library, recreation and shopping 

8. Housing structure preference: The single-fam- 
ily house was the housing structure preferred (77 per- 

Future Housing Patterns 

With the preference for and existence of such a 
predominance of single-family housing units in this 

country, the question becomes one of how preference 
and inventory can be brought together to provide suit- 
able housing for an ever increasing aging population. 
The authors are proposing four situations for the fu- 
ture. These were developed based on current trends 
and preferences, the desire to keep people in their 
homes as long as possible, and their adaptability for 
varied structure types (apartments, mobile homes, 
townhouses, etc.). It is recognized that there is no one 
best alternative but rather a variety of choices to al- 
low the diverse aging population to have suitable 
housing and related services reasonably priced. 
Variety is also essential to provide for changing 
lifestyles of today's sixty year olds compared to those 
who reach 60 in 1960 and those who will reach 60 in 

The four housing patterns proposed to address the 
graying of America are: an ageless house, a high- 
touch house, an electronic house, and a sun city in each 
state. Each has unique characteristics. 

Ageless House. The ageless house is most similar 
to present day houses. Many of the features needed 
are the same as today's barrier free house. The con- 
cept of ageless housing is important because it avoids 
labeling either the housing or its residents as different 
from others. People resist different housing either to 
live in or in their neighborhoods as it conjures up nega- 
tive stereotypes that often are far from reality. 
Instead of being for the handicapped only, ageless 
houses provide safety, security and support services in 
all ages. Major requirements are: 

1 . No steps at the entrance or between living areas 

2. Doorways 36 inches wide 

3. Halls 36 inches wide 

4. Turning area in each room of 54 inches 

5. Accessible bathroom facilities 

6. Grab bars in bathrooms for shower, tub and toilet. 
Amenities to accommodate restricted reach and enable 
independent living are also needed such as a voice or 
motion-activated lock and lighting system or electri- 
cal fixtures within reach when seated. While these 
items are usually recommended for the elderly, they 
are just as useful to people of all ages. The teenager 
who is crippled by an auto accident, the pregnant 
woman or even someone carrying groceries will find it 
easier and safer to maneuver in wider, well lit halls, 
with door levers and no steps. 

High-Touch House. The high-touch house pro- 
vides an added dimension to the ageless house. When 
the house alone no longer provides sufficient support 
and assistance with daily living, the time for the 
high-touch house has arrived. Sometimes, all that is 
necessary is to rearrange the housing plan to accommo- 
date another person in the household to care for the 
incapacitated person. Private space is mandatory for 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 107 

each household member while maintaining communi- 
cation between the person who needs help and the 
care-giver. Providing a bell to call the care-giver may 
be all that is needed. Intercoms and alert systems are 
other alternatives. This environment also requires 
some built-in mental stimulation; for example, win- 
dows to see what is happening out-of-doors or a patio 
to sit in the sun or smell the freshness after a rain. 
Access and suitable furnishings to allow the care-re- 
ceiver to interact with others in both living and sleep- 
ing spaces are important. Adjacent bathroom facili- 
ties are also a basic requirement. 

Electronic House. The electronic house provides 
limitless options. Electronic technology in the home 
can control and monitor equipment and systems as well 
as aid in communication. Electronic automation, com- 
munication, and entertainment/instructional systems 
are available. These may be a whole house system or 
specific purpose units for certain functions (security, 
etc.) or a combination thereof. Automation systems al- 
low the dweller to monitor and control interior cli- 
mate, lighting, appliances and equipment and home 
security by either pre-programming or on demand con- 
trol from locations away from the functioning device. 
For example, light may go on as one enters a room and 
shut off after a delay when one leaves. The level of 
lighting may be determined by the available natural 
light and /or the usage of the area. All are intended to 
increase the comfort, safety and security of the home 
dweller. Electronic communication enable off-site 
and /or message transmission to other locations to alert 
emergency centers, relatives or neighbors of fire, 
changes in heart function or a fall. 

Sun Cities. Sun cities have been developed around 
the idea that certain people are attracted to their 
ideal climate (which may be either warm or cold 
weather oriented), related recreational and leisure 
time opportunities and an age range that excludes 
young families. Often this latter characteristic is 
used as a selling point that taxes will be lower than 
surrounding areas as schools will not be part of the 
community. These communities also allow service 
providers (transportation, physicians, attorneys, etc.) 
and retailers to specialize in and meet the needs of an 
older population. 

Sun cities are a collection of ageless, high-touch 
and electronic houses for people 55 years of age and 
over. The recreation, medical and shopping facilities 
are in close proximity. The residents often share simi- 
lar interests such as golf, cards and dancing. 
Occupational backgrounds and income may also be sim- 
ilar. A full range of housing types, the single-family 
unit with no related services, apartment units with 
meal service and housekeeping and full care nursing 
homes, are available to meet varied needs. Each state 

would support at least one sun city for its older citizens 
to make recreation, shopping and medical care readily 
available and cost effective. 

A person's needs and resources will differ in each 
succeeding decade from ages 60 to 100. Housing must be 
adaptable. This may be in terms of changes in the de- 
sign and equipment or ease of superimposing needed 
services. Whether there will be the variety of hous- 
ing options available at the appropriate time, place 
and price is unknown. 

Classroom/Student Activities (Learning Strategies?) 

Each student should become familiar with the re- 
strictions of a wheelchair, walker or crutches. 
Several activities make this possible. The most 
meaningful is to have a wheelchair so that the stu- 
dent can evaluate maneuvering space required. The 
student should sit, work at a counter, travel from room 
to room, go outside and especially use the bathroom, 
kitchen and laundry facilities to see the difficulty of 
propelling the wheelchair in restricted places. The 
personal needs for assistance in and out of a 
wheelchair must be considered. If a wheelchair is not 
available one can be simulated using a straight chair 
plus cushions to show how much additional room is 
required for the wheelchair. Students may also 
explore the school and classroom for the barriers to 
the wheelchair bound student, teacher or visitor. 

A second activity is to evaluate their home as to 
ageless house requirements to determine useability. 
The following measurements should be made to see if 
their home is barrier free: (1) exterior walkway; 
(2) exterior entrance; (3) interior hallways; 
(4) interior doorways, especially those to the kitchen, 
bath and bedroom; and (5) height of storage shelves 
and drawers, work counters, light switches and elec- 
trical outlets. After the students determine the most 
often missing barrier-free features, invite a builder to 
discuss (1) the cost of adding these amenities when 
the house is first built and (2) the cost to add the fea- 
tures after the initial construction is completed. 
Students can also use their ingenuity to develop low 
cost ways to make adaptations for the ageless or high- 
touch house. Another aspect of usability is to consider 
the needs of a person who is bedridden (young person 
after an auto or diving accident or an elderly person 
after a serious stroke) and their care-givers (assist in 
and out of shower, car, bed, etc.). 

A group think tank is a third activity to give stu- 
dents opportunity to improvise on their own. Groups 
would enumerate features to enhance the livability of 
the electronic, ageless and high-touch houses. A fol- 
low-up search of the literature to see what profes- 
sionals envision as housing for the elderly would 
broaden the students' perspective. Competition be- 

108 ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 

tween groups could be introduced by giving bonus points 
to the teams whose list is judged best by a panel of 
elderly persons who are living in each type of house. 
As an alternate or in addition, students could visit 
area stores to see which electronic technologies identi- 
fied in their think tank groups are available in the 
community and compare costs. 

For a fourth activity, design a sun city for the 
state. What activities does the location and climate 
encourage (golf or snowmobiling, gardening or boating, 
bridge or horseshoes, etc.)? How should the commu- 
nity and the housing units be designed to effectively 
accommodate interests and needs of the residents both 
when they are couples in their late fifties and sixties 
as well as when they are widows 70 and older? This 
design may be a narrative description of the commu- 
nity and its housing, a blueprint type layout of the 
community, its housing, facilities, etc. or a three di- 
mensional model of the community. 

Inventorying housing options in the community 
would be another way to involve students. Residents 
or grandparents could share their experiences or be in- 
terviewed to determine reactions to living in shared 
housing, auxiliary homes, group homes, retirement 
communities, residential hotel or rooming house, nurs- 
ing home and recreational vehicle parks. 

Lastly, students could explore job and career oppor- 
tunities in housing that are used by the elderly popu- 

If you want to read more about the changes in 
housing for the aging population the following refer- 
ences are suggested. 

Dychtwald, K., & Flower, J. (1989). The age wave: 
The challenges and opportunities of an aging 
America. Los Angeles: Tarcher, Inc. 

The Futurist, a journal of forecasts, trends and ideas 
about the future. 

Smith, R. L. (1988). Smart house: The coming revolu- 
tion in housing. Columbia, MD: G. P. Publishing. 

Pamphlets from American Association of Retired 
Persons and from the American Telephone and 
Telegraph Corp. 


Fitzgerald, F. (1986). Sun City - 1983. In Cities on a 
hill. New York: Simon & Schuster, 203-243. 

Makela, C. (Ed.) (1989). Housing and locational deci- 
sions: Thinking ahead to retirement. Fort Collins, 
CO: Colorado State University. 

National Center for Health Statistics. (1987, 
October). Current estimates from the National 

Health Interview Survey, United States, 1986. 
Vital and Health Statistics, Series 10, No. 164. 

U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging in conjunction 
with the American Association of Retired Persons, 
the Federal Council on Aging and the U.S. 
Administration on Aging. (1989). Aging America: 
Trends and Projections, 1987-88 Edition 
Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health 
and Human Services, 11. 

U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging in conjunction 
with the American Association of Retired Persons, 
the Federal Council on Aging and the U.S. 
Administration on' Aging (1989). Aging America: 
Trends and Projections, 1987-88 Edition 
Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health 
and Human Services, 13. • • • 

(Continued from page 105.) 


The following companies or associations have educa- 
tional materials available that are suitable for use 
with high school students. Write and request their 
list of educational resources and associated costs. 
American Apparel Manufacturers Association, 1611 N. 
Kent Street, Arlington, VA 22209. 

American Fibers Manufacturers Association, Inc., 1150 

17th Street, N.W., Suite 310, Washington D.C., 

American Textile Manufacturers Institute, 1801 K 

Street, N.W., Suite 900, Washington D.C. 20006. 
The Clorox Company, Consumer Services Department, 

P.O. Box 24305, Oakland CA 94623. 
Cooperative Extension Service, county or state land- 
grant university. 
Faultless Fabric Care Institute, P.O. Box. Box 3431, 

Chicago, IL 60654. 
International Fabricare Institute, The Association of 

Drycleaners and Launderers, 12251 Tech Road, 

Silver Springs MD 20904. 
Lever Brothers Co., Consumer Ed. Dept., Box 576 SDA, 

390 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022. 
Maytag, Consumer Education, One Dependability 

Square, Newton, Iowa 50208. 
National Cotton Council of America, Box 12285, 

Memphis TN 38112. 
Proctor and Gamble Educational Services, P.O. Box 

14009, Cincinnati, OH 45214. 
The Soap and Detergent Association, 475 Park Avenue 

South, New York, NY 10016. 
Texize, Division of Morton Thiokol, Inc.,Consumer 

Affairs Dept.- Box SDA, P.O. Box 368, Greenville, 

SC 29602. ••• 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 109 

Families Coping in a Technological Society 

Jillian R. Boyd 

Co-ordinator, Home Economics 

School of Education 

University of Western Sydney, Nepean 


Paper taken from the Conference Proceedings of the 
5th Bienial Conference of Asian Regional Association 
for Home Economics, Singapore. 


In this paper technology is taken to mean the 
application of scientific knowledge, skills, attitudes, 
processes and techniques to solve problems in every- 
day living. These problems come about as people in- 
teract with all aspects of their physical and social 
environments. Technologies are created from a series 
of specific decisions made by particular groups of peo- 
ple, in particular places, at particular times, and for 
their own purposes (Wajoman, 1987). In this sense 
then, technology reflects how power is distributed in a 
society. Women, for example, have and continue to be 
under-represented and excluded from decision making 
about technology. 

As a society develops, the role of technology in- 
creases both in scope and depth. It is through technol- 
ogy that societies are able to become more complex and 
to grow. New ways of doing things are found. 
Technological change is the name given to the process 
by which new replaces old. The past century has seen 
technology assume great importance and dominance in 
most people's lives. They have learned to pin their 
faith on the idea that technology will provide a 
seemingly endless supply of new materials, sources of 
power, knowledge, processes and tools (Coombs, 1985, 
p. 5). They have observed how technological devel- 
opment has enriched human lives by providing more 
choice in goods and services, and healthier, more com- 
fortable lifestyles. In such a climate it is very easy 
for people to overlook that science and technology are 
not able to solve every human problem nor are science 
and technology synonymous with human progress. 
Human beings are far more than tool-making and con- 
suming animals (Jones, 1982, p. 211). We have at- 
tributes like emotions, language, tradition, religion, 

myth and understanding. These kinds of human att- 
tributes play an important part in bringing meaning 
and quality to our lives. 

What are the Broader Social and Economic Effects of 

To appreciate the effects of technology on fami- 
lies, it is important to consider first the broader social 
and economic contexts. 

The history of technological development shows 
it to be a mixed blessing for most people. The 
widespread adoption of new technologies brings about 
social and economic changes which are on the one 
hand beneficial, and on the other, harmful. This di- 
chotomy comes about by the choices people make in us- 
ing a specific technology rather than something in- 
herent in the technology itself. 

I recently read the report of the World 
Commission on Environment and Development (1987) 
called Our Common Future. It is a powerful message 
and I recommend its reading to all home economists. 
The Commission was set up as an independent body of 
the United Nations in 1983. Its report shows that the 
human race continues to be threatened by nuclear 
weapons and the arms race. People are suffering and 
dying from inadequate provision of their basic needs 
while millions of dollars a day are being spent on 
technologies of violence (Fazal, 1985, p. 142). The life 
support systems of our natural environment are becom- 
ing increasingly damaged by human activity, princi- 
pally by people in the more technologically advanced 
nations. Natural forests in places like the Amazon 
Basin, Africa, Asia and Australia are disappearing 
rapidly. As more people seek farm land, especially in 
marginal agricultural areas, soil erosion and salinity 
become more widespread. The burning of fossil fuels 
(coal, oil and gas) releases billions of tons of carbon 
dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere each 
year. Scientists now appear to agree on the global 
warming theory which says that world temperatures 
are increasing. It is believed by some that in our chil- 
dren's lifetime there will be adverse consequences, for 
example, on national economies, agricultural produc- 
tion and human habitation in coastal areas (The 
World Commission on Environment and Development, 
1987, p. 2). 

The still widespread use of chlorofluorocarbons in 
a range of consumer products, such as refrigerants and 
aerosol packaged household products, is depleting the 
ozone layer around the earth. As a result, more ultra- 

110 ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 

violet radiation from the sun is reaching the earth's 
surface and increasing our risk to skin cancer. The food 
chain, including fresh water and marine environments, 
is being seriously upset by agricultural/industrial 
toxic substances and household waste. For example, 
industrial pollution in the form of acid rain is destroy- 
ing forests and water environments in places like 
Canada and Europe. 

In 1989 the world population is estimated as 
slightly more than 5 billion people (United Nations, 
1989). The present population growth rate, if it con- 
tinues, will increasingly deplete the finite resources of 
our natural environment and undermine the efforts of 
many nations to raise their people's living standards. 
The World Commission on Environment and 
Development (1987, p. 8) advises us to address this 
global problem by using technology to advance devel- 
opment in ways that meet the needs of people today 
without compromising the ability of future genera- 
tions to meet their needs. I'm sure you will agree that 
this represents an enormous challenge! It transcends 
national boundaries, demands greater international 
cooperation, and implies that affluent nations will 
have to adopt ecologically sounder lifestyles as well 
as a more considerate view of the development efforts 
of poorer nations. In regions where population growth 
is of concern, future growth rates will need to be at a 
level that the prevailing environments can comfort- 
ably sustain. 

I have just presented a gloomy picture of the pre- 
sent and future. The good news, however, is that the 
report of the World Commission on Environment and 
Development (1987) is optimistic. It makes a special 
point of showing world-wide trends of improvement in 
the provision of mass education, adequate nutrition, 
and health services. The Commission sees this and in- 
creased technological know-how as having the poten- 
tial to lead people to make better use of available re- 

Communication technology like satellites, televi- 
sion and modern telephone systems is one major impe- 
tus for drawing people throughout the world into 
closer social and economic interdependence. It also en- 
ables many people living outside Asia to see the rapid 
technology-driven social and economic transforma- 
tions that are occurring in this region. We see that the 
Asian region reflects wide diversity in technological 
development. This ranges from still predominantly 
agricultural economies, to those becoming more indus- 
trially based, and others that are industrially domi- 
nant. Then a number of Asian nations are into a post- 
industrial era where services like education, adminis- 
tration and transfer of information will dominate em- 
ployment (Jones, 1982). 

How are Families Coping with Technology? 

Family studies research consistently demonstrates 
the resilience of families as social systems. The fact 
that families in one form or another have endured 
through the centuries bears strong testimony to this 
point. Most families are able to adapt reasonably ef- 
fectively most of the time to changing environmental 
circumstances including changes brought on by new 
technologies. This adaptiveness is greatly enhanced 
when families have access to appropriate technology 
education, training and information, and when family 
communication is effective. 

Families are not passive receivers of technology. 
Rather, they are active agents in their technological 
environment. By this I mean families interact with it 
by influencing, to varying degrees, how technologies 
will be used and to what extent, if at all. 
Nevertheless, families' control over technology is 
generally most effective at the level of the household 
and local community. 

One major challenge at present for families in 
technologically advanced nations is to redefine the 
nature, quality and meaning of work and leisure due to 
major restructuring of industry and increasing automa- 
tion (Williams, 1983). In this transition period, 
groups with limited formal education and none of the 
newly desired job skills are very vulnerable to unem- 
ployment; women are one such group. The notion of 
"one job for life" is fast becoming a thing of the past, 
and increasingly education and training will become a 
lifelong process (Eckersley, 1987, 1). Average working 
hours are decreasing in many countries. Leisure and 
recreational services have become a flourishing 
business area. We are seeing more professional people 
working from home with the aid of telecommunica- 
tions and personal computers. There is growing de- 
mand for permanent part-time employment especially 
in two income families with dependent young chil- 

A worldwide trend toward urbanization is seeing 
people moving away from rural areas to live in cities 
because they are primary centers for technological 
advancement and job opportunities. In some develop- 
ing countries it is the husband-fathers who usually 
come to the cities leaving behind their wives and 
children. These often long separations are detrimen- 
tal to family life and are reflected in the growth of 
female-headed single-parent families living in 
poverty. In many cities, but especially in the Third 
World, the swelling city populations are putting 
enormous strain on community services. Housing is one 
major social problem. Homelessness and families liv- 
ing in appalling makeshift shelters in vast slums on 
the fringes of cities are just two by-products of rapid 
urbanization. For many other urban families world- 

1LUNOIS TEACHER, January /February, 1990 111 

wide there is concern over having to live in cramped 
high-rise apartment buildings that are not conducive 
to quality family life. 

The fast pace of city living frequently leads peo- 
ple to feel alienated. They have less time and oppor- 
tunity to relate closely with their families and local 
community. Traditional family and community values 
and roles are challenged. The higher cost of city liv- 
ing is a major reason for the sharp worldwide increase 
in the proportion of married women with dependent 
children having paid employment outside the home. 
Child care in these circumstances is frequently a worry 
for parents as many don't have relatives to care for 
their children while they are absent from home. 
Community child care facilities are often non-exis- 
tent, inaccessible, inappropriate or expensive. 

People often feel overwhelmed and worried when 
they sense their world is changing at a faster rate 
than they can accommodate or when the changes 
about them are contrary to their personal and family 
values. For example, in Australia there is growing 
community disquiet about the expense and dehuman- 
ization of "high-tech" health services. There is con- 
cern that technology is advancing at a faster rate than 
associated public policy, especially in morally con- 
troversial areas like in-vitro human reproductive 
technology (Kirby, 1986). 

Look around in your home community and you will 
likely see many examples of individuals and families 
who are struggling to cope effectively with the mag- 
nitude of change and uncertainty in their daily lives. 
It is possible to think of families as requiring both 
stability and change in order to develop and adjust to 
changing environmental circumstances (Paolucci, 1977, 
p. 22). Each family has its own optimal mix of stabil- 
ity and change for effective functioning and seeks to 
operate at that level. Too many changes, especially 
rapid change, can seriously damage or even destroy a 
family's coping ability. This situation contributes to a 
wide range of individual, family and social problems. 
Mental health disorders like anxiety, aggression, de- 
pression and drug abuse are common in families living 
in materially affluent countries. Family violence, in- 
stability and breakdown are also common. In many 
Western and now in some Eastern countries, nutrition 
and life style-related health problems such as obe- 
sity, diabetes and heart disease represent significant 
social concerns. 

Much of the physical drudgery of housework has 
disappeared for some people due to reticulated elec- 
tricity, water and sewerage services in households, 
and a supply of mass produced appliances like refrig- 
erators, ranges, and washing machines. Generally, 
however, married women continue to have primary re- 
sponsibility for housework and child care even when 

they have full-time paid employment outside the 
home. This double burden of many women is fre- 
quently at a high cost to their health and well-being. 
Better nutrition, health services and overall living 
standards are reducing infant mortality and death of 
women in childbirth. Life expectancy is increasing in 
many countries and is reflected in the sharp rise in the 
proportion of elderly citizens especially in countries 
like Singapore, the Philippines and Hong Kong. This, 
in turn, gives rise to new resource demands in both fam- 
ilies and communities. 

The impact of technology in the everyday lives of 
families can be quite dramatic. Think about the dif- 
ference in quality of life and work roles that are 
brought about when Asian rural village families ac- 
quire for the first time a clean, safe and reliable water 
supply. Consider the many ways your family life was 
altered when your family obtained a television, tele- 
phone or car for the first time. How did your family 
relationships change? How did other social relation- 
ships change? 

With technological development comes increased 
family expectations for what is wanted from life 
especially in regard to goods and services. 
Unfortunately family choices are not always health 
enhancing. We only have to investigate the effect on 
babies' health when mothers in developing countries 
switch from breastfeeding to infant milk formula or 
the impact of cigarette smoking on human health to be 
convinced of this point (Fazal, 1985). 

What Are the Implications for Home Economists? 

The worldwide development of the home eco- 
nomics profession has in many ways been facilitated 
by the use of technology to improve the quality of 
family life. Home economists have been in the fore- 
front of household-targeted technology transfer by 
disseminating information and teaching new skills 
(Thompson, 1984). There is much that we can be proud 
of; however, we have also been criticized for promot- 
ing environmentally unsound products and services or 
technologies that are inappropriate to our clients' best 
interests. Home economics professional practice is at 
the interface between scientists/technologists/ 
marketers and individuals/families as consumers. 
Our professional role is socially sensitive; it requires 
us to have up-to-date technological know-how and 
clear ethical standards so that we can present strong 
advocacy on behalf of families in our communities. 
What, then, should be our priorities? I wish to offer 
four recommendations for your consideration: 

1. In order to maintain our credibility as family ser- 
vice professionals, each of us has to accept per- 
sonal responsibility for continuing our professional 

1 1 2 ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1 990 

development about new technology especially 
that which is targeted specifically at the house- 
hold. In addition, we need to investigate ways in 
which the new information technologies can ex- 
tend home economics career opportunities, enhance 
administrative effectiveness in our work places, 
and generate better ways of communicating with 
our clients (Thompson, 1984). 

2. As individuals and as members of home economics 
associations, we need to think critically about 
technological development from the perspective 
of its impact on family life. It is always difficult 
to anticipate the consequences of technologies on 
families and society overall; nevertheless, we 
will be increasingly challenged to deal with the 
moral and ethical issues raised by them. We, 
therefore, need to have a vision of what is a rea- 
sonable way for families to live (Reiger, 1986, 17). 

• What kind of families, child rearing, homes, 
work, schooling and communities do we want 
in our particular national/cultural context? 

• How can we ensure that women and girls, the 
young and the old, the poor, and the disabled 
have greater equality of access to technology 
education training and decision making? 

• How can we see that technological develop- 
ment has minimal costs to the dignity, auton- 
omy, privacy and intimacy of family life? 

That vision can then be used as a basis for devel- 
oping a code of ethics for the home economics pro- 
fession and for generally guiding our personal be- 
havior in professional practice (Quilling, 1988). 

3. As individuals and as members of home economics 
associations we need to resist passive acceptance 
of technology. We have a responsibility to par- 
ticipate in community decision making about it 
rather than just accept what we get! That means 
we will have to become politically astute so that 
we can work effectively within our nation's exist- 
ing institutions, laws and procedures (Slimmer, 
1986, p. 5). We should also aim to have home 
economists represented on key family life related 
committees and organizations, and to have home 
economists employed in the initial development 
stage of household-targeted technologies so that 
appropriate applications can be found. A home 
economics research emphasis on the impact of 
technology in families will enable us to become 
better informed about health risks, stewardship 
of the natural environment, and effects on tradi- 
tional family values and quality social relation- 

ships. Such research will also enable us to be more 
effective advocates for families. 

4. Home economics has a critical educational role to 
play in assisting families to adjust adequately to, 
take advantage of, and contribute toward techno- 
logical development. This can be done through 
formal and informal education aimed at empower- 
ing people to shape the future in which they wish 
to live. In home economics practice we specifi- 
cally seek to assist people to achieve personally 
satisfying and socially responsible everyday lives 
especially in the contexts of their homes and fam- 

A vast array of technologies continue to target 
families as ultimate users. On reading the home 
economics syllabi for schools in Singapore, I noted 
that teaching-learning related to technical deci- 
sion making and technical skills in using equip- 
ment and materials are emphasized. Is this 
enough? Our students will be living most of their 
lives in the twenty-first century. They will have 
to make very difficult choices about the use of 
technology. They will have to cope with rapid 
change, great choice complexity, and uncertainty. 
There will be very few universally right ways of 
doing. They will have to find defensible, appro- 
priate ways of acting, given specific contexts in- 
cluding the values of those involved. 

Home economics school classrooms need to be 
places where students not only learn to feel confi- 
dent and be competent in using technologies but are 
encouraged to test and evaluate them. A major 
teaching-learning emphasis should be on develop- 
ing students' abilities to make defensible decisions 
and to participate in social decision making. 
Underpinning this should be an emphasis on de- 
veloping students' reasoning abilities to aid their 
choices. I believe children are "natural philoso- 
phers"; asking how, why and especially why not 
questions comes readily to most children. We can 
build on this capacity by developing our students' 
abilities to think critically about what is taken 
for granted, the everyday and the ordinary. 
Fortunately for us many excellent ideas for assist- 
ing teachers to develop their students' reasoning 
skills have been published over recent years in 
home economics and education journals. 


I have tried to raise some issues about the role of 
technology in family life and its implications for us as 
home economists. I hope we will continue to think 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/February, 1990 113 

about these issues, and to debate them with fellow 
conference participants and people in our home coun- 
tries. There is a great deal of work to be done in the 
worldwide home economics profession if we are to con- 
tinue to serve families effectively and gain/maintain 
public confidence and respect. 

World Commission on Environment and Development 
(1987). Our Common Future. New York: Oxford 
University Press. • • • 


Coombs, H. (1985). Science and Technology - For 
What Purpose? Canberra: Commission for the 
Future, Australian Government. 

Eckersley, R. (1988). Australian Attitudes to Science 
and Technology and the Future. Canberra: 
Commission for the Future, Australian 

Fazal, A. (1985). The impact of technology on human 
welfare. Illinois Teacher of Home Economics, 28 
(4), 142-146. 

Jones, B. (1982). Sleepers, Wake! Technology and the 
Future of Work. Melbourne: Oxford University 

Kirby, M. (1986). Human rights - the challenge of the 
new technology. The Australian Law Journal, 60, 

Paolucci, B., Hall, O., and Axinn, N. (1977) Family 
Decision Making: An Ecosystem Approach. New 
York: Wiley. 

Quilling, J. (1980). Ethics: The hidden dimension of 
home economics. Journal of Home Economics, 80 
(4), 33-36. 

Reiger, K. (1986). Technology and the family. Journal 
of the Home Economics Association of Australia, 
28 (2), 17-19. 

Slimmer, V. (1986). The impact of the information so- 
ciety on home economics. ]ournal of the Home 
Economics Association of Australia, 28 (2), 2-8. 

Thompson, P. (Ed) (1984). Knowledge, Technology and 
Family Change. Yearbook 4, Washington, DC: 
Teacher Education Section, American Home 
Economics Association. 

United Nations Information Service, Sydney, 
Australia. Telephone Enquiry. 

Vaines, E., Badir, D., and Kieren, D. L. (1988). The re- 
flective professional: Reflecting on helping for 
the 21st century. People and Practice: 
International Issues for Home Economists, 1 (1), 1- 

Wajoman, J. (1987). Technology - For what? Current 
Affairs Bulletin, 63 (8), 28-31. 

Williams, C. (1983). The "work ethic", non-work and 
leisure in an age of automation. Australian and 
New Zealand Journal of Sociology, 19 (2), 216-237. 

Annual Home Economics Education 
Alumni Conference 

March 10, 1990 
9:00 a.m.— 3:30 p.m. 

Meet in Room 22, Education Building for 

coffee and rolls. Program and lunch to 

follow. Alums come and bring your 


Everyone Welcome. 

We would like to hear from you by 
March 2, 1990. 

Send registration of $9.00 
(including lunch) to: 

Mildred Griggs 

351 Education Building 

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

1310 South Sixth Street 

Champaign, IL 61820 

114 ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 

Community Meetings: 
A Tool for Assessing Local Needs 

Sally J. Yahnke 


Colorado State University 

Fort Collins, CO 

Emma J. Gebo 

Chair and Associate Professor 
Idaho State University 
Pocatello, ID 

Cathleen T. Love 
Associate Professor 
Colorado State University 
Fort Collins, CO 


The planning of secondary programs is an ongoing 
process. Throughout the process, attention needs to be 
given to conditions in society that affect individuals 
and families, developments in education that affect 
all subject areas, and advances in knowledge that in- 
fluence planning the direction of secondary programs 
(Hughes, Kister & Smith, 1985). Home Economics 
Education has been challenged by the federal govern- 
ment to prepare individuals for the occupation of 
homemaker. In making decisions about what that role 
entails, curriculum developers must go to many sources 
to find viable information. The three most important 
are learners, community members, and subject matter 

Curriculum experts over time have endorsed the 
importance of using the community to develop 
curriculum. By knowing about the community and the 
needs and concerns of community members, the school 
can better meet the needs of learners. The educational 
agencies within a community need to cooperate in 
assessing educational needs, establishing educational 
goals for different agencies, selecting appropriate 
curriculum designs and learning experiences, and 
evaluating outcomes. 

Vocational educators have always used advisory 
committee members from the community as a panel of 
experts to determine what needs to be taught in the 
curriculum. Business and community leaders are often 
asked to be part of that panel of experts. In home eco- 
nomics, the community members who are the panel of 

experts are also members of families. With consumer 
and homemaking as the focus, home economics has the 
unique position to rely on leaders in industry, business, 
education, etc., that are also members of families. 
They face the challenges on a daily basis of being a 
member of a family and of the work force, both con- 
cerns of home economics. Several curriculum experts 
recognized the need for community involvement and to 
evaluate contemporary life and how it affects the 
learner (Tyler, 1949; Taba, 1963; Zais, 1976; Brown & 
Paolucci, 1979; Tanner & Tanner, 1980; Saylor & 
Alexander, 1981; Knorr, 1986; Thomas, 1986; and 
Glatthorn, 1987). 

Knorr (1986) believed there were benefits and ad- 
vantages to be gained from the involvement of people 
in examining curriculum. She stated, "such involve- 
ment can alert curriculum builders to conflicts and the 
need for their resolution, enable curriculum developers 
to see through the eyes of learners and the public so as 
to be ready to make relevant curriculum choices" (p. 
71). In home economics the primary concern is about 
the needs of families. By involving the public in de- 
termining these needs, a knowledge base of what fam- 
ilies are facing is established. Using this knowledge 
base, teachers can address areas of concern which stu- 
dents will need preparation for to be successful mem- 
bers of families and society. 

This article presents a complete plan for conduct- 
ing community meetings to obtain input from members 
of your community. The community meetings can help 
to identify concerns and challenges faced by individu- 
als and families today which should appropriately 
be addressed in home economics curriculum. 

As you plan for the community meetings, keep in 
mind ways that you might be able to utilize your 
FHA-HERO Chapter to assist with the meeting and 
also to promote your program. Perhaps the chapter 
members could provide child care for the children of 
meeting participants and also provide refreshments as 
a class or chapter project. 

Conducting the Community Meeting 

This article presents suggestions and format for 
community meetings to discuss the home economics cur- 
riculum. Such information can be used to help you plan 
and conduct your community meetings. It is highly rec- 
ommended that particular attention be paid to the 
ethnic, racial, gender and economic mix of your local 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/February, 1990 115 

area when inviting community participants. Work 
with your administrator to get him/her to co-sign the 
letter of invitation. 

Lesson Plan for Community Meeting 
Teacher Objectives: 

1. To informally validate/update concerns to be ad- 
dressed in home economics curriculum content. 

2. To create an awareness of the home economics pro- 
gram in a cross-section of the community. 

Supplies needed for 20 community members: 

20 name tags (25 are provided) 

20 pencils (25 are provided) 

20 individual response sheets (6 for each per- 
son, enough for 25 people should be pro- 
vided—have the response heading on each 

30 content area summary sheets (6 should be 
provided for each group of 5 people with the 
response heading on each sheet). 

6 sheets newsprint (at least) 

5 felt tip markers (one for each group assuming 
5 people/small group) 
drafting tape 

participant information sheets (have each 
participant fill one out) 


1. Select individuals to participate in the commu- 
nity meeting. You may decide to use members of 
your vocational advisory committee as a core. 
Participants might include parents, a principal, a 
superintendent, former students, current students, 
business people, school board members, a media 
person, a legislator, people over 65, a person repre- 
senting special needs, and a single person. Include 
various income levels and both males and females. 
Identify enough "extras" that you'll be sure to 
have at least 20 at the meeting. Consider teen 
parents, single parents, blended families, and the 
ethnic make-up of your community when identify- 
ing participants. 

2. Set the time, date, and place of the meeting. Plan 
for 1 1/2 to 2 hours maximum. Work with your 
school administrator to plan the meeting. 

3. Send out letters to invite participants. The letter 
should be signed by the principal or superinten- 
dent and the home economics teacher. A sample 
letter is included in this article. 

4. At the time of the meeting provide name tags for 
each person. 

5. Introduce each person to the group, or use some 
kind of an informal introductory activity so that 
each person is introduced. 

6. Tell the group why you want them to help you. 
The purpose of this meeting is to list the challeng- 
ing concerns and life decisions related to individ- 
ual and family life that should appropriately be 
addressed in the home economics curriculum. Keep 
in mind the American Home Economics Association 
definition of family, and the statement that 
"everyone is a homemaker." See the suggestions 
for an introductory statement that follow the 
sample letter. 

7. Hand out six (6) response sheets to each person. 
The six headings/questions are: 

1) What are major challenges faced by individu- 
als and families in regard to children, parent- 
ing, and family life? 

2) What are major challenges faced by individu- 
als and families in regard to coordinating 
work and family activities and responsibili- 

3) What are major challenges individuals and 
families face in meeting their housing and 
shelter needs? 

4) What are major challenges faced by individu- 
als and families in regard to meeting clothing 
and wardrobe needs? 

5) What are major challenges faced by individu- 
als and families in regard to meeting their fi- 
nancial needs? 

6) What are major challenges faced in regard to 
nourishing and feeding individuals and fami- 

8. Have each person write down on the response 
sheets at least two concerns, challenges, or life de- 
cisions that impact upon them. Talk about situa- 
tions that they have to deal with year after year, 
recurring decisions. You may find it helpful to ex- 
plain it in terms of those challenges and issues 
that they feel should be addressed in the home 
economics curriculum in each of these six areas. 

9. Allow time for each participant to think and 
write quietly and individually (15-20 minutes). 
Divide the large group into small groups of 4-6 
people. Ask each group to choose a recorder. 
Have the recorder record the total group concerns 
on summary sheets. Ask each group to star * or 
checkmark the top 2 concerns under each heading. 

10. Reconvene the group. Ask the recorders or another 
representative from each small group to share the 
top two concerns under each heading. List these 
concerns on large newsprint sheets. Ask the entire 
group to discuss the items listed on the newsprint 

11. Collect the individual response sheets, summary 
sheets, and newsprint sheets. On a separate sheet 


note any comments or observations you have re- 
garding the process. 
12. Thank the participants for their help. Serve re- 
freshments now if you haven't already done so. 
Good job! Pat yourself on the back! 

School Letterhead 


Dear : 

You have been recommended as one who would be 

willing to help School District plan and 

offer relevant home economics programs. Yes, we need 
your help! 

Vocational home economics teachers are in the 
process of updating the programs offered to junior and 
senior high school students. We invite you to help us 
identify concerns and challenges related to home eco- 
nomics content that should be addressed in the curricu- 
lum. Your input will be valued and greatly appreci- 

*insert alternate paragraph here 

We will meet in room of the 

(building) at (street address) on 

(day) (date), at (time). We 

hope to see you there. 


Home Economics Teacher 

*Child care will be provided by members of the 

FHA-HERO Chapter for those who need 

the service. If you need child care, please call 
and indicate the number and ages of chil- 
dren by (date). 

Introduction to the Community Meeting 

Vocational home economics educators are in the 
process of updating the programs offered to junior and 
senior high students. We have invited you here today 
because we believe you can help us identify concerns 
and challenges of everyday living which the content 
of our programs should address. 

Home economics, as a discipline, was established 
in the early 1900s for the purpose of strengthening and 
enriching individual and family life. The goal of 
home economics education today is to assist all stu- 
dents, male and female, in the development of atti- 
tudes, appreciations, understandings, and abilities 
necessary for satisfying personal and family living. 

As changes in American culture, society, and tech- 
nology come, we are each faced with new challenges in 
our lifestyles. One major example of this is the soci- 
etal change we have experienced over the past 15 
years in the role of wage-earner and homemaker. We 

have seen these two traditional male and female roles 
blend into a one-person dual role which may be ful- 
filled by wives, husbands, single individuals, single 
parents, and yes, sometimes even teenagers. The chal- 
lenges which have come to individuals and families 
as they endeavor to coordinate their work activities 
and responsibilities with family activities and re- 
sponsibilities are great. Home economics courses 
should be teaching students skills to help them meet 
these types of challenges. 

We recognize that there are some challenges and 
decisions of life which come to all individuals and 
families regardless of generation. For example: mak- 
ing a living, providing housing and shelter, acquiring 
and preparing nutritional foods, maintaining health, 
meeting clothing needs, and raising children. There 
are also other challenges which may be specific to a 
certain generation. Our generation, for example, faces 
challenges not identified a generation ago. Dealing 
with child abuse, shrinking security for retirement, 
teenage suicide, an aging population, more leisure 
time, threat of nuclear war, working families, ex- 
tended families, and career change based on ever- 
changing technology are just a few of the challenges 
we must face today. A part of the goal of home eco- 
nomics is to give students the knowledge and skills 
needed to successfully meet both of these types of 

As we strive to fulfill that goal, we as home eco- 
nomics teachers must continually update what we 
teach in our courses. This is where we need your help. 
Our purpose here today is to have you help us identify 
the challenges which individuals and families face in 
our society and particularly in our community and 
state. This will help us know what to teach in our 
program which will really help students meet the 
challenges they will face. 

Six major areas have been identified as major con- 
cerns of individuals and families. These are: 

1. Children, parenting, and family life 

2. Coordinating work and family activities and re- 

3. Meeting housing and shelter needs for individuals 
and families 

4. Meeting clothing and wardrobe needs 

5. Meeting individual and family finance needs 

6. Nourishing and feeding individuals and families 
Question: What are major challenges faced by in- 
dividuals and families today in each of these six 


(Continued on page 119.) 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 1 1 7 

A Decade of Caffeine Research Produces a 

Reassuring Conclusion 

Reprinted from: 

Food Insight 

International Food Information Council 

1100 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 430 

Washington, DC 20036 

In the late 1960s, the U.S. government launched a 
scientific review of many food ingredients that had 
been widely consumed for years and were classified as 
"GRAS," or Generally Recognized as Safe, by the Food 
and Drug Administration. Caffeine was one such in- 

During its review in the ensuing decade, scientific 
interest in caffeine's basic metabolism and mecha- 
nisms of effect helped stimulate a wide-ranging re- 
search agenda. New reports about caffeine have since 
been forthcoming at least monthly, and almost 
weekly, from scientists in different parts of the world. 

In the past 10 years, extensive research on caffeine 
in relation to cardiovascular disease, fibrocystic 
breast disease, reproductive function, behavior in 
children, birth defects and cancer has found no signifi- 
cant health hazard from normal caffeine consumption. 

That was the message of Harvard Medical School 
Professor Peter B. Dews, M.B., Ch.B., Ph.D., who pro- 
vided a general overview of caffeine research to more 
than 100 scientists and experts from around the world 
who gathered recently in Hong Kong for the Sixth 
International Caffeine Workshop, sponsored by the 
International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI). 

For an ingredient consumed and enjoyed around the 
world for thousands of years, Chinese Emperor Shen 
Nung provided the first written report of caffeine con- 
sumption as an ingredient in tea as early as 2737 B.C.- 
this renewed attention in the scientific community has 
brought a more thorough understanding of caffeine's 
metabolism and effects. 

Importance of Dose 

Allen H. Neims, M.D., Ph.D., Dean of the College 
of Medicine at the University of Florida, is one of 
leading U.S. experts on caffeine. He reported at the 
ILSI Workshop that research in recent years has 
clearly established that any biological effects of caf- 
feine in either animals or humans depend strongly on 
the dose, method of administration and duration of 

"Extensive research on caffeine. . . has 
found no signifcant health hazard from 
normal caffeine 

Dr. Peter B. Dews 
Harvard Medical School 

Dr. Neims advised that high-dose experiments 
that produce caffeine levels in animals far above 
those ever experienced by humans need to be under- 
stood in terms of biological mechanisms, rather than 
directly concerning human safety. 

Some research reports testing high doses in ani- 
mals have sometimes been mistakenly interpreted as 
relevant to people drinking a couple of cups of coffee. 
Because of the large amount of human research on caf- 
feine, Dr. Neims said scientists should consider human 
data when evaluating and interpreting high-dose an- 
imal experients. 

Dr. Neims also discussed how current research is 
helping identify basic cellular and molecular interac- 
tions between caffeine and several different 
"receptors" present on or within individual body cells. 

Epidemiologic Research 

Caffeine has been evaluated in a number of epi- 
demiologic studies in the last decade, according to 
Alan Leviton, M.D., a leading epidemiologist at 
Harvard Medical School. 

Epidemiologic research looks at data generated 
by surveys of human populations. Researchers attempt 
to measure the frequency and distribution of an illness 
or condition within a given population, and then cor- 
relate that condition with various behaviors, expo- 
sures, dietary patterns, or other such factors. 

