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Example Of Essay On Family And Consumer Science

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Science , Skills , Food , Customers , Family , Study , Knowledge , Education

Published: 02/16/2020


Family and consumer science is an academic discipline which combines different aspects of the social and natural science. This field of family and consumer science majorly deals with the relationship that exists between various communities, individual families and the entire environment where they live and interact with each other. This field of study represents a variety of disciplines which include food preparation and consumer science which are under the field of nutrition. It also consists of early childhood; family economics, education and resource management, these categories are under Parenting. This field of study goes further to include practices like the human development, textiles and interior design techniques. Family and consumer science education is mainly focussed on different individuals living in the society throughout their entire lifespan. This study mainly focuses on the interrelationship that exists between families and the communities. This study is taught in different institutions as an elective course and as a required course in some parts of the world like the North America. This study can go on to cover some aspects like Fire prevention, sexual education and food management. This study of human consumer science can also be referred to as home economics or human sciences. In some cases it is referred to as human ecology. This study was fast propelled in the year 1862 .This study come up as an act which was called the Morrill act .The study was propelled in a bid to educate farm wives on their daily processes of running their families and households properly in the recommended and safe way. On the other hand, their husbands were educated on the various important agricultural practices. These practices made many families to be in a position to learn various informative and important practices which improved the living standards of these individuals. The rise of consumer science was propelled further by a lady Ellen Swallow Richards. She was the pioneer in this practice, she attended the Massachusetts institute of technology and later on she advanced to become a female instructor in this essential practice which was meant for the betterment of the society. Through these various beneficial and important practices which related to the proper execution of human consumer health science, it is important for individuals to have a clear understanding of them in a detailed manner. The study was used as a distinction in order for individual to graduate from one stage to another, this practice was common among ladies whereby women who had these skills at the various education levels qualified more to get employment opportunities, it was more relevant on employment in institutions like the restaurants, hotels, hospitals and some government position elective positions. This study was also a key factor in the family and finance sector. These skills are relevant whether the lady or man in question is career –driven lady or man, single or married. This helps them in handling the necessary family financial needs, this is important as this skills are lately not taught in various academic institutions as it is required. This study of consumer health science goes forth to teach students on activities like bank account opening, the process of balancing a check account. This practice has improved in the modern classes to include aspects of the differences between the various credit cards and debit cards. The study also goes on to teach students the importance of savings accounts in relation to retirement. This study gives the students real life knowledge since most of this information is not sufficiently taught in the various learning institutions and the information is found on various sites over the internet being scattered. Consumer health science knowledge is also very relevant in the field Nutrition and cooking (Bendich and Deckelbaum 878), This is relevant because most individual relate cooking with the basic home economics like the skills of personal finance, It’s however a skill which is more practical in nature which is mandatory to almost every individual during their lifetime. These skills help individuals to be cautious in monitoring instances of obesity; this condition can be greatly avoided if the various individuals were acquainted with the relevant knowledge on eating and food processing information. The skills imparted on individuals help them in preparing nutritious and healthy meals for family and themselves. Consumers also benefit from having the knowledge to be able to determine the nutrition content in various food products if they have the required knowledge on how to examine these products. The study was also in the past applied in processing like sewing and knitting, making of curtains among many other basic home skills by women. This process has however advanced to include various aspects in the recent past to include processes like the interior design and fashion. The study and knowledge of human consumer sciences also called as the consumer economics therefore imparts individuals on various skills of life. These skills encompass a wide range of important knowledge needed for the consumer to live comfortable and healthy lifestyles in their environment as they relate with others. The study and practices has helped individual in different environments to be able to live and manage themselves appropriately.

Bendich, Adrianne and Richard J. Deckelbaum. Preventive Nutrition: The Comprehensive Guide for Health Professionals. New York: Springer, 2010. Parker, Simon C. The Economics of Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Sewell, Darby Thompson. Passion: A Narrative Journey to Family and Consumer Sciences Education. Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest, 2008. Taylor, Dorceta E. The Environment and the People in American Cities, 1600s1900s: Disorder. UK: Duke University Press, 2009. Wang, Victor C.X. and Kathleen P. King. Innovations in Career and Technical Education: Strategic Approaches Towards USA: IAP, 2008.


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The Salt

  • Eating And Health

Food For Thought

  • For Foodies

Despite A Revamped Focus On Real-Life Skills, 'Home Ec' Classes Fade Away

Tove Danovich

essays on family and consumer sciences

In midcentury home economic classes, girls learned to cook for their future husbands while boys took shop. But now kids might learn about healthy relationships or how to balance a bank account. Mark Jay Goebel/Getty Images hide caption

In midcentury home economic classes, girls learned to cook for their future husbands while boys took shop. But now kids might learn about healthy relationships or how to balance a bank account.

"Sometimes we take for granted that kids know how to wash dishes," says Susan Turgeson, president of the Association of Teacher Educators for family and consumer sciences. "I never thought I was going to have to explain, step by step, how to put the drain plug in, the amount of soap to be used."

