Home Economics has been a subject in school and education for more than 100 years in the Western world. Home economists have from the beginning been inspiring each other by visiting colleagues around the world, and very early the International Federation of Home Economics was established in order to broaden and deepen the knowledge of home economics through collaboration and exploration, and this is still the vision for IFHE, which this book can be an example of. As part of the school curriculum and a brick to general education home economics has needed to define and be able to position the subject. Through the 100 years period thee roles and valuations of the teachers have changed. Why and how the subject has changed is essential to analyse in order to understand the present situation and to give proposals for the future. Teachers within home economics have been and are still mainly female. This can be related to the subject itself, the home, which is a female domain. This domestic domain or sphere with its values, language, work naturally has an impact on the school subject, the understanding, practising and education within the field. In this chapter I will go through history to grasp the basic, essential and important aspects of home economics, take these aspects up to present time and make perspectives for the future. As a start I will state some postulates to show some of the dilemmas and dialectics, which are at the agenda. • Home economics is a subject in a conflict between science (theory) and everyday life experiences (practice) • Home economics is gendered • Home economics is culturally dependant, society determined, individually featured • Home economics holds potentials, possibilities, and difficulties These postulates are essential to bring to an open discussion for developing home economics in the long run. In short the conflict of home economics and within it he subject itself as an applied science, which has a problem of defining, what home economics is and can be. The gender part is based on the context home, kitchen and household, and furthermore context is culturally bound. Finally home economics holds potentials both taken from history and at present. I will explore these issues through a historical critical approach, which has been part of my research the last thirty years.
Creating Home Economics Futures: Next 100 Years, 2012, p. 52-61
Home Economics; history; past and present; future; Skolehistorie