Drs. Leviton and Alvan Feinstein, M.D., Ph.D., of 
Yale University School of Medicine, both warned 
against over interpretation of "nonhypothesis" driven 
epidemiologic research, citing several examples re- 
lated to caffeine. 

Dr. Feinstein said a study is hypothesis-driven if 
the research is designed to investigate a potential 
relationship between a particular cause and effect. 
However, problems have arisen, he said, with the 
development of computerized data bases containing 

118 ILLINOIS TEACHER, January /February, 1990 

information about a multiplicity of possible causes 
and outcomes . 

In some cases, investigators have performed auto- 
mated computer searches that identify any possible 
cause-effect relationships that are "statistically sig- 
nificant," yet are likely to occur quite by chance when 
performing multiple explorations. 

New Study Reports on Pregnancy 

Findings from a seven-year prospective study of 
caffeine consumption during pregnancy and child out- 
come were presented at the meeting by Ann P. 
Streissguth. Ph.D., of the University of Washington 
School of Medicine in Seattle. Dr. Streissguth's re- 
search team has been credited as one of the groups to 
first identify fetal alcohol syndrome. 

Dr. Streissguth's study of more than 1,500 preg- 
nant women found no significant relationships between 
maternal caffeine consumption and pregnancy compli- 
cations, labor and delivery complications, Apgar 
scores, congenital defects, infant medical status, or 
height, weight and head circumference of the new- 

Follow-up examinations of these children at age 
seven found no relationship between maternal caffeine 
consumption and laboratory assessments of attention or 
intelligence. The authors concluded that there were no 
long-term consequences of pre-natal caffeine in this 

Technological Function 

In addition to safety research, other studies re- 
ported at the workshop addressed the technological 
function of caffeine. 

Joseph G. Brand, Ph.D., of the Monell Chemical 
Senses Center in Philadelphia, described the com- 
plexity of taste and taste receptors in the mouth. 
Caffeine has been used for over 100 years in some cola 
beverages as a flavor ingredient because of its bitter 
taste and its effect as part of the flavor profile when 
combined with other flavors and sweeteners. 

Research to Continue 

In his concluding remarks to the workshop, Dr. 
Neims noted that research over the past decade has 
helped lay to rest concerns about caffeine's reproduc- 
tive, carcinogenic and mutagenic potential. However, 
he said, research efforts should continue in order to 
maintain a high-level of understanding of the effects 
of such a widely consumed ingredient. 

A report on the Sixth International Caffeine 
Workshop with summaries of presentations by more 
than 30 scientists from around the world will be pub- 
lished in a future issue of the journal Food Chemical 
Toxicology. ••• 

(Continued from page 117.) 

The information gathered from this community 
meeting process can help you assess your home eco- 
nomics curriculum. Are you meeting the needs of your 
students? In Colorado, three main themes evolved as 
those challenges the community meeting participants 
most often faced. The areas were time and money 
management and the need for more effective communi- 
cation skills. Does your curriculum reflect these 

Changing societal trends and issues and the affect 
they have on the individual and family impact home 
economics curriculum. By continually assessing curricu- 
lum, home economics can better meet the needs of indi- 
viduals and families. 


Brown, M., & Paolucci, B. (1979). Home economics: A 
definition. Alexandria, VA: American Home 
Economics Association. 

Glatthorn, A. A. (1987). Curriculum leadership. 
Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman and Company. 

Hughes, R. P., Kister, J., & Smith, J. (1985). 
Redirecting secondary home economics programs. 
Journal of Home Economics, 77(3), 14-17. 

Knorr, A. J. (1986). Contextual factors impacting on 
home economics curriculum. In J. F. Laster & R. E. 
Dohner (Eds.), Vocational home economics 
curriculum: State of the field (pp. 63-73). Peoria, 
IL: Bennett and McKnight Publishing Co. 

Saylor, J. G., Alexander, W. M., & Lewis, A. J. (1981). 
Curriculum planning for better teaching and 
learning. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and 

Taba, H. (1962). Curriculum development theory and 
practice. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 

Tanner, D., & Tanner, L. N. (1980). Curriculum devel- 
opment theory into practice. New York: 
Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc. 

Thomas, R. G. (1986). Alternative views of home eco- 
nomics: Implications for K-12 home economics 
curriculum. Journal of Vocational Home Economics 
Education, 4, 162-188. 

Tyler, R. W. (1949). Basic principles of curriculum and 
instruction. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago 

Zais, R. S. (1976). Curriculum principles and founda- 
tions. New York: Thomas Y. Crowel Company. 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 119 

Journey Toward Peak Performance: 

A Tribute To 
Dr. Hazel Taylor Spitze 

Elaine F. Goodwin 
Assistant Professor 
Northern Illinois University 
DeKalb, IL 

"To achieve all that is possible, we must 
attempt the impossible, to be as much as we 
can, we must dream of being more." 

(Author unknown) 

Dr. Hazel Taylor Spitze, recently retired profes- 
sor at the University of Illinois, was honored at the 
American Home Economics Association's Annual 
Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, in June 1989. She re- 
ceived the AHEA Foundation Award for 
Distinguished Service. This award carries with it one 
of the highest distinctions granted by our professional 
organization. Her list of contributions to home eco- 
nomics education, her writing and her professional ac- 
complishments are extensive! Many know her because 
of her involvement as editor of the Illinois Teacher. 
Perhaps her greatest accomplishment was the inspi- 
ration she provided students through her dedication 
and high expectations. 

It was from a sense of appreciation that I decided 
it was important to write a letter to be added to those 
being compiled and given to Dr. Spitze at the time of 
the award presentation. Teachers do, indeed, make a 
difference. It is essential to keep in mind the influence 
each of us has as we work with students. We need to 
strive for "peak performance" for ourselves and moti- 
vate our students to achieve their peak performance. 
Following is a copy of the letter which I submitted. 

Dear Dr. Spitze: 

The end of another semester of teaching 
classes at Northern Illinois University is 
almost here. I have neglected to complete one 
of my "personal" assignments! Therefore, 
with pencil in hand, I now tackle the job of 
writing a letter to honor you, Dr. Hazel Taylor 

Several years ago I embarked on one of the 
most challenging and rewarding experiences of 
my life as I began my doctoral work in Home 
Economics Education at the University of 
Illinois. You have inspired me to continue my 
belief in home economics, to promote the 
purposes and vision of our profession, and to 
continue to be actively involved. Through 
your encouragement, I have learned skills in 
questioning, in being more assertive and vocal, 
in developing my leadership abilities, in 
being a risk-taker, in being receptive to 
change, and in the use of creative and critical 

Classroom readings, projects, assignments, 
and interaction — all were a part of your plan 
to motivate me. In reflecting on class 
discussions, I've appreciated your openness 
about the many roles of being a professional 
and being a college professor. These have all 
been extremely helpful in the continuing 
process of my personal and professional 
growth and development. I thank you for 
"pushing" me in my thinking, in my work, and 
toward my goals. 

Ours has been a somewhat unique relation- 
ship, since I was aware of your professional 
influence and support during our daughter, 
Cherie Goodwin Bertsch's, years on campus at 
the University of Illinois and in the years 
since her graduation. I, too, have found my 
contacts with the students I have taught to be 
extremely rewarding. 

I want to wish you "highest" congratu- 
lations on the award of American Home 
Economics Association Foundation's 
Distinguished Service Award! I, also, must 

120 ILLINOIS TEACHER, January/ February, 1990 

add that I do use the Illinois Teacher re- 
peatedly and appreciate your dedication to its 
publication. I have duplicated copies of many 
of your "writings" for personal reference and 
use them as a catalyst for required student 
readings for the university classes which I 
teach. Thank you for helping me to believe in 
myself and in Home Economics Education. 


Elaine Goodwin 
Assistant Professor 
Department of Human & 

Family Resources 
Northern Illinois University 

Life holds in store many opportunities if we are 
willing to risk and to take advantage of those oppor- 
tunities. The persons with whom we associate are 
often extremely influential in our attitudes toward 
those opportunities. People with a positive and opti- 
mistic view help us perceive the ups and downs of life, 
the happy and the sad, the exciting and the hum- 
drum all as part of life's journey. 

Both short trips and long journeys have times of 
great pleasure and times of anxiety. We marvel at 
the scenery. We fret about wasted time caused by un- 
planned delays. We enjoy good companionship and 
shared communication. We complain if the costs 
seems too high. We delight in exploring new vistas. 
We grumble over the drudgery of time schedules and 
physical discomfort. (I now find I need to get out and 
stretch more frequently when driving.) We feel re- 
freshed and relaxed from seeing new things, new 
places, and new people. (Sometimes the old things, 
places, and people are great, too!) We worry about 
safety and all the technological gadgets on the car 
and the airplane. What if they don't work? What if 
we have a flat tire? What if we run out of gas (or 
fuel)? And, we must have insurance — right? 

These contrasts and concerns about travel have 
application to our lives. A few suggestions can guide 
our journey: 

1. Prepare for your trip. It is necessary to map out 
where we are going. Individually we must set our 
goals and determine when and how we can get 
where we want to go. (Dr. Spitze helped me real- 
ize it's up to me and I am in control of my life.) 

2. Decide who will accompany you. Choose wisely 
your companions and associates. Create opportu- 
nities to share and network with those who can 
add meaning and contribute to your life. (I'm 

grateful for the chance to have been in Dr. 
Spitze's graduate classes.) 

3. Enjoy the ride. Keep smiling even over the bumps! 
Continue to be involved and pursue learning as a 
life-long endeavor. (Dr. Spitze does exemplify 
this, doesn't she?) 

4. Take some side-trips. Try the new and different. 
Dream of doing and being more. Attempt the 
challenge of new paths. Be a risk-taker. Events 
in our lives may demand some creative planning 
and critical thinking. (I still have the pencil 
scribbled note from my daughter which says "GO 
FOR IT, MOM!" when I made the decision to work 
on a doctoral degree.) 

5. Head in the right direction. True, there will be 
stopping points on the journey. These may be for 
refueling. (Dr. Spitze along with other 
University of Illinois colleagues provided that for 
me.) The road signs caution of danger, construction 
(many women need to build self-esteem), curves 
(sometimes ethical decisions test us), etc. — but 
then also signs appear which indicate full speed 
ahead! Enthusiasm is contagious. Assess your 
progress regularly and feel pride in what you 
have accomplished. 

Each of us needs to make progress and strive for 
peak performance. The advertisements for high oc- 
tane gasoline and the latest models of automobiles re- 
peatedly stress the potential and possibilities of 
their products. As individuals, we also have the po- 
tential of high performance! When viewing life as an 
exciting journey it can be full of "possible dreams." To 
achieve these dreams, it is essential to believe in one- 
self. Sharing that belief and confidence with our stu- 
dents, our friends, our families, and our professional 
colleagues can make the difference. The road to even 
greater success lies ahead. 

Thank you and congratulations, Dr. Spitze. • • • 

"If you can conceive it and 
believe it, you can achieve 

William James 































w t 
















a «o 

3 (0 



. to 
o o 5 

t <M »- CO 

Wo™ *7i m& 

> '(-70 Volume 3CDh£ No. 4 

V^ March/April, 1990 


Foreword, Mildred Griggs 121 

A Salute to the 1989 Home Economics Teachers of the Year, Illinois Teacher Staff 123 

MIRACLE: Making Ideas Reality Allowing Creative Learning 

in Entrepreneurship, Geraldine Miracle 135 

Relationship Course, Kathy Gifford 136 

Independent Life Skills, Kay Wolff 137 

Integration of FHA/HERO into the Classroom, Judy Whitener 138 

Eating for the Health Of It, Frances Baynor Parnell 139 

Entrepreneurship, Janet Powell 141 

Taking Charge: Thinking Critically and Creatively Toward Ethical Action, 

Jan Abramsen 143 

Relevance in Teaching Clothing: A Case for the Human 

Ecological Approach, Lillian O. Holloman 145 

Family Life Education in the 1990s. The Challenge: 

What Shall We Teach, Harriett K. Light 148 

Subject Communities as Curricular Influences: A Case Study, 

Jane Thomas 153 

Charting a Career Path — Voices of Home Economics Educators, 

Linda Peterat and Linda Eyre 158 

Illinois Teacher of Home Economics 

ISSN 0739-148X 

A publication of the Division of Home Economics Education, 

Department of Vocational and Technical Education, 

College of Education, University of Illinois, 

Champaign, Illinois 61820 

Illinois Teacher Staff 

Mildred Griggs, Professor and Editor 

Norma Huls, Office Manager 

June Chambliss, Technical Director 

Sally Rousey, Graduate Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate 

Linda Simpson, Graduate Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate 

Other Home Economics Education Division Staff and Graduate Students 
Catherine Burnham, Graduate Assistant and Ed.D. Candidate 
Vida U. Revilla, Graduate Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate 
Alison Vincent, Graduate Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate 

Volume XXXII, No. 4, March/ April, 1990. Published five times 
each academic year. Subscriptions $15.00 per year. Foreign, in- 
cluding Canada, $18.00 per year. Special $10.00 per year ($12.00 
Foreign) for undergraduate and graduate students when ordering by 
teacher educator on forms available from Illinois Teacher office. 
Single copies $3.50. Foreign $4.00. All checks from outside the U.S. 
must be payable through a U.S. bank. 

University of Illinois 
352 Education Building 
1310 S. Sixth Street 
Champaign, IL 61820 

Telephone: 217/244-0820 



Being recognized for excellence in teaching, curriculum and pro- 
gram development is one of the highest honors that we can bestow 
upon members of our profession. In this issue we recognize the 1989 
national Teacher of the Year, Merit Finalist, and state Teacher of the 
Year award recipients. A few of the state awardees did not respond to 
our request for information about their program and therefore are 
not represented among honorees. 

All of the state Teacher of the Year awardees were asked a series of 
questions that we thought would enlighten us about their feelings, 
beliefs and practices. Their responses help to confirm our beliefs 
about the merit of home economics education and enhance our pride 
in the quality of people who are teaching home economics. 

The Teacher of the Year program has some corporate support, how- 
ever, it is sponsored by the American Home Economics Association. 
Please participate in the future by nominating yourself or some 
deserving teacher in your state when the time arrives to do so. 

The remainder of the articles in this issue represent our continuing 
interest in sharing information about home economists who teach 
and home economics education programs and possibilities. We 
think you will find them interesting and useful. 

-The Editor — 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/ April, 1990 121 

9{ationaC Winner 
ttome "Economics 'Teacher of the year 

Thyllis Landman 

Susan M. Anderson 

Merit finatists 

(Denise WL ^Missal 

3 ana Lowell 

122 ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 

A Salute to the 1989 Home Economics 
Teachers of the Year 

Each year the American Home Economics Associa- 
tion, Chesebrough Pond's Inc. and Lever Brothers Com- 
pany sponsor the TOY (Teacher of the Year) program. 
This is the 16th year that the award has been given 
to outstanding home economics teachers from different 
states. The objective of the program is to stimulate 
the development of innovative programs that are 
timely, newsworthy, and that expand the focus of 
home economics. The winners are recognized for their 
outstanding contributions to the improvement of the 
quality of family life, the development of outstanding 
education programs, teaching techniques and activi- 
ties that might engage other educators and build 
community awareness of home economics education. 

Phyllis Lamiman from Bethesda, Maryland was 
selected as the National Home Economics Teacher of 
the Year for creating an innovative program that 
helps senior citizens and teens break down the stereo- 
types of age. Her program titled "Closing the Gap" is 
part of a year-long program in Personal Family Living 
which she teaches at Walt Whitman High School in 
Bethesda. Mrs. Lamiman believes that one reason the 
program works is because the students and the senior 
citizens come together as equals. She states that, 
"Students learn from the experiences of the seniors 
that love, caring, and new adventures are lifetime 
events, not isolated happenings and certainly not 
restricted to the young. Similarly, seniors increase 
their awareness of the problems facing today's teens 
as well as what the younger generation thinks about 
the world around them." Mrs. Lamiman added, 
"Teens are seeking their identity. They want to know 
who they are. Older people know who they are and 
can offer encouragement as well as a wealth of 
experience to the young. At the same time, if seniors 
have suffered losses or changes in lifestyle, they too 
need to reaffirm their sense of integrity or personal 
value. Closing the Gap helps both groups achieve 
these goals." 

In addition to the National Teacher of the Year, 
there were awards given for creativity and educa- 
tional excellence. The three Merit Finalists were: Su- 
san M. Anderson, Denise M. Missal, and Janet Powell. 

Susan M. Anderson, a teacher from Angoon, 
Alaska developed an innovative curriculum that uses 
community resources to help students learn to appreci- 
ate their heritage and improve the quality of their 
lives, now and in the future. Mrs. Anderson stated, "In 

this isolated rural area, the school is the center of the 
community. Our program capitalizes on that by invit- 
ing the Tlingit elders to teach students their cultural 
traditions such as beading, smoking fish, or gathering 
native fruits and vegetables." She added, "Our pro- 
gram demonstrates that every community can provide 
a range of experiences that can help students realize 
their own talents, develop skills, and identify the va- 
riety of career opportunities available to them." Mrs. 
Anderson has developed a close relationship between 
the school and the community. She has called upon 
elders, parents, business owners, and community 
members and used today's technology as classroom re- 

Denise M. Missall who teaches at the Florence M. 
Burd School in Newton, New Jersey was selected for 
her program on teaching students how to be more so- 
phisticated consumers. She explains, "Teens have the 
largest disposable income of any age group in the coun- 
try. According to recent syndicated research studies, 
children and teens spend $81 billion annually and in- 
fluence the spending of up to $200 billion, yet few 
teens know their consumer rights or how to use them. I 
want to give them the confidence and capability to do 
that." Her students focus on the process, not the prod- 
uct. They practice critical thinking skills, learn how 
to evaluate ads, write a business letter, interpret 
package information, compare coupons and other price 
incentives. This gives students a practical under- 
standing of the demands of the consumer marketplace, 
the creative challenges companies face in meeting 
those demands, as well as its impact on their every- 
day lives. In addition, Mrs. Missall also teaches stu- 
dents how to use creativity to meet consumer needs. 
For example, her eighth grade students were chal- 
lenged to develop inventions that would fill a need in 
today's marketplace. Among the products they cre- 
ated were a 'can smoosher' that makes the most of the 
space available for garbage, baby bumper pads to 
protect toddlers from bruises when they are learning 
to walk, and rubber gloves with sponges attached to 
the palms for people with arthritis who have diffi- 
culty holding cleaning supplies. 

Janet Powell, also named as a National Merit Fi- 
nalist, teaches at the Orchard Ridge Middle School 
in Madison, Wisconsin. Her program features an en- 
trepreneurial course that brings students face to face 
with the world of small business. Mrs. Powell's 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 123 

'entrepreneurship' course teaches students about the 
day to day problems and challenges of the world of 
work. The class divides into small groups to research, 
plan, and develop a product or service. The program 
offers students a practical experience in career explo- 
ration by integrating the reality of the business world 
into his/her program. Members of the business 
community share their experiences with other 
students in order to help them develop initiative, 
creativity, and leadership. Mrs. Powell explains, 
"Eighth grade students need to begin thinking about 
their life plan, how it relates to the family, and how 
their personal abilities and interests will shape their 
career choices. Using problem-solving skills, students 
quickly learn to assess their own interests and 
abilities. Some realize they are better at researching 
an idea, others at selling concepts or making 
production plans. The whole activity enables them to 
gain a sense of personal competence and learn in a real 
world setting." The long-term goal of the course is to 
teach young people the relationship between job 
satisfaction, personal interests and values. 

Illinois Teacher salutes the National Teacher of 
the Year and State Teachers of the Year. Some state 
winners were also merit winners and among the top ten 
finalist as noted in the following entries. 


Wanda Padgett 

Program Title: Occupational Care and Guidance 

of Children 

Focus: Career Awareness/Job Skill Training 

Focus: Awareness/Job Skill Training 


Carol Hahn 

Program Title: Economics 

Focus: Consumer Education/ Family Finance 


Carole Ann Groh 

Program Title: PRD — Personal Resource Devel- 

Focus: Family Life/Personal and Social Devel- 


Margaret McDonnell Omartian 

Program Title: Comprehensive Home Economics 
Focus: Creative Dimensions/ Alternative Program 


Susan Dawson-Perez 

Program Title: "Home Economics Enrollment 
Booming at Miramar High School — The Secret of 
My Success" 
Focus: Career Awareness/Job Skill Training 


Carolyn Leverett Kelly 


Susan M. Anderson 

Program Title: Career Awareness 
Focus: Care Awareness/Job Skill Training 

Program Title: Integration of Community Re- 
sources into a Rural Home Economics Program 
Focus: Creative Dimensions/ Alternative Program 


Dolores "Dolly" Maitzen 

Program Title: Introduction to Human Relations 
Focus: Family Life/Personal and Social Develop- 


Delma Sue Welsh Farris 

Program Title: Consumer Homemaking "HEAD 
SMART" — (Helping Educate And Develop So 
Minds Are Ready Tomorrow) 


Alverna M. Thomas 

Program Title: Fashion Merchandising 
Focus: Career Awareness/Job Skill Training 


Patricia Ann Bowdell 

Program Title: Focus on Relationships 
Focus: Family Life/Personal and Social Devel- 


Kay T. Jensen 

Program Title: Vocational Home Economics — 
Child Development 

124 ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/ April, 1990 

Focus: Family Life/Personal and Social Devel- 


Betty LeVon Rust 

Program Title: Teen Sexuality Unit and Promotion 
of Sex Respect 

Focus: Family Life/Personal and Social Devel- 


Geraldine "Gerrie" Miracle 

Program Title: MIRACLE: Making Ideas Reality 
Allowing Creative Learning in Entrepreneurship 
Focus: Career Awareness/Job Skill Training 


Mollie H. Abadie 


Brenda Mattfeld 

Program Title: Plan to L.E.A.D. (Leadership and 

Education through Awareness Days) 

Focus: Creative Dimensions/ Alternative Program 



Judy Whitener 

Program Title: Family Life Education 
Focus: Family Life/ Personal and Social Devel- 


Diana Jeanette Morris 

Program Title: Foreign Foods 

Focus: Nutrition Education/ Diet and Health 

Program Title: Innovative Comprehensive Voca- 
tional Home Economics 

Focus: Creative Dimensions/ Alternative Program 


Claudia Ann Dalton 

Program Title: Home Economics "Out of the 


Focus: Creative Dimensions/Alternative Program 



Phyllis Lamiman 

Program Title: Personal and Family Liv- 
ing/ "Closing the Gap" 

Focus: Family Life/Personal and Social Devel- 


Jo Ann Pullen 

Program Title: Textile Technology/ Entrepreneur- 
Focus: Career Awareness/Job Skill Training 


Eleanor O'Toole 

Program Title: Career Exploration in Action 
Focus: Career Awareness/Job Skill Training 


Kathy Gifford 

Program Title: Relationships — Skills for Life 
Focus: Family Life/Personal and Social 


Nancy M. (Lamb) Pierce 

Program Title: Hotel Operations II 
Focus: Career Awareness/Job Skill Training 


Regina Sibilia 

Program Title: Critical Skills Impacts Home Eco- 

Focus: Creative Dimensions/ Alternative Program 


Denise M. Missall 

Program Title: Consumer Awareness Skills, 8th 

Grade Unit 

Focus: Consumer Education/Family Finance 


Mary Ellen Butler 

Program Title: Practical Applications to Nutri- 
Focus: Nutrition Education/Diet and Health 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 125 


Ruth Anne Schultz 

Focus: Career Awareness/Job Skill Training 

Program Title: Family Dynamics/Family Life 

Focus: Family Life/Personal and Social Devel- 


Frances Baynor Parnell 

Program Title: "Eating for the Health of It" 
Focus: Creative Dimensions/ Alternative Program 


Edna DeAnn Pence 

Program Title: Personal and Social Development 
Through FHA Leadership 
Focus: Family Life/Personal and Social Devel- 


Jan Abramsen 

Program Title: Taking Charge: Thinking Criti- 
cally and Creatively Toward Ethical Action 
Focus: Creative Dimensions/Alternative Program 


Lucille L. Flynn 

Program Title: Special Food and Nutrition Co-op 
Focus: Creative Dimensions/ Alternative Program 


Mary McCarley McGee 

Program Title: Industrial Sewing 

Focus: Career Awareness/Job Skill Training 


Kay Wolff 

Program Title: Independent Life Skills 
Focus: Family Life/Personal and Social Devel- 

Leta Durrett 

Program Title: Hospitality Services 


Emily H. Richardson 

Program Title: Home Economics Cooperative Edu- 
Focus: Career Awareness/Job Skill Training 


Karen Fisher 

Program Title: Peer Helpers Program 

Focus: Creative Dimensions/ Alternative Program 



Lucy A. Sullivan 

Program Title: Building Self-Esteem Through 

Cross- Age Teaching 

Focus: Creative Dimensions/ Alternative Program 



Janet Powell 

Program Title: Entrepreneurship 

Focus: Career Awareness/Job Skill Training 

We surveyed the Teachers of the Year. The 
following are their responses to some of our survey 

Why do you like being a teacher? 

Carol Hahn— Whittier, CA— 
"I like teenage vitality and 
enthusiasm. When a student's 
eyes light up, I get excited." 

Carol Hahn 

Carole Groh — Colorado Springs, CO — "Junior high 
students are so receptive to our subject matter. They 
become so excited doing the activities, they provide 

126 ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 

immediate feedback 

there is such energy in the 

Margaret McDonnell Omartian — Simsbury, CT — 
"Teaching is a challenge everyday especially 
working with junior high students. I am in a role in 
which I can share and initiate new experiences in life 

Betty Rust— Fort Scott, KS— 
"Teaching is an opportunity 
to touch the future and make 
a difference in the lives of my 

Betty Rust 

Carole Groh 

Margaret McDonnell 

Geraldine "Gerry" Miracle — Fort Mitchell, KY — 
"Being a teacher presents a new challenge everyday, 
and I like that. It is stimulating to meet new faces 
each year and see the progress made by all students in 
his or her very own way. I think teaching is fun, and I 
try to make learning worthwhile and exciting for my 

Brenda Mattfeld — Great Eagle, MN — "Teaching is 
challenging and motivating. I enjoy the students and 
love to watch them grow and change." 

Patricia Ann Bowdell — Montpe- 
lier, IN — "Teaching gives me an 
opportunity to make a difference 
in someone's life. Teaching pro- 
vides a chance to make a better 
world by making better people 
through education." 

Geraldine Miracle 


Brenda Mattfeld 

Patricia Ann Bowdell 

Kay Jensen — Knoxville, 
Iowa — "Teaching allows me 
the chance to challenge 
students to think and make 
better decisions for them- 
selves. I feel that home 
economics is the core of to- 
day's living and improving 
tomorrow's living." 

Diana Morris — West Yellow- 
stone, MT — "Being a teacher is 
like dreaming a dream and 
then being able to watch it 
become reality. I enjoy 
sharing and learning with my 
students and I appreciate the 
opportunity to see them meet 
their challenges positively 
and with great pride in their 

Kay Jensen 

Diana Morris 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 127 

Kathy Gifford — Kearney, NE 
— "I like being a teacher 
because it is an opportunity to 
continue learning and growing. 
The best moments of teaching 
are those experienced when a 
student succeeds at even the 
smallest task — their eyes light 
up and they say 'I did it!'" 

Kathy Gifford 

If you were choosing your career again, would you be a 
home economics teacher? 

Delores "Dolly" Maitzen— Phoenix, AZ— "Yes, I 
believe the life skills we offer students in our classes 
are the most critical in today's world: parenting, good 
human relationships with others, and healthy 
nutrition for wellness. They all point to our ultimate 
goal — teaching students how to be healthy 
individuals, mentally and physically." 

Carole Groh — CO TOY — "I have taught in many 
subject areas (social studies, science, and health) but in 
home economics I feel I have an impact on students' 
lives preparing them for the future." 

Margaret McDonnell Omartian — TOY CT — "Of course 
I would choose to be a home economics teacher for 
where else can someone affect the daily life of those 
around them." 

Kay Jensen — TOY Iowa — "Yes, I can't imagine a career 
that allows one to have an impact on so many people 
and their lives anymore than home economics does." 

Betty Rust— KS TOY— "Yes, this choice has 
enlightened my life and made me a better person. I 
will always be proud to say I am a home economics 

Gerrie Miracle— TOY KY— "Yes!! Teaching is 
exciting and challenging. There is not another subject 
in the curriculum that presents as much variety and 
practicality as home economics. One NEVER has to be 
worried about getting bored when s/he teaches home 
economics. I thoroughly enjoy each day in my 
classroom. Today's home economics is not just 'stitchin' 
and stewin", but has expanded to include a wide 
variety of life skills. Home economics is just as vital 
for males as it is for females, and for the past three 

years I have had a few more boys than girls in my 
home economics classes. Home economics topics are 
fundamental for life security." 

Nancy Pierce— Las Vegas, NV— "YES, YES, YES, 
although I left the traditional consumer and 
homemaking classroom seven years ago to use my home 
economics skills to write, develop, and implement a 
hotel operations program for high school students." 

Nancy Pierce 

Regina Sibilia 

Regina Sibilia — Merrimack, NH — "There is no doubt 
in my mind! When I first began teaching, I thought I'd 
get tired of it within 5 years . . . I'm still loving it 15 
years later." 

Karen Fisher — Mt. Vernon, WA — "Yes, being in home 
economics has made it possible for me to branch out 
and learn a variety of subject matter that also applies 
to my own life. I love it." 

Kay Wolff — Eureka, SD — "Yes, the importance of 
family in our mission very much 'makes me tick.' I 
love to use a variety of teaching techniques. I like to 
discuss the 'gray' areas. Real life is hardly ever 'cut 
and dried' and students need to know how to deal in 
the real world — in home economics there is never a 
dull moment." 

What did it mean to you to be a teacher of the year? 

Susan Anderson — Angoon, Alaska — "Receiving the 
TOY award was extremely rewarding. It was a time of 
growth personally and professionally to receive the 
award and to write the twenty page book which was 
submitted for national competition. Attending the 
National AHEA at Cincinnati was an unforgettable 

128 ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 

Alverna Thomas — Moscow, Idaho — Being selected 
TOY meant that "I was being recognized for the 
contribution that I am making to the overall well- 
being of my students. It encouraged me to maintain my 
teaching standards. I felt very humble because I knew 
that there were so many other outstanding teachers in 
my state who deserve to be honored." 

Gerrie Miracle— TOY KY— "Teacher of the Year has 
brought far more attention and recognition to me and 
my program than I ever dreamed possible. It has been 
fulfilling to see others so interested in a program that 
I have written and used with my students. Teacher of 
the Year has given me the chance to meet with other 
teachers from all over the United States and learn of 
their exciting programs. It has given me ideas on ways 
to expand my local home economics program. I have 
also had the opportunity to speak at several national, 
state, and local conferences to share my ideas with 
others and learn new ideas from others. My fellow 
faculty members, the administration in my local 
district, and my own family have been very 
supportive and proud of this accomplishment. 
Sometimes we do not realize how much other people 
mean to us until something happens that we can share. 
It is a wonderful feeling to know that others really do 
care about what you are doing — Teacher of the Year 
has given me this wonderful feeling." 

Kathy Gifford— TOY NE— "To be the Teacher of the 
Year has meant a great deal to me. To be recognized by 
one's peers is truly an honor. This also said to me, 
'Yes, what you're doing is needed and worthwhile for 
our students.' This recognition gives me the incentive 
and encouragement to continue even on those 'not so 
good days.'" 

Luci Flynn — RI — "The honor 
of being Teacher of the Year 
has not only been a great 
experience for me, it also 
helped other teachers within 
my school reflect on their 
programs and share their 
ideas with me in order to 
motivate students and other 

What do you feel is your most important contribution 
to society as a teacher? 

Margaret McDonnell Omartian — TOY CT — "I hope to 
spark an interest and instill the love of learning that 
is a lifetime process." 

Alverna Thomas — TOY Idaho — "I try to help each 
student to develop self-confidence skills and good 
attitudes toward people, work , and life in general." 

Claudia Dalton — Kennebunk, ME TOY — "My most 
important contribution to society is to teach young 
individuals how to survive on their own — to help 
them become planners of the future, to make them 
aware of careers in home economics of which they are 
not aware." 

Judy Whitener — Farmington, MO TOY's most impor- 
tant contribution to society as a teacher is "serving as a 
positive role model for hundreds of students." 

Kathy Gifford is TOY NE — "My most important 
contribution to society as a teacher is being a role 
model for her students. I try to lead a healthy 
lifestyle, coping with the inevitable changes that 
happen in one's life. My students know me not only as 
a teacher, but also as a person." 

Frances Baynor Parnell — 
Wilmington, NC — "I help 
young people develop think- 
ing skills, which facilitate 
decision making and the cre- 
ative use of resources, as they 
manage their own lives and 
offer help to others." 

Frances Baynor Parnell 

Luci Flynn — TOY RI — "I feel my most important 
contribution to society as a teacher is my ability to 
present concepts to students, and allow the students to 
nurture these ideas and help them expand and grow as 

Kay Wolff— TOY SD— "I feel 
as teachers we help students to 
realize their potential. In 
addition, we serve as an 
extended family for students in 
today's hectic lifestyle. Our 
classes may be the brightest 
spot of their day, a place 
where they are accepted for 
who they are." 

Kay Wolff 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, March /April, 1990 129 

How do you keep from getting out-of-date, bored, 
unenthusiastic, tired of it all. 

Margaret McDonnell Omartian— TOY CT— "I try to 
keep an open mind to new ideas and be willing to 
accept change. Incorporating the students' interests 
creates a commodity that keeps both students and 
teachers' interests high." 

Alverna Thomas— TOY Idaho 
— "I am not afraid to try new 
things, up date and change my 
curriculum each year, and listen 
to what students say to each 
other and to me, attend pro- 
fessional conferences, and keep 
up my membership in profes- 
sional associations." 

Alverna Thomas 

Brenda Mattfeld— TOY MN— "Activities that keep 
me up-to-date and enthused are continuing education 
and professional organizations. I take every 
available opportunity to learn more about my 
profession through classes, workshops, conferences, 
and networking." 

Diana Morris— TOY MT— "Each summer I work at a 
new job that is unrelated to school. By doing this, I 
achieve two goals. First, I put myself in the position 
that my students maintain from September to June- 
learning new procedures and skills, adjusting to 
management techniques of a new boss, and meeting new 
people in an unfamiliar setting. I am in the 'student 
mode' — it is amazing how much more understanding I 
am in the classroom. The second goal I accomplish is 
that I stay abreast of home economics related topics as 
they are perceived in the outside world. In the past, 
my jobs have allowed me to build awareness and skills 
related to food service, fashion merchandising, 
marketing techniques, and gain skills that are needed 
to deal with the real world on a daily basis. My 
community also appreciates seeing its teachers in 
settings other than the school— we gain credibility as 
members of the business workforce." 

Regina Sibilia— TOY NH— "If there is such a thing as 
a workshopaholic . . . that's me. I love learning new 
things! No matter what it is I'll find a way to apply 
it in my classroom. My interests are many and 
varied— I refuse to allow myself to become out-of- 
date, bored, unenthusiastic." 

Jan Abramsen 

Frances Baynor Parnell— TOY NC— "I actively 
participate in professional organizations, read and 
seek extraordinary ways to accomplish ordinary 
tasks. I look for challenges to perpetuate growth as a 
person and a teacher." 

Jan Abramsen — Allentown, 
PA — keeps from getting out- 
of-date by . . . "working at 
the edge of my competence 
rather than in the comfort- 
able middle. This has in- 
volved teaching workshops 
on critical thinking and 
communication and learning 
new skills such as writing 
newspaper articles, as well 
as reading journals, books, 
and reports not only in my field of education and home 
economics, but from other professions and disciplines, 
supplies nourishment for thought and questioning." 

Kay Wolff— TOY SD— "Keeping a positive attitude 
is number one. Belonging to professional associations is 
of utmost importance. A strong support network is 
necessary to keep motivated and share ideas." 

Karen Fisher— TOY WA— "I like to change subject 
matter, start new programs such as weight 
management class and peer helping class, and 
constantly participate in conferences and workshops." 

Lucy Sullivan— WV TOY— "I take a class, get 
involved in research, help with curriculum writing, 
attend meetings, and work with the community." 

Janet Powell— TOY WI —"When I returned to 
teaching, I found that getting my master's degree 
twenty years after my B.S. degree was a terrific 
stimulant to my teaching. I have continued taking 
classes and feel education is the secret to staying 
excited about teaching." 

If you could give new teachers one sentence of advice, 
what would it be? 

Carol Hahn — TOY CA — advises a new teacher to 
. . . "manage time so you have some for yourself." 

130 ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/ April, 1990 

Carole Groh— CO TOY— suggests . . . "Using a variety 
of activities and learning experiences, and being 
prepared to expend a great deal of energy in the 

Alverna Thomas — TOY Idaho — advises . . . "Love 
your students and keep the needs of students in mind." 

Patricia Bowdell — IN TOY — gives the following 
advice . . . "Be fair, firm, and friendly with students 
and with yourself and never quit learning." 

Betty Rust — TOY KA — advises new teachers 
to . . . "Be committed to your profession and to your 
students and give it your all." 

Gerrie Miracle — TOY KY — says, 'Teaching is as 
exciting as you make it: spend time thinking, writing, 
learning, working, studying, and playing, but most of 
all spend rime caring about yourself and others." 

Jo Ann Pullen — Northfield, MA — says that, "If you 
relax and watch your students they will delight you 
as you watch them learn." 

Claudia Dalton — TOY ME — advises new teachers 
to . . . "Enjoy teaching, get involved in 
interdisciplinary activities, make home economics 
more meaningful. Teach for the future." 

Judy Whitener— TOY 
MO — advice to new 
teachers is . . . "evalu- 
ate programs yearly. 
Don't be afraid to make 
changes. Keep up with 
changes. Don't be old 

Judy Whitener 

Kathy Gifford— TOY NE— says, "It is essential to 
achieve and maintain a balance between your personal 
life and your professional life, therefore never allow 
one to dominate the other for any length of time. Be 
realistic and build a network of supportive people in 
both your professional and personal life." 

Emily Richardson — TOY 
Williamsburg, VA — advises 
new teachers to . . . "Remem- 
ber why you became a teacher 
and keep your focus on the 
potential in each students." 

Emily Richardson 

Jan Abramsen — TOY PA — advises new teachers to . . . 
"keep an open mind to new ideas, and expect to learn 
from my students as well as from educational 

Kay Wolff— TOY SD— offers this advice, . . . "Don't 
get annoyed at the little things that sometimes get us 
down is important and taking the advice TCOY — Take 
Care of Yourself. Students need to be healthy, both 
physically and mentally." 

Janet Powell— TOY WI— ad- 
vises . . . "Like what you are 
doing, address the individual 
needs of the students, and keep 
current with educational theo- 
ries and techniques." 



Janet Powell 

Describe any innovative programs or curriculum topics 
that you have found to be successful 

Susan Anderson — Alaska TOY — . . . "involves the 
community, parents, and natural resources extensively 
in my program." 

Margaret McDonnell Omartian — TOY CT — says "I try 
to maintain the curriculum with adaptations to 
involve innovative teaching styles, and new trends in 
learning. I have incorporated a great deal of faculty 
interaction of academic teachers in my classroom to 
open communication and understanding of home 
economics in my unique teaching techniques. Through 
the use of peer tutoring techniques, I give my students 
the opportunity to display their new found knowledge 
in areas beyond the traditional classroom. The most 
fulfilling accomplishment is the increased sense of 
self-esteem students experience." 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 131 

Patricia Ann Bowdell — TOY IN — offers this lesson 
plan on "Thinking Skills for the Home Economics 

Background — Several days have been spent on 
establishing classroom climate prior to this 
exercise. Since the first six weeks of the class 
is spent on understanding self, this is the first 
activity to start thinking on this topic. 

Thinking Skill — Brainstorming 

Focus Activity — Questioning the class in 
relation to the importance of understanding 
self before getting involved with the opposite 
sex will help students see the importance of 
this unit. Everyone is a unique individual! 
This is an amazing fact. What makes 
everyone different? What makes you, you? 

Objectives — To become more aware of factors 
which influence us and make us unique; to 
encourage students to think about themselves 
and clarify what past influences have been 
important as well as present and future 
influences on the whole self; to encourage 
students to change or work at changing 
attributes about themselves that they do not 
like; to help students accept attributes about 
themselves that they cannot change. 

Input — Think about these: 
S = self-knowledge can lead to self-under- 
standing and acceptance 
E = explore old and new ideas about self 
L = love yourself before you can love others 
F = focus on you before you focus on others 
then you'll relate unselfishly 

Activity — 

1 . Students are to work in cooperative groups 
with assigned tasks. They are to make an 
attribute web using self in the center focus- 
ing on the ideas of "What makes you, you?" 

2. Informal brainstorming is used to make 
webs. Observer reports to the class on the 
thinking within the groups. 

3. Teacher combines all ideas on web into a 
list an hands this out to the class. Students 
are asked to do various tasks using their 
master list. 

4. Students are asked to choose 10 attributes 
that are important in making you, you and 
then arrange them in order of most impor- 
tant to least important. 

5. Students are asked to choose 5 attributes 
which cannot be changed and write a sen- 
tence telling why. 

6. Students are asked to choose 5 attributes 
which cannot be changed and write a sen- 
tence telling why they cannot be changed. 
They are then asked to arrange them in 
order of most difficult to least difficult to 

7. Students are asked to choose 5 attributes 
which can be changed and rank them in 
order of importance. Write the one you 
would like to change the most first and so 
on down the list. Tell why you want to 
make the change. 

8. Students are asked to predict which of the 
10 attributes on their list would have been 
on their father's list. If their father is not 
the home, use a significant male figure. 

9. Do the same for the mother or significant 
female figure. 

Metacognition and Closure — 
Students make a collage about themselves. 
They are instructed to place the most impor- 
tant attribute toward the center of the collage 
and the least important toward the outside. 
They may use a picture (real or magazine), 
real objects, and other items which signifi- 
cantly relate to them. The collage should 
show themselves past, present, and future. 
Any shape or size of display board may be 
used. Neatness counts. 

Students should not put their name on the out- 
side of the collage. The collages will be on 
display and students then guess which collage 
belongs to which student. There may be times 
when you will not want to do this. 

Students might be asked to stand up — off your 
seat and on your feet — and explain their col- 
lage and how it reflects them. 

132 ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/ April, 1990 

Kay Jensen — TOY IA — says "My key here is that I try 
to involve the class as much as possible in the topic for 
the lesson. For instance, sharing in small groups as the 
students study the life cycle and write a short story of 
the day in the life of a couple at one part of the life 
cycle. Each group writes their interpretation and then 
shares. I try to have some active involvement in each 
lesson every day. Listening and caring make an impact 
on the students." 