Yet in many family and consumer sciences (FCS) classes in the United States, once known as "home economics," teachers are instructing students in basics such as how to keep countertops clean or tell a teaspoon from a tablespoon. In 2010, the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act sought to address the rise of childhood obesity. But despite the renewed interest in showing children how to eat well, FCS classes haven't gained traction along with that movement.

Adulting School Teaches Young Adults Grown-Up Skills

Adulting School Teaches Young Adults Grown-Up Skills

These courses haven't gone away entirely, but their presence in schools is dwindling. In 2012 there were only 3.5 million students enrolled in FCS secondary programs, a decrease of 38 percent over a decade. Many blame an ongoing shortage of qualified teachers, while others worry that continued focus on testing, along with budget slashing, will make it hard to bring FCS electives back into the curriculum.

"Society couldn't get over the stereotype of the home economics teacher," says Gayla Randal, educational and program consultant for the Kansas State Department of Education, which is why the name was changed to family and consumer sciences. She says that the rise of testing and No Child Left Behind in public schools led to a dark time for home economics. "Anything that wasn't about a test score was scrutinized."

What is "women's work," exactly?

Though home economics started in the early 1900s as a way to professionalize domestic labor, giving women opportunities outside the home while simultaneously uplifting the value of "women's work" in society, by the 1960s the field had become a feminist pariah. As Megan J. Elias writes in Stir It Up: Home Economics in American Culture, figures like Betty Friedan "rejected outright the idea that housework could be fulfilling and implicitly condemned all projects that offered to help women find satisfaction in traditional housewivery."

While thinking of domestic labor as less important than professional careers — such as being a lawyer — is its own issue, there were real problems with midcentury home economics courses. There's the memory of girls being sent to learn about child care and cooking while boys took shop class — all in preparation to take on traditional gender roles in marriage.

"When my mom took her home economics courses in the 1950s, they learned every egg preparation there was," Turgeson says. "The reason for that was, they didn't know what kind of eggs their husband might want." In today's world, husbands are expected to make their own eggs, she adds. "When I'm teaching an egg unit, we're thinking about the function of an egg in the recipe." What do eggs do, what kind of nutrition do they provide, and how do you look at shelf after shelf of cartons and decipher through the labeling which kind is best to buy?

"There's a lot of fake news about nutrition, so we promote how to get good sourcing of information," Randal says of family and consumer sciences classes. Sustainable eating has become another important part of many FCS classes, which might now include subjects such as community gardening, composting and even hydroponics. As Turgeson says, "Those are things you would have never seen in a 1950s classroom."

FCS classes also commonly address personal finance, healthy relationships, how to balance work and home responsibility, and child development. "In the good old days you got that at home," says Megan Vincent, a FCS education specialist for the state of Montana. "But now you have two working parents ... these courses fill the gaps for what parents can no longer do."

Building confidence

Carol Werhan, an FCS educator and member of the board of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences , explains that cooking taught through FCS courses is more about having the confidence to experiment in the kitchen than becoming a trained chef. "People don't need to have perfection — you have to know what are the failures that are OK." Burnt edges can be cut off. Overcooked meat can still be served. "Just because you have a flop in the kitchen doesn't mean it needs to be brought up at the dinner table," Werhan says.

Sometimes the skills taught in FCS can be directly applied to a career, yet what the classes are really trying to do is create balance in students' lives. "Not everyone wants to be a chef or early childhood teacher or caregiver," Werhan says, explaining that FCS classes make for "a well-rounded, world-literate human being, which makes a great workforce and a great community."

Some states, such as Indiana and Pennsylvania, require some coursework in FCS in middle or high school. But it's often offered as an elective. Vincent says 100 of Montana's 170 high schools offers some type of FCS class. While it's no longer the case that the vast majority of students in these classes are female, Vincent does share that every FCS teacher in the state is currently female — though one male teacher will be starting in the fall. As of 2012, students in middle school were split evenly between boys and girls, while in high school only 35 percent of students were male. The change is likely because most FCS classes are entirely elective at the high school level. Participation levels, however, are still a huge shift from 1959, when only 1.3 percent of home economics students were male.

The search for teachers

Unfortunately, even when states might want to offer more FCS classes, a good teacher can be hard to find. According to a 2012 study headed by Werhan, "Over half of all states continue to have an issue with hiring adequate numbers of highly qualified FCS teachers." In Montana, some of the gaps in FCS education are being filled by organizations like Food Corps, which teach students about food and how it's grown and processed.

"Agriculture is our largest economy, and yet you still have students that don't know where our food comes from," Vincent says. This is changing for children in lower grades, who are starting to get this exposure, but many are still "coming up the pipeline" as Vincent says, and it's too early to tell what kind of effects this education will have.

It seems like one thing every FCS teacher will tell you is that their subject is one that, unlike calculus, students never wonder whether it will be relevant. "Wait five minutes in FCS, and you'll use this information later this week and later in life," Turgeson says. For some students, the classes are a break from their academics-heavy schedules and can be a place where lessons — say about fractions or chemistry — can sink in through exposure to those same concepts in the kitchen.

"Everything about FCS is really teaching resource management and employability skills, creative and critical thinking — we just do it through food," explains Turgeson.

Tove K. Danovich is a journalist based in Portland, Ore .

