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By Emeline S. Whitcomb
Specialist in Home Economics, Bureau of Education
Contents.—Introduction—Contribution of home economics to general education—Relation of home economics to health—Provides training in child care and welfare— Notable improvement in home economics equipment—Grades receiving food and clothing instruction—Educational tests in home economics—Home economics in business— Home economics research—American home economics in foreign fields—The American home economics association—Some contributions made by the Bureau of Education to the progress of home economics education.
Home economics education during the past biennium has made notable progress in a number of directions. These directions include, among others, a clarification of the contributions of home economics to general education, to health education, to child care and welfare, and a reorganization of the curriculum, based on scientific evidence. This latter problem, together with a scientific selection of home economic objectives to be achieved, has been for some time paramount in the minds of many home economics leaders.
These interests have called for an almost complete restatement of objectives and goals and a revision of subject matter. This has occupied leaders of home economics in a number of States and in many cities. Notable among the latter is Denver, Colo., where the revision of the home economics curriculum was influenced by Briggs's philosophy of education, namely, "To teach pupils to do better the desirable activities that they will perform anyway; to reveal higher types of activities and to make them both desired and, to an extent, possible," and, secondly, that " the curriculum is a series of experiences so selected, guided, and coordinated that what is learned in one experience contributes to the elevation and enrichment of any succeeding series of experiences."
With this outlook upon education, Denver observed in its curriculum-making procedure the three following steps, namely, the selection of present home activities of the schoolgirl; an enrichment of these experiences through subject-matter content, and the elevation and direction of the girl's present home activities and experiences to higher levels, thereby safeguarding her preparation for home activities occurring in her life at some future time.
Besides the problems discussed, time allotment, efficient types of equipment, and opportunities for research in various phases of home economics education have, during the biennium, been duly recognized.
CONTRIBUTIONS OF HOME ECONOMICS TO GENERAL EDUCATION
A questionnaire was addressed to leading educators of the United States by the Bureau of Education asking their opinion as to the contribution that home economics makes to general education in the elementary and secondary schools and in institutions of higher education. This questionnaire was sent to the presidents, deans of education, deans of women, and heads of home economics departments of State and private universities and colleges, of normal schools, and of State colleges for teachers, to superintendents of schools and supervisors of home economics of cities with a population of 2,500 or more, and to State supervisors of home economics.
Keplies to this questionnaire were received from 70 presidents of universities and colleges, 30 presidents of normal schools, 54 deans and professors of education, 37 deans of women, 170 school superintendents, 71 directors of home economics departments of colleges and universities, 33 State and 45 city supervisors of home economics.
Eighty per cent of the presidents of State and private universities, G8 per cent of the deans and professors of education, 58 per cent of the deans of women in the leading universities and colleges, and 100 per cent of the city superintendents of schools, heads of departments, and supervisors of home economics state that "worthy home membership" is the conspicuous contribution of home economics to general education. They believe that this cardinal principle of education is realized through the home economics offerings of educative experiences and opportunities which lead to the development of the following abilities:
1. To live within the laws of health.
2. To appreciate home and family relationship and the place of the home
in the community.
3. To contribute to the highest welfare of the child.
4. To budget income and to weigh values regarding time, energy, and
5. To perform daily household processes; to attack and solve home
6. To appreciate the labor involved in the production of all household
7. To develop a capacity for a higher enjoyment of life.
RELATION OF HOME ECONOMICS TO HEALTH
Home economics makes a positive contribution to health through its teachings of adequate nutrition, clothing and personal hygiene, sanitary housing and living. It is now conceded that of all the other health factors no one is greater than a proper food supply intelligently used. This principle is now exercised in many city schools. For example, in Columbus, Ohio, the nutrition expert of the home economics staff has outlined for grades one to six the following health rules:
1. Eat one leafy vegetable and some fruit every day.
2. Drink a pint of milk every day and at least four glasses of water.
3. Eat three wholesome meals a day.
4. Chew thoroughly and eat slowly.
5. Meals for children should include milk, vegetables, fruits, grain products, meat or its equivalent, such as fish, eggs, peas, beans, nuts, cheese.