Gerri Miracle— TOY KY— offers "The program that I 
have written called MIRACLE: Making Ideas Reality 
Allowing Creative Learning in Entrepreneurship is an 
introduction to entrepreneurship has a career option 
taught to seniors in high school. Most students know 
about working for others because of their jobs at the 
local grocery or department store or McDonalds; 
however, very few students know about owning and 
operating their own small business. Home economics 
presents a perfect place to introduce entrepreneurship 
as a possible career choice. 

I have also been active in the new Parenting and 
Family Life Skill curriculum recently required by law 
in grades K-12 in the state of Kentucky. I find the 
content of this type of curriculum to be of interest to 
students; certainly, it is extremely important and a 
timely topic of instruction." 

Brenda Mattfeld — TOY MN — suggests "Awareness 
Days: A program designed to utilize leadership and 
peer education in addressing current concerns of the 
community, students, and faculty. Students design, 
organize and carry out the educational day which 
includes workshops, movies, and speakers. Topics 
covered include drug use, health concerns, and special 
needs students." 

Luci Flynn — TOY RI — suggests "developing programs 
working with the elderly and special needs students. 
Most recently I have integrated both the special needs 
with the regular students in a successful restaurant 

Karen Fisher— TOY WA— 
claims "New ideas are always 
accepted in our program. We 
teach the weight management 
class with the P.E. teacher so 
students do aerobics two days 
and meet in class three days 
weekly. Sixty students trade 
back and forth one half in gym 
and one half in class. Also 
Peer Helping in the classroom 

with extensive work with shy, quiet students — grades 
1-4. Our goal is to help them feel important, work on 
friendship skills, and build self-esteem. We also 
work with the elderly as a local convalescent center." 

Lucy Sullivan — TOY WV — thinks "Cross-age 
teaching has been successful with our students. They 
learn nutrition concepts, synthesize them, plan a 
lesson, then teach it to fifth grade children. The 
results are fantastic." 

Please list any resource materials that have been 
particularly helpful to you. 

Susan Anderson — TOY Alaska — "My best resources 
are members of the community and the natural 
resources of Alaska. The home economics curriculum at 
Angoon High School stresses the use of community 
resources that stimulate students growth in and 
outside the program. Angoon is a small nature com- 
munity whose activities center around the school. 
Upon graduation the majority of students remain in 
the community and become future leaders. In a world 
of broken homes and child abuse it is important for 
students to gain in self-confidence and self-respect as 
they develop skills they can use in their daily lives. 

"In my foods class elders assist in gathering, 
cleaning and preparing 'local foods.' Community 
members are also part of our annual style show which 
provided students with planning, modeling, narrating, 
and leadership opportunities. The Chefs Club sells 
baked goods and learns marketing skills. The foods 
class prepares many means for parents, the School 
Advisory Committee, and the Chatham School 
Board. My child care class gains valuable hands-on 
experience while working with the community 
clothes. While teaching subject relevant to student 
needs I use a variety of strategies in an attempt to 
reach my students." 

Carole Groh — TOY CO — recommends "The Personal 
Resource Development (PRD) co-authored by Beth 
Zitko-Peters (instructional specialist for Colorado 
Spring school district 11) and myself. This curriculum 
has recently been designated the pre-vocational 
middle school curriculum for Colorado." 

Karen Fisher 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/ April, 1990 133 

Mollie Abadie— TOY LA— 
says " Choices is a timely 
magazine the students enjoy 
and use for outside reports. 
Videos from the March of 
Dimes are excellent." 

Mollie Abadie 

Alverna Thomas — TOY Idaho — suggests using 
"Teaching kits from the education department and the 
beef industry council of the National Livestock and 
Meat Board." 

Judy Whitener — TOY MO — suggests these resources: 
"Future Homemakers of America publications, etc., co- 
curricular classes with FHA/HERO. Outstanding 
community involvement and public relations." 

Kathy Gifford — TOY NE — says that "more than any 
textbook or magazine, resources such as having a 
mentor friend, attending workshops and networking 
with other teachers and resource people prove to be 
most helpful to me." 

Nancy Pierce — TOY NV — explains, "I tend to put 
packets together from various sources, and then have a 
very structured/unstructured classroom with every 
student doing something different — working at their 
level/speed towards a due date. I also teach business 
machines in the program so that we are oriented 
toward skill accomplishments." 

Lucy Sullivan— TOY WV— 
says that "In the cross-age 
teaching project, I found the 
following to be of great help: 
nutrition education materials 
from the National Dairy 
Council; computer software — 
What did you eat yesterday?, 
Snackmonster, Printmaster." 

Lucy Sullivan 


Who is eligible for the TOY Award Program? 


Any individual is eligible who is a home 
economics teacher, grades K through 12 only, and a 
current member of the American Home Economics 
Association at the time of nomination to national 
competition. The award may also be given a second 
time to an individual for outstanding contributions 
different than that for which the first award was 


Nominations may be submitted by any individual 
or organization using the 1990 nomination procedures 
and forms available from the state Home Economics 
Association's Teacher of the Year Chair or through 
the AHEA Foundation office. Each state may submit 
one nomination for the national competition. All 
entries must be postmarked by March 15, 1990. 

Basis for Selection 

Some of the selection criteria are: 

• Pertinence and timeliness of program for the 
community/population it serves; 

• Innovation/creativity; 

• Impact on students' lives beyond the classroom; 

• Integration of other related subject matter with 
home economics subject matter; 

• Heightened visibility of the home economics 
concepts; and 

• Professional commitment. 

The program focus areas may be selected from any 
of the following: 

• Career Awareness/ Job Skill Training 

• Consumer Education/Family Finance 

• Creative Dimensions/Alternative Program Designs 

• Family Life/Personal and Social Development 

• Nutrition Education/Diet and Health 

134 ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 


Making Ideas Reality Allowing Creative 

Learning in Entrepreneurship 


Gerald ine Miracle 
Kentucky Teacher of the Year 


Would you like to make an idea reality and run 
your own business? Many of the students at Beech- 
wood High School in Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky have 
that goal. In fact, about one-third of my senior home 
economics students say they would like to be an en- 
trepreneur. Entrepreneurship is a topic of interest to 
many people because small business ownership is a 
major part of our market economy. Home economics is 
very concerned with the economics of our society by its 
very nature; therefore, the home economics curriculum 
seems an obvious place to introduce entrepreneurship 
education to high school students. 

MIRACLE: Making Ideas Reality Allowing Cre- 
ative Learning in Entrepreneurship is a two to three 
weeks study of small business ownership as a career 
option. Most teenagers know about working for others; 
however, many have never dreamed of working for 
themselves. The purpose of this study is to give stu- 
dents the option of entrepreneurship as a career. 

One of the most valuable aspects of this unit is to 
help students determine if they are interested in en- 
trepreneurship. Perhaps, the greatest service is to 
help some students know that entrepreneurship is not 
for them. Hopefully, this will prevent some students 
from a future business failure. The program starts 
with what is an entrepreneur and is it for you. The 
lesson titles include: 

1. Entrepreneurship — Why? 

2. Is It For You? 

3. Career or Jobs That Lend Themselves to En- 

4. Going Into Business 

5. Making My Business Profitable. 

6. Now I Am the Employer! 

7. Advertising Makes the Difference! 

8. This Is For Real! 

This overview of entrepreneurship has had a signifi- 
cant impact on students lives by helping them to real- 
ize what entrepreneurship is all about. This unit of 
study in no way attempts to have students ready to run 
their own small business operation in two to three 
weeks; instead, it gives students an opportunity to ex- 
plore entrepreneurship through class activities and 
their imagination and gives them the foundation to 
investigate details on their own. 

The last month of school which is normally a time 
that seniors need to be stimulated with interesting ac- 
tivities has proven to be a perfect time to teach MIR- 
ACLE. Many interesting exercises are included such 

• An entrepreneur that sells sheets for yachts. She 
owns Nautical Images, Ltd. and comes to class to 
share the story of making her own business success- 

• Students become the employer, read job appli- 
cations and interview potential job candidates for 
their imaginary company. Each student fills out a 
job application and makes copies of it. In class at 
least three job applications are handed to each 
student. From these applications they determine 
at least two applicants to interview for their job. 
This is a back door approach to teaching students 
the value of completing job application forms 
neatly and correctly. It makes real sense to students 
when they are trying to determine the recipient of 
their company's job. Each student then interviews 
at least two people. It is not necessary for the 
teacher to explain the importance of appearance, 
neatness, honesty, etc., when filling out the 
application forms and going for an interview. 
Everything becomes very real when it is their own 
company that is affected. 

• Index cards are used for students to write their fa- 
vorite hobby. The students then get in groups and 

(Continued on Page 147.) 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 135 

Relationship Course 


Kathy Gifford 
Teacher of the Year 

The Relationships Course at Wood River Rural 
High School is intended to help students build self- 
confidence and strong relationships in all aspects of 
their lives. The course is open to all students in grades 
ten through twelve. Awareness that low esteem and 
lack of communication skills contributes to job loss 
and /or relationship failures led to the development 
of the course. 

Specific skills studied include decision making, 
problem solving, communication techniques, coping 
with stress, assertiveness and handling conflicts con- 
structively. Students practice such activities as the 
trust walk, power push and communication puzzles. 
Each student also records their feelings and thoughts 
in a journal throughout the semester. 

The first unit deals with getting to know oneself 
through values, goal setting and decision making. 
Students experience such activities as the hot seat, 
college identification, and personal space games. This 
unit serves as the basis for the second unit, which is 
personal decisions relating to drugs, alcohol and sex. 
Application of the decision making and some testing 
of what they think their values are takes place. 
Assertive communication techniques are introduced 
and practiced so that students will be able to use the 
technique in a pressure situation. The third unit deals 
with relating to others. During this unit we have spe- 
cial days such as Grandparents Day, Handicapped 
Day, and the Gadget Factory Day. This helps the 
students to become more aware of people of different 
ages and in different situations. Finally we have a 
unit on stress and stress management. Hard to handle 
emotional situations are dealt with such as death, 
terminal illness, job loss and family violence. 

Through our activities, English, speech and his- 
tory are integrated throughout the course. Our commu- 
nication activities and journal writing provide stu- 
dents with an opportunity to use the English and 
speech skills in a little different way. Students find 

it amazing how often historical events affect people's 
behaviors, attitudes and relationships. 

When the students were asked to comment on the 
course, the following statements were made: 

• "I learned alot about dealing with others 
especially my family, friends and co-workers. You 
need those skills your whole life." 

• "You learn how to solve problems in your relation- 
ships with others." 

• "It prepares you for the future. I can be more 
prepared when I'm under a stressful position." 

When students were asked if they had tried to put 
any of the techniques into practice in their own lives, 
the following statements were made: 

• "Yes, I've listened better when people want to 
share things with me and I don't jump to conclusions 
about people without giving them a chance." 

• "Yes, I have tried to cut down the sarcasm or cutting 
people down. I have tried harder to get along with 
people I don't especially like." 

• "Sticking to my values — stating them and sticking 
to them under a stressful situation has been 

It is evident that the students continue to learn, 
grow and develop their personalities and relation- 
ships throughout their whole life. My special reward 
is to think that I have had the opportunity to con- 
tribute in a positive way to this growth. • • • 

Ihe most important attitude that can 
be formed is that of desire to go on 

John Dewey 

Experience and Education 

P. 49 


Independent Life Skills 


Kay Wolff 
Teacher of the Year 
South Dakota 

The course "Independent Life Skills" was created 
in response to a need in our school system. Many stu- 
dents had taken math, science, language and other 
college preparatory courses that did not teach them 
skills to deal with day to day living situations. Par- 
ents of these students expressed an interest in having 
their children take a home economics course that 
would help them deal with "real world" decisions. 
The course is offered to junior and seniors. 

The central focus is to assist students in prepara- 
tion for living on their own. To achieve this goal, a 
variety of concepts are taught. The introductory unit 
of the course starts by examining personal identity. 
Students complete various workbook exercises, class 
discussion and role play in determining their personal 
values and goals. They study the concept of self-es- 
teem and ways to enhance self-esteem. Students who 
have a very low self-esteem often have negative 
academic experiences, and may not be athletically 
inclined. Throughout the year, the program is 
intended to help students identify their strengths and 
to build a positive self-image. 

A boundary breaking exercise helps to develop a 
trusting climate for discussing communication skills. 
Students learn the importance of using "I" language 
and the relation of body language in expressing feel- 
ings. They study techniques for resolving conflicts and 
the causes of conflict. Students discuss their feelings 
of frustration as adolescents and the importance of be- 
longing. Pressure forces, both positive and negative, 
are analyzed. 

The concept of sex-role stereotyping is introduced. 
Students analyze it's historical effect upon opportuni- 
ties for women and how these opportunities are slowly 
changing. The ethnic heritage of this area has re- 
garded women as subserviant to men. This standard is 
not accepted by the general population. Males and 
females discuss their expectations for relationships 
and the role of dating. 

The importance of the family as a basic structure 
in society is covered. Students analyze the changing 
composition of today's traditional family structure. 
The number of single-parent families and blended 
families is on the increase. The impact of these 
changes on society is examined. 

Decision-making is a skill which students 
develop by analyzing case studies. By using their own 
personal experiences, students apply the concept of 
decision-making to daily situations. 

Financial management is an objective which stu- 
dents accomplish by learning more about budget, 
checking accounts, credit and insurance. 

Students work toward their goal of living on their 
own. They analyze rental property by researching the 
classified ads and talking with friends and relatives 
to get an approximate idea of the cost of living in dif- 
ferent geographic areas. Understanding all costs of 
rental is an important concept, as well as understand- 
ing the terminology in a lease contract. 

Coping with stress is included in a unit on wellness 
which deals with the importance of rest, exercise, and 
proper nutrition. The misuse of chemicals to relieve 
stress is discussed. 

Weight management and the balance between 
calories and weight are discussed. Eating disorders 
and problems associated with poor diets for teenagers 
are covered in a unit. With the abundance of nutrition 
information in the media, it is important that 
students are able to distinguish between the facts and 
fallacies. Students study ways to determine if 
information is reputable. Using the dietary 
guidelines, students plan nutritious meals. 
Understanding the importance of safety and 
sanitation is a topic which is emphasized throughout 
the foods unit. 

Students learn the correct operation of a sewing 
machine. They use their skills in sewing sweatshirts 
and duffle bags. Students also learn how to operate an 
overlock/serger. The use of the serger adds a profes- 
sional touch to their projects and a real sense of pride 
as most people are unaware that their projects are 
handmade. A unit on clothing selection and care cov- 
ers the analysis of fads and classic styles, as well as 
effective wardrobe coordination. 

The concept of entrepreneurship is studied by the 
students. They assist in the operation of the busi- 
nesses, "Balloons-4-You" and " Bobcat Hooper 

(Continued on Page 157.) 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 137 


Integration of FHA/Hero into the Classroom 

Judy Whitener 
Teacher of the Year 

I sponsor the local chapter of the Future Home- 
makers of America. My students work with preschool, 
elementary, headstart, and handicapped children as 
well as senior citizens. Community projects are devel- 
oped on drug use and abuse, physical fitness and good 
eating habits, money management, self-esteem, safety 
for children, sexual promiscuity, and family abuse. 

An instructional method which has been successful 
in my classes is the integration of FHA/HERO that 
allows all my students to develop leadership skills. 
Each class elects officers and the class president leads 
the students in planning at least one FHA/HERO 
project related to the curriculum. Students brainstorm 
for ideas, narrow concerns, make decisions, and accept 
responsibility for their decisions. After the project is 
completed, the students make evaluations. The 
following are examples of projects that the students 

A popular project is the mock wedding in 
the dating and marriage class. Students choose 
the mock groom, bride, best man, and 
bridesmaid. Committees are appointed to plan 
the wedding. Emphasis is placed on wedding 
costs and the commitment of the marriage 
ceremony. Each committee reports to the class 
for approval. During the mock wedding, the 
bride and groom, in full dress, repeat the vows 
with the minister. Following the ceremony is 
a wedding reception. Many students say, "This 
is like a real wedding." The project is taken so 
seriously that I once had a bridegroom faint 
three times before the ceremony was 

Another class project is an egg hunt with 
preschool children and senior citizens. The 
students take the children to the health care 
clinic to dye eggs with the senior citizens. The 
next day, the senior citizens hide the eggs and 

the children and students return for the egg 

Another successful class project was the 
development of a nutritional program for 
children. Students were concerned about poor 
eating habits. The class worked with a 
language class and developed a story, Snow 
White and the Seven Healthy Dwarfs The 
story describes Snow White eating all the 
nutritional foods and helping the dwarfs 
follow good diets. The old witch was fat and 
ugly and ate all junk food. She poisoned Snow 
White with a candy bar and while Snow 
White was asleep, a handsome prince 
chewing on a carrot came riding by and gave 
her a kiss. The students were pleased with the 
story. They worked with the art department 
developing a descriptive coloring book to 
compliment the story. 

Integrating FHA/HERO into the classroom is a 
teaching method that has helped our program to 
grow. Our enrollment has increased because of the 
projects. At the beginning of the semester, students 
ask: "What project will we do? I always respond, "I 
don't know", because I don't know until the students 
make the decisions. I am amazed at the ideas students 
develop. Students enjoy the projects and our program 
receives excellent public relations. The most successful 
part of integrating FHA/HERO into the classroom is 
the involvement of every student. Involving the un- 
involved student is my goal. The uninvolved student 
helps plan and organize the projects because it is part 
of the class curriculum. Each student develops positive 
self-esteem and a sense of pride in FHA/HERO and 
his school. • • • 

The purpose of teaching is to inspire the desire 
for [earning. The, teacher who knows ail the 
answers is not always the one who kriows the 
right questions to asfc. 

Sydney J. Harris 

138 ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 

Eating for the Health Of It 


Frances Baynor Parnell 
Teacher of the Year 
North Carolina 

Current data which show that infant mortality, 
teen pregnancies, population density, and longevity 
are increasing makes preventive health care a rele- 
vant topic for everyone. 

Using the concept that students learn best when 
teaching others, I initiated programs which give stu- 
dents opportunities to teach, and therefore, practice 
nutrition education as it relates to diet, health and 
physical fitness. This approach allows students to 
study dietary needs as they change throughout life 
and to practice planning meals, snacks and refresh- 
ments for special events that are consistent with di- 
etary guidelines endorsed by the Surgeon General's 
Report and National Institute of Health in 1988. 

Nutrition education is basic to the well-being of 
people and determines the wellness level that any in- 
dividual or society can expect to achieve. While much 
attention has been focused on health and wellness in 
the 80s, teens have not widely joined the force for 
healthy living. My program uses a non-traditional 
approach to teaching nutrition, diet and health, and 
recognizing that students are still establishing 
dietary patterns that will influence their own well- 
being for the rest of their lives, and in the case of 
females, that of their children. People like to eat and 
are more likely to participate in events which offer 
food. I have capitalized on this human drive and 
taught nutrition through a broad spectrum approach, 
infusing the concepts into advanced home economics, 
child development, and consumer management. 

The following examples indicate some ways nutri- 
tion has been successfully taught at John T. Hoggard 
High School: 

1. To introduce dietary guidelines to senior citizens 
and to encourage incorporation into lifestyles, ad- 
vanced home economics students creatively 
planned and taught three classes to seventeen 
enthusiastic seniors. To insure participation, they 

were always invited to lunch and foods prescribed 
by the dietary guidelines were served. 
Educational skits, games, demonstrations and 
armchair aerobics were used to educate and 
entertain. Everyone loved the series! Even the 
students discovered that they enjoyed foods 
without salt when other seasonings were 

2. To gain experience in relating to children, child 
development students plan and teach a series of 
four nutrition classes to groups of four-year olds 
each semester. Little children love to cook and 
respond enthusiastically to a hands-on approach 
to learning about nutritious meals and snacks. 

3. To comprehend the value of straight information 
advertising, consumer management students 
conceptualized and developed the framework for 
an educational poster to advertise peanuts for 
Peanut Growers Promotions entitled, "Eat Peanuts 
Just for the Health of It." This 17" x 22" poster 
teaches health practices and shows how peanuts 
fit into a plan for nutritious meals and snacks. The 
class was paid $1,000.00 for their work, and the 
poster was distributed nationally through 
FORECAST Magazine. 

4. The FHA/HERO Chapter invites other student 
organizations to co-sponsor annual hunger 
luncheons which point out the inequities of food 
distribution and reasons for malnutrition around 
the world. This annual observance, held on World 
Food Day in the school's media center, induces 
global thinking as participants are challenged to 
seek ways to alleviate world hunger. Students 
pay up to $4.00 for tickets to participate. 
(Luncheons which we call "Hunger Banquets" are 
held during each lunch period so that all who 
wish may participate.) Monetary contributions to 
organizations such as Trickle Up and 
Presbyterian's Answer to Hunger (PATH) are 
made as a result. 

5. To instill an awareness of hunger as it exists in our 
community, "Box Day" was initiated in keeping 
with a European tradition where after a feast, 
people prepare boxes of food for the needy. After 
World Food Day, students fill decorated boxes 
with hundreds of non-perishable food items 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 139 

which they deliver to one of the town's food banks 
for distribution to the hungry. After focusing on 
the needs of developing countries around the 
world, it is felt that students need to recognize and 
help alleviate the hunger which also exists at 

6. To improve cafeteria manners in one elementary 
school, the school's guidance counselor asked my 
child development students to spend a day on 
their campus role modeling appropriate table 
manners, as well as, teaching the importance of 
eating the nutritious foods served to them. This 
program received high accolades among 
elementary teachers and their students according 
to the counselor. 

As students respond to the challenge of teaching 
others, they develop or enhance their own learning 
and therefore, retention. They also grow in many 
other ways which include confidence, communication 
skills, leadership abilities, resource management and 

Certainly the greatest indicator of accomplish- 
ment is one's personal satisfaction and pride in know- 
ing that s/he was responsible for a job successfully 
completed. The successes and productivity of these 
students have been widely recognized by others. 

Senior citizens who participated in the nutrition 
classes told the press they had used the information 
learned in these classes at home and liked the results 

Parents have called and written numerous notes 
about impressions the nutrition classes made on their 
preschoolers. Parents indicate that the children be- 
come more adaptable and enjoy a wider variety of 
foods at home after these classes. 

The World Hunger Program has certainly been the 
most visible nutrition program of those conducted by 
my students. Its timeliness, interdisciplinary ap- 
proach, and interdepartmental involvement made it 
appealing to all groups. It offers that feeling of 
"ownership" to all who participate and a sense of 
self-worth when participants discover that they can 
truly do something to help combat world hunger. The 
fact that it is sponsored by FHA/HERO and initiated 
by home economics students makes home economics and 
the importance of an adequate diet visible to the hun- 
dreds who have already participated. The local, 
state, national, and perhaps through AHEA's Global 
Connections portfolio submitted to the International 
World Food Day Committee located in Rome, Italy — 
even international visibility is certainly helping to 
internationalize the home economics image. 


This wellness approach to teaching diet and nu- 
trition removes the cooking stereotype and focuses on 
dietary goal-setting to reach and maintain a desired 
health status throughout life. It includes not only diet 
and nutrition; it also integrates other lifestyle factors 
which affect optimal health. 

Through a broad spectrum approach, this perti- 
nent and timely program has touched the lives of pre- 
school children, elementary, junior high and senior 
high students, parents, teachers, counselors, school 
administrators, other school staff, and community 
leaders. It has been recognized by the media at the lo- 
cal, state and national levels. 

Dr. Norman Robinson, Clinical Associate Professor 
of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel 
Hill, who supervises medical interns at the local hos- 
pital, endorsed the efforts of this program by stating, 
"We are becoming increasingly aware of the signifi- 
cance of particular components of our diet as they re- 
late to disease. We are keenly aware of the impor- 
tance of fat and cholesterol in the diet as they con- 
tribute to heart and circulatory problems. Low sodium 
diets help to curtail high blood pressure. We are also 
aware of the harmful effects of alcohol and nicotine. 
Efforts to promote a program such as this increase 
awareness among high school students as well as 
those they teach. The entire population would be bet- 
ter off if we had general adherence to the precautions 
being taught in this program." 

A recent meeting of the National Governor's Asso- 
ciation revealed a concern regarding Americans' gen- 
eral lack of knowledge of other nations. They consider 
this a barrier to successful international trade. The 
governors were reported to say that public schools 
should add geography and international relations to 
the curriculum. By addressing world hunger issues, 
these home economics students are finding relevance in 
their nutrition studies and an "internationalized 
home economics program" is the result. 

This creative program is indeed pertinent and 
timely. Students are learning to make a difference in 
the lives of others while they learn to improve the 
quality of their own. They are learning nutrition by 
preparing to teach the facts to others. They are also 
enhancing their own retention rate. • • • 

Tm not a teacher, 
but an awakener. 

Robert Frost 

140 ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 



Janet Powell 

Wisconsin Teacher of the Year 


Entrepreneurship was developed in 1985 because 
of a need in the Family/Consumer Education curricu- 
lum at Orchard Ridge Middle School for career explo- 
ration. The newly-revised DPI (Department of Public 
Instruction) Curriculum Guide for Family/Consumer 
Education placed a strong emphasis on career 
exploration in middle school. Career exploration also 
became a DPI requirement of the Education for 
Employment program in middle school. When my sons 
completed high school and entered the college 
selection process, I became aware of the importance of 
students beginning to plan and think about the world 
of work at this early stage. 

The student population at Orchard Ridge Middle 
School in Madison, Wisconsin is predominantly 
white, middle class with a minority population of 
about 12 percent Many of our students will attend 
college or other post-secondary institutions after 
graduating from high school. 

The class is an elective eighth grade course which 
the student chooses from nine elective offerings. 
While this is an elective course, class size is some- 
what controlled to balance enrollment in each of the 
elective sections. Enrollment averages approximately 
2-25 students each semester, a combination of boys and 

Entrepreneurship was chosen as a career emphasis 
because many of our students will be involved in small 
business some way in their lifetime. Many home 
economics related occupations lend themselves to en- 
trepreneurship, both for males and females. Almost 
half of all small businesses fail in the first two years. 
By having a short term but practical experience in 
small business, the students may identify an interest 
and learn what it takes to make a small business suc- 
cessful. Economic principles of supply and demand, 
competition and profit and loss are learned in the 
business process. 

Entrepreneurship provides a practical, hands-on 
experience in planning, decision-making and problem- 

solving. It incorporates many work values and skills 
that are learned in the family. 

Entrepreneurship is part of a semester long, elec- 
tive course. During the first quarter of the semester 
the students investigate the questions, "How is self- 
concept affected by appearance?" and "How do fami- 
lies manage clothing needs?". Entrepreneurship takes 
about eight weeks of the second quarter and further 
career and job exploration utilizing WCIS materials 
and software complete the quarter. 

The entrepreneurship unit begins by exploring the 
meaning of the word "work". Examples and non-ex- 
amples are given with the eventual formation of defi- 
nitions of the word. Work of the family and values of 
the world of work are compared and discussed. (The 
students have studied about the work of the family in 
the required sixth and seventh grade courses.) 

The students are then introduced to entrepreneur- 
ship and various business concepts. One or two small 
business owners are invited to share their experiences 
with the students. The students progress from learning 
about the qualities and characteristics of en- 
trepreneurship, to developing ideas for a business, to 
actually setting up a business. 

To develop ideas, the students experience creativ- 
ity activities and look at trends. Marketing research 
is conducted on the target market to determine a need 
or interest for the proposed business. Guest speakers 
inform the students about market research and adver- 
tising techniques. Before the business can actually be 
started, a business plan is written and must be ap- 
proved by the school principal and myself. 

The businesses are self-selected groups of usually 
four to five students. Before forming, the responsibili- 
ties within the business such as management, produc- 
tion, record keeping, etc. are discussed so the students 
have some idea of the expectations of the role as- 
sumed. Businesses are set up according to sole propri- 
etorship, partnership or corporation. 

The business may be a product or a service, 
although usually the students choose a product. The 
product may be something they construct (e.g., holi- 
day ornament, tote bag, scarf) or decorate (e.g., tie 
dye, stencil) or any other creative idea they may 
have that might relate to the curricula of the first 

After completing the market research to deter- 
mine a need and getting the business plan approved, 
the students begin their business. Financing the busi- 
ness can be done in several ways — taking out a loan 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 141 

from parents or teachers on which interest is charged, 
contributing their own money or selling stock. 

Using information provided to them by an adver- 
tising specialist, the students begin to advertise. The 
students find advertising the business is most impor- 
tant because if the customer doesn't know the business 
is there, s/he won't buy what is offered. Who the 
students choose to sell to determines the kind of ad- 
vertising the students do. The most popular market 
has been other middle school students at Orchard 
Ridge Middle School. Other possible markets are the 
Orchard Ridge Elementary students because they are 
in the same building. Parents are another market to 
which the students might direct their efforts. 

Forms of advertising include written media utiliz- 
ing posters, flyers, etc., radio, using the P.A. and 
television advertising. Students are encouraged to 
work with the eighth grade language arts teacher 
who teaches a unit on radio. This year the students 
wrote television commercials,with the help of a 
resource person from a local television station, 
produced them and showed them in the various 
classrooms. (These commercials were also shown on 
the local public access television channel.) 

Product production can be, and is encouraged to be 
done in the classroom. Before the students begin pro- 
duction, a few decisions will be made such as: who 
will be responsible for the purchasing of supplies 
needed, what will be the most efficient production 
method, will it be done assembly-line or another 
method, and who will assume which responsibilities 
in the process. With information about labeling laws, 
the students design appropriate labels where 

The product sales take place over a period of two 
to three weeks. Before and during the selling process, 
the students learn about sales promotion and good 
sales techniques. They also become aware of customer 
rights and responsibilities as they sell their product 
and listen to their customers. Selling is done early in 
the morning, at lunch time and in the evening at the 
book fair, concerts, etc. Some groups choose to take 
orders, others to produce and then sell. 

Inventory control and record keeping of expenses 
and income are an important part of the business, and 
one that students find most difficult. Math skills find 
a practical use here and the eighth grade math 
teachers are available to assist when and if neces- 

Students experience some of the "real life" costs of 
operating a business. Profitable businesses are 
assessed 5 percent of gross profit for operating expenses 
such as utilities and advertising costs and 35 percent of 
the net profits for taxes. This money is then donated 
to a charity decided on by the group. 

As one might infer, because of the many responsi- 
bilities within the business, each student is kept very 
busy. Cooperation, organizational skills, communica- 
tion skills and responsibility become very important 
determinants to the success of the business. (Success of 
the business is judged not on profitability but the 
completeness with which the requirements were 
executed, the effort shown and the problem-solving 
strategies enacted to overcome any difficulties.) The 
students are very motivated because they want their 
business to succeed. 

During the business operation the teacher acts as a 
facilitator. Concerns with business problems such as 
marketing, sales, communication difficulties or lack of 
responsibility on the part of one of the business 
partners are worked through by the group with the 
teacher asking questions and offering suggestions, fa- 
cilitating the discussion but not making the decisions. 
Where possible, the business experiences are com- 
pared to situations experienced by small business or 
are related to family situations. 

Evaluation of this unit is done in several ways: 

- Students are graded on the completeness and 
thought of the business plan. 

- A weekly checklist (based on the critical spirit) is 
filled in by the students to highlight group interac- 
tion skills. 

- A final report is handed in from each group. 

- A final evaluation of group participation of each 
member (is filled in by each member). 

- An oral report is given by each group in which they 
reflect on what was successful and what they 
would do differently. 

- An anonymous course evaluation is given at the end 
of the unit. 

Evaluation provides the students an opportunity 
to reflect on their skills and effort. Record keeping is 
perhaps the most difficult for the students. Some 
students find they are better at sales, production, or 
accounting. Communication skills, responsibility and 
cooperation are found to be very important to group 
success. Overall, students are able to identify 
important skills learned in the family and apply 
their importance to the world of work. • • • 

142 ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 


Taking Charge: Thinking Critically and Creatively 

Toward Ethical Action 

Jan Abramsen 
Teacher of the Year 

Consumption and the material wants and needs of 
life have become so dominant that psychic, social 
and cultural needs are neglected, reason 
constrained and critical reflection diminished. 
Effects include alienation, loss of individuality, 
meaninglessness and often insistence on meeting 
personal desired with weakened concern for the 
welfare of others." (Bubolz, 1988) 

Education must be seen, not a? providing right 
answers, but as confrontation with problems; not 
imaginary play problems either, but real ones in 
which decisions count. (Coombs, 1966) 

To many students, particularly middle school stu- 
dents, the world seems a conflict of contradictions and 
confusion beyond their control. Rather than feeding 
nuggets of prepackaged, soon to be obsolete informa- 
tion, my goal is to help students build a nurturing 
community where they can participate together in 
dreaming visions for the future and thinking critically 
and creatively of realistic ways to build those 
dreams. As students wrestle with great ideas and 
practical, perennial problems, they realize that their 
decisions and actions impact on not only their 
families, but on their local community and the global 

A spirit of critical and creative thinking, not a set 
of skills or method of teaching, is essential to students 
becoming independent thinkers who care about their 
world. This spirit calls for new perspectives for seeing 
oneself in the world. It means willingness to let go of 
old meanings, ideas, and ways of doing and thinking. 
This spirit celebrates that there is more than one re- 
ality in the world; realities represented by various 
ethnic and cultural groups which need to be un- 
wrapped, studied, and evaluated before one begins to 
build one's own view of the world. This spirit creates 
a thirst for more inquiry and learning. 

Choosing not to be a mirror image of others also 
means not being a captive to social forces. With this 
freedom comes responsibility. David Perkins, Har- 
vard University, describes a creative thinker as one 
who "depends on working at the edge, more than at 
the center of one's competence." Thus, students are to 
be continually challenged to question the given 
paradigms, asking "What if? and "Why not?". 

Students develop and share heuristics for solving 
life's unstructured, ill-defined problems. This chal- 
lenges them to build their own knowledge and criteria 
for judging rather than depending solely on experts. 
As students develop a sense of pride and confidence in 
being able to reason through the complexities of their 
world and take action to create changes, they feel 
more unique, more needed and more useful, and more in 

Taking charge strives to challenge and empower 

to become independent thinkers who live deliber- 
ately, taking responsibility for their decisions 
and actions; 

to enlarge their worlds by learning from and re- 
specting others representing different cultures, 
economic situations, ages, and abilities; 

to question gender and racial stereotypes which 
limit the expression of the full range of human 

to think critically about what is and creatively 
about how to achieve what should be; 

to effect changes in themselves, in their families, 
and the local and global communities that 
will engender the common good. 

Students and Teacher in Partnership 

If my job is to fill students with capsules of knowl- 
edge, requiring them to collect, file, memorize, and 
give back this knowledge, then my main responsibil- 
ity is to insure that students produce good test scores. 

However, if I am a partner with my students in 
the learning process, investigating and transforming 
our world, then my responsibilities and theirs must be 
interdependently deepened and broadened. We must 
be nurturing and challenging each other to be 
autonomous individuals reflecting upon common needs 
and interests and taking actions for the betterment of 
not only ourselves, but our families, neighborhoods, 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 143 

and global community. My attitude toward learning 
speaks more convincingly than carefully planned 
activities. Thus, I am responsible: 

to create a rich environment where compassion, 
mutual trust, dignity, spontaneity, curiosity, 
divergent thinking, and consensus can thrive; 

to recognize and reduce my biases and assumptions 
while challenging my students to examine 
their own dogmatic beliefs; 

to develop and maintain a view of students as 
thinking, capable of ethical action 
individuals who can change themselves and 
their world as they critically question and 
creatively dream; 

to celebrate students' efforts at flying, even when 
there are mistakes, wrong turns and crashes; 

to slow down and gift students with time to think 
and digest and react; 

to keep my sense of humor on call and my integrity 

to ask if I really believe and do what I tell my 
students is important; 

to listen to their agendas as well as my day's ob- 

to be irritant, calling students to question 
paradigms, thus moving from being passive to 
self-directed and responsible; 

to be a presence that encourages justice rather than 
power, wonder and awe, confidence in one's 
abilities and ideas, joy in giving service to 
others, and the certainty of being able to make 
a difference. 

Families and Community in Partnership 

What does it mean that we are a nation 
experiencing peace when other nations, but violence at 
home? A nation scrambling to maintain its high 
standard of living while losing its quality of life? A 
nation espousing democratic ideals while supporting 
hierarchies of opportunity and access? A nation 
founded on individual freedoms that seeks to 
homogenize the cultural differences and even select 
which cultures will be admitted to the melting pot? 

Families and educators need to be partners in 
dialogue and action to insure a future of hope for our 
children. To be partners, we must honestly examine 
our goals for education. Do we really desire education 
to transport our children to common destinations 
rather than helping them develop resources for their 
individual journeys? Should classrooms be fast- 
thought drive-thrus where knowledge and truth are 
dispensed? Are schools to be primarily training 
grounds for the next level and then the next and then 
finally for jobs? In a world where compassion and 

consensus are critical to our survival, do we want 
education to promote individual clawing to the top 
compensation? When our children achieve high test 
scores in the three R's, does this mean they have 
developed a breadth of knowledge and a whole 
perspective on life? 

Education, in partnership with families, can 
actively engage the whole child in discovery, 
examination, and discourse about themselves, their 
neighbors, and the world. Taking the road not 
heavily traveled might lead to a dead end or a new 
journey of thought. Thus, the process of learning is as 
crucial as the product, i.e., the right answer or 
mastery of a skill. Emphasizing the development and 
sharing of heuristics rather than just the 
memorization of algorithms prepares students to be 
problem seekers and solvers, not just skilled workers. 

Classrooms offer valuable opportunities for 
children to learn participatory democracy as they 
work toward consensus, if, indeed, there is still truth 
and knowledge to be discovered and examined, then 
each child becomes a valuable resource for the group's 
learning together. Interactions with children from 
different cultural and family backgrounds can help 
develop individual and collective autonomy. 

When children gain understanding of historical 
conditions impacting on individuals, families and 
societies, their own self-understanding begins to 
change and deepen. At the same time, their 
evaluations of how various social structures enhance 
and inhibit family and community well-being can call 
them to thoughtful action in changing the structures. 
They become engaged in a lifetime process of learning 
and taking action. 

As they learn from each other and their 
community, children can develop a global perspective 
that openly investigated traditions, values, and 
contributions of other cultures. Reciprocity is nurtured. 
Challenging students to think critically about the 
consequences for their actions in the local and global 
communities fosters commitment to democracy. 

Families and education, seeking mutual goals, can 
seek to develop competencies which empower students 
to be agents of change in the world. 


Bubolz, M. (1988). Thinking for ethical action in fam- 
ilies and beyond: Issues, development and dreams. 
Second International Conference on Thinking and 
Problem Solving in Home Economics, The Ohio 
State University, Columbus, Ohio. 

Combs, A. W. (1966). Fostering self-direction. Asso- 
ciation for Supervision and Curriculum Develop- 
ment. • • • 

144 ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 

Relevance in Teaching Clothing: 
A Case for the Human Ecological Approach 


Lillian O. Holloman, Assistant Professor 
Department of Microenvironmental Studies 

& Design 
Howard University 
Washington, D.C. 

Like all educators, secondary home economics 
teachers constantly face the challenge of maximizing 
the learning experiences of their students by making 
learning exciting, creative, and most of all, relevant. 
An additional challenge is that of bringing tradi- 
tional subject matter into the realm of contemporary 
living. The utilization of an ecological approach can 
make this task more achievable. 

The ecological approach is concerned with the in- 
teraction of humans with their near environments 
(Compton & Hall, 1972; Bubolz, Eicher and Sontag, 
1979; Edwards, 1988, Strickland, Hamner & Robertson, 
1988). Clothing, which represents an individual's 
most intimate, external environment (Edwards, 1988, 
Parker, 1988), lends itself especially to the ecological 
approach because of its physical, economic, sociologi- 
cal, cultural and symbolic nature. The study of cloth- 
ing from an ecological approach encourages class par- 
ticipation and offers several specific goals: 

(1) To broaden students' understanding of the subject 

(2) To increase students' problem-solving and 
decision making ability; 

(3) To enhance students' critical thinking ability; 

(4) To improve students' oral presentation skills; 

(5) To improve students' valuation skills. 

Because the ecological approach dictates the 
study of clothing holistically and across disciplines, 
the following broad topics, recommended activities 
and skeletal lesson plans are proposed. The teacher 
and students can jointly select the activities that are 
most feasible and relevant for them. 

Suggested topics and activities are: 

I. Clothing Care 

• Discuss/demonstrate proper laundering, stain 
and spot removal. 

• Discuss/demonstrate hand washing and ironing 
of regular and delicate garments (such as silk 

• Discuss/demonstrate storage procedures for out- 
of-season clothing. 

• Discuss care labels and the interpretation of 
care procedures. 

• May bring in examples of garments not prop- 
erly cared for and show the results. 

II. Clothing and Aesthetics 

• Discuss/demonstrate the use of clothing to help 
compliment the figure and to create the illusion 
of (desired figure proportions). 

• Discuss/demonstrate the use of accessories to 
add interest, originality and versatility to 

• May invite a clothing or wardrobe consul- 
tant in to discuss topic and give demonstra- 
tion of concept. 

III. Clothing Symbolism 

• Discuss how clothing can be used to send mes- 
sages to others. 

• Discuss national or local events and the role 
clothing has played in that event. 

• Parades 

• Inaugurations 

• Balls/proms 

• Weddings 

• Concerts 

• Halloween parties/masquerade parties 

• Funerals 

• Discuss the role that clothing plays in an indi- 
vidual, family, or group ritual. 

• Discuss the part clothing plays in various orga- 
nizations to which you belong. 

• Church choir 

• Girl Scouts 

• Community clubs 

• Athletic Teams 

• Discuss the role of school uniforms 

• What do they mean to those wearing them 
and to those observing them? 

IV. Clothing and Economics 

• Discuss ways to economize on the clothing bud- 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 145 

• Engage in comparison shopping by locating and 
pricing similar items from different types of 

• Department store (upper, moderate and 
lower priced) 

• Boutiques 

• Discount/off-price stores, thrift shops 

• Discuss reasons why similar merchandise may 
sell for different prices at the various stores. 

• Explore thrift shops to compare prices and 
quality of merchandise to that found in conven- 
tional stores. 

• As a fun exercise, students can try to coordi- 
nate an outfit from garments found in a 
thrift store and then share the results of 
that experience with the class. No purchas- 
ing is required. 

• On the basis of this exercise, students can 
formulate guidelines for resale or second- 
hand shopping, pointing out how different 
it is from regular shopping. 

• Study imports by taking a survey of a specific 
item to determine its country of origin. 
(Example: In a department store, or a shopping 
center, randomly select 20 sweaters from differ- 
ent vendors or from different parts of the store 
and read the label to see how many were made 
in the U.S. and how many were made in a for- 
eign country.) 

• Survey store personnel (both managers and 
salespersons) to determine what part imports 
play in their store and how their store would 
be affected if management changed its present 
policy on imports. 

• Identify and research some of the main issues 
surrounding imports and discuss them in class. 
Ask for example whether students feel that 
the U.S. clothing industry would benefit if 
fewer clothing items were imported Why? 