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Family and Consumer Science, Application Essay Example

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According to Mills, it is evident that families need to exercise sociological imagination by considering how the lives of individuals intersect with family’s history. This implies that an intersection exists between the troubles of the family and the history of the society, which is a public issue. Gender revolution in this case applies to the shift experienced by women in society with regards to their place and the existence of new forms created by adult partnerships. However, this era faced unprecedented challenges and conflicts, but the children of such parents end up building different adult paths in the future. The new options and constraints available have led a majority of them to use strategies that shape their course of family, work, and gender change for coming generations (1995: 4). According to Goode, the term family is the central position of a society because it links individuals with other societal institutions like the economy, the state, or the church. It should also be noted that in any given family, children are termed as active observers because they are aware of what is happening around them (Kathleen 2010, chap.2). As a result, adults need to be aware that their actions and efforts bring about unintended consequences. The family structure is also a point of concentration that needs to be investigated because this contributes to healthy development among children. Technological advances in families have also contributed to existing changes in the lives of children. In most instances, it is difficult to reach the young generation, but those stay-at-home mothers make the experience for these teenagers unbearable. This has led many to believe that the concept of working mothers has made many of the youths live a comfortable life without having the mother to deal with the whole day.

In every family, individuals cherish different aspects of their lives and thus, parents need to build a relationship with their child, which is long lasting. The creation of such bonds helps in bringing the family together and these aides when challenges and conflicts arise. Many are times when fathers are absent from home they claim they are busy looking for finances in order to give their family a comfortable life. Furthermore, being breadwinners makes them loose out so much on their children’s upbringing, and many have regretted this move. Majorities have made their children not rely on them, and their presence has affected their future perspective. For example, for young girls, they are scared of getting married for fear of having a husband who spends too much time in the office and less at home, with family (Mills 2000). It is vital for the family to spend time together because it brings them closer together and makes them connected. This is an element that saves the resources and time of families because of consistence. Family moments are treasured moments by children because their parents instill in them values that will help them through this changing times. It is clear that parents need to plan their time and ensure that they have time for their family.

In today’s generation, both parents are working in order to make end meets and give their children comfortable and better lives. However, this is at the expense of their children’s development because the caretakers instill in them an attitude that goes against believes of their family. Therefore, it is imperative for parents to allocate time for their children and engage their children in contributing to family developments. This gives the children a sense of belonging and also, enables them have improved self-esteem, which contributes in their adult development process. In my family, most of the house chores are done by my mother who is nursing administrator. Despite her busy schedule in the office, she ensures that all our meals are home cooked. This is her time to be with her family, which she appreciates and treasures so much, but my father also chips in by helping in doing other work like gardening and homework (Mills 1995). This character has instilled in me a sense of responsibility and sharing that has motivated me to work hard I school so I can emulate them. I would like to have a family that is close knit and works together both after work and during work hours by ensuring that the day’s activity is organized. Today’s technological advancements have made it possible for families to stay in touch and learn more from each other through the social media.

As a result, people tend to use sociological imagination as an excuse in trying to achieve success and use it to run away from their personal responsibility. If such cases occur in the society, it is vital for people to identify the structures roots like labour force exploitation, certain groups discriminating, and incompetent political solutions among others. For such cases, sociological imagination steps in in order to enable those personal situations change thus, creation of a better society. Moreover, these changes also affect the history and biography of the family since they will uphold the new values introduced into the society. It is essential for both parents and children to communicate and understand the positive and negative sides of having changes influencing their habits and character (Kathleen 2010, chapt.1). Family, as a unit, needs to uphold all societal beliefs and embrace the different characters and personalities without malice. Nevertheless, parents need to be aware of the changes that happen in their environment because it penetrates into their family unit and at times destroys the bond created. This pulls their efforts back and leads them into conflicts and blame games. This is not a solution, but a problem that need to be mitigated.

Sociologists and philosophers have come up with various theories that help in curbing such problems. According to my family’s experience, it is evident that family structures do not contribute much to the increasing divorce rates and single-parent families in today’s society (Mills 2000). The fact that a society has different family structures across time and cultures, they have been able to live in harmony and have followed their beliefs and traditions. Furthermore, my parents taught us, children, to be accommodative of other people in the society. However, during the socialization process, we should not forget to uphold our virtues, beliefs and values as a family. Development is bound to exist, but we should consider to what lengths are we growing. If it is towards the negative poles, then we need to re-think our steps and console our family values. The contributing factor to such circumstances is the parents who are not embracing the historical changes in society. In some instances, it is better for parents to separate because of the family members, whose pathways are dictated by such events. Stereotypes are also evident in some families, but it is wise to allow such changes to occur because it marks a beginning of changes to the family. This becomes a sign of relief and in the long run a supportive home is built (Kathleen 2010, chapt.2).

Goode, William J. 1982. The Family . Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall

Kathleen, Gerson. 2010. “Unfinished Revolution: How a New Generation Is Reshaping Family, Work, and Gender in America.” Journal of Family Communication , 11(1):1-57.

Mills, Wright C. 2000. The Sociological Imagination . USA: Oxford University Press

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