6. Take a bath at least twice a week and keep your clothes clean and neat.
7. Dress in clean comfortable clothing to suit the weather. This health rhyme is the clothing slogan:
"Wool or cotton, fur or leather,
8. Sleep at least 10 hours a day, with windows open.
The home economics classes of the Clemens Vonnegut School, of Indianapolis, Ind., have developed a folder for the children of their school and have named it " Good Health for Boys and Girls." This folder asks the following questions:
1. How much and what food does a growing child need each day?
2. Need a child who is now underweight remain underweight?
3. What is a food?
4. What is a calorie?
5. What quantities of food are necessary to yield 100 calories?
In a like manner these home economics classes developed the following personal hygiene and clothing suggestions for girls:
1. Clean the finger nails daily. Do not bite them.
2. Brush teeth thoroughly twice a day. Do not pick them with needles and pins.
3. Bathe at least once a week in winter and twice a week in summer. Use good toilet articles.
4. Wear simple hygienic undergarments and night clothes.
5. "Wear the hair in a simple, girlish style. Brush and comb it every night before retiring. Shampoo it every three weeks.
6. Wear substantial stockings suitable for a schoolgirl.
7. Wear shoes according to season. They should be neat and comfortable. Polish often.
8. Rubbers should be worn in rainy weather. Never wear them in the house. Raincoats are a great protection.
9. Wear simple dresses suitable for the occasion and season. Use buttons or fasteners; no pins.
10. Cloaks should be medium or dark in color, of good wool material, styles suitable for several winters.
11. Hats should be simple, serviceable, and appropriate to season and occasion.
12. Knitted and crocheted sweaters and hats are good for girls.
A joint committee of the National Education Association and the American Medical Association, cooperating with a technical committee of 27 in outlining a health-education program for public schools and teacher-training institutions, gave a" prominent place to nutrition and to the teaching of foods. Under the caption " School Luncheons as an Educational Feature," this joint committee declared that " The school luncheon can be made a means of providing for the child educational material in a way suited to his needs. In fact, the whole of the daily school program can be planned around a meal without undue emphasis upon the food itself."
The joint committee organized a health course beginning with the kindergarten and extending through the normal school that centered around food.
The State Department of Education of Oklahoma outlined a nutrition and health program for the elementary school, placing emphasis on the right kind of food for growing boys and girls.
In recent years pronounced progress has been made in State and city home economics courses as to the interdependence of foods, clothing, hygienic living, and health. Illustrations of this fact can be taken from practically all home-economics courses. Space limitation confines the illustrations to a small number.
Portland, Oreg.—The major home-economics aims for the seventh and eighth grades are—
1. To know and appreciate the value of the general health rules.
2. To know types of foods and their functions in the body and what are good for babies and children; how to plan attractive and well-balanced meals; how to care for food properly; how to set the table and serve a meal correctly; correct standards of foods, both cooked and uncooked; and to have some knowledge of food industries and a general idea of the cost of food.
3. Good habits in housekeeping duties, as to personal cleanliness and the importance of sanitary handling of foods.
New Mexico.—In the State course of study for the common schools, for the fifth grade in home economics, are these problems:
How can I keep my home clean and in order? What care should I give my clothing? Am I getting the food I need for my school lunch? What can we do to keep the baby well? What does the baby need to make him grow? How can I keep well and happy?
In the sixth grade, under the topic "The Child: Its Health and the Health of the Family," are studied these problems:
What must be done to keep the baby well? What clothes are best for the baby? What shall we do to make the baby grow? How can the family keep well and happy? What should be done in case of illness in the home?
In the seventh grade, under "Child Care and Health of the Family,"' are stressed not only the care of the baby but also of the older child, as to the kind of food, clothing, home care, and environment essential to his well-being, how to prevent colds, information essential to prevention and spread of disease, and training in first aid.
Oklahoma.—The State department of education outlines for the ninth-grade girl in home economics such topics as "Foods and Health,'' under which are stressed the problems: How we help ourselves grow, how much do we weigh, why we should eat vegetables, why we should eat regular meals, what factors affect personal appearance, and other problems affecting health.
Home nursing and child care and elementary dietetics, among other courses, may be elected in the senior high school. Keasons given in the State home economics course of study for planning the first course are that girls may have an opportunity to learn causes and means of transmission of communicable diseases, simple and usable methods of prevention of them; how to secure and maintain physical and mental health from infancy through life; how to be intelligent and helpful in the sick room; and the second course is to teach girls, through diet, right food habits and health.
Indiana.—The State course of study in home economics for secondary schools states that the basis of the food section is the health .of the girl in the adolescent period. The food discussion begins with the questions: Why should we eat the right food? What is the relation of diet to attractive appearance, success in athletics, and a good disposition?
Detroit, Mich.—For the sixth grade the work in household aits is divided into two main divisions. They are (a) health, and (b) cooking. The aim of the course is, "To emphasize attractiveness of good health and its advantages, not to make the child healthconscious, but scientifically and inspirationally to teach health as a natural result of right living."
The minor divisions under health are—
1. Personal hygiene.
2. Fresh air and exercise.
3. Best—amount of sleep necessary.
4. Diet—the foods necessary to promote good health.