V. Clothing Selection 

• Discuss some construction details that are nec- 
essary for reasonable serviceability of apparel. 

• Check and compare construction details of gar- 
ments from various stores: 

• Mass volume discount stores 

• Newer "off-price" stores 

• Designer boutiques within department stores 

• High/Moderate/low-priced department 

• The following construction details should be 

• Seam width and finish 

• Buttonhole treatment 

• Grainline 

• Hem depth and treatment 

VI. Clothing and Image Projection 

• Read and compare various books on "dressing 
for success." Prepare book reviews to share 
with the class. Analyze dress of persons shown 
in magazines, newspapers. 

• Analyze your own dress and describe the image 
that you feel you project; describe the image 
that you would like to project and how clothing 
can assist you. 

• Show pictures or slides of individuals and ask 
students to characterize each person shown 
based on this assessment of their dress and dis- 
cuss reasons for their choices. 

• Invite a personnel officer to class to address 
clothing and its relationship to first impres- 
sions and hiring. (May invite school principal 
since that person often hires personnel.) 

• Survey individual reactions to dress by brows- 
ing in a department store that caters to higher- 
income customers. Make two trips to the same 
store. On the first trip, wear well worn, old or 
out-of-date clothing. On another day, wear 
your better garments. Compare the two visits 
by describing the reaction of the store personnel 
to you as a potential client. 

Skeletal Lesson Plans 

Lesson plans that incorporate the aforementioned 
activities can be flexible. The skeletal outline 
that follows requires both teacher and student 
participation. This format should be used only as 
a guide. Adjustments can be made as necessary to 
comply with student needs, readiness, attention 
span, and makeup or personality of the class 
(Chamberlain and Kelly, 1981). The instructor 
must also consider the time allotment for the 
clothing unit. 

I. Dayl 

1. Teacher introduces clothing unit, outlining the 
different topics that will be discussed. 

2. Teacher divides class into groups consisting of 
four or five students per group. 

3. Teacher assigns group a topic such as "clothing 
care" that the group will later develop into a 
lesson to be presented to the class. 

II. Days2-9 

Each day teacher discusses one of the selected 
topics in order to provide the class with an 
overview of the scope of the topic. 

146 ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 

III. Days 10-15 

1. Student groups work on developing their as- 
signed topic into a clothing lesson to be pre- 
sented to the class. Students will use their 
home economics class period to work on their 
lesson. Students will also be expected to work 
on assignment outside of class. Teachers may 
permit students to use the library during the 
class period. 

2. Each lesson plan must be developed in consul- 
tation with and approved by the teacher. 

IV. Days 16 -23 

As an alternative to the traditional method for 

1. Each group presents its topic to the class. 
(Each lesson will be about 25 - 30 minutes.) 

2. Teacher decides which group will be 
presenting each day or students can hold a 
lottery to decide. 

3. Time should be reserved at the end of each 
class period for questions, discussion and 
clarification of information. Time should also 
be allowed for evaluation from teachers and 

4. Teacher may add additional information 
about the topics following the group 

In today's world, students need a wide range of 
skills for competent living. The human ecological 
approach fosters skill development by increasing 
knowledge, stimulating analytical thinking, and 
encouraging responsible decision making. Thus, this 
approach facilitates the role of home economics 
education by improving the quality of life for 
individuals and families (Fleck, 1980; Parker, 1987). 
Furthermore, the human ecological approach can 
make a difference by offering challenging, exciting 
and relevant contemporary courses. 


Bubolz, M., Eicher, J.B. & Sontag, M.S. (1979). The 
Human Ecosystem: A Model. Journal of Home Eco- 
nomics, 71, 28-32. 

Chamberlain, V.M. and Kelly, J.M. (1981). Creative 
Home Economics Instruction, 2nd ed. New York: 
Webster Division McGraw-Hill Book Company. 

Compton, N. and Hall, 0. (1972). Foundations of Home 
Economics Research. A Human Ecology Approach. 
Minneapolis: Burgess Publishing Company. 

Edwards, C. (1988). Human Ecology: The Interaction of 
Man With His Environment, 11th ed. Howard 

Fleck, H. (1980). Toward Better Teaching of Home 
Economics, 3rd ed. New York: Macmillain Pub- 
lishing Company, Inc. 

Parker, F.J. (1987). Home Economics An Introduction To 
A Dynamic Profession. 3rd ed. New York: Macmil- 
lian Publishing Company, Inc. 

Parker, S. Ecological Aspects of Dress (1988). Human 
Ecological Studies, 2nd Ed. Edited by M.P. Strick- 
land and T.J. Hamner. Edina: Burgess Interna- 
tional Group, Inc. (Bellweather Press Division) 
pp. 1-36. 

Strickland, M.P., Hamner, T.J. & Robertson, E. (1988). 
Human Ecological Studies, 2nd Ed. Edited by M.P. 
Strickland and T.J. Hamner. Edina: Burgess Inter- 
national Group, Inc. (Bellweather Press Division) 
pp. 231-253. • • • 

(Continued from Page 135.) 

have a buzz session to determine as many 
entrepreneurial endeavors as possible to match 
their hobbies. 

• Each student determines an imaginary company 
and plans advertisements for it. These advertise- 
ments can be in any media, for example: brochures, 
billboards, magazine ads, radio commercials done 
on audio cassettes, television ads done on 
videotapes, door flyers, newspaper ads, etc. The 
students share these in class. 

• Students complete surveys to determine if they 
have the characteristics of an entrepreneur. 

Approximately one third of the students enrolled 
in the senior Adult Living classes at Beechwood High 
School have shown an interest in entrepreneurship as 
a career. With this much interest in one type of 
career, we certainly need to address those students' 
needs. Home economics is a perfect place to examine 
small business ownership with the vast possibilities 
of entrepreneurial endeavors in our field of 
study. • • • 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 147 

Family Life Education in the 1990s [13 
The Challenge: What Shall We Teach 1 

Harriett K. Light, Ph.D. 


American Home Economics Association 


Professor, Child Development and 

Family Science Department 
College of Home Economics 
North Dakota State University 

Home economists in general, and specifically fam- 
ily life educators, have unique opportunities to make 
valuable contributions to the present and future qual- 
ity of life for their students. The mission of home eco- 
nomics is to improve the quality of life for individuals 
and families. The overall goal of family life educa- 
tion is to prepare students to make beneficial and pro- 
ductive decisions in various areas of life. In order to 
accomplish this goal, it is important that curriculum 
content be relevant to contemporary society and to the 
society in which the students will spend their adult- 
hood. This is an enormous challenge for family life 
educators in the high-tech 1990s, where life will 
move at an accelerated pace. It can be accomplished 
only if the educator is well informed regarding critical 
issues, perceptive about the implications of those is- 
sues for the quality of life, and willing to have open 
discussions with students about the issues. 

The explosion of knowledge in recent years has 
created an information gap between the generations. 
Issues related to lifestyles and changing values have 
created family misunderstandings and disagreements. 
Technology and predictions for the future hold pro- 
found implications for the quality of life. When 
viewed in this context, one can easily be overwhelmed 
by the myriad of curriculum content possibilities. The 
implications of the curriculum content choices accent 
the serious responsibility of family life educators as 
they prepare students for a life that is challenging to 
predict and difficult to comprehend. 

Content Decisions 

How can appropriate content decisions be made? 
One method is to use quality of life as the pivotal cur- 
riculum focus, and ask the question: "What are the 
essential components of quality of life?" After all the 

non-essentials and luxuries are removed, what is left 
that cannot be compromised and is absolutely neces- 
sary for an acceptable quality of life? While the an- 
swers may vary slightly according to an individual's 
value system, I would propose four essential compo- 
nents from which all other factors that make up qual- 
ity of life evolve. These essential components are: 

1 ) the state of humankind and the world; 

2) individual rights and freedom; 

3) meaningful employment; and 

4) physical and emotional well-being. 

In this article, each essential component and its 
relevance to quality of life will be explained, the ra- 
tionale for inclusion in family life curriculum and 
ideas for teaching will be given. 

Component I: State of Humankind and the World 

With all the technical capabilities, tangible 
benefits, and unprecedented opportunities available to 
human beings at the end of the 20th century, we are 

1 ) in danger for the first time ever of extinguishing 
the human species in a nuclear war; 

2) living in a world in which almost half the people 
subsist in abject poverty under crushing burdens of 
illness, ignorance, and disability; 

3) immersed in an ancient sea of prejudice, ethnocen- 
trism, and violence - now amplified greatly by 
modern weapons and telecommunications technol- 

4) generating a growing underclass of people gravely 

damaged for life - paradoxically set in the midst 
of unprecedented affluence; 

5) degrading the planet's environment in ways that 
could have profound long term significance 
(Hamburg, 1988, p. 18-19). 

Dr. David A. Hamburg, President of the Carnegie 
Corporation, described the state of humankind and 
the world with the above statements. His words have 
special significance for family life educators. Because 
our purpose is to prepare students for life, they must be 
able to act and fully partake in life's opportunities 
while recognizing the risks and taking responsibility 
for the consequences of their actions. They must also be 

148 ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/ April, 1990 

willing and able to initiate action that will improve 
the quality of life for the world in general. 

This is an enormous challenge, with room for con- 
troversial ideas of similar magnitude. Dr. Hamburg's 
description of the world's situation is enmeshed with 
ethical dilemmas, legal entanglements, value 
upheavals and challenges to lifestyle traditions. 

What kind of curriculum guidelines are necessary 
to meet these challenges? Dr. Hamburg (1988, p. 13) 
presented, in condensed form, guidelines from the book, 
Windows of Opportunity. Dr. Hamburg was address- 
ing the global problem of crisis management and pre- 
vention and focused on U.S. -Soviet relations. 
However, his guidelines are equally valuable as a ba- 
sis for preparing young people to live in the 1990s and 
21st century. Condensed and applied to family life 
education, the guidelines are: 

1 ) Realism in recognizing facts; common sense in ana- 
lyzing implications... 

2) Recognition of each other - as sovereign states, as 
legitimate governments, as nations (and people) 
that have equal rights, and as coequal great pow- 
ers, which should therefore shoulder a special re- 

3) Recognition of the real differences that divide na- 
tions and people. 

4) Regular communication, consultation and discus- 
sion of vital issues. 

5) Negotiation of differences, permitting differences 
to surface and to be resolved. 

6) Respect for human rights at home and abroad. 

7) Encouraging, and actively working toward stop- 
ping the spread of mass destruction through nu- 
clear weapons, chemical and biological weapons. 

These seven guidelines can give us a foundation to 
build a relevant 1990s and 21st century family life 
program. The building blocks can be categorized as: 

1) Critical thinking skills 

a) ability to identify reality 

b) ability to dissect reality for practical impli- 

2) Appreciation of differences 

a) becoming knowledgeable about global situa- 

b) sharing, instead of dominating 

3) Negotiating skills 

a ) cooperation in problem solving 

b) empathy in order to facilitate positive com- 

4) Expanding the concept of quality of life to include 
human rights 

a) the right of all people to live in physically 
and psychologically safe environment 

b) significance of individual privacy 

c) the right of all people to have opportunities 
to develop their potential 

5) Developing a global conscience 

a ) intellectual strength to be a minority voice, if 

b) willingness to actively work toward world 
peace and the survival of the human race 

Component II - Individual Rights and Freedom 

The United States will soon celebrate the 200th 
anniversary of the Bill of Rights. This event is intri- 
cately tied to the mission of home economics and 
specifically to family life education. 

Quality of life and productivity and satisfaction 
with life decrease in direct proportion to diminished 
individual rights. It is hard to imagine a claim of 
high quality of life in a country where civil rights, 
privacy rights and individual rights are not present, 
preserved and protected. Fear for one's life, loss of 
freedom and "big brother" tactics are not conducive to 
development of one's potential. 

One does not have to look far to see evidence of the 
relationship between human rights and quality of 
life. Chilling reminders are the Chinese students who 
were massacred in Tienanmen Square on June 4, 1989, 
because they wanted the dignity of freedom, 
apartheid in South Africa that relegates black South 
Africans to a meager subsistence in a white-dominated 
economy, and the intense drive for independence of the 
Baltic Republics. The hope of freedom is carried 
through the concept of glasnost to the people in the 
Soviet Union. 

It is easy in a time of rapid change with shifting 
values and new lifestyles, to let our focus dwell on the 
immediate near concerns. In doing so, the risk is in- 
creased that decisions will be made without clearly 
understanding the long term implications. For in- 
stance, at least partially in response to the rising 
crime rate, the United States Supreme Court has 
upheld capital punishment - the death penalty - for 
mentally retarded individuals and for children. This 
is, indeed, among the most controversial and frighten- 
ing issues ever to come before the people of the United 
States. How can home economists and family life edu- 
cators not be deeply moved by this decision? 

The significance of individual and civil rights to 
quality of life can be illustrated through discussion of 
several topics. Some examples are listed: 

1) Individual rights 

a) personal examples of perceived or real viola- 
tion of various types of rights 

b) personal feelings when rights were violated 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 149 

c) personal impact (productivity, etc.) of viola- 
tions of individual rights 

d) transfer of personal situations and feelings to 
others (empathy) 

2) Civil rights 

a) rights of all citizens, regardless of race, sex, 
religious beliefs, economic status, to a quality 

b) implications for all people of denial of civil 
rights to certain groups 

c) relationship of economic status, sex, health 
and civil rights 

3) Bill of rights 

a ) discussion of the document 

b) personal meaning of the Bill of Rights 

c) ideas of what personal life would be like 
without the Bill of Rights 

d) importance of protection of the Bill of Rights 

It will be necessary for the educator to be willing 
to allow open discussion of the many different points 
of view that are likely to surface. The educator is en- 
titled to his/her own thoughts. However, students 
need to be encouraged to express their views and to be 
tolerant of diverse opinions in order to reach a high 
level of moral development in their appreciation for 
rights, freedom and liberties that we enjoy in a demo- 
cratic society. Methods that can be used include dis- 
cussion, creative writing, literature depicting life in 
countries that do not have individual and civil rights, 
and discussion of the Bill of Rights. Guest speakers 
who have played a role in government policy-making 
or a court judge could also create awareness and appre- 
ciation of rights. 

Component in - Employment Opportunities 

Employment is usually thought of as necessary to 
provide adequate money to exist in a relatively inde- 
pendent lifestyle. However, employment means much 
more than a mere financial existence. According to Dr. 
George H. Pollock (1988), President of the American 
Psychiatric Association, "Work is an enormously com- 
plex activity.. .it deals with such issues as mastery, 
competency, learning, identification, skills, thinking 
and doing" (p. 1055). 

Work involved in all employment requires prepa- 
ration. Career selection requires guidance to help as- 
sure that a rapidly changing, high-tech society will 
still need the career one has chosen. When one's cho- 
sen career is no longer viable, alternatives need to be 
available. The person's ability to adapt to change is 
crucial. The family life educator can assist individu- 
als in both of these tasks. 

An excellent resource for career discussion is 
Workforce Projections 2000. Published by the United 

States Bureau of Labor Statistics, it makes predictions 
about employment in the year 2000 and beyond. It has 
implications for the preparation of individuals to en- 
joy the many advantages of meaningful employment. 

According to these predictions, the labor force will 
become increasingly minority and female. The white 
labor force is projected to increase less than 15 percent, 
while the black labor force is expected to grow by 29 
percent. The Hispanic labor force is projected to grow 
by more than 74 percent, and will account for nearly 29 
percent of labor force growth for 1986-2000. Women 
are expected to account for more than 47 percent of the 
labor force by the year 2000. 

Of the 21 million new jobs projected for 1986-2000, 
5 occupational groups are expected to increase - techni- 
cians, service workers, professional workers, 
salesworkers, and executive and managerial employ- 
ees. Three broad occupational groups are expected to 
experience below average growth: precision produc- 
tion, craft and repair workers, administrative support 
workers (including clerical), and laborers. There will 
be a sharp decline in the number of jobs where less 
than a high school education is required. 

Currently, females and minority groups are not 
well represented in the fast-growing occupations and 
both groups are over-represented in the slow-growing 
or declining occupations. The challenge is clear: fam- 
ily life education must prepare members of minority 
groups and women for their role in the labor force. 
Young people must be encouraged to, at a minimum, 
complete high school. 

How can family life educators prepare their stu- 
dents for successful work experience? Dr. Pollock has 
stated several issues related to work. Curriculum con- 
tent might use these issues as focal points. The follow- 
ing outline is suggested; however, several of the issues 
cannot be taught only as a unit. They permeate every 
subject as process, rather than only content. 

I. Mastery 

A. Levels of mastery for promotion in various 

B . Amount of education/ training necessary 

C. Continuing growth throughout life 
II. Competency 

A. Specific competencies needed by specific 

B. Relationship of competency to career pro- 

C. How is competency developed 

D. Organizational support/training on the job 

E. Factors that detract from one's competency 

III. Learning 

A. Preparation necessary for various careers 

150 ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 

B . Exploration of how specific learning is ac- 

C. Cost and ways of financing preparatory 

IV. Identification 

A. Careers predicted to grow and characteris- 
tics of each (i.e., education, executives, 
lawyers, mechanics, etc.) 

B. Advantages and disadvantages of various 

C. Can student imagine self in a particular 

V. Thinking 

A. Intellectual demands versus physical de- 
mands of various careers 

B. Examples of careers requiring intense 
thinking ability (i.e., air traffic con- 
trollers, attorneys, surgeons) 

C. Relationship of career, thinking demands 
and salary 

VI. Doing 

A. What is involved in getting a job 

B. What is involved in keeping a job 

C. Comparison of hours worked, income, and 
career preparation 

D. What are absolute "nevers" on a job 

"An automated society with its accelerated de- 
mands for highly trained technicians, scientists, pro- 
fessionals, and other workers will alter the terrain of 
life as we know it" (Pollock, 1988, p. 1056). Family 
life educators can help their students adjust to the al- 
tered terrain of life through discussion of career-re- 
lated issues in the 1990s and beyond. 

Physical and Emotional Well Being 

Wellness is not a new concept to home economists 
and family life educators. It will not be generally dis- 
cussed in this article. However, two aspects of well- 
ness have particular relevance for the family life cur- 
riculum. The two aspects are social support systems 
and social skills training, as they relate to emotional 

"Clinicians have long observed that our emotional 
well-being is affected by the support of people close to 
us. ..only in recent years has a body of re- 
search. ..demonstrated the way social supports are rel- 
evant..." (Galanter, 1988, p. 1270). Research has also 
supported the relationship between physical and 
mental well-being. 

Family life educators can use the following state- 
ment as a guideline for curriculum content in this area: 

Significant others help the individual mobi- 
lize his/her psychological resources, and mas- 

ter his/her emotional burdens; they share his 
(her) tasks; and they supply him (her) with 
extra supplies...and cognitive guidance to im- 
prove his (her) handling of the situation 
(Caplan, 1988, p. 1270). 

The significant role of social isolation in suicide 
and depression is well documented. The accelerated 
pace of life in the 1990s and beyond will likely make 
time to spend with others a scarce resource. It is also 
likely that the challenges, obstacles, problems and 
general tension that have always been a part of life 
will increase as society becomes increasingly complex. 
Therefore, including social support systems in the fam- 
ily life curriculum as a positive coping technique that 
can be used throughout life, is very timely. 

The basis for social skills training programs is the 
idea that depression is related to inadequate interper- 
sonal functioning. Causes for inadequate interpersonal 
behavior include: insufficient exposure to interperson- 
ally skilled models, insufficient opportunity to prac- 
tice interpersonal skills, learning inappropriate be- 
havior and failure to discard old behaviors and adopt 
new ones during periods of transition, such as entry into 
adolescence or adulthood (Becker, Heimberg & 
Bellack, 1987, p. 4-5). Some curriculum guidelines are 
suggested in the following brief outline. 

I. Individual friendships and relationships 

A. Importance of trust 

B. Appropriate confiding and disclosing of 
personal information 

C. Developing empathy 

D. Reasonable expectations of friendships 

E. Effort required to initiate and maintain 

II. Social Skills 

A. Importance of not being isolated 

B . How to reach out, become involved in so- 
cial activities 

C. Overcoming shyness* 

D. Developing leadership, talents and abili- 

E. Self-confidence in social situation 
III. Peer-led, Self-help Groups 

A. Cohesiveness and mutual support 

B. Sharing information as a means of under- 
standing problems 

C. Sharing insights into new ways of dealing 
with problems 

D. Locating and joining appropriate groups 

E. Starting a group, if one does not exist. 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 151 


The content of family life education must adapt to 
the needs of individuals and families in the acceler- 
ated, high-tech 1990s and beyond. This article has of- 
fered suggestions for determining curriculum content 
and what that content might be. 

It was suggested that four components are essential 
to a high quality of life: awareness of the overall 
state of humankind and the world, individual rights 
and freedom, meaningful employment, and physical 
and emotional well-being. 

The family life educator will need to be actively 
involved in keeping abreast of new developments in 
these components and be acutely in touch with their 
own values, attitudes and opinions regarding the is- 
sues. He/she will also need to be a skilled group dis- 
cussion leader because the issues of the 1990s and be- 
yond will not lend themselves to clear-cut, black and 
white answers. Through sharing of information, the 
students (and educators) will clarify the issues. 
Consequently, they will be better equipped to face the 
future without fear and anxiety. 

Two excellent references on the significance of shyness and 
self-disclosure to emotional well-being are: 

Jones, W. H., Cheek, J. M., & Briggs, S. R. (1986). 
Shyness: Perspectives on research and treatment. 
New York: Plenum Press. (This book contains ex- 
cellent suggestions for overcoming shyness.) 

Derlega, V. J., & Berg, J. H. (1987). Self-Disclosure: 
Theory, research, and therapy. New York: 
Plenum Press. (This book explains appropriate 
versus inappropriate disclosure of personal infor- 
mation, and the implications in various social and 
business settings.) 


Becker, R. E., Heimberg, R. G., & Bellack, A. S. (1987). 
Social Skills Training Treatment for Depression. 
New York: Pergamon Press. 

Caplan, G. (1974). Support Systems and Community 
Mental Health. New York: Behavioral 
Publications, quoted in Galanter (1988). 

Galanger, M. (1988). Research on social supports and 
mental health. The American Journal of 
Psychiatry, 145(10), 1270-1271. 

Hamburg, D. A. (1988). A historic opportunity to re- 
duce the nuclear danger. (President's Annual 
Essay). Reprinted from the 1988 Annual Report of 
the Carnegie Corporation of New York. 

Pollock, G. H. (1988). Presidential address: 
Landfalls, journeys, and departures. The 
American Journal of Psychiatry, 145(9), 1055-1060. 

Projections 2000. (1988). Washington, D.C.: U.S. 
Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Family Life cfllE 
Education Framework 

This colorful 24" by 36" wall poster describes 
family life education by specifying major 
content and learning concepts for family life 
education programs over the life span. 



• curriculum design 

1 . Family Interaction 

• program development 

2 . Interpersonal Relationships 

• continuing education 

3 . Human Development and Sexuality 

• classroom instruction 

4 . Education About Parenthood 

• career development 

5 . Family Resources Management 

• program assessment 

6 . Ethics 

7 . Family and Society 

$7 each (includes 1st class postage & handling) 


National Council on Family Relations 

3989 Central Avenue N.E., Suite 550 

Minneapolis, MN 55421 

(612)781-9331 • FAX (612) 781-9348 

152 ILLINOIS TEACHER, March /April, 1990 

Subject Communities as Curricular Influences: A 

Case Study 

ane Thomas 

)octoral Candidate 

acuity of Education 

Jniversity of British Columbia, Vancouver 


In 1984, the Ministry of Education in the province of 
•ritish Columbia (B.C.) mandated several changes to 
he public school program of studies which threatened 
he educational status and survival of home economics as 
school subject. However, the actions of provincial 
tome economics groups and associations (or subject 
ommunity as these are collectively called) were in- 
luential in maintaining home economics in the school 
urriculum. This study used Goodson's (1983a) theory of 
ubject communities as curricular influences to examine 
>rimary documents associated with an imposed curricu- 
um change and to analyze the actions of the B.C. home 
conomics subject community as it responded to this 
hange. ^ 

According to Goodson, subject communities comprise 
>oth subject associations (which represent a formal arena 
Dr promoting a subject in the school curriculum) and 
ubject groups (which are in some way affiliated with 
he school subject). Through action and negotiation, 
hese communities pursue curricular territory, resources, 
nd educational status for their subject, and exert 
iressure for curriculum change. During times of conflict 
ver which subjects should be included in the school 
urriculum, subject communities organize themselves to 
legotiate the place of their subject in the school program 
f studies. Goodson emphasizes, however, that such 
ction and negotiation represent the influence on 
ducation of macro events, such as broad social, political 
nd economic movements, which are then reinterpreted 
t the micro level through the response of various subject 
ommunities. This case study of a home economics 
urriculum change reflects the interplay of the 
ransformation of curriculum through professional action 
nd negotiation at the micro level. 

In this paper, the strategies employed by the home 
conomics professionals in curriculum action and negoti- 
tion are analyzed, the forces that appear to have in- 

fluenced these at the macro level are explicated and 
some implications are discussed. 

Micro Influences on the Home Economics Curriculum 

The mandated changes to the public school curricu- 
lum occurring in B.C. in 1984 were intended to provide a 
more academic focus in education and to increase high 
school graduation requirements. These changes impacted 
on home economics and resulted in a revision to the senior 
home economics program. According to the government's 
edict, the home economics program was to be 
"consolidated to include only three areas of study: Foods 
and Nutrition, Clothing and Textiles, and Home 
Management" (B.C. Ministry of Education, 1984). This 
third area was to be created by the elimination of two 
grade 12 courses which did not have grade 11 prerequi- 
sites — Family Studies, and Housing and Interior Design. 
In keeping with Ministry policy concerning senior 
elective courses both grades 11 and 12 were to be offered 
in each of the three areas. 

Although the Ministry of Education dictated the 
general nature of this curriculum change, several groups 
within the B.C. home economics subject community in- 
fluenced both the form and the content of the new area. 
Four groups which made recommendations to the Min- 
istry are noteworthy. First, an ad hoc committee com- 
posed of the instructor and students in a home economics 
graduate course at the University of B.C. (UBC) lobbied 
to retain Family Studies 12 in the senior home economics 
program, and recommended a comprehensive grade 11 
course which would interrelate family and nutrition 
concepts and serve as a prerequisite to both Family 
Studies 12 and Foods and Nutrition 12 (Promnitz, 1984). 
It should be noted that this recommendation was made 
prior to the official adoption and implementation of the 
new educational policy. Documents associated with this 
recommendation suggest that a Ministry official 
publicized the impending policy changes during a lecture 
to the home economics graduate course class (Promnitz, 

Second, the Vancouver Secondary Home Economics 
Department Heads made several recommendations to 
the Ministry. Because members of the Vancouver group 
had collaborated with the aforementioned UBC group, 
the first set of recommendations generally paralleled 
those of the UBC ad hoc committee. Initially this group 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/ April, 1990 153 

advocated that Family Studies 12 not be required to 
have a grade 11 prerequisite, and that it be a "highly 
recommended course for all students in the secondary 
school." This group also urged that a course in Family 
Foods and Nutrition be developed at the grade 11 level 
to serve as a prerequisite to "either a Family Studies 
specialty, or a Foods and Nutrition specialty" 
(Vancouver Home Economics Department Heads, 1984). 
However, when these suggestions were rejected by the 
Ministry, this group acted on the Ministry's original 
suggestion to combine Family Studies and Housing and 
Interior Design, and prepared a course outline entitled 
"Families: Health and Management." Concern was 
expressed that if a suitable two year course was not de- 
veloped quickly, home economics was in danger of be- 
coming "the two areas of Foods and Nutrition and Cloth- 
ing and Textiles" (Favaro, 1984). This concern was 
reinforced by the Director of the Ministry's Curriculum 
Development Branch at the time. He indicated that it 
was largely due to the efforts of these two home 
economics groups that the Ministry had retained the 
idea of a third speciality area in home economics. The 
director also revealed that the provincial cabinet was 
opposed to the use of the word family in the course title, 
and had strongly suggested that management be used 
because of its business connotations (Overgaard, 1985). 

A third group involved in this revision was the 
Home Economics Curriculum Revision Committee. This 
committee was composed of several B.C. home economics 
teachers and a curriculum coordinator who was 
appointed by the Ministry. In contrast to the groups just 
mentioned, this committee was formed after the gov- 
ernment's new educational policy was made official. 
Moreover, its formation was the direct result of Ministry 
policy with respect to curriculum revision in the 
province, which requires representation by subject asso- 
ciations on such committees. Thus, this group had con- 
siderable influence in determining both the form and the 
content of the new course, and was able to make sig- 
nificant contributions to the selection of its title. For 
example, in consultation with several UBC home eco- 
nomics subject specialists, the Curriculum Revision 
Committee developed a draft outline which identified 
major content areas for both grade 11 and grade 12 levels 
and which described the aims and purposes of the new 
course (B.C. Ministry of Education, 1985). Similarly, 
this committee made recommendations concerning the 
course title. Although the Ministry had originally 
recommended that the new specialty area be called 
Home Management, the Revision Committee negotiated 
for an alternate name. It was felt that the proposed title 
reflected a somewhat narrow and outdated conception of 
home economics and that it was not indicative of the 
intended (family) focus of the new course. Consequently, 
several possible titles were suggested and submitted to 

the Ministry. From among these, the name Fam 
Management was selected. 

Finally, while the Home Economics Revision Co: 
mittee provided the initial focus for the new course, t 
provincial home economics subject association (hereaf 
referred to as THESA) validated this focus and lobbi 
for retention of home economics in the public schc 
curriculum of the province. The draft outline developf 
by the Revision Committee was circulated at the annn 
THESA conference, and comments and suggestions ma 
by the three hundred members present were considered 
the preparation of the final drafts of the course. At t 
same time, THESA presented a statement regarding 1 1 
importance of home economics in B.C. schools as 
collective response to a Ministry document entitled "Le ' 
Talk About Schools," in which the government solicit 
public comment about the nature and direction 
schooling in the province ("Response," 1985). 

Macro Influences on the Home Economics Curricula 

Although the actions of the home economics subjn 1 
community influenced particular aspects of the curric 
lum change under scrutiny, the source of the change w 
related to sources external to the school system and 
these professional groups. During the seventies, pre 
lems associated with declining school enrollments, i 
creasing economic instability and financial constrain 
and an apparent decrease in public confidence in t 
schools contributed to a widespread examination of e 
ucation in North America, and gradually a move towa 
accountability and back to basics became appare 
(Stevenson, 1979; Tomkins, 1981). 

By 1980 in B.C., public interest and political resporn 
centered on inflation and unemployment during a perir 
of economic recession. In education there was a genei 
move toward a more centralized approach, where t 
concern with student achievement and with financ 
support of education was more overt, and where t 
development of intellectual skills was emphasize 
These forces at the macro level impacted on the B. 
school curriculum and contributed to several genei 
changes in the nature of education. They were given foi 
or substance through their translation into educatior 
policy by the Ministry of Education and created t 
context in which the home economics subject communi 
negotiated curriculum change. 


The document examined in this study suggest th 
the actions of the home economics subject community 
this curriculum change focused on the three issues tin 
Goodson argues are central to most curriculum deba 
curriculum territory or the place of the subject in f 
school curriculum, educational status, and resources. F' 

154 ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 

imple, in the curriculum proposals and position papers 
bmitted to the Ministry, the home economics pro- 
pionate initially emphasized retaining the Family 
idies course as it existed, rather than the re- 
mbination which the Ministry had mandated. This 
ggests an attempt to protect home economics' current 
sition and to preserve its curricular territory in the 
Z. public school program. When this recommendation 
is rejected, the subject community then combined the 
o courses as mandated, but insisted on retaining the 
>rd family as part of the new course title. Perhaps 
urse titles are related to a subject's curriculum territory 
?., they in effect map out a subject's territory) and a 
ange in the name of a course may represent an invasion 
alteration of curriculum territory. 

The issue of the educational status of home economics 
is raised in two ways. First, the recommendations that 
tnily Studies be exempt from the grade 11 prerequisite 
juirement and that it be a "highly recommended course 
• all students" suggest that an attempt was made to 
hance the status of home economics through promoting 

educational relevance. Second, in their response to 
et's Talk About Schools," the home economic 
Dfessionals presented a detailed justification of the 
ucational relevance of their subject in light of the 
ovince's stated educational goals of "intellectual 
velopment... social and human development.. .[and] 
cational development." It was also stated that home 
gnomics was the "only [secondary school] subject. 
ess.. .the relationship between schools, parents and 
mmunity," a relationship that was recognized by the 
nistry as essential "to enable youngsters to reach their 
ucational potential." Finally, it was argued that 
cause of "changes in work and family 
?... parenthood.. .employment patterns. ..lifestyles and 
:ial values.. .home economics education is becoming 
zreasingly necessary" ("Response," 1985). From this 
Dup's perspective, retention of curricular territory was 
ated to the perceived educational relevance of the 

The issue of resources was made explicit in the home 
Dnomics response to "Let's Talk About Schools." The 
>ponse paper emphasized the need for Ministry 
idelines to "ensure curriculum support and space in the 
lools [for home economics]", and for adequate al- 
:ation of funding and materials for the subject. This 
cument also stressed that "instruction in home eco- 
mics should be provided by teachers trained in home 
Dnomics specialties" and echoes Goodson's (1983b) 
lim that the "material [or career] interests of teach- 
j...are broadly interlinked with the fate of the spe- 
ilist subject communities." Because a decrease in the 
imber of home economics elective courses might reduce 
3 number of subject specialists required for teaching 

m, teaching jobs were likely at stake. 

The actions of the various home economics groups in 
this curriculum change may be characterized as both 
collaboration and negotiation. Although several indi- 
vidual groups made recommendations for change, these 
recommendations represented a collective or cooperative 
home economics response. This cooperative action 
parallels Goodson's observation that in order to promote 
their subject and negotiate for territory, status, or 
resources, subject communities become more strongly in- 
stitutionalized. It is possible that such internal support 
strengthens the group's conviction about its place in the 
school curriculum, and reinforces the pressure for change. 
The documents examined in this study suggest that there 
was a conscious effort among some home economics groups 
in the province to present a united front. The 
similarities between the recommendations made by two 
of the groups prior to the implementation of the new 
educational policy underscore this point. At the same 
time, however, it appears that not all home economics 
groups in the province assumed a role in this curriculum 
dispute. For example, the extent to which the B.C. 
Home Economics Association (a professional association 
for provincial home economists) supported the actions of 
these other groups in unknown. Similarly, there is no 
evidence to suggest that the Canadian Home Economics 
Association (a national professional organization) was 
either consulted or participated in this curriculum action 
and negotiation. This may be due in part to what 
Goodson describes as the "shifting network of factions" 
which comprise subject communities. According to 
Goodson, although these factions are related by virtue of 
their subject, their specific interests may differ. Thus, 
while participation by other home economics groups may 
have strengthened the proposals put forward by the 
groups in question, perhaps their involvement was 
perceived to be peripheral to the concerns of home 
economics educators. 

The ongoing exchange of correspondence between the 
Ministry and the home economics groups were indicative 
of negotiation. These exchanges were primarily 
concerned with suggestions for alternatives to the 
Ministry's mandate and represented an attempt to in- 
fluence the direction of the curriculum change. The three 
alternatives presented to the Ministry by the Vancouver 
Secondary School Department Heads highlight this 
process of negotiation. As mentioned earlier, this group 
initially rejected the mandated change and presented an 
alternative for change. When this was vetoed, the 
group suggested a reinterpretation of the mandate. 
Finally, a compromise: that the two courses be combined 
as originally mandated, but that the name and focus of 
the course be determined by the home economics subject 
association was proposed. 

It should be noted that the timeline for the devel- 
opment of this new course appeared to add urgency to the 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/ April, 1990 155 

actions of the home economics groups. It was perceived 
that if the new course was not finalized within the nine 
month timeframe set by the Ministry, the third 
specialty area, which represented approximately one 
quarter of the senior home economics course offerings (and 
considerable curricular territory), would be lost. 

Conclusions and Implications 

This case study examined a recent home economics 
curriculum change by analyzing the actions of a home 
economics subject community. Although broader forces 
influenced the general nature of this change, the subject 
community influenced several specific curriculum 
changes. In part, such influences were possible because of 
provincial policies with respect to the involvement of 
subject associations in all curriculum revisions. At the 
same time, however, the actions of these groups 
contributed to the name, focus and content of the new 
course. For example, the subject community's apparent 
concern with retaining a course which centered on the 
family appeared to direct much of its action and was 
clearly reflected in the resulting curriculum document. 
While the Ministry mandated that two courses be com- 
bined, the resulting course retained very little of one 
(Housing and Interior Design), and represented instead 
an expansion of the other (Family Studies). Thus, the 
home economics subject community was influential in 
constructing and transforming the home economics 

This analysis also reveals that, as Goodson suggests, 
subject communities represent substantial interest groups. 
Clearly the B.C. home economics professionals had a 
stake in the curriculum, and the imposed change 
threatened their curricular territory and its associated 
resources. Not only was a reorganization of some senior 
home economics courses required, but also student options 
for home economics electives were being reduced which 
had the potential to decrease home economics 
enrollment. It is interesting to note that, as this group 
negotiated to maintain its curricular position and 
resources, it was compelled to address the question of its 
educational status with respect to other school subjects. 
According to Goodson, the former are related to the 
latter. Those subjects with an academic tradition tend to 
have greater educational status, resulting in a more 
secure position in the school curriculum and greater 
allocation of resources. Because home economics in B.C. 
has long been associated with a utilitarian or practical 
tradition, its claim on the school curriculum historically 
has been somewhat tenuous. Thus the justification of its 
perceived educational relevance appears to be central to 
the process of curriculum action and negotiation in home 

Two additional points are worthy of mention. The 
first concerns the absence of a home economics represen- 

tative in the Ministry of Education. It is conceiva 
that the home economics subject community took actior 
the first place because they lacked advocacy at 
government level. Indeed, in previous home econom 
curriculum revisions in B.C., Provincial Directors of ho: 
economics both directed and mediated home econom 
curriculum change (Thomas & Arcus, 1988). The loss 
this government representation in 1980 perhaps provid 
some impetus for professional action. The second po 
concerns the apparent consensus of the groups within I 
home economics subject community. As suggest! 
previously, Goodson (1983a) asserts that because subjr 
communities are not a "homogeneous group whc 
members share similar values and definitions of re 
common interests and identity," some conflict amo 
various factions of the community are inevitable. Wh 1 
it is conceivable that members of the subject commun 
may not have agreed with the intended focus for the nnj 
course, no evidence of such conflict was found. 

These findings have implications for both hoi] 
economics practice and research. For example, althou i 
this study revealed a close correspondence between t 
actions of the home economics subject community a 
Goodson's theory of curriculum change, it appears tl 
this correspondence was fortuitous rather th 
deliberate. There was no indication that the subjo 
community had planned its strategies in view of €> 
idence concerning the potential influence of profession 
organizations on curriculum change. This suggests tl 
more studied and conscious efforts on the part 
professional groups is warranted. Such consideration 
may be extended to professional preparation program' 
where, in addition to traditional curriculum-buildi: 
skills, attention to the multiple forces which influew 
curriculum change and to the development of politk 
skills (such as leadership in public affairs and metho 
in educational policy) might be emphasized. 

The findings also have implications for home ec 
nomics research. In particular, more case studies whi 
examine specific instances of home economics curriculu 
change may increase our understanding of curriculu 
development as a process of action and negotiatic 
Similarly, examination of home economics curriculu 
change in a variety of historical contexts may enhan 
our understanding of how curriculum evolves throuj 
action and negotiation and of how past actions a 
related to present actions. At the same time, howevc 
further study is also required to determine tl ; 
relationship between what Goodson calls "tl 
promotional strategies" and the rhetoric of change, ai 
the realities of curriculum content and of classroo 

Apple (1983) has predicted that the next tv 
decades will be characterized by increasing curricul 
conflict. If his prediction is accurate, it is essential th 

156 ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 

e economics professionals be adequately prepared to 
I this challenge, and to influence the nature of home 
nomics curriculum in schools. 


pie, M. W. (1983). Curriculum in the year 2000: Ten- 
sions and possibilities. Phi Delta Kappan, 64(5), 

espouse to "Let's Talk About Schools". (1985, Febru- 
ary). A collective response of the B.C. Home Eco- 
nomics Teachers to the Ministry of Education's dis- 
cussion paper entitled "Let's Talk About Schools." 
I Ministry of Education. (1984, December). Ministry 
policy circular: Revised graduation requirements. 
Victoria, B.C.: Author. 

I Ministry of Education. (1985, February). Proposed 
home economics curriculum outline: Draft copy. 
Victoria, B.C.: Author. 

aro, E. (1984, November 6). Letter to Overgaard. 
xlson, I. (1983a). School subjects and curriculum 
change: Case studies in the social history of cur- 
riculum. London: CroomHelm. 

xison, I. (1983b). Subjects for study: Aspects of a so- 
cial history of curriculum. Journal of Curriculum 
Studies, 15, 391-408. 

jrgaard, B. (1985, January 9). Presentation to HMED 
404: Home economics methods. The University of 

mnitz, J. (1984, July 27). Letter to B. Overgaard. 
yenson, H. A. (1979). So little for the mind? Reac- 
tion and reform in the modern curriculum. In G. S. 
Tomkins (Ed.), The curriculum in Canada in histori- 
cal perspective (pp. 95-110). University of B.C.: 
Canadian Society for the Study of Education. 
>mas, J., & Arcus, M. (1988). Forces influencing home 
economics curriculum changes in British Columbia 
secondary schools, 1912-1985. Canadian Home Eco- 
nomics Journal, 38(2), 88-95. 

nkins, G. S. (1981). Stability and change in the 
Canadian curriculum (Monograph). Vancouver, B.C.: 
University of B.C. 

Kouver Home Economics Department Heads. (1984, 
September 20). Home economics curriculum: Present 
status and future directions. Unpublished position 
paper. • • • 

(Continued from Page 137.) 

Hankies". These businesses allow students an oppor- 
tunity to analyze a business and take part in it. 

Career exploration and job seeking skills are gained 
by students in a unit devoted to these topics. Students 
select a job and create a cover letter and resume. They 
practice filling out a job application and participate in a 
job interview. They conclude the unit by identifying the 
characteristics of a good employee. 

"Independent Life Skills" are vital and relevant to 
each and every student no matter what their chosen 
path in life. Based upon this premise, this program is a 
step towards success in life for students. • • • 


Interages is a nonprofit organization in Montgomery 
County, Maryland. It fosters intergenerational programs 
in Montgomery County by implementing pilot projects 
such as: 

• Grandcare - During the past two years, 70 older 
adults were recruited and trained as staff of 4 
child care centers to meet the critical need for 

child care staff. 

• Person-to-Person - Gaithersburg High School Key 
Club students made weekly visits to older 
residents of the Town Center Apartments and 
participated in a number of activities with them. 

