The purpose of the study was to develop guidelines for the
establishing and teaching of a home economics program within a
standard, non-laboratory classroom.
An opinionaire was developed and sent to 34 administrators of
small high schools and junior high schools in Oregon believed to have
no home economics programs in their schools. The opinionaire was
designed to ascertain reasons for the lack of home economics in the
curricula of these schools and to determine attitudes of administrators
concerning home economics-related needs of students. From the
replies received from 27 respondents, 13 full or partial programs
were noted to be already in effect, leaving 14 completed opinionaires
to be used in the study. Eleven of the 14 administrators requested
a copy of the guidelines for a home economics program to be taught
in a standard classroom.
The two main reasons for having no home economics programs
in the schools were a lack of money and having no teacher available.
The administrators rated the importance of nine areas within the
home economics curriculum with the highest rating shown for consumer
education, personal and family finance. The other areas of
home economics were rated high in importance with housing, home
furnishings and household equipment and the occupational area receiving
the most negative responses. The administrators believed
home economics to be of greatest importance to girls of all ages
and of all ability levels. They felt home economics was important
as compared with other school subjects except for boys of the 12 to
13 age group.
Guidelines were developed to encompass current trends in home
economics and the Oregon Homemaking Education curriculum guide.
Included were guidelines for every area rated by the administrators
as being high in importance within the home economics curriculum.
Some of the guidelines were drawn from the writer's experience in
teaching a home economics program within a standard, non-laboratory
classroom. These guidelines were sent to 30 home economics
teachers in small Oregon high schools for examination and evaluation.
Nineteen evaluations were returned with comments, questions and
suggestions. The evaluation of the guidelines consisted of two sections.
Section I requested information concerning educational background,
other subjects taught and number of years experience in teaching
home economics. Section II sought examination and evaluation of
the guidelines as to their clarity and their adaptability toward meeting
the objectives of the Oregon Homemaking Education curriculum.
The evaluation of the guidelines by home economics teachers
showed the majority as being receptive to the program. Teachers
who had taught from two to five years offered the most comments.
Classes taught by the respondents ranged from grade seven to
twelve, with over four-fifths of the group teaching other subjects
besides home economics.
The areas receiving the most comments and questions were
in the food preparation and sewing units. Guidelines were revised
and clarified in accordance with suggestions made by the respondents.
Flexible use of small appliances and mobile units, pre-planned
programs for the efficient use of time, evaluation of choices and
alternatives all can be coordinated with the guidelines to provide
a workable, low-cost home economics program which can be established
and taught within a standard, non-laboratory classroom.
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