• Teamwork - A project to provide job coaches to 
help disabled youth find jobs. Interages 
collaborated with the National Council on the 
Aging and the Foundation for Exceptional 

Interages also held a county-wide workshop on "Schools 
and the Senior Community - A Partnership Across the 
Ages." A newsletter is published and distributed to over 
1600 individuals and organizations; Interages also 
distributed copies of their Intergenerational Resource 
Guide. For more information, call (301) 279-1770. 

Source: Aging Issues Brief. Priority Issue Subcommittee on 
Aging/American Home Economics Association. 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/ April, 1990 157 

Charting A Career Path- 
Voices of Home Economics Educators 

Linda Peterat and Linda Eyre 
Faculty of Education 
University of British Columbia 

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Linda Eyre 

Linda Peterat 

When we hear of teachers "leaving" the classroom 
for administrative, or consulting positions we feel a 
sense of loss for the profession and for ourselves. At the 
same time it seems important that educators who 
understand home economics, be present in various levels 
and capacities within the total education profession. 
We wanted to explore this phenomenon further, so we 
contacted several home economics educators who are 
now working in other educational positions. We asked 
them five central questions: What do they do in their 
present job? What post-secondary educational 
qualifications do they have? What other related work 
and professional experience do they have? How has 
their home economics background helped them and do 
they continue to be members of professional 
associations? What advice have they for other home 
economics educators wishing to chart a career path in 
education? Here are their responses. 

Elaine Mills, Director, Continuing Education Services, 
Edmonton Public Schools, Edmonton, Alberta. 

The Edmonton Public School Board, through this 
area of service, offers credit and non-credit programs for 
adults and school age students outside of the regular 
curriculum. Our areas of programming for adults include 
day credit, evening credit and Saturday credit courses. 
For students we offer summer school, and Saturday and 
summer school tutorials. In addition we offer Adult 
English as a Second Language, Adult Literacy, and 
reading tutorials for illiterate adults. We offer general 
interest courses in the following areas: Art, Business 
and Professional Skills, Cake Decorating, 
Communications, Computers, Cooking, Crafts and 

Needlework, Driving Skills, First Aid, Floi 
Arrangement and Design, Grooming and Imaji 
Handyman, Heritage Languages, Interior Design, L; 
for the Layman, Bridge, Fine Arts, Gardenii 
Photography, Money Matters, Music, Parentii 
Personal Growth, Physical Activities and Recreatic 
Sewing and Travel. We employ 900 instructors, ha 
150 day staff and serve over 50,000 clients a year. 

I have a Bachelor of Science (Home Economi 
from McGill University and a Bachelor of Educati 
and a Master of Education from the University 
Alberta. I enjoy teaching and the contact with studen 
but have never regretted leaving the classroom. In t 
positions I have held over the years, the influenci 
have had and decisions I have been able to make ha 
been ones to help teachers do a better job in t 
classroom, and in the long run be able to help mc 
students achieve their potential. 

I taught home economics, grades 7-12 in thr 
different provinces and have been a teacher of scienr 
biology, English, social studies, and vocational fo< 
preparation. I have been involved in curriculu 
writing and revision at the provincial level. In a seni 
high, I was assistant principal, vice-principal ai 
then deputy principal. I then became a principal ol 
Kindergarten to grade 9 school and then principal ol 
large (over 1800 students) high-school, grades 10-1 
Prior to my present position, I was Assista 
Superintendent of Curriculum for Edmonton Pub 

The organizational skills needed to run a mul 
activity lab, which I developed as a home economi 
teacher, have been useful in the jobs I have held. Thi 
have also helped me manage a home with very litt 
time and have given me the skills to continue sewin 
cooking, knitting and crafts in a rewarding ar 
professional manner. 

I have not belonged to home economics profession 
organizations for many years because of time constrain 
and the need to keep up with administrative and cros 
curriculum changes. As the curriculum leader in j 
school, one needs to be knowledgeable about all subje 
areas and instructional processes. 

The advice I would offer to those wishing to build 
career path in education is: 

• Teach in areas outside home economics. 

• Be involved in committee work that providr 
insights into how the school and the system work. 

158 ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 

Volunteer to do things other than manage the 
fashion show and school tea. (These are important 
but should, if one wants further challenges, be used 
as a stepping stone.) 

yce MacMartin, Program Coordinator, Human 
;velopment, Manitoba Education, Winnipeg, 

My position includes responsibilities in the 
ogram areas of home economics, health education, 
nily life education, AIDS education, child abuse 
ograms, guidance and counselling, physical 
ucation, early years and middle years. This includes 
rig range strategic planning for a team of six 
ovincial consultants, preparing budget submissions, 
ordinating resources of the team, evaluating 
oposals, doing performance appraisals, initiating 
d developing new and revised programs and 
rricula, and implementing curricula province-wide. 

I have Bachelor of Science in Home Economics, a 
chelor of Education and Master of Education 
urriculum) degrees. Work as an educational 
nsultant in home economics, health education, AIDS 
ucation and family life education provided valuable 
lining for my present position. Planning facilities for 
me economics and participating as a vocational team 
*mber for Manitoba Education added another 
mension. Teaching at the University of Manitoba, 
culty of Education, on a secondment was a rich 
perience. Until that term appointment, I had been a 
icher of home economics for grades 7-12 in three 
fferent settings. Teaching skills are valuable for a 
de range of career possibilities. I have the highest 
^ard for home economics teachers because many 
ovide an exhilarating place for students to learn 
evant content that will impact their quality of life. 

I have worked with and served on the executive 
ard of the Manitoba Home Economics Teachers' 
isociation and been Associate Editor of the Canadian 
)me Economics Association Journal Committee. I 
esently chair the Manitoba Education council on 
DS and the Education Committee of World Food 
iy. On a national level, I have served on the North 
nerican Steering Committee for "Skills for 
lolescence," a program offered by Lions/Quest 
ternational and on the advisory committee for Collier 
acMillan Publishers. I also serve on a national 
?alth Promotion Committee for Drug Education and 
ve represented Manitoba Education at national 
minars on AIDS education, including a recent one 
onsored by the Council of Ministers of Education, 
inada, held in Toronto; and a Health and Welfare 
inning meeting in Regina prior to the release of the 
nada: Youth and AIDS Survey. For one year I served 
rt-time as a member of the Inner City Team, helping 

to coordinate the delivery of resources earmarked by 
Manitoba Education for Inner City education, and 
helping to administer the Compensatory Support 
Program of 1 .8 million dollars. 

Working in the field of home economics has been 
valuable. Because the discipline is so broad, 
encompassing the sciences and the humanities, the 
scope of this area of studies is amazing. I have chosen 
to branch out into other areas related to home economics 
education and bring my home economics training with 
me. However, I am the consultant for home economics 
and I belong to most of the professional organizations 
because they are a source of education, support, 
fellowship and fun. 

My advice to current home economics teachers on 
building a career path in education is to set some career 
goals and start to move in that direction, to keep current 
and to consider further study, to diversify if the setting 
is right, to consider administration if that is of interest, 
but most of all, to enjoy each experience as it unfolds. 

Carol McLean, Director, Lethbridge Regional Office of 
Alberta Education, Lethbridge, Alberta. 

The Regional Office Director is the Department of 
Education's final authority and last appeal at the zone 
level for ensuring the best possible basic education for 
all students. The position involves three orientations: 
(1) The field: regulate, monitor, audit, consult, 
supervise, and evaluate the administration and 
implementation of Alberta Education programs, 
policies, and projects by school authorities. (2) The 
Department: provide leadership in the design, 
development, articulation, implementation, and 
assessment of Alberta Education programs, policies, and 
projects. (3) The branch: organize, administer, and 
manage the branch office. 

I have a Bachelor of Education (Home Economics) 
and a Master of Education (Secondary Education) from 
the University of Alberta. Several past positions in 
professional associations have helped prepare me for 
my present work. They include being regional director 
of the Canadian Home Economics Association; 
president, Edmonton Branch, Alberta Home Economics 
Association; provincial president, Home Economics 
Council, Alberta Teachers' Association. Prior to my 
present position, within Alberta Education, I was home 
economics consultant, associate director and then acting 
director in the Edmonton Regional Office. 

I taught all grade levels and subject areas in home 
economics during my ten years of teaching. During this 
time I was also heavily involved in home economics 
professional activities as well as activities at school. 
This required a high level of organization and 
planning. My home economics training certainly came 
in handy. 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 159 

I maintain membership in the Home Economics 
Council of Alberta Teachers' Association and the 
Alberta and Canadian Home Economics Associations. I 
maintain these professional memberships although I 
am currently working as an administrator. I feel it is 
important to maintain a working knowledge of 
pedagogy in at least one specific curriculum area. My 
credibility as an educator is greatly enhanced by the 
ability to converse in the areas of teaching and 

I also have a personal connection and interest in the 
relationship between feminist theory and home 
economics. As well, I have a strong belief in the value 
of education focused on the well-being of individuals 
and families. 

The advice I would offer to those wishing to build a 
career path in education is to: 

• Teach at all grade levels and in other subjects in 
addition to home economics; 

• Become involved in professional associations in a 
leadership capacity in order to develop skills at 
working with and motivating people, organizing 
events, and managing a heavy and multi-faceted 

• Gain experience at school-based administration in 
order to establish credibility; 

• Maintain a knowledge of current research in 
teaching and learning and applying the research in 
daily practice; 

• Display a willingness to address issues or take on 
projects which you may not initially be expert at. 

Jean McLafferty, Vice-Principal, Ballantrae Public 
School, York Region Board of Education, Ontario. 

Over eighteen years, I taught in elementary and 
secondary schools in the areas of physical education 
and family studies. For one year I was a Family 
Studies Department Head and for three years, a 
consultant in Family Studies/Sex Education. 

I have a Bachelor of Arts (Family Studies major), 
an Honor Specialist Family Studies (teacher 
education) and am currently completing a Master in 
Education Administration at The Ontario Institute for 
Studies in Education. 

My experience and education as a home economist 
has been helpful in understanding child development; 
in understanding and working with parents, families, 
and communities services; and in goal-setting, decision- 
making and time management. I continue to be a 
member of the provincial organization for Family 
Studies teachers. 

The advice I would offer to those wishing to build a 
career path in education is to: 

• assume a high profile in the school; 

• serve on board committees; 

• start early in charting a courses and qualifying 
that course; 

• take advantage of leadership opportunities 
provincial and local levels; 

• be active in professional development initiative 

• take risks, accept challenges; 

• take the opportunity to move into new positions 
moving every four or five years. 

Barbara MacDougall, Assistant Principal, Alex Mu 
Elementary School, Calgary Public School Bo« 
Calgary, Alberta. 

As Assistant Principal, I am a member of the 
ministrative team and often chair staff meetings 
work closely with the volunteer coordinator (who cc 
dinates 65-70 parent volunteers), am staff advison 
the student council, and teach health (approximai 
60% of my time) providing release time for grade o 
two, four, and six teachers. I also work closely with 
school resource teacher in coordinating and conduct! 
School Resource Group meetings. The purpose of I 
group is to identify and implement strategies to mr 
the individual needs of special needs students. (T! 
includes academic, emotional and behavioral needs), 
act as principal whenever the principal is absent fnr 
the school. 

I have a Bachelor of Science (Home Economics! 
Bachelor of Education, and a Master of Scier 
(Educational Psychology/Counselling) degree. 

Professional association positions I have he 
which have helped prepare me for my current positit 
include president, Calgary Branch of Alberta Hoi' 
Economics Association; Alberta director for Canadil 
Home Economics Association; and president of the 
berta Home Economics Association. I have always I 
longed to the local, provincial, national and inten 
tional home economics associations, as they provid( 
valuable support network as well as providing exc 
lent information to keep up-dated professionally, 
have met, and can claim as friends some wonderl 
women whom I would never have met otherwise. 

Teaching required organizational skills to pla 
organize and implement lessons in the classroom, b 
more importantly, relationship skills are essential 
relating well to students and colleagues. These ski 
are also essential for an administrator. 

Home economics teachers should consid 
administrative positions as part of their career pat 
and should, early in their career, identify a mentor, 
mentors in administrative positions, from whom th< 
can seek advice on an ongoing basis. • • • 

160 ILLINOIS TEACHER, March/April, 1990 


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Volume XXXIII, No. 5 
May/June, 1990 


Foreword, Mildred B. Griggs 161 

Bases for Curriculum Decisions in Home Economics: From Questions to 

Lived Practice, Francine H. Hultgren 162 

Home Economics Curriculum Review: A Local School District's Approach, 

Robert A. Reineke and M. Ann Irvine 167 

The "Real" Home Economics Curriculum, Edna Page Anderson and Marlene F. Brands 172 

The Critical Perspective: A Challenge for Home Economics Teachers, 

Donna Kowalczyk, Nora Neels, and Marge Sholl 174 

Teaching to 'Open Fences', Mary Ann Block 178 

The Effects of Competitive Awards on Self-Esteem, Karen DeBord 181 

External Networking: The Untapped Resource, Laurie A. Stenberg and Jack Elliot 185 

Caring.. A Permanent Possession for Teaching: A Phenomena Shared Through Story, 

Marian White-Hood 188 

Managing Experiences with Children in High School Parenting/Child 

Development Classes, Verna Hildebrand and Rebecca Pena Hines 191 

Lifestyle Diseases: Equal Risk for Men and Women, Rose J. Davis 194 

Index for Volume XXXIII 197 

Illinois Teacher of Home Economics 

ISSN 0739-1 48X 

A publication of the Division of Home Economics Education, 

Department of Vocational and Technical Education, 

College of Education, University of Illinois, 

Champaign, Illinois 61820 

Illinois Teacher Staff 

Mildred Griggs, Professor and Editor 

Norma Huls, Office Manager 

June Chambliss, Technical Director 

Sally Rousey, Graduate Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate 

Linda Simpson, Graduate Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate 

Other Home Economics Education Division Staff and Graduate Students 
Catherine Burnham, Graduate Assistant and Ed.D. Candidate 
Vida U. Revilla, Graduate Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate 
Alison Vincent, Graduate Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate 

Volume XXXIII, No. 5, May /June, 1990. Published five times 
each academic year. Subscriptions $15.00 per year. Foreign, in- 
cluding Canada, $18.00 per year. Special $10.00 per year 
($12.00 Foreign) for undergraduate and graduate students when 
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from outside the U.S. must be payable through a U.S. bank. 


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Telephone: 217/244-0820 



With this issue of Illinois Teacher we conclude our volume on "Critical and 
Reflective Questioning of our Understanding of Home Economics/' however, we 
hope to continue including articles on this important topic in future issues. We 
need to be critical and reflective about our understanding, motives and practice as 
home economists. 

The articles in this issue of Illinois Teacher contain many ideas that will cause 
us to question, think critically about and reflect on curriculum, teacher 
expectations and learner potential. We hope they will inspire you in the coming 

Best wishes for a healthy, happy, safe summer. We look forward to receiving 
your renewal (see extra cover) and your order for back issues and other materials. 

The Editor 


Illinois Teacher 

Theme 1990-91 
Home Economists as Leaders in the Workplace and the Community 

The education and the mission to which home economists are committed make 
us viable candidates for a variety of leadership roles in our workplace (schools, 
Cooperative Extension, public agencies, business, etc.) and in our communities. We 
need to lead in efforts to promote, enhance, and sustain the educational, social, 
emotional, physical and economic development of youth and adults. 

Your leadership efforts in all areas that affect family life will be the focus of 
the 1990-91 volume of Illinois Teacher and we invite you to write about what you 
are doing and why, what you have accomplished, and what you have learned as a 
result of your efforts to enhance the quality of life for families and individuals by 
doing such things as working to improve environmental conditions, schools, the 
workplace, the economy, the media, governmental agencies, etc. Knowing about 
your good work will give us increased pride in our profession and be an incentive to 
others who will replicate your activities. 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 161 

Bases for Curriculum Decisions in Home 
Economics: From Questions to Lived Practice 

Francine H. Hultgren 
Associate Professor 
Home Economics Education 
University of Maryland 
College Park, MD 

I teach a course for beginning Home Economics Edu- 
cation majors which bears the same title as the first 
part of this article title. I have conceptualized the 
course around five practical problems which serve to 
guide our inquiry together as we examine bases for cur- 
riculum decisions. As I reflect upon what this course 
has taught me from my preparation for teaching it, as 
well as from my interaction with students in this class, 
I am also mindful of how my experiences with teach- 
ers in various state curriculum projects — including our 
new Maryland Conceptual Guide Framework (1989) — 
have served as sources of grounding for the practical 
problems we address in this course. On the one hand, I 
am working with persons who are at the formative 
stages of their thinking about home economics and cur- 
riculum, while on the other hand I am engaged with 
teachers who have well established beliefs and prac- 
tices regarding their views of home economics and cur- 
riculum. The contrast between these different realms 
of experience is healthy for me as a teacher educator 
in my attempt to reflect and take a critical look at 
what should be taught in home economics, why it 
should be taught, and what should be the processes 
used in our knowing and teaching? I have organized 
this article around the five practical problems ad- 
dressed in the course I have mentioned. My responses 
to these questions are not to be seen as prescriptions, 
but rather as pointing to possibilities that have been 
made visible as we have struggled to articulate the 
bases for curriculum decisions in home economics. I in- 
vite you the reader to struggle with these questions as 
you make choices and act on your curriculum concerns. 

What Interpretations Should Be Given To The Way In 
Which Home Economics Has Been Historically Con- 

Gadamer (1975) says, "where we have a written 
tradition, we are not just told an individual thing, but 
a past humanity itself becomes present to us, in its gen- 

uine relation to the world" (p. 352). What this calls to 
mind is the significance of seeing curriculum as a social 
construction or what might be termed a cultural view 
of curriculum. The tendency is to view curriculum fore- 
most in a conceptual manner. Grundy (1987) develops a 
pointed analogy to contrast these distinctions. She 
suggests that a conceptual view of curriculum corre- 
sponds to a draftsperson's approach to housing design, 
where the interest is in the elements or parameters 
within which it is possible to design the house, in 
order that a set of plans will be developed which will 
guide the actions of the builders of the house. In con- 
trast, she suggests that in a cultural view of housing, 
the concern would be more with the houses in which 
people already live, their reasons for living in such 
houses, and what the house might be like should they 
wish to move into another. A cultural view of curricu- 
lum, then, is more concerned with the experiences peo- 
ple have as a consequence of the existence of the cur- 
riculum or actions and interactions in certain situa- 
tions, rather than with the elements which make up 
the curriculum or which exist apart from human inter- 
action, as is the focus of the conceptual view. Both di- 
mensions are needed of course, but what this analogy 
reminds us of is that seldom do we start from scratch in 
curriculum matters, and that far too often we abstract 
the curriculum from persons and historical dimensions 
in which it is rooted. 

Returning to my class again, as we hear voices 
from the past through decade reviews of the Journal of 
Home Economics, I am constantly called to enter 
different relations to the world through these 
multiple bearers of meaning. The temptation is to 
want to view these earlier interpretations of home 
economics and the world from our present perspectives, 
failing to enter another era in the context of what 
brought people to action at that point in time. If we 
are able to step back in time we can be drawn more 
closely to understand what stands behind our present 
relation with the world and begin to recognize the 
traditions from which we come. To the newcomers in 
the field (the pre-service teachers) this confrontation 
with the history of home economics always brings an 
element of surprise as they see evidence of attention to 
concerns which they thought were reserved for our 
present time in history. Their surprise frequently turns 
to dismay when they also begin to recognize how the 
learning from our past has often been neglected in our 

162 ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 

approach to the present and our concerns about the fu- 
ture. They have the opportunity of seeing prior views 
of home economics in relation to a view of home eco- 
nomics that is emerging for them, without having to 
"undo" prior beliefs and conceptions. 

As I work with teachers already in the field, I am 
appreciative of the time difference we have for this 
kind of reflection — and of Grundy's (1987) concern 
about how little opportunity there is for teachers to 
come in contact with ideas that have the potential to 
transform their work as opposed to ideas which 
simply enhance or extend it. An article I frequently 
have teachers read is one by Ruth Thomas (1986) 
"Alternative Views of Home Economics: Implications 
for K-12 Home Economics Curriculum," wherein East's 
(1980) four models of home economics are examined 
(Education for Women, Manual Training, Application 
of Science, and Household Management) along with 
two others (Family Development and Intervention). 
Just to read this article and identify where one's views 
of curriculum and practices relate, would be a matter of 
merely enhancing or extending one's present views. 
But to raise questions about what the consequences are 
for such views begins to point the way to seeing gaps in 
how we communicate about what we do, as well as to 
see the missing links in our concern about family as the 
focus of our curriculum thinking. In a very real sense 
we begin to participate in the stories and scenes 
created by earlier voices in our history. Through that 
participation, we also come to tell our own stories as 
we look at paths we have followed and paths we 
intend to follow. 

A starting point for curriculum decisions, then, is a 
process of living out the stories we tell ourselves 
(Connelly & Clandinen, 1988) as we have heard or ex- 
perienced them passed on in our history, in order to 
make meaning of and critically reflect on our experi- 
ence. The more we understand ourselves and our tradi- 
tions and can articulate the reasons why we are what 
we are and do what we do, the more meaningful and 
defensible our curriculum will be. In a sense, curriculum 
begins to be viewed in narrative terms, an overall life 
study. A "thinking back" so that we might "think be- 
yond." There is no better way to study curriculum than 
to study ourselves and what has gone into our curricu- 
lum thinking. 

What Should Be The Substantive Content Of Home 
Economics Programs And How Should It Be Orga- 

It has been over ten years now since Brown and 
Paolucci (1979) introduced the conception of home eco- 
nomics as a critical science and the consequent articu- 
lation of home economics curriculum from a practical 
problem orientation (Brown, 1979). As I have worked 

to understand this perspective and have been engaged 
in dialogue about its merits in relation to other per- 
spectives, I must be explicit in my endorsement of this 
view as the most intellectually and morally defensi- 
ble position we can hold for home economics and our 
concern about the family. The underlying rationale for 
this choice is the belief that we need to regain control 
of our rapidly changing technological society and re- 
store the person dimension to the forefront of our 
thinking as we prepare persons for reasoned reflection 
in response to the competing interests of family in a 
complex and diverse society. The aim of secondary 
home economics from this perspective is to develop in- 
terdependent and responsible individuals capable of 
engaging in critical thought and the formative pro- 
cesses of family and society — all in the interest of a 
free and democratic society (Hultgren & Wilkosz, 
1986). We ourselves as teachers can no longer accept 
the world "as is" nor can our students. Focusing our at- 
tention on "what to do questions" brings about a con- 
scious awareness of the knowledge needed for making 
the kinds of judgments called for in order to act in ways 
to improve the individual's, the family's and soci- 
ety's position in the world. 

As various states have reconceptualized their cur- 
riculum from a practical problem perspective, we have 
a rich resource from which to draw in determining 
what the substantive content appears like in relation 
to practical problems (Fauske, 1986; Schwartz, 
Wilkosz, DeBoe, Grote & Torgerson, 1986; Hultgren, 
1986; Kister, 1986) as well as the curriculum documents 
from each of these respective states (Wisconsin, Min- 
nesota, Pennsylvania and Ohio). Since the practical 
problem orientation has been conceptualized and writ- 
ten about in each of these sources as well as others 
(Hultgren & Wilkosz, 1986), my focus here is to reflect 
on what I have experienced in working with this ap- 

In the conceptualization of home economics from a 
practical problem framework, the uniqueness of the 
knowledge base or curriculum content does not come 
from the uniqueness of the concepts, but rather from 
the formulation and ordering of the knowledge for the 
problems which are to be addressed. This requires a 
way of thinking that calls for a shake-up in our long 
held views of how we "do" curriculum. Rather than 
determining the "list" of concepts to address first, fol- 
lowed by pre-determined objectives, the primary focus 
is determining the practical problems to be addressed 
and then finding ways the practical problem can be 
explored, or exploring a concern upon which a practi- 
cal problem is derived. As teachers, that requires of us 
to be open to the possibilities of that exploration, 
along with our students and to give up some of the con- 
trol that here-to-fore has been implicit in our struc- 

ILUNOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 163 

hired outline of what content will be developed. This 
tends to create feelings of discomfort, but the discom- 
fort allows the confrontation of those long held values 
and practices of how we "do" curriculum. As Gadamer 
(1975) says, to ask a question is to recognize that one 
does not know, and that is the way to knowledge. To 
ask a question in the form of a practical problem means 
that we too will arrive at a response to that question 
as we are engaged in the examination of it. To raise 
the question, for example, of "what should be done 
about the confusion caused by conflicting information 
relating to food and nutrition" truly means that we 
will examine it along with our students, and in the 
process probably arrive at some new insights — or find 
a new practical problem to be addressed. We cannot 
just pose practical problems for our students, and then 
go back to a prior way of thinking that is organized 
around a different conceptualization. 

I am disappointed to find in the new document by 
AHEA, Home Economics Concepts: A Base for Curricu- 
lum Development (1989), a surface posturing of practi- 
cal problems but then returning to concepts as a base for 
curriculum development, by offering a long list of con- 
cepts for each content area. Although the document of- 
fers a comparison of three approaches to be "applied" 
to the concepts (Concepts and Generalizations, Compe- 
tency Based, and Practical Problem) it is misleading to 
think we choose different approaches to curriculum by 
format concerns. The curriculum framework from 
which one operates reflects a particular value orien- 
tation; the assumptions of a practical problem orienta- 
tion are very different from the other two. Maybe the 
most positive outcome of the AHEA document will be 
to encourage us to examine the underlying differences 
in assumptions to these three approaches. The dy- 
namic quality of the practical problem approach 
might be revealed as we recognize that predetermined 
lists of concepts or competencies, or for that matter, 
practical problems, are a basic contradiction to its in- 
tent. How, then, do we move beyond the technical 
mindset of the predetermined lists for our content? The 
next question approaches that concern. 

What Should Be Done Regarding Conditions In Soci- 
ety And Their Impact On Family? 

Historically, we have sought to address societal 
conditions in home economics as is evidenced by our re- 
formist orientation (Vincenti, 1982) and by our "add- 
on" approach to curriculum (in recent times, e.g., units 
on child abuse, teenage pregnancy, drug education, eat- 
ing disorders, stress management, etc.). But as we have 
gone about our adding on, we have tended to get caught 
up in the "how-to-correct" syndrome without fully ex- 
amining the extent of the concern, because we have 
rushed in too quickly in our attempts to "fix" the prob- 

lem. Changing the focus of our questioning from a 
"how-to" orientation to a "what should be done about" 
one, opens the way for the reasoned deliberation 
called for in a practical problem focus. I have found 
the Discrepancy Analysis used in the Minnesota cur- 
riculum (1984) to be of particular value here. The 
framework includes clearly differentiated ends (such 
as rootedness, self-identity, significant ideals and be- 
ing pro-active) considered desirable. It is assumed 
that human problems exist when such human goals are 
not accomplished, i.e., when the existing human con- 
dition is contrary to the valued end — there is a gap be- 
tween "what is" and "what should be." In working 
through the discrepancy analysis the posing of a prac- 
tical problem becomes one that is derived rather than 
prescribed — not a static list to choose from, but rather 
a dynamic formation in relation to a specific context. 

We don't have to look too far to find conditions in 
society that affect family well being: lack of adequate 
child care facilities, environmental pollution, drug 
abuse, increased stress related illness, out of control 
crime, lack of affordable housing, enduring racism, 
gender inequities, homelessness, increased adolescent 
pregnancies, child/spouse abuse, and the list could go 
on. The tendency all too often is to address these con- 
cerns in the realm of how-to solutions (so ready is the 
technical response). If we bring these concerns to a dif- 
ferent plane, we begin to ask different kinds of ques- 
tions in order to better understand what stands behind 
these concerns, as well as to find ways to change the 
conditions that are contributing to the problem. The 
questions we need to ask are ones that help expose the 
underlying values and interest involved that are re- 
lated to socio-political, cultural, and economic consid- 
erations. If we ask, what should be done about being 
critically aware of the social forces which affect fam- 
ily, our look at the problem of homelessness, for exam- 
ple, would begin to open the way to expose the lives of 
these persons — how they got where they are, institu- 
tional constraints or bureaucratic regulations and how 
they seem to conspire to annihilate a family. How 
does a family stay together under these conditions? 
What is life for people like on the streets or in shel- 
ters? If we look more deeply at the reason for persons 
being without homes, rather than giving unreflective 
explanations such as family breakdown, drugs, culture 
of poverty, underclass, teen pregnancies — we might be- 
gin to see that the most basic cause is lack of afford- 
able housing. We might also begin to see as Jonathan 
Kozol (1988) does in his study of homeless families in 
America that homelessness creates an underclass, or 
enhances an underclass that may already have ex- 
isted, wherein children are all assigned to an imper- 
iled way of life. Kozol (1988) forthrightly says, "we 
are creating a new institution of our own: the abstract 

164 ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 

institution of an airtight capsule ('underclass/ 
'behavioral problem,' 'nonadaptive' or 'psychotic') 
that will not allow their lives to touch our own" (p. 

When we begin to look more deeply at conditions 
in society through social reflection, we begin to restore 
an awareness of how the larger whole system operates 
in relation to family concerns, and can then more 
clearly consider which alternatives might best serve 
human needs. To help bring about this kind of exami- 
nation, we need a critical pedagogy that can help us 
look a more thoughtful and penetrating way, and as 
such we are concerned with the next question. 

What Should Be Done About The Selection Of Educa- 
tional Processes Consistent With Views Of Human Be- 
ings (Our Students)? 

This question, which on the surface seems such an 
obvious call to critical thinking, must be sorted out in 
relation to the intent of a practical problem orienta- 
tion. As Richard Paul (1989) looks at the meaning of 
critical thinking, he suggests that it can be used in ei- 
ther a weak sense or strong sense, depending on 
whether critical thinking is seen narrowly as a collec- 
tion of discrete intellectual skills, or more widely as a 
mental integration — as a synthesis of complex disposi- 
tions, values and skills necessary to being a fair- 
minded critical person. Critical thinking in the weak 
sense (as a set of micro logical skills extrinsic to the 
person) fosters technical reason (procedural knowl- 
edge) with no concern for the person in relation to the 
development of ethical values. Strong sense thinking, 
on the other hand (integrated macro logical skills in- 
trinsic to the person) generates emancipatory reason 
(principled thinking, with a concern for the develop- 
ment of a free, rational and autonomous mind and soci- 
ety). While various models of teaching critical 
thinking which focus on specific thinking skills such 
as the Bruner Concept Attainment Model, Taba 
Inductive Model, Synectics Creativity Model, Thelen 
Group Investigation Model or others are valuable for 
teaching important intellectual skills (weak sense), 
they are not enough in themselves if they are not seen 
in relation to the wider valued end of an ethical 
orientation as found in the strong sense of critical 
thinking. Ethical in this context means taking into 
account, when deciding or acting, the well-being of 
those involved and making a commitment to act in 
ways that are likely to contribute to those affected by 
decisions and their opportunity to take their own 
ethical action. The critical intent of such a 
perspective is that the purpose to which this way of 
thinking leads, is to empower persons by enabling 
them to expose distortions in understanding or 
oppressive conditions in society that favor some 

interests of groups or persons at the expense of others. 
It is this very interest in emancipatory ends that is 
the basis for the kind of thinking involved in 
addressing practical problems of the family through 
the systems of action. The point of orientation, then, is 
to develop the conceptual tools necessary (which the 
models of teaching and other intellectual skills can 
help accomplish) for examining the ideological be- 
liefs that exist in society due to dominating forces. 
This requires critique and interpretive understanding 
which expose the nature of distorted views and their 
source in our lives, as well as the ability to be self re- 
flective of our actions in every day life. 

If we consider everyday life as a foundation for our 
critical pedagogy as Shor (1987) does so revealingly, 
socio-political awareness is likely to evolve as we 
question social reality. Our view of the learner be- 
comes one of knowing subject in dialogue with the edu- 
cator, wherein Freire (1972) sees a process that persons 
undergo from being submerged in reality to a re-inser- 
tion in reality with critical awareness. The right of 
self-expression and world-expression, of creating and 
re-creating, of deciding and choosing and ultimately 
participating in society's historical process become 
the focus of our teaching — a cultural view as described 
in the beginning of this article rather than a concep- 
tual view. It is to that distinction I would like to re- 
turn again in relation to the final question. 

What Should Be Done About The Relation Between 
Knowledge And Practice? 

If we are concerned about the "people in the 
houses" (cultural view of curriculum) as opposed to the 
abstract design elements (conceptual view), it seems to 
me that we need to find ways that allow us to create 
spaces for such living in our teaching. The questions we 
might ask from a practical problem orientation can 
start us on the way, but we have to allow ourselves to 
go in the direction of where the questions lead. For the 
knowledge drawn from theory to be relevant for the 
student (and to us as teachers), it must confront our 
lived worlds. I am beginning to think less about what 
kinds of teaching strategies or critical thinking ap- 
proaches which allow that to happen and more about 
how we live our lives with students in teaching — our 
lived practice. We all too frequently get tied up in 
methods or conceptual approaches, and as a result, 
fail to experience what it is like to live in the ques- 
tions we ask. 

I have been quite taken with the metaphor of 
"dwelling" in my work with a study group, wherein a 
forthcoming book reflects our thinking around this 
metaphor (Berman, Hultgren, Lee, Rivkin, & Roder- 
ick, in press). The root meaning of dwelling is a linger- 
ing or abiding for awhile — to tarry — to delay. I think 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 165 

that in our teaching we have not allowed ourselves 
the kind of knowing that comes from such dwelling. 
When it comes to our use of a practical problem orien- 
tation, we need to get beyond the "visiting stage" and 
rather "move in" so that we might really "know the 
place for the first time" in the words of T.S. Eliot. A 
practical problem orientation is not merely a way to 
think about curriculum, but it is rather an orientation 
to the world — a way of being and living. As we work 
toward a deeper understanding of this orientation, two 
quotes are particularly significant to keep in mind to 
help us move from the questions to our lived practice: 

We can adopt any type of system we want- 
but the system isn't going to mean anything 
unless we educate people to think differently 
and to be different. (Bellah, Madsen, 
Sullivan, Swidler, & Tipton, 1985, p. 18 ) 

If we don't change ourselves, no matter what 
the curriculum looks like, nothing will change. 
And if we do change ourselves, what happens 
in our classrooms cannot stay the same. 
(Family, Work and Careers Middle School 
Module, 1987, p. 84 ) 


A conceptual guide framework for home economics in 
Maryland. (1989). Baltimore, MD: Maryland 
State Department of Education. 

Bellah, R. N., Madsen, R., Sullivan, W.M., Swidler, 
A., & Tipton, S.M. (1985). Habits of the heart. 
New York: Harper & Row. 

Berman, L., Hultgren, F., Lee, D., Rivkin, M., & Roder- 
ick, J. (In press). Voices of educators: Toward cur- 
riculum for being. New York: SUNY Press. 

Brown, M. (1979). A conceptual scheme and decision- 
rules for the selection and organization of home 
economics curriculum content. Madison, WI: Wis- 
consin Department of Public Instruction. 

Brown, M, & Paolucci, B. (1979). Home economics: A 
definition. Washington, D.C.: American Home 
Economics Association. 

Connelly, E.M., & Clandinin, D.J. (1988) . Teachers as 
curriculum planners. New York: Teachers College 

East, M. (1980). Home economics: Past, present and fu- 
ture. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. 

Family, work and careers middle school module. 
(1987). Madison, WI: Wisconsin Department of 
Public Instruction. 

Fauske, I. (1986). Family focus home economics design: 
Wisconsin curriculum project. In J. Laster and R. 

Dohner, (Eds.), Vocational home economics cur- 
riculum: State of the field (American Home Eco- 
nomics Association Teacher Education Yearbook 
6). Peoria, IL: Glencoe Publishing. 

Freire, P. (1972). Cultural action for freedom. Balti- 
more: Penguin. 

Gadamer, H-G. (1975). Truth and method. New York: 

Grundy, S . (1987) . Curriculum: Product or praxis . New 
York: The Falmer 

Home economics concepts: A base for curriculum devel- 
opment. Alexandria, VA: American Home Eco- 
nomics Association. 

Hultgren, F. (1986). Value reasoning design: The Penn- 
sylvania State University curriculum project. In J. 
Laster and R. Dohner (Eds.), Vocational home eco- 
nomics curriculum: State of the field (American 
Home Economics Association Teacher Education 
Yearbook 6). Peoria, IL: Glencoe Publishing. 

Hultgren, F., & Wilkosz, J. (1986). Human goals and 
critical realities: A practical problem framework 
for developing home economics curriculum. Journal 
of Vocational Home Economics Education, 4(2), 

Kister, J, (1986). Practical action curriculum (PAC) de- 
sign: Ohio curriculum project. In J. Laster and R. 
Dohner (Eds), Vocational home economics cur- 
riculum: State of the field (American Home Eco- 
nomics Association Teacher Education Yearbook 
6). Peoria, IL: Glencoe Publishing . 

Kozol, J. (1988). Rachel and her children: Homeless 
families in America. New York: Fawcett 

Minnesota secondary vocational home economics cur- 
riculum model. (1984) St. Paul, MN: Minnesota 
Department of Education. 

Ohio vocational consumer /homemaking curriculum 
guide: Practical action. (1983). Columbus, OH: 
Ohio State Department of Education. 

Paul, R., Binker, A.J. A., Martin,D. Vetrano, C, & 
Kreklau, H. (1989). Critical thinking handbook: 
6th-9th grades. Rohnert Park, CA: Center for Crit- 
ical Thinking and Moral Critique, Sonoma State 

Pennsylvania State University value reasoning cur- 
riculum. (1980). University Park, PA: The Penn- 
sylvania State University. 

Schwartz, D.J., Wilkosz, J., DeBoe, J., Grote, A., & 
Torgerson, R. (1986). Problem posing curriculum 
model: Minnesota curriculum project. In J. Laster 
and R. Dohner (Eds.3, Vocational home economics 
curriculum: State of the field (American Home 
Economics Association Yearbook 6). Peoria, IL: 
Glencoe Publishing. 

(Continued on page 196.) 

166 ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 

Home Economics Curriculum Review: 
A Local School District's Approach 

Robert A. Reineke 
M. Ann Irvine 
Lincoln Public Schools 
Lincoln, NE 

Robert A. Reineke 

M. Ann Irvine 


James Coleman (1987) in his article, "Families 
and Schools," chronicles the changing completion of 
the family over the past several centuries, especially 
the past 200 years. Coleman (1987) contrasts the "on- 
the-job" training in household and farming activities 
that characterized education for children throughout 
most of history, with the very recent phenomenon of 
the public school as the primary education institution. 
He describes the shift in the locus of education as a 
consequence of a dramatic reduction in the number of 
men in agriculture since 1800, and, the more recent 
phenomenon of the declining number of women "in the 
home." Coleman (1987) goes on to say, "...schools, to 
be effective, must change as families change, must be 
adjusted to the conditions of the institution they 
complement" (p. 35). 

The phenomenon Coleman (1987) describes in his 
article is clearly relevant to the study of home 
economics curriculum and serves as introduction to this 
article. The connection between Coleman's (1987) 
article and curriculum review becomes apparent from 
examination of the philosophy and rationale that 
underlie home economics education. As Smith (1988) 
states, home economics is "the only curriculum that 
focuses on the family and prepares students for family 
and home living" (p. 181). 

A basic premise for this article is that the purpose 

of home economics education is to prepare people for 

the work of the family. Consequently, as the work of 

the family changes, so does the focus of home eco- 

! nomics education. Eight years before Coleman (1987) 

talked about the work of the family and his notion of 
"social capital," Brown and Paolucci (1979), outlined 
a definition of home economics that stressed a pro- 
active rather than a reactive role for individuals and 
families in terms of developing family members and 
the family unit itself. In that article, a mission for 
home economics was offered that was to: 

"enable families, both as individual units and 
generally as a social institution, to build and 
maintain systems of action which lead 1) to 
maturing in individual self-formation and 2) 
to enlightened cooperative participation in 
the critique and formulation of social goals 
and means for accomplishing them" (p. 23). 

The positions taken by writers such as Coleman (1987), 
Brown and Paolucci (1979) suggest both a need and a 
focus for home economics curriculum review in local 
school districts. This article describes one possible 
approach that local education agencies might use for 
curriculum review. 

In discussing the selection of content for home eco- 
nomics education as part of a national project to recon- 
ceptualize home economics curriculum at the sec- 
ondary level, Smith (1988) lists three content selec- 
tion issues or approaches: task analysis, teaching the 
basics and critical thinking. After discussing some 
limitations with each of these approaches, Smith 
(1988) concludes that: "... a major factor in 
determination of the home economics curriculum is the 
teacher" (p. 184). 

Brown (1980) has also addressed the question: 
"What is Home Economics Education?. She describes 
a dialectic process to defining and knowing: "As a 
mode of inquiry it [dialectic] is concerned with open 
and critical examination of the interconnections of 
ideas. To use dialectic as the mode of inquiring into 
the conceptual meaning of home economics education, 
we are using a mentally active procedure rather than 
an inert one of merely taking in information" (p. 11). 
Sirotnik (1988), in introducing collaborative inquiry, 
emphasizes a similar process of "... self-study — of 
generating and acting upon knowledge, in context, by 
and for the people who use it" (p. 169). Finally, in 
considering the impact of dialectical reasoning on in- 
dividuals, Paul (1984) states: "It cultivates the mind 
and orients the person as technical reasoning cannot. 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 167 

It meets the needs of persons to bring harmony and 
order into their lives; to work out an amalgamation of 
ideas from various dimensions of experience; to 
achieve, in short, intellectual, emotional, and moral 
integrity" (p. 14). 

This article describes a local school district's ap- 
proach to curriculum review that centered on dialogue 
among a core group of teachers, but also included sig- 
nificant contributions from other segments of the pro- 
fession, school district and community. With the goal 
of curriculum review and renewal, practitioners were 
given multiple opportunities to actively grapple with 
fundamental questions and issues regarding home eco- 
nomics education in general as well as in the local set- 

The Curriculum Review Process 

During one academic year, six junior and senior 
high school economics teachers, along with the home 
economics administrator and a district evaluator, en- 
gaged in a home economics curriculum study. The ma- 
jor goal was to examine the relevance of the curriculum 
in light of current social and educational trends. The 
study was conducted as part of a board policy mandate 
that calls for periodic and systematic study, im- 
plementation and maintenance of curriculum. Steps for 
this nine year study cycle are outlined in a district 
study manual (Lincoln Public Schools, 1986). A brief 
overview of the process is shown in Figure 1. 

Figure 1 

Lincoln Public Schools 

SIM Cycle Task Chart 

Study, Implement, Maintain 




Step 1 — Study 

Step 2— Study 

Step 3— Study 

• Organize committee 

• Select/Develop Resources 

• Conduct a Field Study 

• Develop Initial Version of 

• Conduct Pilot 

• Develop/Revise 

Recommended Program 

• Develop Field Study Plan 

Recommended Program for 

• Conduct Needs Assessment 

• Develop Resource Purchase 


• Revise Initial Version of 

Plan for Field Study 

• Develop Implementation 

Recommended Program 


• Develop Long-Range Plan 

• Purchase Materials 

for the Study 

Step 4 — Implement 

• Conduct Staff Development 

• Evaluate/Revise Staff Development 

• Conduct Program Review Plan for First 
Year of Implementation 

• Develop Program Review Plan for 
Steps 5 and 7 


Step 5 — Implement 

• Conduct Staff Development Activities 

• Evaluate Staff Development 

• Conduct a Program Review 





• Maintain and 

• Maintain and 

• Maintain and 

• Conduct Future 

Support the Program 

Support the Program 

Support the Program 


• Review Program 

• Conduct the Program 

• Prepare Preliminary 

Review Plan for 


Plan Steps 1-3 

Step 7 

The immediate goal of the study was to establish 
program direction. Continuing work includes making 
curricular decisions, selecting instructional materials 

and pilot testing and implementing a new home eco- 
nomics curriculum 

168 ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 

A district wide review of an entire curriculum is an 
enormous task and can easily become an overwhelming 
one. Therefore, an essential beginning to a local study 
is to establish its boundaries. This was accomplished 
in the present case by grounding the curriculum review 
within a theoretical framework and establishing a 
timeline for completing the work. Within these 
boundaries four study components were identified and 
are discussed in following paragraphs. These compo- 
nents include: (1) establish a study committee and re- 
action committee including a program evaluation spe- 
cialist who provided technical support, (2) introduce 
research and devise a structure for content (we used 
practical perennial problems and family action sys- 
tems — see Figure 2), (3) gather viewpoints of various 
stakeholders through use of a survey and (4) critically 
examine survey results and consider their program im- 

Involve Staff 

The initial step in the curriculum review process 
was to involve staff. Ideally all staff would partici- 
pate in all aspects of a curriculum review. However 
several practical matters suggested a limit to the 
number of staff members involved and the extent of 
their participation. Considerations included the 
number of staff that could efficiently work together, 
the amount of funding to support staff release time, 
and concern that all home economics staff have some 
input into the curriculum review process and the re- 
sulting decisions. Given these factors, a study commit- 
tee consisting of six home economics teachers became 
the core study group. At the same time a reaction 
committee was formed that comprised 24 home eco- 
nomics teachers (the remaining home economics staff) 
along with other district personnel such as principals 
and counselors. In addition a program evaluator, a 
member of the local educational service unit, was in- 
volved during the entire study. The evaluator's pri- 
mary role was to provide technical support. The study 
committee met at least once a month during the 10 
month study, normally for an entire day. Release time 
was provided. The larger reaction committee met four 
times during the study period. Meetings were held at 
the end of the school day, and lasted about two hours. 
Critical activities for this group included reviewing 
and reacting to the study committee's work. Through- 
out the effort, members were kept informed of the 
progress of the study and received information from 
leaders in home economics. 

Establish a Framework 

Establishing a focus for study was particularly 
important to ensure efficient use of personnel resources 
and progress toward the study goals. As mentioned 

earlier, one boundary for the study was the introduc- 
tion of a conceptual framework. After a review of cur- 
rent research and recent home economic curriculum 
structures, such as those completed in Wisconsin 
(1987), Minnesota (1987), and Nebraska (1987), the 
study committee adopted a structure that emphasized 
practical perennial problems. The structure also im- 
proved the balance among objectives that paralleled 
Brown's (1985) systems of action, namely, technical, 
communicative and emancipative. For purposes of 
study, this structure was overlaid on seven general 
course areas identified as part of the local curriculum, 
namely, foods, housing, clothing, child development 
and parenting, consumer and resource management, self 
development and relationships (stages of life). The 
curriculum objectives matrix is shown at Figure 2. To 
some extent at least, the seven areas, representing 
traditional content offerings, helped establish a con- 
text for study. In addition, district criteria for curricu- 
lum, e.g., equity review, contributed to the study con- 

Gather Opinions 

One objective of the study was to invite various 
publics to share their ideas about home economics cur- 
riculum. Groups that participated included teachers, 
administrative staff, parents and students, and com- 
munity representatives. A survey was developed to 
reflect selected concepts from the conceptual structure 
developed as part of the study (Figure 2). Sample 
items for the survey include: 

Understand and provide social, emotional, 
physical, and psychological support of the 
family unit. 

Plan for and provide nutritious food for self 
and family throughout the life cycle. 

Develop personal communication skills to 
help resolve personal problems throughout 
the life cycle. 

Importantly, the process of survey development of- 
fered study group members a second opportunity to 
critically examine premises and assumptions concern- 
ing fundamental curriculum elements. Decisions about 
what items to retain or how items should be worded, 
were made only after substantial discussion of their 
meaning, of their fit to the general conceptual struc- 
ture, and of their potential merit to aid in understand- 
ing public and staff perceptions. 

Continued opportunity for study members to share 
beliefs, biases, and opinions concerning curriculum is- 
sues occurred when survey summary results were re- 

ILUNOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 169 

viewed and program implications considered. Discus- 
sions by both the study and reaction committees again 
involved dialogue, in this instance centering on ques- 

tions about similarities and differences in response 
patterns among the various groups that responded. 

What to do about family 

Figure 2 
Conceptual Structure 

Stages of Life 










Process Outcomes 

The process used to carry out this initial phase of 
a curriculum review, resulted in several outcomes. 
First, a set of guiding (7-12 program) objectives was 
developed upon which to base curricular decisions. 
These objectives were presented and approved by the 
board of education. Second, teachers were provided 
with information about curriculum objective priorities 
of students, parents, teachers, and community mem- 
bers. Most importantly, a deeper appreciation of is- 
sues and concepts related to curriculum concepts and 
content was gained by a core study committee as well 
as by the entire home economics staff. Survey devel- 
opment, review of results and consideration of impli- 
cations for curriculum served as a catalyst for critical 
review of and sharing feelings and beliefs about home 
economics issues, both content and process. In this 
sense, the review process reflected Brandt's reminder, 
as he emphasized, "... the futility of trying to sepa- 
rate content from the way it is taught (Brandt, 1988, p. 

Several factors contributed to the success of this 
review process. Importantly, all staff enjoyed the 
support of the board of education. Beyond being man- 
dated in board policy, the importance of periodic cur- 
riculum review is recognized in terms of release time 
for study participants (teachers), community partici- 
pation, and financial support. Finally, board interest 
in the study was reflected in regular reports required 
by the board to appraise members of progress toward 
study objectives. 

Involvement of a variety of staff added to the 
quality of the study and helped to insure the useful- 
ness of findings in the classroom. As suggested earlier, 

teacher involvement was critical. The availability 
of technical expertise such as provided by the pro- 
gram evaluator, allowed staff to focus their attention 
on matters of content. Participation by principals and 
counselors resulted in points of view being expressed 
that were different from teaching staff in important 
ways. Staff participation in the process can help 
them in subsequent curriculum implementation efforts 
as well as lead to a " . . .continuation of the reflective 
conversation" with oneself and among staff members 
(Schon, 1983, p. 136). 

Incorporating a conceptual structure as a basis for 
study proved beneficial. This structure, based on pub- 
lished research, served as a guide throughout the ini- 
tial study year. The availability of state department 
curriculum models (Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ne- 
braska), provided concrete examples of published cur- 
riculum standards. In addition, timely inservice op- 
portunities were provided by university and state de- 
partment personnel. 

Finally, however, the value of the process rested 
on the year-long reflection, dialogue, and critical 
thought that home economics teachers used to engage 
curriculum issues. Based on our experience, it may not 
be as important that the "Wisconsin" curriculum 
model be used as it is that some rationale and structure 
be established to reflect upon. It is not as crucial that 
a program evaluator be a part of a study as it is that 
some technical elements be addressed (e.g., sampling 
issues, study design, and statistical review of data). 
Similarly, curriculum review can be enhanced by solic- 
iting outside opinions from school staff, students, par- 
ents professional groups and others. In the author's 
opinions, it is critical that those who deliver the cur- 

170 ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 

riculum should play a key role in deciding its content 
and form. 

Concluding Statements 

The basic approach suggested by Brown (1980) in 
examining the philosophical bases for a home 
economics curriculum can be effectively applied at the 
local level. To do this it is necessary to establish the 
climate and conditions that, as Brown (1980) suggests, 
in quoting Goulet, allow staff to ". . .decree the 
obsolescence of cherished concepts" and that allow 
staff to "move beyond the past without repudiating it 
at new levels of critical consciousness" (p. 11). 

The curriculum review process described here in- 
corporated an active approach to curriculum explo- 
ration similar to that described by Brown in exploring 
the philosophical bases for home economics educa- 
tion. At the same time, the process emphasized the 
central role of teachers in educational decision mak- 
ing, as advocated by Smith (1988). 

Curriculum renewal can be approached as ". . .an 
equalitarian process which does not depend on the in- 
formation-giving of an expert" (Brown, 1980, p. 11). In 
this instance, a curriculum review was conducted 
through critical thinking by staff about current home 
economics structures and in consideration of opinions of 
various publics. Obtaining opinions about curriculum 
objectives by groups such as student and parents was 
important. However, the impact of their collective 
views was established as a result of informed review 
and reflection by professional staff. The importance 
of this reflective activity by teachers is well stated 
by Smith (1988); "It is the teacher's view of society; 
the teacher's understanding of learners and learning; 
the teacher's knowledge, skills, and beliefs about the 
relative merits of various learning activities that 
govern curriculum at the point of delivery" (p. 185). In 
a more general sense, Sirotnik (1988) echoes the view 
of Smith; "The 'teeth' of collaborative inquiry are the 
act of making it critical — that is, the act of people 
confronting descriptive information and the knowl- 
edge they derive from it with the values base driving 
their programmatic efforts" (p. 175). 

This article began with some comments about the 
work of the family and principles of inquiry in curricu- 
lum review. As suggested by Brown (1980) and 
Coleman (1987) school curriculums (particularly home 
economics) need to prepare students for changes in 
families and society. The authors believe that the 
process described here, based on a dialectic method of 
inquiry, can be effectively used to guide curriculum 
review and contribute to curriculum change in local 
school districts. We agree with Robinson (1988) who, 
in concluding her article about the application of 
research to education, writes: "If ever the climate 

exited for researchers and practitioners to apply 
measurement, evaluation, and research to the 
improvement of educational practice, it is now. All 
necessary conditions exist, including a receptive and 
sophisticated practitioner field. . ." (p. 65). 


Brandt, R. S. (1988). Conclusion: Conceptions of con- 
tent. In Content of the curriculum, 1988 ASCD 
Yearbook. Association for Supervision and Cur- 
riculum Development. 

Brown, M. M. (1986). Home economics: A practical or 
technical science. In Vocational home economics 
curriculum: State of the field. American Home 
Economics Association Yearbook. Peoria, IL: Ben- 
nett & McKnight Publishing Company. 

Brown, M. M. (1980). What is home economics educa- 
tion. Minneapolis, MN: Minnesota Research and 
Development Center for Vocational Education, 
University of Minnesota. 

Brown, M. M. (1985). Philosophical studies of home 
economics in the United States: Our practical in- 
tellectual heritage. East Lansing, MI: Michigan 
State University. 

Coleman, J. S. (1987). Families and schools. Educa- 
tional Researcher, August-September. 

Lincoln Public Schools. (1986). Program study, im- 
plementation and maintenance in the Lincoln Pub- 
lic Schools. Lincoln, NE: Instructional Services, 
Lincoln Public Schools, December. 

Minnesota Curriculum Services Center. (1987). Min- 
nesota secondary home economics curriculum guide. 
White Bear Lake, MN: Minnesota Curriculum 
Services Center. 

Nebraska Department of Education. (1987). Ne- 
braska base curriculum for family focused sec- 
ondary home economics programs, teacher hand- 
book. Center for Vocational Education, Kearney 
State College. 

Paul, R. W. (1984). Critical thinking: Fundamental 
to Education for a free society. Educational Lead- 
ership, September. 

Robinson, C. M. (1988). Improving education through 
the application of measurement and research: A 
practitioner's perspective. Applied Measurement 
in Education, V{\), 533-65. 

Schon, D. A. (1983). The reflective practitioner. New 
York: Basic Books, Inc. 

Sirotnik, K. A. (1988). The meaning and conduct of in- 
quiry in school-university partnership. In K. A. 
Sirotnik and J. I. Goodlad (Eds.), School-univer- 
sity partnership in action, concepts, cases and con- 
cerns. New York: Teachers College Press. 

(Continued on page 180.) 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 171 

The "Real" Home Economics Curriculum 

Edna Page Anderson, Professor and Dean 

Marlene F. Brands, Assistant Professor 
Consumer Affairs and Home Economics 

Education Department 
College of Home Economics 
South Dakota State University 
Billings, SD 

Edna Page Anderson 

Marlene F. Brands 

In Margery Williams' (1986) classic children's 
story, The Velveteen Rabbit, the Rabbit asks the 
experienced Skin Horse, "What is Real?" The Skin 
Horse explains to the Rabbit that Real is something 
that happens to you but not all at once. "You become. It 
takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen to 
people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who 
have to be carefully kept." The Rabbit wanted to be 
Real, but after hearing the explanation of the Skin 
Horse, wished it could happen without so much dis- 

Home economics teachers may feel much like the 
Rabbit as they make decisions about curriculum. Cer- 
tainly we often wish that the process of developing 
our curriculum was less complex. It is easy for us to 
identify with the Skin Horse because we know that 
the real curriculum requires struggling to make many 
difficult decisions. In the process of answering ques- 
tions about what to teach and how to teach, we con- 
front difficult choices and the need to understand the 
alternatives before us. 

So what is the "Real" home economics curriculum? 
In our experience it is the one that has been questioned 
and examined from all possible angles. Why am I 
teaching this? How does this benefit my students now 
and in the future? Is this relevant to problems and 
issues that families repeatedly confront? Do students 
and their families have more important concerns that 
I should be addressing? Can I explain to parents, ad- 
ministrators and others why this is important to 

teach? Screening curriculum is an on-going process that 
requires continuous questions. 

Some of our questions cannot be answered unless we 
begin with a base of understanding about who we are 
as home economics educators. We might call these the 
foundation or the underpinnings of curriculum deci- 
sions. There may be some differences in what each of 
us would identify as fundamentals. Our requirements 
would include these understandings. 

Understanding the mission and goals of home 
economics. What we teach and how we teach 
must lead to the fulfillment of the mission 
and goals. Since we are home economics 
teachers we are not free to teach whatever 
we wish. Curriculum cannot be a simple re- 
sponse to the most current or popular concern 
unless it contributes to our mission of enabling 
families to solve their own problems. 

Understanding the mission and goals of edu- 
cation . We are able to justify what we teach 
and how we teach as consistent with and rel- 
evant to the fulfillment of the mission and 
goals. Just because students or parents are in- 
terested in a particular subject or a particular 
teaching technique doesn't mean the subject or 
the technique is in their interest or is defensi- 
ble as learning. If we are to help students de- 
velop problem solving abilities, we must be 
able to justify both the processes we use to 
teach and the subject matter content we select. 

Understanding the developmental needs of 
learners and what is developmentally ap- 
propriate . Learners come to us at different in- 
tellectual, social and emotional stages of de- 
velopment. Part of the complexity of curricu- 
lum development is teaching at a level that 
is consistent with the learners' needs, one 
that is not overly difficult nor unchallenging. 

Understanding that we work and make our 
decision in context. The state, the community, 
the school and other agencies all have prior- 
ities and procedures within which we must 
negotiate our curriculum decisions. Curriculum 
decisions are not made in a vacuum, and we 
are often unable to have our curriculum ex- 
actly as we wish. On the other hand, our cur- 

172 ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 

riculum cannot be so flexible that we abandon 
our own goals to satisfy everyone else. Being 
able to meet our own requirements and those 
which others may impose requires working 
within the educational system to develop 
curriculum which satisfies our own criteria 
while simultaneously fulfilling requirements 
of others. 

Understanding that there are different 
a pproaches to curriculum and recognizing 
that the approaches influence what we teach 
and how we teach . There are different 
philosophies about teaching and each 
represents some difference in values and 

Approaches to Curriculum — Must We Be Exclusive in 
Our Choice? 

In the past five years, there has been considerable 
discussion about curriculum approaches and their dif- 
ferences. Much of the discussion was prompted by the 
appointment of a steering committee in 1985 to 
reconceptualize home economics content (or in some 
people's terms "rewrite the bird book"). The discussion 
has helped us recognize that different curriculum 
perspectives can co-exist (Journal of Vocational Home 
Economics Education. Fall, 1986). 

The Consumer Affairs and Home Economics Educa- 
tion faculty at South Dakota State University has pi- 
loted an eclectic model in which three major curricu- 
lum approaches—concepts and generalizations, compe- 
tency-based and practical problems—are used in com- 
bination. The role of each approach is described be- 

Concepts and Generalizations — to organize and com- 
municate content (cognitive) 

The concepts and generalizations framework 
serves as a useful tool for organizing the cognitive 
aspects of the curriculum. Developing a conceptual out- 
line of what is to be included in the curriculum at a 
particular level is a simple, familiar way of catego- 
rizing key ideas to be learned. Concepts written as 
nouns or noun phrases can be articulated to the stu- 
dents, parents, and others unfamiliar with a program 
to give an overview of a program. Generalizations can 
be used to review and summarize information learned, 
helping the learner to connect pieces of information to- 

Competency-Based — to organize and communicate ex- 
pectations (tasks, competencies, behaviors, learner 
outcomes, valued ends) 

The competency-based framework can be used to 
further develop a systematic approach to curriculum 
development and delivery. Utilizing a conceptual out- 
line that reflects the needs of students preparing for 
life in the 21st century, competencies (knowledge, 
skills, attitudes) (Blankenship & Moerchen, 1979) can 
be linked to the concept to describe broad duties and 
specific tasks a student must perform, perhaps master 
at a certain level of competence. At this stage of 
curriculum development, grammatical writing skills 
combined with Bloom's taxonomy enable even the 
novice curriculum writer to communicate content and 
outcome to students, administrators and others in- 
volved in the evaluation process. A simple verb 
phrase stating the cognitive, psychomotor or affective 
task (behavior) with the noun concept as the direct 
object will communicate what response is expected in 
terms of what is to be learned. A performance objec- 
tive stating the conditions under which the task is to 
be performed and the standard specifying the criteria 
for performance sets the stage for the process of learn- 

Practical Problems — to organize learning experiences 
and communicate the process of learning (critical 

The practical problems framework for curriculum 
development provides an ideal model for designing 
learning activities that focus on the process of learn- 
ing. A well-developed conceptual outline and compe- 
tence list can serve to identify major, recurring prob- 
lems faced by individuals and families over time and 
those problems students and their families experience 
in their everyday lives. Then it becomes the respon- 
sibility of the educator to provide a learning envi- 
ronment in which students are enabled to "compare 
claims or arguments, weigh evidence, and form conclu- 
sions based on sound reasons rather than authority, 
expediency, whimsy, tradition, or irrational compul- 
sion," (Brown & Paolucci, 1987). Students become 
seekers of information and open-minded to alterna- 
tive solutions. Educators become guides of the learn- 
ing process and facilitators of the learning experi- 
ence. This in itself provides for critical and creative 
thinking — there is no one right way to solve a prob- 
lem or even one right reason to solve a problem! This 
communicates that a program is in touch with the 
real world faced by students. 

The "Real" curriculum is the one that "becomes," 
the one that is subjected to questions, the one that is 
built on basic understandings, the one that is carefully 
thought about. In the "Real" curriculum, different ap- 
proaches are blended in relation to subject matter and 
goals. The "Real" curriculum has had lots of sharp 
(Continued on page 184.) 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 173 

The Critical Perspective: A Challenge for 
Home Economics Teachers 

Donna Kowalczyk 
Nora Neels 
Marge Sholl 

Home Economics Teachers 
Baltimore County Public Schools 

In the teaching of home economics content, there 
are perspectives or lenses through which a teacher 
may approach the curriculum. As a lens on a camera 
can greatly affect the picture we ultimately see, the 
perspective with which a teacher approaches the 
content might greatly affect how the students benefit 
from this teaching. In this article, three perspectives 
or lenses which can be used to teach home economics 
content will be explored. The perspectives included 
are the technical, cognitive processes, and critical. 

We feel all three of these perspectives have 
value in the teaching of home economics. They all 
address different aspects of the content. In addition, 
each perspective has its own focus and valued end. 
The three perspectives will be illustrated through 
lesson examples. 

As you read through these lesson examples we en- 
courage you to reflect on these questions: 

- What perspective or approach do I use most 

- What is the valued end of each perspective? 

- How does the role of teacher and student change 
in each perspective? 

- Which perspective(s) would I choose to teach 
home economics content? 

The first lesson example will focus on the techni- 
cal perspective or approach to teaching. In this 
approach students may glean information through 
memorization, lecture, reading, research, etc. In a 
lesson developed from a technical lens the emphasis 
is on the knowledge being taught. The students are 
seen as recipients of the knowledge and the teacher is 
viewed as the dispenser of this knowledge. A lesson 
based on this approach tends to be very sequential in 
that each piece of knowledge builds on what the 
students have previously learned and in turn would 

prepare students for what is to come. Routines are 
very important. Students may perform several of the 
same types of activities in most lessons day after day. 
Examples of some common routines are the reading of 
the lesson objectives, completion of drills and 
vocabulary, a review of homework and lesson 
activities. The success of a lesson using the technical 
approach is based on the ability of students to perform 
on some predetermined instrument (Eisner, 1985). 

A Technical Approach 

Objectives: The student will be able to 

- Explain how a microwave works. 

- Identify cooking utensils appropriate for mi- 
crowave cookery. 

- Define terms related to the use of a microwave 

- Explain why common mishaps occur when using 
the microwave oven. 

- Identify advantages and disadvantages of mi- 
crowave cookery. 

Instructional Activities 

1. As a drill students would identify in writing an 
unusual experience which they or a family mem- 
ber has had when using a microwave oven. 

2. The teacher would demonstrate the use of the mi- 
crowave through the preparation of various foods. 
Recipes would be selected that illustrate the basic 
skills necesary for microwave cookery. During the 
demonstration the following would be included: 

- how it works 

- power levels 

- standing time 

- memory 

- suitable utensils 

- probe 

- browning trays 

174 ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 

*. After viewing the demonstration and tasting the 
foods prepared, students would be asked to identify 
some advantages and disadvantages of microwave 

Summary Activities 

Students would be asked to share with another 
student their unususal experience identified at the be- 
ginning of the lesson. Together students would be 
asked to explain why these occurrences happened. 
These would be shared with the class and the class 
would be asked to determine if the explanations are 

The technical perspective is one we have all used 
through many times as we are planning and imple- 
menting curriculum. For many of us it was the way we 
were taught throughout our education. 

A different perspective that we could use to 
approach a lesson on microwave cookery is the 
cognitive process lens. With the cognitive process our 
focus changes from the teaching of factual information 
to the teaching of thinking skills and intellectual 
information. The emphasis of the cognitive process is 
on the process of learning to learn and problem-solving 
rather than content. The role of the teacher is to fos- 
ter student learning by raising higher level questions 
in order to probe students' thinking to higher levels. 
The goal when using the cognitive process approach to 
learning is to help students develop thinking skills 
that can be transfered, since the information may 
change but the skill will remain constant (Eisner, 

The model used here to illustrate the cognitive 
process approach to learning is the TABA Inductive 
Thinking Model (Joyce & Weil, 1980). 

A Cognitive Process Approach 

Phase I — Listing 

Students would be asked to think about the last 
time they used a microwave oven and to describe how 
they last used a microwave oven. Some examples of 
student responses are: 

- warmed up leftover pizza 

- thawed and heated a muffin for breakfast 

- made a microwave milkshake 

- made popcorn 

- warmed up leftovers for dinner 

- made instant oatmeal for breakfast 

- made a microwave pizza 

- made microwave chicken cacciatore 

- made stuffed green peppers for dinner 

- melted butter when I was making a cake 

- prepared a microwave sausage sandwich 

- warmed up dinner after softball practice 

- thawed chicken 

- cooked frozen peas 

- thawed orange juice 

Phase II — Grouping 

Students would be asked to group the uses for the 
microwave. Each group would have a commonality. 
Processing questions: 

- What uses for the microwave seem to go to- 

- What is the basis on which you are grouping 

- What do these uses have in common? 

- Do any of these uses belong in more than one 
group? Explain. 

- Are there any changes you wish to make? 

Phase III — Labeling 

Students would be asked to label each group with 
a title or label that would describe the common char- 
acteristics of all items in that group. 
Processing questions: 

- What label could be given to this group of uses? 

- Why is that label appropriate? 

- Why do all thes uses of the microwave belong 

- Explain how they are alike. 

Example groupings and labels: 

To Reheat Foods 

- warmed up leftover pizza 

- warmed up leftovers for dinner 

- warmed up dinner after softball practice 

- thawed and heated muffin for breakfast 

To Defrost Foods 

- thawed chicken 

- thawed and heated a muffin for breakfast 

- thawed orange juice 

- made a microwave pizza 

To Prepare Convenience Foods 

- prepared a microwave sausage sandwich 

- made microwave chicken cacciatore 

- made a microwave pizza 

- made a microwave milkshake 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 175 

- made instant oatmeal for breakfast 

To Prepare An Entire Recipe 

- made stuffed green peppers for dinner 

To Prepare Part of a Recipe 

- melted butter when I was making a cake 

Phase IV and V — Identifying Points and Explaining 

Processing questions: 

- As you look at the different general uses for the 
microwave, what use do you think the mi- 
crowave is used for most often? 

- When microwaves first came out, what general 
purpose were they used for most often? 

- How has this changed? 

- Why has this changed? 

- Has the use of the microwave increased in recent 

- What has happened to bring about an increased 
use of the microwave? 

- What impact has this had on families? 

Phase VI — Making Generalizations 

Students would be asked to make a generaliza- 
tion — a statement — to summarize what has been said 
about the use of the microwave. One possible general- 
ization is: "Because of emerging technology, the use of 
the microwave has changed in recent years." 

Phase VII — Predicting Consequences 

Processing questions: 

- Think about all the uses we have discussed for 
the microwave oven. What new products do you 
see being used now that were not used five years 

- What has happened to change this? 

- What new products and uses can you see for the 
microwave of the future? What impact will 
this have on families? 

Phase VII and IX — Explaining, Supporting and 
Verifying Predictions 


- What makes you say that? 

- Does anyone agree or disagree? 

- What would it take to make this happen? 

Many people view the cognitive process as critical 
thinking. Richard Paul (1984) sees it as critical 
thinking in the weak sense. Paul points out that 
although the cognitive process approach to learning 
may be based on problem solving and thinking skills, 
the problems may not be controversial in nature or 
have ethical dimensions. In order to be critical 
thinking in the strong sense, students must seek 
solutions to problems that require them to make value, 
moral, and ethical judgments. 

Using the cognitive process to teach students home 
economics content also helps them to learn thinking 
skills which they can apply to other situations in life. 
As emerging technology creates an information over- 
load, it is important that students are taught the 
thinking skills they will need to sort, question, inter- 
pret, process, and verify this abundance of informa- 

As students begin to master thinking skills, a logi- 
cal progression leads to the use of a critical perspec- 
tive - or critical thinking in the strong sense as defined 
by Richard Paul. (1984) This perspective encourages 
the use of rational thought in relation to problems 
that require students to make value, moral, and ethi- 
cal judgements. It could be used when the curriculum 
addresses controversial issues such as dieting, food 
additives and preservatives, irradiation of food, 
AIDS, day care, or genetic engineering. A critical 
perspective can also be used to examine those elements 
of our lives that we may take for granted but may need 
to be examined more closely. This could include fast 
food, microwavable foods, new technology for the 
home and family, and family roles and responsibili- 
ties. As these or other aspects of everyday life are ex- 
amined with a skeptical eye, one sometimes finds 
elements of manipulation of one segment of society 
over another. It is at this point that students would 
be encouraged to move on to positive societal action. 

A Critical Perspective Approach 

To begin, students would be asked to list all of the 
ways the microwave has been a help to families in 
the 1980s. Some responses might include: 

- Microwaves make cooking a meal easier for 
working parents. 

- Microwaves make it easy to safely defrost food 
in a hurry. 

- Children can use a microwave to cook. 

- Microwaves make it easy for everyone in a busy 
family to have a hot meal of their choice. 

Based on student responses and student interest, 
the teacher would focus the direction of the lesson on 

176 ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 

one thought and could later go back and explore other 
directions. For this lesson, we will focus on the use of 
the microwave to heat individual servings of food. To 
examine this more closely, students could be asked: 

- This use of the microwave is great for meeting 
the needs of the individual, but what about the 
needs of the family? 

- What is happening to the needs of the family? 

- What may families give up or sacrifice when 
they choose to use the microwave in this way? 

After having time to think about these questions, 
students might respond that families are giving up: 

- the sharing of food 

- the sharing of the events and feelings about the 

- time together 

- communication skills 

- money 

- good nutrition 

Students would then be given a chance to consider 
if this is, or could be, a problem for families. 
Questions such as "Who might see this trend as a 
problem?" and "Who might not?" could encourage 
students to look at the issues of individual mealtime 
vs. family mealtime from a variety of perspectives. 
Some perspectives might include those of a parent, a 
teenager, a nutritionist, and a marketing executive for 
microwavable foods. 

Another series of questions could be used to help 
the students to reflect on the use of the microwave for 
individual meal preparation. 

- What signs do you see in society, and in the gro- 
cery store in particular, that this trend toward 
individual meal preparation is probably going 
to continue? 

- Who benefits from the fact that families are 
eating more often as individuals rather than as 

- If the family is not the one who benefits, why do 
you think there is such a demand for single serv- 
ing microwave food? 

This lesson could conclude with students being 
asked a question that would encourage self-reflection 
and could lead to positive action. Some possibe ques- 
tions the teacher may pose are: If we recognize that 
the technology of the microwave oven impacts on the 
family both positively and negatively, what can you 
as a family member do to reduce the negative impact 
this technology has on families? What can you as a 
consumer do to reduce the negative impact this tech- 
nology can have on families? 

The critical perspective addresses areas of home 
economics content that the technical and cognitive 
processes perspectives do not. It allows us to explore 
family issues /problems that require value judgements 
as a part of the solutions. 


We hope that through your processing of the les- 
son examples that you have had time to reflect upon 
the questions we posed at the beginning of this article. 
To summarize we would like to refer back to those 

What perspective or approach do I use most often? 

We feel the technical perspective is used most 
often because it was the way most of us were taught 
and is where the emphasis has been in education for 
many years. 

What is the valued end of each perspective? 

How does the role of the teacher and student change in 
each perspective? 

The technical perspective's valued end is student 
recall of information. The role of the teacher is to 
dispense information. The role of the student is to be a 
somewhat passive receiver of information. Since this 
perspective takes less time, it can be helpful in 
providing students with the factual information 
which forms the knowledge base required for higher 
level thinking. 

The valued end for the cognitive process approach 
is students who are able to use learned thinking skills 
to solve problems and make decisions. The role of the 
teacher is to probe student thinking to higher levels 
through questioning. The students are active partici- 
pants in the learning/ thinking process. This perspec- 
tive equips students with thinking and problem solv- 
ing skills that can be transfered to other situations. 

The valued end of the critical perspective is stu- 
dents who are able to look at problems with a skepti- 
cal eye in order to raise value, ethical, and moral 
questions about an issue or problem and to seek a 
morally and ethically defensible solution. The role of 
the teacher is that of a facilitator who encourages 
students to consider all viewpoints, raises questions 
that challenge and probe student thinking, and brings 
the discussion to closure. The teacher also serves as a 
model to students so they can learn to question one an- 

(Continued on page 180.) 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 177 


Teaching to 'Open Fences' 

Mary Ann Block 
Associate Professor 
Department of Home Economics 
Tarleton (TX) State University 

There are many barriers which people erect to 
protect themselves from other people or from unknown 
dangers. What barriers do schools, pedagogy and 
teachers erect for themselves and for students? What 
help can we provide or extend to assist students in 
climbing or removing natural or man-made barriers. 

Barriers separate the wanted from the unwanted. 
For instance, by erecting a fence we can control posses- 
sions efficiently with a minimum of time, energy, and 
expense over the long-haul. If we were controlling 
cattle with a fence then the cattle are always easy for 
us to find, feed, count, check for disease and load for 
market. We do not need to roam the range to check on 

Cattle are a product which are objective and can 
be easily managed in a closed system or within fences. 
Closed systems as defined by Combs, Avila, and 
Purkey (1978), are always product oriented and thus 
the behavior of the entities must be managed. Schools 
and students are not products to be equated with cattle 
and confined in a closed system. 

What fences do we erect? 

The question should cause us to look more closely 
at our classrooms and teaching procedures to check to 
see if we are only producing products to be controlled. 

According to Combs et al. (1978) definition of 
closed systems, the use of fences in the classroom 
would likely create only products. The control by the 
teacher would be absolute. Students would become 
products to be processed toward for example the goal 
of passing a test (passage). Objective testing would be 
the means of deciding on the marketability of the 
product or student. 

At the present time, one educational researcher 
claims that school systems process students (Wise, 
1988). The fences surrounding the student are 
"standardized testing," "teacher proof curricula," 
"standardized teaching," and "management-by-the- 
numbers" (Wise, 1988). Combs, et al. (1978) would 
likely describe this as a closed system. 

Closed System 

One aspect of a closed system which can be consid- 
ered is the level of teaching. In order for students to be 
measured for the extent of their "fattening," their 
ability to periodically pass tests would require spe- 
cific facts or knowledge. If the student is to go 
"through the gate" to market, s/he must pass the test. 
The teacher must teach the facts and concepts for the 
test and the student must learn them. The behavior of 
the students, physically, emotionally, and cogni- 
tively will probably be rigidly controlled to ensure 
the attainment of the objectives set by the school or 

Suppose a student sees other possibilities for 
learning, wants to pursue other subjects, or has prob- 
lems that are never addressed by the course content, 
the school, or test objectives? Since the fences can be 
very high, students may make little progress in the 
meeting of their needs. 

Closed systems will probably create fear of au- 
thority at all levels and result in defensive systems 
established by all individuals. Quantities of time 
will have to be allotted to maintenance of the system. 

Open System 

The open system (Combs, et al., 1978), as opposed 
to the closed system, is problem centered. The fences 
are at least partially removed. The teacher is not the 
subject matter authoritarian nor does the teacher 
have to have all the answers. Responsibility for 
learning is shared by all. The teacher assists, helps, 
facilitates, directs, consults and gives direction to the 
class and course content. 

Closed systems like closed fences depend on some- 
one to take care of and manage all that is within. 
Open systems result in a different view of humans. In- 
stead of seeing people as not being able to direct them- 
selves, the open system views people as being able to 
think through problems and situations (Wise, 1978). 
When individuals are thus viewed the group becomes 
more equal and more democratic. 


What assistance can we give? 

If open systems allow more egalitarian concepts to 
emerge, then teaching will have to change in accor- 
dance with a more open feeling and free ideas. What 
help can we as teachers and schools provide or extent 
to assist students in climbing the fences in their school 

178 ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 

Facts can be like fences! Every subject matter has 
a set of facts and vocabulary that needs to be commit- 
ted to memory in order to understand and function 
within the subject area. If the acquisition of the facts 
is the end of instruction in the subject area then no real 
learning has taken place. Learning requires a linking 
of new information and facts to other learning (Jones, 

Unless a student can use the facts or data from nu- 
trition, for example, in the selection of everyday 
meals then the facts are useless. Those facts will be 
forgotten and in effect the nutrition facts are a fence 
which the student may not be able to hurdle. Informa- 
tion on nutrients unless organized to make meaningful 
meals and used to enrich life will be lost. 

Problem Solving 

In problem solving situations facts which must be 
reorganized and used to solve a problem in a new or 
creative way will help students learn the facts. They 
will know when to use the facts, how to use them, and 
where to use them (Marzana, Brandt, Hughes, Jones, 
Presseisen, Rankin, and Suhor, 1988). In using the 
facts students will be creating a framework for them- 
selves. Facts can be fences if they are isolated infor- 
mation. Problem solving creates situations in which 
facts are used. Therefore, the facts have relevance 
and purpose and are no longer just something to memo- 
rize. Teachers need to be willing to spend time with 
students in problem solving situations. This will re- 
quire more class time but learning can occur at a higher 
level of cognition. 

Thinking out loud or modeling of cognitive pro- 
cesses by the teacher will help students learn to place 
facts in a framework, and think with the facts. For 
example, in evaluating a meal for nutrient content, the 
teacher could think out loud about how to identify the 
nutrients in each item of the menu, the component 
parts of each item, and how to add up the many dif- 
ferent nutrients from all the items. When this is ac- 
complished the teacher then needs to go through the 
evaluation process of deciding if the mean was appro- 
priate considering the nutrients, possible monetary 
costs of the meal, time expended, and energy required. 

Another problem to be addressed concerns the ade- 
quacy of the meal. The food items in the mean need to 
become a part of the days food intake. Through the 
out loud thinking process, possible suggestions for fur- 
ther food choices can be made to complete the days re- 
quirement of nutrients for the individual. Choosing 
many alternatives which would fit with the given set 
of food items allows for the teaching of creativity. 

As the facts of nutrients are used in the "out loud" 
thinking process, students can hear how to use them. 
They have a model to follow in evaluating, problem 

solving, and then in creativity seeing (hearing) other 
possible choices and why those other choices were 
discarded. Creative thinkers are always searching 
for something that will work better, save time, en- 
ergy, and money (Marzana et al., 1988). Students want 
to be able to face the "real" world with skills and 
knowledge that is "real." Thinking through a food 
choice problem is real and can be creative. 

Inflexibility of teachers. 

Another fence students encounter is the inflexibil- 
ity of teachers. An example of some inflexibility is 
when things are always done the same way regardless 
of students' needs, interest, abilities or the passage of 
other related conditions. Other examples of inflexi- 
bility are the repeated use of certain assignments, or 
the use of a particular class organization because it 
fits with the teacher's personal routine, or using large 
quantities of seatwork to be completed before the end 
of each class period solely as a means to control stu- 
dents' behavior. In such situations students may not be 
free to learn beyond the prescribed curriculum. The 
fence of inflexibility and sameness may keep students 
from learning more than the requirements when no 
other opportunities are presented. 

We as teachers cannot live in the student's genera- 
tion. Each generation must find its own solutions and 
responses to current problems. As teachers we need to 
be able to help students learn to solve their problems. 
They also need to understand the causes of problems 
and not only see the symptoms and learn to deal with 
those causes. Teaching techniques need to be used 
which allow students freedom to identify and explore 
alternative strategies for solving their personal prob- 

Teachers may feel that they do not have all the 
answers in this type of classroom situation. No one can 
ever know all answers to all problems but we can be 
willing to help search for the answers with an open 
mind. Students do not expect us to have answers to ev- 
ery question but they would welcome our willingness to 
open the fence to help them search for meanings and 

Uncaring or Unconcerned Teacher 

A third and often crucial fence can be the uncaring 
or unconcerned teacher as described by Gross (1989). 
Students tend to have many problems; however, an 
unobservant teacher may not be aware of them. Clues 
are often given by students as to feelings or states of 
being. Some students may be chronically late, tired, or 
apparently daydreaming. The concerned teacher does 
not reprehend before ascertaining a reason for the be- 
havior. Nor, does the teacher cut short the student's 
explanation. Rather, they use probing questions or 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 179 

noncommittal answers to elicit enough information to 
understand the problem. Teachers need to be gen- 
uinely concerned and to take the time for some action 
to help students to remedy their problems. 

Showing interest in students may be such a little 
thing as always calling them by name. As the teacher 
calls on the student, note may be made of the person's 
demeanor or change of manner. After class, teachers 
can make passing comments that would let students 
know they have been noticed. 

The "open door" policy on office or desk hours al- 
lows the teacher to be available to students for ques- 
tions and concerns. Conveying this information to stu- 
dents, permits them the opportunity to choose when 
they will avail themselves of the service. 

The concerned teacher expects all students to do 
their best in the class. The teacher will systemati- 
cally teach and prod the students to excel at that 
level. They think positive and convey their positive 
thoughts and expectations to their students. 

Concerned teachers show empathy but do not al- 
low sympathy to rule any actions taken. Empathizing 
with students may help them to unload some psycho- 
logical burden and to know that someone actually 
knows and cares. Sympathizing may result in little 
positive action. 


Fences create closed systems which are relatively 
easy to manage. They also block or prevent significant 
use of data and hence may prevent learning. 

Only when fences are removed or gates are opened 
can true learning occur. Students are not objects to be 
managed but people who can think creatively, solve 
problems in ways another person may not have 
thought possible. By our actions as teachers we need 
to free students to learn all they are capable of learn- 
ing — to achieve more of their innate potential. 


Combs, A. W., Avila, D. S., & Purkey, W. E. (1978). 
Helping relationships. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 

Gross, J. L. (1989). A support group for pushouts: 
Helping motivated students who lack adult care. 
Kappa Delta Pi Record, 25,(1), 5-8. 

Jones, B. R, Palincsar, A. S., Ogle, D. S., & Carr, E. G. 
(Eds.). (1987). Strategic teaching and learning: 
Cognitive instruction in the content areas. 
Alexandria, VA: ASCD. 

Lindquist, M. M. (1987). Strategic teaching in math- 
ematics. In Jones, B. F., Palincsar, A. S., Ogle, D. 
S., & Carr, E. G. (Eds.) Strategic teaching and 

learning: Cognitive instruction in the content ar- 
eas. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. 

Marzana, R. J., Brandt, R. S., Hughes, C. S.., Jones, B. 
F., Presseisen, B. Z., Rankin, S. C, & Suhor, C. 
(1988). Dimensions of thinking: A framework for 
curriculum and instruction. Alexandria, VA: 

Wise, A. E. (1988). Legislated learning revisited. 
Phi Delta Kappan, 69(5), 328-333. • • • 

(Continued from page 171.) 

Smith, J. B. (1988). Reconceptualizing the home eco- 
nomics curriculum. In Content of the Curriculum, 
1988 ASCD yearbook. Association for Supervision 
and Curriculum Development. 

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. (1987). A 
guide to curriculum planning in home economics. 
Bulletin No. 7170, Madison, WI" Wisconsin De- 
partment of Public Instruction. • • • 

(Continued from page 177.) 

Which perspective(s) will you choose to teach home 
economics content and why? 

We feel that each of the perspectives has value in 
the teaching of home economics content. It is impor- 
tant that teachers are aware that there are a variety 
of perspectives from which to choose. A conscious de- 
cision should be made about which perspective to use 
based on the content being taught and the needs of the 

If the goal of home economics education is to pro- 
duce rational thinkers capable of finding solutions to 
the complex problems that families face today, then 
we must be committed to helping students attain the 
knowledge to achieve this goal. Only through a vari- 
ety of learning approaches and perspectives can this 
be achieved. We can not stop with the technical or 
even the cognitive process perspective. In a family 
centered home economics program a critical 
perspective is essential to help prepare students to 
face the complex problems of families. 


Eisner, E.W. (1985). The educational imagination (pp. 
61-85). New York: Macmillan. 

Joyce, B., & Weil, M. (1980). Models of teaching 
(pp.47-60). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. 

Paul, R.W. (1984). Critical thinking: Fundamental to 
education for a free society. Educational Leader- 
ship. • • • 

180 ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 

The Effects of Competitive Awards on 


Karen DeBord 

Extension Specialist 

Rural Child Care 

Virginia Polytechnic Institute 

and State University 
Blacksburg, VA 

Self-esteem and self-worth are terms familiar to 
most adults involved in programs dealing with youth 
and their educational development. Activities are 
planned to build esteem, leaders and teachers are 
trained to handle developmental stages, and parents 
are asked to support their children by attending spe- 
cial activities and events. 

Are parents and adult leaders of youth really 
aware of the impact of planned adolescent and teen 
activities? Is healthy emotional and social growth oc- 
curring by participation in community and club activi- 
ties? What happens to a child's self-esteem when the 
gained reinforcement is perceived to be negative? 
What differences in self-esteem are perceived when 
the participation is competitive? In order to answer 
some of these questions, this study was designed to 
assess the relationship between self-esteem and the 
awards received in 4-H club competitive events. 

One prominent researcher of the self system, Susan 
Harter (1983), explains self-esteem as an implied self- 
acceptance, self-respect, and feelings of self-worth. 
Harter (1983) indicates that rewards can serve several 
functions; providing information to the individual 
about which behaviors are important to perform, 
eliciting responses about the success or failure of 
particular behaviors and, in the motivational 
dimension, as incentives to participate in repeated 
behavior anticipating subsequent rewards. 

Since rewards are often used for reinforcement, one 
of the important considerations concerns the negative 
motivational effects of rewarding performance behav- 
iors. Lepper (1982) provided a research base for a va- 
riety of studies indicating that children who are ini- 
tially spontaneously interested in an activity may 
lose interest if they are rewarded for it. The reward 
tends to undermine motivation due in part to the exter- 
nal control and manipulation which the reward pre- 
sents. The expectation of external evaluation will re- 

duce children's interest in activities. A similar rever- 
sal has been observed when pressure is applied NOT 
to engage in a certain activity. Strong threats cause 
more deviation to the forbidden. 

The ultimate key to reward and reinforcement is to 
have a child be pleased or displeased with them- 
selves through self-evaluation in the absence of any 
external control. Until children are at a stage where 
they can take another's perspective and recognize the 
significance of other's evaluation, there is difficulty 
in shaping their self-evaluation. This is referred to as 
social comparison and emerges around the age of 8 
years. Early interests in social comparison is a concern 
with one's fair share and equal treatment (Ruble, Bog- 
giano, Feldman & Loebl, 1980). 

Youth Activities and Awards 

Our country has many organized youth clubs, asso- 
ciations and opportunities to interact and receive 
recognition. Team sports, scouting, 4-H, church, neigh- 
borhood peers, school clubs, band, choir and others 
provide some of the youth opportunities. The 4-H 
youth organization, which provides the sample for 
this study, is a youth organization which has many 
aspects and opportunities for reward. 

In reviewing the effect of reward on participation, 
one study (Hartley, 1983), found that the completion 
of a 4-H project and receiving a ribbon was directly as- 
sociated with re-enrollment. According to Risdon 
(1988), recognition is positive reinforcement of self- 
worth and is not necessarily synonymous with compe- 
tition. The type of competition that exists in the 4-H 
program is "soft competition" or low-pressure. Since 
participation is voluntary, there is an element of 
choice involved. It is not readily understood the rea- 
sons for choosing to participate, whether to win, to 
learn, to please a parent or leader or perhaps to please 

Competitive events are used as a means of bringing 
youth together for fellowship. Risdon (1989) cites 
Weber and MuCullers (1986) who explain that in one 
survey, only 1.8 percent of the youth surveyed 
mentioned winning awards or blue ribbons as an 
attractive feature of the 4-H program. 

The research question, in this mini study was: Is 
there a difference in self-esteem score before a compet- 
itive 4-H event and after receiving the earned award 
after the competition? 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 181 


Five rural counties in southwest Virginia were se- 
lected as a convenient sample. Focus was given to 4-H 
members who were planning to attend a District 
Contest Day. Extension agents agreed to assist by col- 
lecting data with these members. 


The Self-Perception Profile for Children (Harter, 
1985) was selected to measure self-esteem because it 
provides a differentiated picture of the self-concept 
by looking at adequacy in different domains. The sub- 
scales include Scholastic Competence, Social Accep- 
tance, Athletic Competence, Physical Appearance, Job 
Competence, Romantic Appeal, Conduct/Morality, 
Close Friendship and Global Self-Worth. The 
instrument also incorporates several facets of the 
child's self-esteem instead of giving only a singular 

The Harter Scale was administered three weeks 
prior to the 4-H contest competition. Just following 
competition, the scale was again administered to al- 
low a comparison of esteem before the competition and 
just following awards with notation given to the rib- 
bon award color. 


Differences in scores for global self-worth for the 
group were compared using a t-test, then emphasis was 
given to reviewing the ribbon color for a correlation of 
ribbon color and esteem subscales for individuals. 

Particular subtests of interest which were re- 
viewed for self-esteem correlations were social accep- 
tance, scholastic competence and job competence. 


Representatives from four counties submitted 16 
useable instruments before competition and after 
awards. Of the sixteen, thirteen received blue ribbons 
(highest award), two red ribbons and one white rib- 
bon. Group means and correlations were run to assess 
the strength of the relationship between before and 
after scores for the group. 


The results of the correlation emphasize the 
strength of the instrument and also seem to imply that 
overall self-esteem was not greatly affected by the 
competitive nature of the activity in which they had 
just taken part (self-worth before and self-worth after 
r=.84). The highest correlations were between the 
same traits over time. Correlations for before and after 
scores for appearance, athletic competence, job compe- 
tence, friendship and conduct/morality were .84, .66, 
.79, .82, and .50 respectively. 

Interestingly high correlations occur in several 
other domains differing between time one and time 
two. The scholastic competence factor rises slightly 
from .78 to .84, while the correlations between ath- 
letic, appearance and friendship factors drop as well 
as the overall self-worth factor. With an understand- 
ing that teens are in an identity stage at this age, 
often finding their identity in friends, through athlet- 
ics, vocations or appearance, these scores make sense. 

Harter (1983) in her standardization of the 
instrument noted a cluster in the intercorrelations 
between social acceptance, romantic appeal and 
physical appearance. This infers physical attraction 
may lead to greater acceptance or popularity among 
peers while scholastic competence is less related to 
acceptance, friendship and romantic appeal. It 
appears that school achievement is less relevant to 
popularity and peer status after adolescence, 
particularly. Harter (1983) also noted the highest 
correlations between self-worth and physical 
appearance and less relation between athletic 
competence and job competence. These findings are 
echoed through this mini study. Additionally, this 
study revealed a rather high correlation between self- 
worth and scholastic achievement, perhaps due to the 
nature of the competitive performance. 

The group means were similar for the two groups 
with the greatest decline noted between the conduct 
and friendship factors as well as overall self-worth. 
Overall self-worth before mean=15.1 and after mean = 
13.6. The means for conduct before was 15.9 and after 
was 14.4. And the mean for close friendship was af- 
fected with the mean of 17.5 before and 16.1 after com- 


These results do not seem to totally attribute lack 
of self-esteem to the competitive event of the 4-H con- 
test day. With the small sample, however, care 
should be taken in generalizing these results to the en- 
tire population of either 4-H or youth. A replication 
of this study under stricter standards is currently un- 
derway with a larger sample. 

Several factors could explain the rather level 
sense of self-esteem exhibited. First, the environment 
appeared relaxed on the contest day and the quality 
of support by leaders given to the youth during this 
event was evident. Members had made a choice not 
only to voluntarily enroll in 4-H, but further, to take 
part or not in this competitive activity. Choice raises 
motivation level and ultimately is relative to self-es- 

In suggesting techniques to enhance competitive 
youth events, using arguments based on studies by 
Dweck and Elliott (1983), there are several critical 

182 ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 

factors for consideration when planning an appropri- 
ate learning environments as opposed to competitive 
stressful events for youth. 

Whatever the motivation for participation, the 
combination of challenge, mastery and curiosity form 
the force which drives one towards a goal. The al- 
lowance of choice and a sense of self-control provide 
motivation for persistence with a task. 

A "learning" goal increases competence, to master 
new skills or understand something new, while a per- 
formance goal is a child's expected level of perfor- 
mance relative to their own standards. Performance 
goals deal with obtaining favorable judgements of 
one's competence and avoidance of unfavorable judge- 
ments. Errors indicate failures and teachers are 
viewed as judges and rewarders or punishers who em- 
phasize ability as opposed to effort (Dweck & Elliott, 
1983). Performance goals have been most common in 
competitive youth events. 

Goal expectancies change and are revised often as 
the time to perform draws closer. New concerns may 
undermine or strengthen the child's confidence. There 
is an ongoing revision of expectancies which is impor- 
tant in maintaining goals. 

How to incorporate non-competitive functions in pro- 

Teachers, leaders and parents have the vast re- 
sponsibility of planning effective learning activities 
for youth such that participants have a positive expe- 
rience which will motivate them to further learning 
and participation. Unknowingly, caring professionals 
and parents often set up stressful situations which de- 
feat the original purpose by simply not being aware of 
the developmental level of youngsters and the factors 
involved in motivation and goal setting. 

In suggesting techniques to enhance youth competi- 
tions through 4-H, vocational education contests, 
FHA, FFA, church, sports or any youth organization, 
it is important to remember that through the eyes of 
an adolescent or teen, certain situations appear to be 
directed and happening due to fate or bad luck. 
Competitive teenagers seem to identify themselves 
with their goals. Good performance means being a 
good person. Some competition is so stressful, dishon- 
esty and self-punishment may come into play, which 
are indications of low self-esteem. 

Central to positive self-esteem is the adult-child 
interaction. Interaction with children is a great de- 
terminant in the child's perceptions of learning. When 
an adult focuses on learning goals, the interaction is 
more as a resource and guide than a judge; thus stress- 
ing the process more than the outcome. Subsequent re- 
actions to errors will then be perceived as natural and 
useful rather than an indication of failure. Stress is 

placed on efforts and personal standards, not in com- 
parison to a group, while achievement is stimulated 
intrinsically, emphasizing the value of the effort, 
versus an extrinsic means of placing judgement on the 

Additionally, a supportive environment creates 
more acceptance of participation. Under nonthreaten- 
ing conditions, most youth function effectively. As the 
situation becomes more evaluative, highly anxious in- 
dividuals are overcome, feeling threatened rather 
than challenged. When negative outcomes are experi- 
enced, learned helplessness may be displayed. 

Choice plays a very important part throughout 
lives of people from early childhood through adult- 
hood. Personal choice allows people to feel in control. 
Through exercising choice and formulating a realistic 
task plan, participants may appropriately estimate 
the difficulty of unfamiliar tasks. Over estimation of 
ability tends to engage the child in overoptimism. 
Youth oriented towards a goal of avoiding looking bad 
may be particularly interested in making rapid deci- 
sions in order to devise ways to avoid negative judge- 
ments. Choosing tasks of intermediate difficulty has 
been seen as the center of achievement-producing mo- 
tivational tendencies. Standards set should be per- 
sonal and flexible rather than normative/ 

Promoting choice allows the student to persist 
after experiencing failures and increases performance 
in the long run. "A child afraid of failing never learns 
to learn" in a healthy manner which will intrinsi- 
cally motivate him/her throughout life (Rogers, 

The use of a self-reward system may be considered. 
Students may apply their own standards to self-re- 
ward through modeling. Selection of one's own perfor- 
mance level often leads an individual to set a more 
difficult set of standards than would have been set 
otherwise. This situation sets up a conflict between 
maximizing material rewards and the tendency to 
negatively evaluate worth or self-esteem if one opts to 
reward devalued behavior. More practically, com- 
petitors might have the opportunity to select their 
own award according to self-selected standards or stop 
by a ribbon table to receive narrative written reports 
of performance and self select the ribbon which was 
appropriate for performance level. Follow-up to a 
competitive event may occur when score sheets are 
mailed back to participants. A narrative form allows 
the member to internalize the comments and build on 
these for subsequent participation. 

Success is denned in terms of a continuing process of 
which errors are an integral part. Anxiety, interest 
and self-control all may be factors which individuals 
will define as areas of control in personal develop- 

ILUNOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 183 

ment. Failures cause anxiety and depress motivation. 
The initial stages of performance should be viewed as 
a learning process such that personal standards are 
set, and one challenges his or her own abilities rather 
than measuring performance in comparison to others. 
Once children are able to internalize their personal 
standards and performance goals, the basis for future 
actions and continuing motivation is formed. 

Summary of Recommendations 

A non-threatening environment should be ar- 
ranged to allow for maximally enjoyed learning 
to occur. 

Guidance should be given in planning and choos- 
ing activities to encourage realistic choices. 
Movement to an intrinsically rewarding system 
from an extrinsically rewarding system is not 
easy and will take time to enable the adults to 
react appropriately towards attempts. 
Words such as contest, competition and judges 
could be reselected. 

Reward efforts and mastery attempts, as opposed 
to group norms. 

The focus should be learning, not performance and 

Feedback may be provided narratively with pos- 
itive and constructive comments. 
Encouragement of collaborative projects (teams) 
versus competition would assist the child in 
upholding individual esteem. 
Consideration could be given to a self-reward sys- 


Coopersmith, S. (1967). The Antecedents of self-es- 
teem. San Francisco: Freeman. 

Dweck, C.S., & E. S. Elliott, (1983). Achievement mo- 
tivation. In E.M. Hetherington's Child Psychol- 
ogy (4th edition). Paul H. Mussen (Ed.). New 
York: John Wiley and Sons. 

Harter, S. (1983). Developmental perspectives on the 
self-system in E.M. Hetherington's Child Psy- 
chology, Paul H. Mussen (Ed.). New York: John 
Wiley and Sons, 

Hartley, R.S. (1983). Keeping 4-H members. Journal 
of Extension, 22 (4) 19-23. 

Lepper, M.R. (1982). Social control processes, attribu- 
tions of motivation and the internalization of so- 
cial values. In E.T. Higgins, D.N. Ruble & W.W. 
Hartup (Eds.). Social Cognition and Social Be- 
havior: Developmental Perspectives. Cambridge, 
England: Cambridge University Press. 

Maccoby, E.E., & Martin, J.A. (1983). Socialization in 
the context of the family: parent-child interac- 
tion. In E. M. Hetherington's Child Psychology 
(4th Edition). Paul H. Mussen (Ed.). New York: 
John Wiley and Sons, 

Risdon, P. (1989). Is the 4-H Program too 
Competitive? Virginia 4- H Information Letter, 
January 1989. 

Rogers, C. (1989). Class lecture. Virginia Tech: 

Ruble D., Boggiano A., Feldman N., & Loebl J. (1980). 
Developmental analysis of the role of social com- 
parison in self-evaluation. Developmental Psy- 
chology, 16, 105-11. 

Weber, J. A., & McCullers, J.C. (1986). The blue 
ribbon: An American way of life. Journal of 
Extension, 24 (4). p. 20-23. • • • 

(Continued from page 173.) 

edges taken off each question about how and what to 
teach. Each basic understanding and each curriculum 
approach has been carefully examined. Getting to the 
"Real" curriculum takes time, and there may be some 
discomfort as we struggle with the many questions or 
issues that arise. The reality is that we never get 
there because curriculum development is a continuous 
process. The Real curriculum is not a goal we reach and 
then relax. It is on-going and constantly alive with 
challenges to re-examine in relation to new knowledge 
and understandings. 


Blankenship, M. L., & Moerchen, B. D. (1979) Home 
economics education . Boston: Houghton Mifflin 
Co., p. 269. 

Brown, M., & Paolucci, B. (1987). Home economics: A 
definition, as quoted in Forecast, Novem- 
ber/December, p. 14. 

Journal of Vocational Home Economics Education, 
(Fall, 1986). Vol. 4, No. 2. 

Williams, M. (1986). The velveteen rabbit. NY: 
Crown Publishers. • • • 

184 ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 

External Networking: 
The Untapped Resource 

Laurie A. Stenberg 
Assistant Professor 
School of Home Economics 
University of Idaho 
Moscow, Idaho 


Jack Elliot 
Assistant Professor 
Department of Agricultural and 

Extension Education 
Michigan State University 
East Lansing, Michigan 

The importance of internal networking is conveyed 
throughout home economists' professional prepara- 
tion. Networking with peers, we are told, will help us 
land a job and empower future career growth. Most 
often the emphasis is on one's professional develop- 
ment. Experienced professionals assume, and purport 
to emerging professionals, that networking is internal. 
Internal networking with other home economists is en- 
couraged by means of professional organization mem- 
bership, conference attendance, and committee service, 
to name a few. 

Often throughout professional preparation, little, 
if any, value is placed on external networking. Home 
economists are seldom encouraged to affiliate or col- 
laborate with professionals from other disciplines, 
organizations, or agencies. Subtle messages received 
include, "I'm too busy,"or "it's too much of an effort." 
Consequently, while home economists function in a dy- 
namic, ever-changing society, many tend to network in 
an isolated vacuum. Why is this? Lack of awareness? 
Lack of priority due to an egocentric goal of one's pro- 
fessional growth? And more importantly, what is 
happening to the profession and emerging profession- 
als when its members instill such values and model 
such behavior? 

Clearly, the home economics profession needs to 
examine more closely the role of external networking 
in professional development and growth of the profes- 
sion. The objectives of this paper are to 1) present a 
conceptualization of external collegial networking, 
and 2) discuss benefits of external networks to the 

home economics profession, other professions, and in- 
dividuals, families and society. 

Conceptualizing A Collegial Model of External Net- 

A conceptualization of collegial external network- 
ing includes flexible and mutually interdependent 
patterns of training, information sharing, and support 
(Swoboda & Millar, 1986). Networking, in contrast to 
other types of professional development relationships 
(e.g. mentoring), is less intense and entails less com- 
mitment. Whereas mentoring and sponsoring relation- 
ships are selective, networking is available to all. 
While networking will not move an individual up the 
career ladder as quickly as will mentoring, it also car- 
ries fewer risks (Swoboda & Millar, 1986). Further- 
more, one of the greatest virtues of networking is the 
degree to which it fosters self-reliance. Rather than 
relying upon one individual, networking instills colle- 
gial interdependence. Having no one in particular, but 
many to depend upon in general, one is not tempted to 
become overly dependent. Networkers are perceived 
as professionals who achieve their goals on the 
strength of collegiality and proven merit. Pancrazio 
and Gray (1982) argue for "collegial networking": 
"The collegial model is based on affiliation rather 
than competitiveness or individualism. It incorpo- 
rates those very positive characteristics . . . such as 
nurturance, sharing, and helping" (p. 17). 

Effective external networks reach out beyond the 
safe confinement of one's own specialization to include 
the best people possible rather than the most homo- 
geneous grouping (Keele & DeLaMare-Schaefer, 
1984). This includes seeking out networkers who are of 
either gender, at the hub of various networks, and 
who represent both supportive peer groups and estab- 
lished leaders or power holders. Development of a 
network based on the strengths of individuals also 
improves the power of the network. Finally, a colle- 
gial model of external networking involves reciproc- 
ity: members of the network are involved in helping 
each other excel. 

Benefits of External Networking 

The benefits which can be realized through exter- 
nal networking are many. Certainly external networks 
benefit professional career development. Networks 
which include professionals from related disciplines, 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 185 

community individuals, and political leaders can 
enhance a professional's perspective, knowledge and 
resource base. The recommendations, advice, 
sponsoring, and moral support that one can gain 
through networking can enhance career development 
(Green, 1982). 

Rarely does one hear networking praised for what 
it can do in a wider context. Many fail to consider the 
more illusive, but vital long-term effects to the home 
economics profession, other professions, and society 
that networking will produce. 

Benefits to the Home Economics Profession 

External networking can contribute many benefits 
to the home economics profession. Two are especially 
important — growth of the profession, and improved, 
less stereotyped views of home economics. Today, un- 
like past decades, home economics functions in a com- 
plex and sophisticated society with highly special- 
ized fields of expertise. Professions, in order to survive 
and grow, must cooperate, coordinate, and communi- 
cate — internally and externally. We also live in an 
era when home economics is devalued by many due to 
a fixed, conventional perception of the profession. 
This stereotype restricts individuality as a profession 
and critical analyses of the profession's contributions. 
While efforts to dispel this stereotype must occur in- 
ternally, correction of this misconception can result 
form strategies such as external networking. Growth 
of the profession and improved, less stereotyped 
views of home economics can occur as external net- 
works increase and grow stronger. 

Simultaneously, other benefits that can occur em- 
anate from external networking include improvements 
in the quality of teaching and research. Networks can 
help us achieve integrated, interdisciplinary class of- 
ferings with larger class enrollments, and improved 
reputations, and increasingly sophisticated research 
supported by expanded funding sources. 


As financial resources for education continue to de- 
cline, more efficient ways of instruction must occur. 
One way to increase class size and decrease repetitive 
course offerings in post-secondary education is to cross- 
list courses for two or more majors. For example, home 
economics and agriculture education could offer joint 
courses ranging from youth leadership development to 
adult education. Students would benefit as broader 
perspectives and additional expertise were added. 
Furthermore, the establishment of a model for future 
cooperative efforts in the workforce would encourage 
continued interaction of professionals from various 
disciplines. Through insights gained from related dis- 

ciplines, the profession would benefit as these in- 
sights were put to constructive use. 

Secondary home economics programs could follow 
this model by networking and co-instructing classes 
with science, sociology, and psychology (Smith & 
Hausafus, 1988). A marriage and family class from a 
sociology (macro) and home economics (micro) perspec- 
tive or a food science class from a chemistry (science) 
and nutrition/food preparation (home economics) per- 
spective represent innovative ways to benefit from ex- 
ternal networking. Other outcomes also may result, 
such as full or partial credit as a general education re- 
quirement or increased reputation as an "academic 

Conversing with colleagues about teaching has 
the potential to improve pedagogy. Colleagues could 
be better teachers if they conversed with each other 
about teaching practices and reasons supporting those 
practices. Through discussion many educators have 
identified innovative answers to tough instructional 
dilemmas. The circumstances that make teaching 
troublesome are not unique to institutions, disciplines 
or individuals (Fox, 1983). Research by Gaff and 
Morstain (1978) revealed that few colleagues talk to 
each other about teaching. They surveyed 1,680 fac- 
ulty from 14 institutions, 42 percent said that they 
had never, during their entire career, talked with 
anyone in detail about teaching. Specifically, they 
had never experienced anyone who offered assistance 
in clarifying course objectives, devising effective 
student evaluation, or developing a more effective 
approach for certain kinds of students. Only 25 percent 
said that discussion on these topics had taken place 
more than once (Gaff & Morstain, 1978). Many 
different activities between colleagues provide the 
potential to improve teaching. External networking 
can result in informal, open-ended, loosely structured 
conversations between educators from all disciplines 
and serves as one strategy to address wide-ranging 
topics centered around effective teaching. 

Home economists may feel isolated in their work 
environment in instances where schools, extension of- 
fices, and businesses employ only one home economist. 
Low motivation, lack of support, and stagnant think- 
ing often result. External networking has the potential 
to alleviate some of these stresses and burnout 
feelings. Through cooperative efforts with other 
professionals from related disciplines, support, 
motivation and new ideas can be generated, some cases 
to an even greater extent than from fellow home 


Networking with professionals from related dis- 
ciplines can result in cross-disciplinary research ef- 

186 ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 

forts. For example, in the family relations area classi- 
cal and scholarly work has resulted from joint re- 
search efforts with psychology and sociology. Other 
areas of home economics can emulate this model to 
continue to achieve quality conceptualization and 
methodology within research. 

As the Hatch Act celebrates its 100th anniver- 
sary, home economics and agriculture remain concep- 
tually and historically linked, as well as based on 
commonalty of purpose (Hefferan, Heltsley & Davis, 
1987). Even though numerous situations exist where 
agriculture and home economics could jointly address 
the practical problems of people, few take advantage 
of this opportunity. The most probable reason is due to 
lack of external networking and cooperation. In real- 
ity, networking with agriculturists may open doors to 
cross-disciplinary research ranging from international 
trade and use of products, to technological advances 
affecting agriculture and individuals. 

Expanded funding sources and collaborative pro- 
posal writing are additional advantages. An analyses 
of current requests for proposals indicates a growing 
trend toward funding cross-disciplinary research. A 
recent request for proposals at a land grant institution 
reads, "higher priority will be given to cross-disci- 
plinary research; the council particularly encourages 
proposals in this category." Other major research 
foundations such as the Spencer, Kellogg and Rocke- 
feller Foundations have similar statements in their 
research grants competition announcements. Agricul- 
ture Experiment Stations continue to move in this di- 
rection as an increasing number of grants are funded in 
regional and cross-disciplinary research areas. While 
expanded funding attracts researchers, so, too, does 
the experience of learning from someone with exper- 
tise in areas which differ from one's own. 

Benefits to Other Professions 

It is human nature to take action if, ultimately, 
this action will benefit oneself. Yet, as a helping pro- 
fession whose mission is to serve individuals and fam- 
ilies, action such as external networking should be 
viewed altruistically as well as egocentrically. From 
an altruistic viewpoint, external networking can bene- 
fit other professions, particularly other applied dis- 
ciplines and helping professions. 

External networking can enlighten other profes- 
sions by relaying new knowledge of individuals and 
families. Consequently, each profession can more ade- 
quately addresses its problems. One of the most no- 
table examples of external networking has occurred 
between the medical profession and nutrition. Today 
the medical profession increasingly looks to registered 
dietitians as sources of accurate and current informa- 
tion concerning eating habits, nutrients, special diets, 

etc. This illustrates that while external networking 
can enhance one's own profession, it can also enhance 
other professions through shared knowledge which 
may impact some aspect of their work. 

This perspective may present a concern among 
home economists. Will the sharing of knowledge with 
other professions threaten the position of home eco- 
nomics as a unique discipline? Brown and Paolucci 
(1979) proposed a mission of home economics as 
enabling individuals and families to build and 
maintain systems of action which lead to self- 
formation and enlightened, cooperative participation 
in setting and attaining social goals (Brown & 
Paolucci, 1979). While other helping professions may 
have missions serving the family, home economics 
distinguishes itself from these professions by the 
nature and focus of problems with which it deals. The 
mission of home economics is unique. Unlike other 
professions, it deals with families' persistent 
practical problems in light of individual 
developmental changes, family history, and with 
concerns for self-formation. Networking with other 
professions can enable us to serve more adequately; it 
should not threaten the unique perspective which 
home economics offers. 

Benefits to Individuals, Families, and Society 

Perhaps the most important benefits of external 
networking are those which individuals, families, 
and society as a whole receive. Through cooperative 
efforts with professionals from related disciplines, an 
integrated, holistic approach is employed. The end 
result is more plausible solutions or alternatives 
which take into account the complexity of one's life, 
rather than an isolated, highly specialized approach 
with only one aspect in mind. Ultimately, a cross- 
disciplinary, integrated approach views issues and 
problems from a wider context which is more relevant 
to contemporary society. In addition, this approach is 
cost efficient as it can greatly reduce redundancy, and 
can be more successful due to a wider base of support 
and expertise. One such example is the integrated, 
cross-discipline approach which has recently been 
taken to treat individuals suffering from eating 
disorders. By addressing nutritional, psychological, 
self-image, and relationship issues as interrelated 
and have impact on one another, professionals can 
develop treatment which accounts for multiple 
aspects rather than just one. The end result is a 
treatment plan which is highly effective, because it 
addresses the complexity of this issue (Neuman & 
Halvorson, 1983). 

(Continued on page 190.) 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 187 


Caring...A Permanent Possession For Teaching: 
Phenomena Shared Through Story 

Marian White-Hood 

Vice Principal 

Benjamin Tasker Middle School 

Bowie, MD 

Great lessons are learned 

usually in simple and 

everyday ways... 

What I remember is the lesson 

of friendship... 
that is a permanent possession. 
- Pearl S. Buck* 

As I think about the power of lessons, I migrate to 
those more revealing "of me" — lessons for those en- 
trusted to me within the confines of my home eco- 
nomics classroom. These lessons are now stories for me 
to revisit and share. I recall my middle school stu- 
dents — the heart and lifeblood of my existence as 
home economics teacher. Our encounters and times to- 
gether... stories in living, loving, and caring, friend- 
ship, and being. These stories, I will never forget for 
they have become the plasma of my pedagogy. 

Following Nel Noddings' work, (1984) Caring: A 
Feminine Approach to Ethnics and Moral Education, I 
shall refer to the students that I teach as the "cared- 
for" and to myself as the "one-caring." As the one- 
caring, I am in tune with a number of themes that are 
embedded in my personal way of being for my students. 
I stand as mentor, friend, advocate, believer, giver, 
and receiver. Pedagogy flushes out my concerns for the 
age group and arouses my desires to create, stimulate, 
and intrigue their adolescent minds. 

The ones cared-for collectively present themselves 
to me through dress, language, tone, actions, emotions, 
and needs. They stand powerfully robust -- deeply 
committed to the adolescent world, full of answers to 
questions unasked, bound by youth mores, values, and 
beliefs. These students enter my world of caring — the 
classroom where lessons become stories and friendship 
becomes a major theme. 

Drawing from stories, I share a few prefatory 
notes. First, my philosophy of teaching is one that 

Pearl S. Buck. (1982). Cited in Susan Polis Schutz, A 
friend forever p. 59. Boulder, Colorado: Blue 
Mountain Press. 

nurtures reciprocity. Benefits are mutually yielded 
and enjoyed because all who enter the educative pro- 
cess commit to family notions of giving and receiving. I 
believe that we educate each other, developing and 
cultivating physical, intellectual, aesthetic, and 
moral faculties; show caring; provide opportunities to 
think, collaborate, and gain new knowledge; build ties 
and bonds of permanence; involve others in experience. 

Second, I view teaching and learning in middle 
school as a kind of co-inheritance. We, members of 
the classroom community inherit together, all that 
has come before us. Our blended experiences flow 
through a "sieve of relevance," concealing the learn- 
ing environment we cohabit. As we prepare the learn- 
ing environment for our work together, we neatly store 
the products of the sieve for future reflection and ac- 
tion. Further, relationships are suppliant within the 
teaching-learning environment. Always stretching, 
bending, pulling, blending, and bearing, interrelated 
strands provide a foundation for the lessons and stories 
that emerge within the classroom. 

Turning to my library of treasures — the stories 
that are most dear -- I am called to the story of 
Johnny. Just two years ago, Johnny was a struggling 
adolescent deeply rooted in those cared-for. I mar- 
veled at his desire to be one yet the same ~ robust, 
powerful, active, accepted, yet independent. Despite 
his tender nature, Johnny frantically sought the guise 
needed to belong to/with the group — ones cared-for. 
That is, interactions between Johnny and the one car- 
ing were always warm and friendly. Yet, with 
classmates Johnny found comfort with language, ac- 
tions, and feelings that were distant and often intimi- 

Once Johnny and his mom visited me after school. 
She told of her son's love for the class, offered her 
support, and volunteered to work with students in 
home economics. Johnny smiled a proud sort of way. 
Then we talked about activities that would motivate 
the other students, then focused on Johnny's wants, 
talents, and interests. 

Johnny loved to dance, although dancing was not 
one of his best points. He struggled to fit in with his 
peers. He didn't have the moves, the rhythm, the 
steps. Johnny loved to write, tell stories, and role 
play. His idol was Jim, one of the more popular fig- 
ures in the eight grade. Johnny tried to walk like Jim; 
pose like Jim; talk like Jim and even think like Jim. It 

188 ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 

is important to note that "Jim" ways were hard to mir- 
ror, but Johnny was determined to become his own idol 
and friend. 

The Johnny that only Johnny could be was more 
subdued. He was a warm, caring, inquisitive, trusting 
person. This "Johnny," mom and I both knew and 
loved. We cared about the other Johnny too, but re- 
alized that he was a misrepresentation of a fragile 

Johnny went to high school but returned to visit me 
to see if I was still the same, still in the little home 
economics classroom, still teaching the unit on family, 
friends, special people. As we talked, he shared 
things about his life, mom and sister, friends, and 
volunteer work. Johnny was a volunteer at the 
firehouse and loved it. 

After his visit, I felt great. Johnny had truly 
emerged! The caring person that I loved and admired 
had peeled back the layers of tenderness to share his 
deep respect for life and living. He followed his own 
personal dream — not Jim's and he was completely 

Then one day, while talking with a teacher, I 
learned that Johnny had lost both legs in an accident. 
The fire station had responded to an alarm. Johnny 
boarded the rear of the truck, his customary place. 
Trying to avoid a head on collision with a police car, 
the fire truck swayed and turned over. Johnny was 
pinned underneath it's back. 

As I struggled to get all of the information from my 
colleague, tears began to run down my cheek. They 
were salty, then bitter. I hung up the phone; searched 
for other numbers to call; then talked to students that 
knew Johnny. The story was confirmed and I was lost 
in a clammy place called my mind. A student 
handicapped! My mind went black... then, I thought: 
We've studied handicaps, disabilities, and depen- 
dence/interdependence. I taught my students about 
hardships using the flour dolls, egg babies, and other 
hands-on gimmicks. We talked about diversity, dif- 
ference, and acceptance. We discussed caring, personal 
crisis situations. So what was left? 

I continued to ponder. Wait a minute! There was 
something very special about Johnny's class. I recalled 
some of the Future Homemakers of America projects 
that students generated — working with senior citi- 
zens, teaching preschoolers, helping the homeless and 
those in need. We collected can goods and clothing, 
raised money for Children's Hospital, visited the 
sick. Students in the class walked hand-in-hand, 
side-by-side, together through fun and good times, 
personal concerns, and even my ups and downs. We 
j shared so much, learned from each other, and devel- 
oped new insights and inroads. But, was this enough? 
1 Would one of our seeds be able to survive? Were the 

lessons complete? Would they stand the test of time, 
place, circumstance, relatedness, and living? Would 
the class story be a success ~ a pathbreaker for others 
to follow? 

Something devastating had occurred. Something 
traumatic had happened to one of them, one of us. 
Would learnings in home economics prevail? Would I 
be able to face Johnny? His mom? The accident was 
three weeks old, now. Why hadn't I been called? 
Had my relationship with Johnny changed? 

As questions continued in my mind, I began to sink 
into an endless pit of anxiety, frustration, and wonder. 
I picked up the phone and called the hospital. The 
operator connected me to Johnny's room. The phone 
rang and rang and rang. I thought, perhaps he's in x- 
ray or something. Then I quickly hung the phone up. 

Days went by and I was finally able to share the 
story with friends. I thought about calling Johnny 
again, but couldn't. I placed the number carefully be- 
tween two pages of Nel Noddings (1984) book. I didn't 
want to face dialing those seven cold digits (of pain 
and anger.) 

The next day, I returned to Nel's (1984) book. My 
eyes found words of comfort. It was alright to cry, to be 
concerned, to care. Teachers had feelings, too. In the 
pedagogical classroom, there is a tremendous amount 
of disclosure. The teacher and student mirror love and 
respect for each other as they travel through the 
process called schooling together. Being authentic, 
trusting, telling, and seeing each other helps define 
the friendship and leads to self-efficacy and esteem. 

As the one-caring I was able to focus on my actions, 
my fears, my anger, my reluctance, my caring. There 
can be no detachment from my thoughts. Those cared- 
for are young individuals, persons, children who be- 
friend me. Every hour, class, time, experience, inter- 
action, lesson with those cared-for offers a small bit — 
a small seed of understanding and meaning. The times 
we share contribute to our personal knowledge and 
appreciation of the human condition. The lesson we 
learn contribute to a story of caring and becomes a 
permanent possession for living. 

Johnny was only one of the individuals entering 
the classroom and a pedagogical friendship — a warm 
circle of love and respect. Often concerned about their 
images, independence, and the world around them, 
these adolescents seek refuge in each other, in signifi- 
cant others, in teachers they trust. They seek to voice 
a caring side — a side of compassion, connectedness, 
and interrelatedness. 

As one-caring I was left to make contact with 
Johnnys' family, with Johnny. I searched the phone 
directory, calling ten or twelve families. Finally, I 
reached Johnny's mom. Our conversation was quick, 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 189 

short, and distant. She promised to call back — the 
time was not yet right. 

What had helped to create the special kind of 
friendship between us? The understanding? The mo- 
ment? Had it been the lessons learned, the experience 
of co-inheritance, the back and forth reciprocity? 
Perhaps the supple relationships that became so pro- 
lific and sustaining? As I think about these questions, 
about Johnny, I am reminded of the birds that eventu- 
ally leave the nest. They leave with the insight, 
wisdom, love, and care that the one-caring bestows. 
They leave cared-for and this attitude, 
understanding, and knowledge prefaces the story they 
are bound to create. Only through caring are we able 
to say, "so long, but never good-bye" — for caring in the 
classroom becomes a permanent possession for each 


Buck, P. S. (1982). Cited in Susan Polis Schutz, A 

friend, forever. Boulder, Colorado: Blue Mountain 

Press, p. 59. 
Nodding, N. (1984). Caring: A feminine approach to 

ethics and moral education. Carrboro, NC: 

Barclay Publishing. • • • 

(Continued from page 187.) 


Networking, both internally and externally, is an 
essential, powerful strategy. However, a clear 
distinction must be made concerning internal and 
external networks. While internal networks 
primarily benefit individual professionals in their 
career growth, the impact of external networking goes 
far beyond individual professionals. Networks which 
reach out beyond the profession have the potential to 
enhance the profession as a whole, other professions, 
and, ultimately, society. 

Like many other professions, home economics has 
failed to adequately convey the message of external 
networking to emerging professionals. Perhaps mem- 
bers of the profession have failed to value and convey 
external networking because it was never modeled to 
them as novice professionals. Beliefs and behaviors 
are difficult to adopt when there are no role models. 
Yet, realizing this void in the profession's practice, 
there must now exist a deliberate effort to encourage 
and model external networking to emerging profes- 
sionals. One of the best times to disclose this empow- 
erment tactic is during professional preparation and 
socialization into the profession. By modeling exter- 

nal networking, and educating home economists on in- 
herent benefits, the home economics profession will 
dispel the current egocentric ideology and begin to 
reap the numerous benefits which external networking 
can yield. 


Brown, M., & Paolucci, B. (1979). Home economics: A 
definition. Washington, D.C.: The American 
Home Economics Association. 

Fox, D. (1983, Fall). Personal theories of teaching. 
Studies in Higher Education, 8, 151-163. 

Gaff, J. , & Morstain, B. (1978, Fall). Evaluating the 
outcomes. New Directions for Higher Education, 
24, 73-83. 

Green, M. F. (1982, Fall). A Washington perspective 
on women and networking: The power and the pit- 
falls. Journal of the National Association of 
Women Deans, Administrators, and Counselors, 
46, 17-21. 

Hefferan, C, Heltsley, M. E., & Davis, E. Y. (1987, 
Summer). Agricultural experiment station re- 
search in home economics celebrates 100th an- 
niversary. Journal of Home Economics, 79, 41-44. 

Keele, R. L., & DeLaMare-Schaefer, M. (1984, 
Spring). So what do you do now that you didn't 
have a mentor? Journal of the National Associa- 
tion of Women Deans, Administrators, and Coun- 
selors, 47, 36-40. 

Neuman, P. A., & Halvorson, P. A. (1983). Anorexia 
nervosa and bulimia: A handbook for counselors 
and therapists. New York: Van Nostrand Rein- 
hold Co., Inc. 

Pancrazio, S. B., & Gray, R. G. (1982, Spring). Net- 
working for professional women: A collegial 
model. Journal of the National Association of 
Women Deans. Administrators, and Counselors, 

Smith, F. M., & Hausafus, C. 0. (1988, September). 
Science and home economics: New partners in 
Iowa. Vocational Education Journal, 63, 20- 

Swoboda, M. J., & Millar, S. B. (1986, Fall). Net- 
working-mentoring: Career strategy of women in 
academic administration. Journal of the Na- 
tional Association of Women Deans, Administra- 
tors, and Counselors, 50, 8-12. • • • 

When %vas the Cast time your oum 
possibilities gave you goosipimptts? 

190 ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 

Managing Experiences with Children in High 
School Parenting/Child Development Classes 

Verna Hildebrand 

Professor of Family and Child Ecology 

College of Human Ecology 


Rebecca Pena Hines 

Assistant Director of Child Care Center 

University of Texas Medical Center-Houston 

Rebecca Pefia Hines — Verna Hildebrand 

The experience of being involved in a guided 
learning experience with a lively group of pre-kinder- 
garten children can help your high school youth gain 
needed and more realistic perspectives on the rigors 
and responsibilities of parenthood. As home economics 
teachers it is desirable to create opportunities to 
involve teen students with young children in order 
that the teens learn the behaviors and feelings one 
experiences in quality interactions with children. 
Such experiences with children can be appropriate in 
classes in foods and nutrition, in home management, in 
family relations, in parenting education, and in child 
caregiver training. 

The goals for students' guided learning experiences 
with children may range from teaching the students 
information and attitudes about children's develop- 
ment, to helping them learn to become child care as- 
sistants and better parents later on. (Sadly, the goals 
are for today rather than for later in life for those 
students who have had early pregnancies.) Goals 
may focus on what children like to eat and what they 
should eat. Or, goals can focus on learning about chil- 
dren's books, how to read stories to children, and many 
other things that future parents need to know. 

Where and how much experience the youth are 
given depends on the facilities available and the 
amount of time the teacher fits into the class sched- 
ule. The challenge for the teacher is to move ahead to 

figure out how to provide this one-to-one experience 
with children for the high school youth, rather than 
lamenting that there is no way to provide such first 
hand experience. 

Many details have to be worked out when a deci- 
sion is made to provide such a guided experience with 
children. Five major managerial processes are re- 
quired: Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Leading, and 
Monitoring (Hildebrand, 1990). Each process will be 
discussed briefly. 


Planning is done prior to action. Plans are made 
with pencil and pad in hand. There are many details 
to be written down and worked out before a group of 
high school students are ready to work with children. 
There are many particulars to understand. It is rec- 
ommended that literature on early childhood pro- 
grams be read before deciding just what type of pro- 
gram to develop. Detailed plans need to be made be- 
fore the idea is discussed with the school administra- 
tors. The plan may need action by the Board of Educa- 

Community people and members of the Board of 
Education, like most people across the country, are 
probably highly concerned about the teen problems of 
today. A plan for a course or courses to help youth gain 
a sense of the rigors and responsibilities of parenthood 
through learning about and helping care for children 
may be well received. To lay the groundwork for sup- 
port, start first by reviewing your plans with your own 
advisory committee. If you do not have an advisory 
committee — organize one. It can be a valuable asset. 

Advisory Committee. Carefully select the advi- 
sory committee members from people whom you know 
that are interested in your program. Even a small 
three-person committee can be invaluable for giving 
you feedback on your plans and for supporting those 
plans once they are operational. Think of people from 
business, labor, the media, cooperative extension 
home economics; or, home economics alumnae, a parent 
of a teen student, or a social worker. The community 
people who serve on an advisory committee for your 
department can help you gain the political clout to be 
persuasive with the administration and the Board of 
Education. Committee members can be prepared to 
speak up for your program if funding cuts are proposed 
that would severely curtail it. They often can help lo- 

ILUNOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 191 

cate cooperating programs outside the school if you 
can't have your own center. 

Some home economics teachers spearhead cooper- 
ation between the high school and the district's 
kindergartens, three- and four-year old programs, and 
before- and after-school programs. More and more 
districts are starting full-day kindergartens and four- 
year old programs, even programs for three-year-olds. 
On-going programs, already paid for and sponsored by 
the district, seem a fertile avenue to explore for 
providing teenagers some practical work with 
children. Be sure to explore the possibilities with 
parents, teachers, and principals before lamenting 
that the logistics would be impossible. Also realize 
that your leadership may have long-range payoffs. 
For example, after your classroom emphasis has 
moved on to another subject, the students can still 
volunteer to help in the early childhood programs, 
thus gaining valuable work experience and career 

The before- and after-school (latch-key) pro- 
grams for kindergartners and other early elementary 
children offer another avenue for the practical appli- 
cation of the child development information you wish 
your students to learn. The lunch room where young 
children eat may offer your students an opportunity to 
interact with children and to gain insights into chil- 
dren's eating habits. The playground offers still 
another opportunity to teach teens that appropriate 
motor activities are based on each child's level of 
development. In your community you may have family 
day care homes, libraries, recreation centers, and 
church schools groups where students could observe 
and work with children. 

You may have to create space for young children 
within your classrooms. It may require pushing back 
the worktables as Martha Caldwell did at Cimarron 
High School (see inset story). Or, you may be fortu- 
nate enough in your school to have a center especially 
designed for your students to work with children. 

Home Economics Teachers as Mentors 

A few pre-kindergarten age sons and 
daughters of the school's faculty entered the 
high school home economics classrooms where 
the work tables had been pushed back to make 
room for the children to play. Colorful books, 
just right for these three- and four-year-old 
children, were invitingly displayed. Minia- 
ture housekeeping equipment filled one corner 
while in an adjacent area blocks, puzzles, and 
small trucks were ready for the children. High 
school students eagerly awaited the children's 

arrival. The stated goal was to learn how to 
interact with young children. 

The above classroom sounds delightfully 
current and modern. However, in reality this 
scene occurred some four decades ago and was 
author Hildebrand's first introduction to early 
childhood eduction when she was a vocational 
home economics student in Cimarron, Kansas 
high school. Thanks to Martha Caldwell, the 
home economics teacher, the students received 
an opportunity to practice the basic concepts of 
interacting with young children that were the 
goals of the unit. Hildebrand went on to gradu- 
ate from Kansas State University in Home Eco- 
nomics. Her first position was that of home 
economics teacher. Her career has spanned four 
decades of teaching, research, and writing in 
child development and early childhood educa- 
tion, including 17 books. One of these books is 
designed especially for high school students. It 
is Parenting and Teaching Young Children, 
1990 third edition is now available from Glen- 

Rebecca Pena Hines graduated in Home 
Economics Education from Texas Tech Univer- 
sity. As a student assistant she helped Verna 
Hildebrand teach Spanish to the children at 
the Texas Tech Laboratory Kindergarten. 
Through Hildebrand's encouragement, after 
earning the BS degree, Hines immediately 
went into a MS degree program in child devel- 
opment and early childhood education at 
Washington State University. Since earning 
the MS, she has spent two decades as a 
teacher-trainer, Head Start teacher, child care 
director, and early childhood specialist in the 
Child Development Associate Program at 
Texas Southern University and in work with 
the National Academy of Early Childhood 
Program's center accreditation program. For 
many years she was one of only a very few Mex- 
ican-American early childhood specialist in 
the country. She is in high demand as a consul- 
tant for government and private agency pro- 

Each author's background shows where a 
home economics teacher made a significant dif- 
ference in the career path of a student. 

Licensing and Accreditation 

What they mean and how they differ, will be 
important considerations if you organize your own 
center, or if you are going to place students out in the 

192 ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 

community. These measures help designate quality 

Licensing is required for regular half- and full- 
day child care programs in most states. States usually 
require minimum standards in children's early child- 
hood programs. Licensing is typically administered in 
either a department of social services or a department 
of health. Check locally to learn whether a short two 
hour program organized on a short-term basis has to be 
licensed. Usually, longer-day programs, such as the 
vocational technical center programs that are opened 
on a regular full-day basis must be licensed. Laws 
specify requirements for space, personnel, teacher- 
child ratio, health procedures, and many other crite- 
ria when keeping children in centers for care and edu- 

Accreditation is a system designed by the Na- 
tional Association for the Education of Young Chil- 
dren for recognizing high-quality in many types of 
early childhood programs (Bredekamp, 1984). Ac- 
creditation is a voluntary program, and one that gives 
evidence of high quality to parents and the commu- 
nity. Accreditation gives a center's funding agency, 
staff and parents assurance that the operation and 
program of the center are of high-quality, rather than 
minimum quality that licensing assures. 


The organizing process comes after plans are made 
and approved. Organizing is the action part of making 
plans become realities. Herein you order and prepare 
the materials, equipment, supplies, and space needed. 
You make schedules for staff and children, you see 
that items needed to carry out the program are all 
available. You contact parents and enroll children. 


You may be the lead teacher for the children as 
well as the classroom teacher for your high school 
students. Or, you may secure another trained adult to 
carry out the program with the children, while you 
carry out the program for the students. Students will 
be taught to act as staff members and their future em- 
ployability may be a major goal. Preparing the stu- 
dents for their roles with the children and giving 
them feedback will become the responsibility of the 
students' classroom teacher with the cooperation of 
the teacher working with the children's group where 
the students participate. Close staff communication is 
essential to balance the needs of the high school stu- 
dents and the needs of children. A laboratory program 
can be very desirable from the children's point of view 
because they will have more willing hands to help 
and guide them. However, these inexperienced hands 
need lots of tutoring and modeling to assure parents 

that their children are receiving a high-quality 
early childhood experience along with being part of 
educational programs for high schoolers. 


Your skills in leadership will be challenged as 
you coordinate a program for getting youth together 
with young children. You will be innovative as you 
think of new approaches and try new things. You will 
be reaching out to others in your school and community 
to make these connections between children and high 
schoolers happen. You will deal with the profes- 
sional early childhood community who are working 
with accreditation and standards, with teacher train- 
ing, and with parents. The contact with others inter- 
ested in young children will enrich your courses for 
students. Participation in your professional associa- 
tions gives you contact with leaders and helps im- 
prove your programs. 


Every teacher who manages a program must serve 
an evaluation function, keeping the planned objectives 
in mind as the performance takes place. You will con- 
stantly monitor — keeping alert for the high quality 
program that is your goal for both children and youth. 
Plaudits follow successes, of course. However, when 
deviations arise, you will make corrections immedi- 
ately to restore the high standards you've set for your 
program. Giving appropriate growth-producing feed- 
back is essential to all — the students, the parents, the 
children, and the administration. Your knowledge of 
child development and the appropriate practice of 
early childhood education will be utilized to give 
feedback to your client groups (Hildebrand, 1990). 

In conclusion, you, as a home economics teacher, 
can use your managerial skills to ensure a rich envi- 
ronment of practice for youth as they make contact 
with young children and learn to understand children 
and serve their needs. Your efforts will help 
strengthen future families. You have a golden oppor- 
tunity for influencing the future generations through 
this work. 


Hildebrand, V. (1990). Managment of child devel- 
opment centers. New York: Macmillan. p. 41-55. 

Bredekamp, S. Ed. (1984). Accreditation criteria and 
procedures of the National Academy of Early 
Childhood Programs. Washington, DC: National 
Association for the Education of Young Children. 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 193 

Lifestyle Diseases: Equal Risk for 
Men and Women? 

Rose J. Davis 

Extension Food and Nutrition Specialist 
and Professor of Home Economics 
Clemson University Extension Service 
Pee Dee Research and Education Center 
Florence, SC 

Adults are concerned about health and the 
prevention of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, 
cancer, and stroke. Many questions are being asked. 
Much has been written about the health statistics for 
men, but are women at equal risk for the chronic 
diseases? What does lifestyle have to do with the 
chronic diseases? Can we prevent these diseases by 
changing our lifestyle? 

What is a lifestyle disease? In this author's 
opinion, a lifestyle disease would be an illness that is 
influenced, at least partially, by behaviors over 
which you have some control. Behaviors such as food 
choices, alcohol consumption, smoking, and physical 
activity would fit into this category. 

The three leading causes of death in the United 
States, heart disease, cancer, and stroke, have been 
related to some of these behaviors. Listed below are 
some statistics that are associated with these 
diseases (DHHS, 1988). 

Heart Disease: 

- Declined, but it is still the leading cause of death in 
the U.S. 

- 1.25 million heart attacks occur each year; two- 
thirds of these in men. 

- Approximately 540,000 people die of heart attacks 
each year; 250,000 are women. 

- Cost: $49 billion annually in direct health care costs 
and lost productivity. 


- More than 475,000 people died of cancer in 1987. 

- During the same period, 900,000 new cases were 

- Cost: $72 billion annually for direct health care 
costs, lost productivity, and premature mortality. 


- Occurs in 500,000 people per year. 

- 150,000 deaths each year. 

- Approximately 2 million Americans are living 
with stroke related disabilities. 

- Cost: More than $11 billion annually. 

Note that for these three diseases the cost exceeds 
$132 billion each year. 

What about women? What is their disease 
profile? What health habits are influencing these 

Heart Disease: 

Because research on coronary heart disease has 
concentrated on men, less is known about the causes, 
prevention techniques and treatment in women. As an 
example, in the well known study that revealed that 
an aspirin every other day can reduce the risk of heart 
attack by almost one-half, the research was done on 
22,000 physicians — all male (University of 
California, 1988). 

Dr. William Castelli, Director of the 
Framingham Heart Study has stated, "Because of the 
myth that women don't get heart attacks, doctors may 
not take women's signs and symptoms seriously" 
(University of California, 1988, p. 1). Yet, the 
statistics tell us that 250,000 women die each year 
from heart attacks. 

Other interesting data concerning women and 
heart disease are that the death rate in African 
American women is 19 percent higher than white 
American women. Women who have gone through 
menopause have twice the risk of heart attack as 
women who have not entered menopause (Sandmaier, 

The prognosis for women after a heart attack is 
bleaker than for men. Women have a higher death 
rate within the first month after a heart attack and 
have a greater chance of a second heart attack 
(University of California, 1988). 

High blood cholesterol is a major risk factor for 
heart disease. Over one-third of American women 
have cholesterol levels that put them at risk for this 
disease. For example, women ages 45-74 who have 
cholesterol levels over 240 mg/dl are more than twice 
as likely to develop heart disease as women with 
levels below 200 mg/dl (Sandmaier, 1987). 

194 ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 

Obesity or being overweight in women is 
associated with heart disease, stroke, and other 
heart related deaths. As a woman gets older, she 
requires fewer calories to maintain her weight. For 
example, after menopause, a woman's calorie 
requirement is 15 percent lower than when she was in 
college, yet her nutrient requirement, except for iron, is 
the same (Sandmaier, 1987). 

It is surprising that obesity is more prevalent 
among women below the poverty level. It is puzzling 
that the Hanes study (U.S. Department of Health, 
Education and Welfare, 1979) found that these women 
consumed fewer calories than women in other income 


The Department of Health and Human Services 
(1988) has stated that lung cancer is one of the most 
serious threats to a woman's health today. The final 
statistics will probably reveal that lung cancer 
deaths in women exceed those from breast cancer. 

The number one cause of lung cancer in women is 
smoking. The number of women who smoke is 
increasing. Women under the age of 23 are the fastest 
growing group of smokers (DHHS, 1988). 


Approximately 100,000 women die annually from 
strokes. The death rate for African American women 
is 79 percent higher than for white American women 
(Sandmaier, 1987). 

The single most important risk factor of a stroke is 
high blood pressure. It is more common and more 
serious in African American women (Sandmaier, 1987). 

The facts about these three "lifestyle diseases" 
are sobering. Behaviors such as smoking, weight 
control, physical activity and diet are some of the 
areas where women need to improve. These behaviors 
can influence the risk factors for the "lifestyle 
diseases" risk factors such as high blood cholesterol, 
high blood pressure, and obesity. 

Food choices and the nutritive value of foods are 
now of great interest. The media bombards the public 
with information on these subjects. Some of the 
reports are factual, others fictitious. Recently, the 
scientific community has released reports 
emphasizing the importance of diet in maintaining 
good health. 

The 1988 Surgeon General's Report on Nutrition 
and Health (DHHS, 1988) states that five of the ten 
leading causes of death in the United States have 
been associated with diet (heart disease, cancer, 
strokes, diabetes, and atherosclerosis). Three others, 
unintentional injuries, suicide, and chronic liver 

disease and cirrhosis, have been related to alcohol 

The Surgeon General's Report (DHHS, 1988) 
further stated that, "For two out of three adult 
Americans who do not smoke and do not drink 
excessively, one personal choice seems to influence 
long-term health prospects more than any other — 
what we eat" (p. 1). 

Many people want to know what percentage of 
deaths from these diseases are due to the food we eat. 
The National Research Council's report, "Diet and 
Health: Implications for Reducing Chronic Disease 
Risk", (National Research Council, 1989), states that 
because of traits that may be inherited from your 
family and from environmental exposures, it is not 
possible to give an actual percentage of deaths due to 
poor diets. 

In 1985, the Human Nutrition Information Service 
initiated the Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by 
Individuals. The diets of women have been analyzed 
from the 1985 report. The following data compare 
women in 1950 and 1977 (Rizek & Tippet, 1989). 

Compared to 1977, women are consuming: 

• more skim and low-fat milk 

• more carbonated soft drinks 

• more mixtures that were mainly meat, poultry and 

• more grain products 

• less whole milk 

• less meat (as nonmixtures) 

• fewer eggs 

Women's intakes for the following nutrients were 
below the Recommended Dietary Allowances: 

• Vitamin B-6 

• Folacin 

• Vitamin E 

• Calcium 

• Iron 

• Magnesium 

• Zinc 

The recommended intake for fat is 30 percent of 
calories. Low-income women consume 36 percent of 
their calories in fat; high-income women consume 38 
percent. What is causing the high fat intake? Women 
are consuming more cheese, baked goods, table fats and 
salad dressings. Only 12 percent of the women 
surveyed had fat intakes below 30 percent of calories. 

It is very clear that women need guidance on how 
to reduce fat with emphasis on getting the required 

Dietary recommendations have been released 
recently by the National Research Council (1989). 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 195 

Combining the recommendations of several reports and 
citing scientifically based evidence, the following 
dietary recommendations have been given: 

• 30 percent of calories should come from fat, 10 
percent or less from saturated fat. 

• Select leaner cuts of meat, trim off excess fat, 
remove skin from poultry, change from butter to 
margarine; use less oils and fat; avoid fried foods. 
Also select low-fat and skim milk, cheese and 

• Reduce intake of cholesterol to 300 mg per day. 

• Eat five or more servings of a combination of 
vegetable and fruits, especially green and yellow 
vegetables and citrus fruits daily. 

• Eat six or more servings of complex carbohydrates 
each day emphasizing a combination of breads, 
cereals and legumes. Eat whole grain cereals and 
breads rather than foods and drinks containing 
added sugars. Avoid pies, pastries and cookies. 

• Maintain protein intake at moderate levels. 

• Balance food intake and physical activity to 
maintain appropriate body weight. 

• The National Research Council (1989) does not 
recommend alcohol consumption. For those who 
drink alcoholic beverages, the committee 
recommends limiting consumption to less than one 
ounce of pure alcohol in a single day. This is the 
equivalent of two cans of beer, two small glasses of 
wine, or two average cocktails. Pregnant women 
should avoid alcoholic beverages. 

• Limit total daily intake of salt to six grams or less. 
Salty, highly processed, salt-preserved, and salt- 
pickled foods should be consumed sparingly. 

• Maintain adequate calcium intake. 

• Avoid taking dietary supplements in excess of the 
Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) in any 
one day. Vitamin/mineral supplements that exceed 
the RDA and other supplements, such as protein 
powders, single amino acids, fiber, and lecithin, not 
only have no known health benefits for the 
population but their use may be detrimental to 

In summary, although men seem to be at higher 
risk for some of the lifestyle diseases, women are not 
immune to the consequences of poor health habits. 
Diet, smoking, obesity and lack of physical activity 
are increasing the risks for women. All of these risk 
factors can be improved. The literature indicates that 
the lifestyle diseases are influenced by these 
detrimental behaviors. 


DHHS (U.S. Department of Health and Human 
Services). (1988). Women's Health: A Century of 
Progress and Future Challenges. Public Health 
Service, News and Features from the National 
Institutes of Health, 88 (1):18; 20-21. 

DHHS (U.S. Department of Health and Human 
Services). (1988). The Surgeon General's Report on 
Nutrition and Health: Summary and 
Recommendations. Public Health Service, DHHS 
(PHS) Publication No. 88-50211, 78 pages. 

National Research Council. (1989). Diet and Health: 
Implications for Reducing Chronic Disease Risk 
Executive Summary. Committee on Diet and 
Health, Food and Nutrition Board. National 
Academy Press. Washington, DC: 20 pages. 

Rizek, R.L., & Tippet, K.S. (1989, January/ February). 
Diets of American Women in 1985. Food and 
Nutrition News 61 (l):l-4. 

Sandmaier M. (1987) The Healthy Heart Handbook 
for Women. U.S. Department of Health and 
Human Services, Public Health Services, 
National Institutes of Health. NIH Publication 
No. 87-2720. 32 pages. 

University of California, School of Public Health. 
(1988). The Female Factor. Berkeley Wellness 
Letter 4 (6):1. 

University of California. (1988, April). Aspirin: Yes, 
no, maybe? Berkeley Wellness Center, 4(7):1. 

U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. 
(1979). Public Health Service, Dietary intake 
source data. United States, 1971-1974. DHEW 
Publication Number 79-12221. Myattsville, MD: 
U.S. Department of Health, Education, and 
Welfare, p. 1-9. 

Willis, Judith. (1984). The Gender Gap At the Dinner 
Table. U.S. Department of Health and Human 
Services, Public Health Services. HHS 
Publication No. (FDA) 84-2197, 8 pages. • • • 

(Continued from page 166.) 

Shor, I. (1987). Critical teaching and everyday life. 
Chicago: University cf Chicago Press. 

Thomas, R.G. (1986). Alternative views of home eco- 
nomics: Implications for K-12 home economics cur- 
riculum. Journal of Vocational Home Economics 
Education, 4(2), 135-154. 

Vincinti, V. (1982). Toward a clearer professional 
identity. Journal of Home Economics, 74(3) x 20-25. 

Wisconsin home economics guide for curriculum devel- 
opment grades 6-12. (1984). Madison, WI: Wiscon- 
sin Department of Public Instruction. • • • 

196 ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 

INDEX for Volume XXXIII 

Compiled by Sally Rousey and Linda Simpson 

Career and Vocational Education 

Paris, L. (1989). Career preparation — Programs for 
the work world. XXXIII (1), 29-33. 

Peterat, L., & Smith, M. G. (1989). Toward a global 
home economics curriculum. XXXIII (1), 34-38. 

Quilling, J., Martin, B. B., & Hartsfield, P. (1990). A 
process for curriculum development: Putting a sys- 
tem into action. XXXIII (3), 84-85. 

Child Care and Issues 

Warnock, M. M. (1990). School-age child care: Solu- 
tion to latchkey problem. XXXIII (3), 92-93. 

Child Development 

Hildebrand, V., & Hines, R. P. (1990). Managing Ex- 
periences with Children in High School Parent- 
ing/Child Development Classes. XXXIII (5), 191- 

Reineke, R. A., & Irvine, M. A. (1990). Home 
economics curriculum review: A local school 
district's approach. XXXIII (5), 167-171, 180. 

Thomas, J. (1990). ubject communities as curricular in- 
fluences: A case study. XXXIII (4), 153-157. 

Turnbull, S. G. (1989). The issue of curriculum change 
in clothing studies. XXXIII (2), 72-75. 

Uhlenberg, B. (1989). Strengthening single-parent 
families. XXXIII (2), 42-44. 

Curriculum Development and Issues 
(see also FHA-HERO) 

Anderson, E. P., & Brands, M. F. (1990). The "Real" 
home economics curriculum. XXXIII (5), 172-173, 

Carr, C, & Greene, D. (1990). Vocational home eco- 
nomics today results of a national phone survey. 
XXXIII (3), 82-83. 

Education Technology 

Favaro, E., & van Alstyne, A. (1989). Computers in 
the home: A curriculum project. XXXIII (1), 26-28. 


Cooke, B. (1990). Teaching and evaluating courses in 
parenthood education for adolescents. XXXIII (3), 

Eyre, L. (1989). Gender equity and home economics 
curriculum. XXXIII (1), 22-25. 

Favaro, E., & van Alstyne, A. (1989). Computers in 
the home: A curriculum project. XXXIII (1), 26-28. 

Hultgren, F. H. (1990). Bases for curriculum decisions 
in home economics: From questions to lived 
practice. XXXIII (5), 162-166, 196 

Peterat, L. (1989). Home economics curriculum for 
Canadian schools. XXXIII (1), 18-19. 


Newhouse, J. K. (1989). Suggestions for extension 
home economists programming at congregate nutri- 
tion sites. XXXIII (2), 76-78. 

Family Life Education 

Boyd, J. R. (1990). Families coping in a technological 
society. XXXIII (3), 110-114. 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 197 

Lawhon, T. (1989). Family life: Using premarital 
agreements as a teaching tool. XXXIII (2),50-53. 

Mitchell, B. J. (1989). Implementation of the compo- 
nents needed for a teenage-parent program. 
XXXIII (2), 45-47. 

Silliman, B. (1989). LIFESPAN: Experiential learn- 
ing about family development. XXXIII (2), 48-49. 

Uhlenberg, B. (1989). Strengthening single-parent 
families. XXXIII (2), 42-44. 

Future Orientation of Home Economics 

Adair, H. (1989). The best for home economics educa- 
tion is yet to come. XXXIII (1), 7-9. 

Carr, C, & Greene, D. (1990). Vocational home eco- 
nomics today results of a national phone survey. 
XXXIII (3), 82-83. 

Feather, B. L. (1990). Challenges and opportunities 
for teaching clothing in the 1990s. XXXIII (3), 103- 

Home Economics Around the World 

Bannerman, N., Rebus, S., & Smith, A. (1989). Cana- 
dian Home Economics Association 1939-1989. 
XXXIII (1), 2-6. 

Pain, B. (1989). The education of home economics 
teachers in Canada. XXXIII (1), 20-21. 

Paris, L. (1989). Career preparation — Programs for 
the work world. XXXIII (1), 29-33. 

Peterat, L. (1989). Home economics curriculum for 
Canadian schools. XXXIII (1), 18-19. 

Young, W. (1989). In search of place. XXXIII (1), 15- 

Housing and Interior Design 

Tripple, P. A., & Makela, C. J. (1990). Adaptable 
housing for lifelong needs. XXXIII (3), 106-109. 

Wysocki, J. L. (1989). Book reviews. XXXIII (2), 80. 

History and Philosophy of Home 
Economics Education 

Adair, H. (1989). The best for home economics educa- 
tion is yet to come. XXXIII (1), 7-9. 

Carr, C, & Greene, D. (1990). Vocational home eco- 
nomics today results of a national phone survey. 
XXXIII (3), 82-83. 

Bannerman, N., Rebus, S., & Smith, A. (1989). Cana- 
dian Home Economics Association 1939-1989. 
XXXIII (1), 2-6. 

Smith, M. G. (1989). Alice Ravenhill: International 
pioneer in home economics. XXXIII (1), 10-14. 

White-Hood, M. (1990). Caring ... A permanent 
possession for teaching: A phenomena shared 
through story. XXXIII (5), 188-190. 

Young, W. In search of place. XXXIII (1), 15-17. 

Human Development 

(see Family Life Education, Child Development, 

Human Relations, Human Roles) 

DeBord, K. (1990). The effects of competitive awards 
on self-esteem. XXXIII (5), 181-184. 

Goodwin, E. F. Journey toward peak performance: A 
tribute to Dr. Hazel Taylor Spitze. XXXIII 

Light, H. K. (1990). Maintaining momentum. XXXIII 
(3), 96-99. 

Mellin, M., & Forbes, B. (1989). Building self-esteem 
in middle school students through home economics 
and industrial technology. XXXIII (2), 61-63. 

Human Relations 
(see Human Roles) 

Eyre,L. (1989). Book reviews. XXXIII (1), 39. 

198 ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 

Peterat, L. (1989). Book reviews. XXXIII (1), 40. 

Public Relations 

Human Roles 

Eyre, L. (1989). Gender equity and home economics 
curriculum. XXXIII (1), 22-25. 

Bonde, M. (1989). Marketing home economics: Let's 
stop assuming and start selling. XXXIII (2), 65-67. 

Stenberg, L. A., & Elliot, J. (1990). External 
networking: The untapped resource. XXXIII (5), 
185-187, 190. 

International Education 

(see Home Economics Around the World, 

Comparative Home Economics Education) 

Peterat, L., & Smith, M. G. (1989). Toward a global 
home economics curriculum. XXXIII (1), 34-38. 

Yahnke, S. J., Gebo, E. M., & Love, C. T. (1990). Com- 
munity meetings: A tool for assessing local needs. 
XXXIII (3), 115-117. 


Nutrition Education 
(see Food and Nutrition Education) 

Carr, C, & Greene, D. (1990). Vocational home eco- 
nomics today results of a national phone survey. 
XXXIII (3), 82-83. 

Gubser, D., & Holt, B. A. (1989). SUPERMARKET 
SAFARI, Tracking down good nutrition in the gro- 
cery store. XXXIII (2), 64. 

Newhouse, J. K. (1989). Suggestions for extension 
home economists programming at congregate nutri- 
tion sites. XXXIII (2), 76-78. 

Teacher Education 
(see In-Service Education, Gaming and 
Simulation, Teaching as a Profession) 

Pain, B. (1989). The education of home economics 
teachers in Canada. XXXIII (1), 20-21. 


(see Family Life Education, Child Development) 

Cooke, B. (1990). Teaching and evaluating courses in 
parenthood education for adolescents. XXXIII (3), 

McBride, B. A., & McBride, R. J. (1990). Rethinking 
the role of fathers: Meeting their needs through 
support programs. XXXIII (3), 89-91. 

Mitchell, B. J. (1989). Implementation of the compo- 
nents needed for a teenage-parent program. 
XXXIII (2), 45-47. 

Uhlenberg, B. (1989). Strengthening single-parent 
families. XXXIII (2), 42-44. 

Teaching Aids and Teaching Techniques 

Abramsen, J. (1990). Taking Charge: Thinking criti- 
cally and creatively toward ethical action. 
XXXIII (4), 143-144 

Block, M. A. (1990). Are workbooks really necessary? 
XXXIII (3), 100. 

Crawford, C, & Melvin, M. (1990). Does 
supplemental reading help? XXXIII (5), 194-196. 

Dail, P. W. (1989). Content analysis as an innovative 
teaching technique for home economists. XXXIII 
(2), 56-60. 

Gifford, K. (1990). Relationship course. XXXIII (4), 

Gubser, D., & Holt, B. A. (1989). SUPERMARKET 
SAFARI, Tracking down good nutrition in the gro- 
cery store. XXXIII (2), 64. 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 199 

Herget, J. (1990). Cooperative learning. XXXIII (3), 

Holloman, L. O. (1990). Relevance in teaching cloth- 
ing: A case for the human ecological approach. 
XXXIII (4), 145-147. 

Illinois Teacher Staff. (1990). A salute to the 1989 
home economics teachers of the year. XXXIII (4), 

Kowalczyk, D., Neels, N., & Sholl, M. (1990). The 
critical perspective: A challenge for home 
economics teachers. XXXIII (5), 174-177, 180. 

Wooldridge, D. G., Sebelius, M., & Ross, S. (1989). In- 
ductive teaching: A strategy to teach housing con- 
cepts. XXXIII (2), 68-71. 

Teaching as a Profession 
Issues and Concerns 

Block, M. A. (1990). Teaching to 'open fences.' XXXIII 
(5), 178-180. 

Peterat, L., & Eyre, L. (1990). Charting a career 
path — Voices of Home economics educators. 
XXXIII (4), 158-160. 

Lawhon, T. (1989). Family life: Using premarital 
agreements as a teaching tool. XXXIII (2),50-53. 

Tebo, J. T. (1989). Philosophy narrative. XXXIII (2), 

Light, H. K. (1990). Family life education in the 
1990s. The challenge: What shall we teach. 
XXXIII (4), 148-152. 

McBride, B. A., & McBride, R. J. (1990). Rethinking 
the role of fathers: Meeting their needs through 
support programs. XXXIII (3), 89-91. 

Miracle, G. (1990). MIRACLE: Making ideas reality 
allowing creative learning in entrepreneurship. XXIII 
(4), 135. 

Parnell, F. B. (1990). Eating for the health of it. 
XXXIII (4), 139-140. 

Powell, J. (1990). Entrepreneurship. XXXIII (4), 141- 

Storrer, I. (1989). Teaching survival techniques in a 
changing world. XXXIII (2), 54-55. 

Tripple, P. A., & Makela, C. J. (1990). Adaptable 
housing for lifelong needs. XXXIII (3), 106-109. 

White-Hood, M. (1990). A phenomenological plat- 
form for teaching at-risk students. XXXIII (3), 

Whitener, J. (1990). Integration of FHA/HERO into 
the classroom. XXXIII (4), 138. 

Wolff, K. (1990). Independent life skills. XXXIII (4), 

Textiles and Clothing 

Feather, B. L. (1990). Challenges and opportunities 
for teaching clothing in the 1990s. XXXIII (3), 103- 

Turnbull, S. G. (1989). The issue of curriculum change 
in clothing studies. XXXIII (2), 72-75. ••• 

Current Nutrition Labeling 

Reprinted from: 

Food Insight 

International Food Information Council 

1100 Connecticut Ave N.W. , Suite 430 

Washington, DC 20036 

Federal regulations governing nutrition labeling have changed 
little since 1973, when FDA first developed labels to give consumers 
information about nutrients. Nutrition labeling is required only if a 
nutrient is added to a food or if a nutrition claim is made about a 
food. Nutrition labeling is optional for all other packaged foods. 

When nutrition labeling is provided, manufacturers must 
include serving size, number of servings per container, caloric 
content, grams of protein, carbohydrate and fat, milligrams of 
sodium, and vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, 
calcium and iron content expressed as a percentage of the U.S. 
Recommended Daily Allowance (U.S. RDA). All nutrient values 
are listed per serving. 

Manufacturers may also include information about fatty acid 
composition (saturated and unsaturated) and cholesterol content. 
Vitamins D, E, B6, folic acid, biotin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, 
iodine, magnesium, zinc and copper may also be stated as 
percentages of the U.S. RDA. If a label claim is made about any of 
these nutrients, or if any are added, they must be included in 
nutrition labeling. 

Currently, about 61 percent of products regulated by FDA bear 
nutrition labeling. More than half of these labels have been 
adopted voluntarily by the manufacturer. 

200 ILLINOIS TEACHER, May /June, 1990 


1. Articles, lesson plans, teaching techniques are welcome. 

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8. Please forward articles to: 

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Send for: "Information for Prospective Authors" 



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"\ . ' . Volume XXXTV, Number 1 

'" September/October, 1990 


Home Economists As Leaders in the Workplace and the Community 

Foreword, The Editor 1 

The Philosophy of Home Economics Teachers at Urbana Middle School, 

Janine Duncan, Deborah Tamimie, and Marilyn Mastny 2 

Empowering Students to Assure School Success, Henry Meares 3 

Tiger Stride: Stepping into Tradition at Urbana Middle School, 

Janine Duncan 7 

Common Ground: Urbana Middle School's Conflict Mediation, 

Fred Schrumpf 8 

Music: The Key to the Heart, Janine Duncan 13 

The Feelings Jar, Marilyn Mastny 14 

Handicapped . . . Or Handicap able"?, Marilyn Mastny 16 

Global Education: Home Economics Teachers' Ethical Obligation, 

Janine Duncan 17 

Teens Helping Teens: A Teen Parent Support Bazaar, Deborah Tamimie 22 

Real Life, Real People, Real Caring: What Home Economics Is Really About, 

Janine Duncan 23 

Developing A Coalition on Teen Pregnancy Prevention, Marilyn Mastny 25 

Parenting Simulation: Teacher Responsibility and Universal Care-Giving, 

Janine Duncan 28 

Our Environment: A Home Economics Issue/ Concern, Deborah Tamimie 31 

Technology: People Make the Difference, Marilyn Mastny 34 

Sanitation: A Scientific, Hands-On Approach, Janine Duncan 37 

American Home Economics Association, Certification and Commitment, 

Marilyn Mastny 39 

Poetic Justice, Marilyn Mastny 40 

Illinois Teacher of Home Economics 

ISSN 0739-148X 

A publication of the Division of Home Economics Education, 

Department of Vocational and Technical Education, 

College of Education, University of Illinois, 

Champaign, Illinois 61820 

Illinois Teacher Staff 

Mildred Griggs, Professor and Editor 

Norma Huls, Office Manager 

June Chambliss, Technical Director 

Sally Rousey, Graduate Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate 

Linda Simpson, Graduate Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate 

Other Home Economics Education Division Staff and Graduate Students 
Catherine Burnham, Graduate Assistant and Ed.D. Candidate 
Vida U. Revilla, Graduate Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate 
Alison Vincent, Graduate Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate 

Volume XXXIV, No. 1, September /October, 1990. Published five 
times each academic year. Subscriptions $15.00 per year. Foreign, in- 
cluding Canada, $18.00 per year. Special $10.00 per year ($12.00 
Foreign) for undergraduate and graduate students when ordering by 
teacher educator on forms available from Illinois Teacher office. 
Single copies $3.50. Foreign $4.00. All checks from outside the U.S. 
must be payable through a U.S. bank. 



University of Illinois 
352 Education Building 
1310 S. Sixth Street 
Champaign, IL 61820 




In the past, home economics teachers in junior high and middle schools have asked 
us to focus some attention on programs at those levels. In this issue we do that. This 
entire issue was written by the home economics teachers, social worker and principal of 
a middle school. The content focuses on their personal philosophy, curriculum content, 
and school mission and student learning experiences. We are grateful to the home 
economics teachers, Marilyn Mastny, Janine Duncan and Deborah Tamimie for their 
work on this issue. 

Our theme for 1990-1991 is "Home Economists As Leaders in the Workplace and the 
Community." This issue is consistent with that theme. Marilyn, Janine and Deborah 
are leaders in their school and community. 

We encourage all of our readers to take the time to write about the leadership you 
have provided as home economists in your school, business, industry and/or community 
setting. Tell us what you are doing, why, what you have accomplished, what you have 
learned as a result of your efforts, and what you see as implications for other home 

Knowing about your good work will give us increased pride in our profession and new 
ideas to help us in our own practice. We look forward to receiving your manuscripts. 

Best wishes for the school year. 

The Editor 

Marilyn Mastny 

Janine Duncan 

Deborah Tamimie 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/ October, 1990 1 

The Philosophy of Home Economics Teachers 

at Urbana Middle School 

Janine Duncan 
Deborah Tamimie 
Marilyn Mastny 
Urbana Middle School 
Home Economics Teachers 

This issue of Illinois Teacher contains articles 
about the home economics program at Urbana Middle 
School. The nature of the program that we have 
developed and implemented is based in part on our 
philosophy of life, home economics, teaching, etc. 
Our beliefs about the needs of students, our 
community, and society have influenced our curricu- 
lum. We prefaced the articles with some background 
information on what we are trying to achieve via our 
middle school home economics program and with 
some of our beliefs that have a direct impact on our 

Home economics at Urbana Middle School mir- 
rors its profession's national mission of improving 
family life. We try to empower our students to grow 
within their present home while providing a posi- 
tive vision for their future families. Within this 
family framework we seek to educate students on a 
variety of topics to help insure their success. 

Family members vary according to age, size, and 
ability. So do the members of classes which consti- 
tute our school based families. All individuals 
within our classroom "family" structure are 
encouraged to share their hopes and feelings as they 
become the best that they can be. Students learn to 
accept the different abilities possessed by their 
classmates. They see that their success in home 
economics depends upon performance based on their 
own abilities, rather than on a comparison with 
their classmates. 

The term "family" has many meanings to us. We 
want our students to have an understanding of fami- 
lies that includes, yet goes beyond, their personal 
individual experiences. We want our students to rec- 
ognize that their family may include fellow class- 
mates, schoolmates, and community members. It is 
important for students to realize that it doesn't stop 
there; they are truly members of the family of hu- 

manity. Commitment to their personal family life is 
not a high priority for many middle school-aged 
children. Often developing a sense of responsibility 
to their community and their world will stimulate a 
trickle-down effect of responsibility to their per- 
sonal home environment. We believe that we have 
an ethical obligation to try to insure students' social 
awareness and eventual responsibility within the 
students' school, community, world, and home. Three 
service projects we have found eye opening are de- 
scribed in detail in this issue of Illinois Teacher. 
(See Teen-Parent Support Bazaar, Global Education: 
A Home Economics Teacher's Ethical Obligation, 
and Recycling). 

Developing a sense of responsibility towards 
others cannot be achieved by students without a 
healthy sense of themselves. We also believe posi- 
tive feelings about the physical, social and emo- 
tional self should be a priority at whatever level 
students are taught. Positive communication skills 
are a foundation of a healthy individual. These 
same skills will be crucial as individuals work 
through the crises of everyday life. With appropri- 
ate learning experiences, students can learn to predict 
and prevent possible negative outcomes in their 

In order to facilitate this type of growth in 
students, we believe that home economics teachers 
need to assume a leadership position. When we say 
leadership, we do not mean you as individuals must 
be vocal to the point of being noisy. Rather, a 
challenge for home economists is to ground their 
actions in reality and let the outcome speak for 
itself. General promotion of activities and projects 
taking place are a helpful, if not necessary, opportu- 
nity for support. Hall bulletin boards, showcases, 
student advertisements, billboards, student letters to 
the editor of your school or local paper, daily 
announcements and articles in your school newspaper 
were all important beginnings for us. We also talk 
directly to our administrators. They often have 
helpful hints to smooth out the rough edges of our 
ideas. We give them the opportunity to hear and 
appreciate our commitment and efforts. 

(Continued on page 12.) 

2 ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/ October, 1990 

Empowering Students to Assure School Success 

Henry Meares, Principal 
Urbana, IL Middle School 

What are those conditions? They may include 
but not be limited to: low income, teenage pregnancy, 
drugs, and school dropouts. Let me disucss briefly 
each condition. 

As I approached the topic of empowering stu- 
dents to assure school success, several things came to 
mind immediately. The first thing that came to 
mind was my personal experience as a student in the 
public schools which I will share later. The second 
thing that came to mind was the question, how do 
low-income students differ from other at-risk stu- 
dents? In other words, are we talking about the same 
students or is this a different population altogether? 
My third thought was, what are those conditions 
which continue to plague students or contribute to 
their disabling or disempowerment? And finally, 
how can the schools empower students so that they 
experience increased success and become vitally pro- 
ductive members of our society. With these thoughts 
in mind I began to prepare a response. 

I spent some time trying to differentiate between 
the low-income student and the at-risk student. Ev- 
erything I have ever read and experienced suggest to 
me that the low-income student is one who, by fed- 
eral standards, is poor and does not have the re- 
sources and /or experiences that are commonly ob- 
tained with money. These students come from fami- 
lies who earn minimal wages. 

The at-risk student is defined in Phi Delta 
Kappa (October, 1989) as one who is a failure in 
school or in life. "At-riskness" is a function of the 
negative experiences encountered by a child, how se- 
vere they are and how frequently they happen. For 
example, a pregnant 14 year-old is at risk, but a 
pregnant 14 year-old who uses drugs is even more at 
risk. And a pregnant 14 year old who uses drugs, has 
been retained a grade, truant from school, and who 
has low sense of self-esteem is even more seriously 
at-risk. Frymien (1989) states that being at-risk is 
not solely a phenomenon of adolescence, children of 
all ages can be at-risk. 

In my opinion, most, if not all, children of low- 
income families are at-risk; however not all at-risk 
students are poor. Whether we refer to this group as 
low-income or at-risk, all appear to be victims of 
similar conditions. 

LOW-INCOME - According to Marian Edelman, 
president of the Children Defense Fund (1989), one 
out of every five children in this country live in 
poverty, which includes about 13 million children. 
If you view the figures along racial lines you will 
find that nearly half of all black children and one- 
sixth of all white children are poor. It is predicted 
that by the year 2000, 40 percent of our student popu- 
lation will come from low-income families 

teenagers between the ages of 10-17 become pregnant 
each year. One-half of that number gives birth. Ev- 
ery day in this country forty teenagers give birth to 
their third child. Research repeatedly confirms 
that significant percentages of our teenagers become 
sexually active before the age of 15. There is a de- 
cline in pregnancy rate above the age of 15, but there 
is an increase in pregnancy rates under the age of 15 
(Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, November, 

DRUGS - More than 50 percent of our teenagers 
will use illegal drugs or alcohol before they reach 
the age of 18. What really frightens me is that 1,000 
babies born in our country each day are addicted to 
cocaine or heroine. Four years ago, this country spent 
$160 billion in drugs and alcohol programs. I would 
imagine that by now that figure has tripled. 

SCHOOL DROPOUTS - In this country today we 
are faced with an alarming school dropout rate. Ac- 
cording to Danzberger (1984), Institute for Educa- 
tional Leadership, Washington, DC, 25 percent of 
America's teenagers do not graduate from high 
school. The inner-city drop out rate, about twice the 
nation's average,ranges between 40 - 60 percent, de- 
pending on the city. 

A disproportionate number of low-income and 
minority students make up these dropout rates. That 
is a serious concern especially when you consider that 
by 1992 it is predicted that one out of three teenagers 
in our schools will be a member of a minority group. 

ILLINOIS TEACHER, September/ October, 1990 3 

Our country cannot afford these kinds of condi- 
tions. The cost to this country both economically and 
in loss of human potential is enormous. Every class of 
high school drop outs cost this country about $260 
billion each year in foregone wages and taxes 
(Hornbeck, 1989). 

About 35 years ago this country had 17 workers 
contributing to the benefits for each retirement. To- 
day there are only three workers contributing to each 

We, as educators and policy makers, have a real 
challenge facing us. In order to counter these condi- 
tions it is essentia