Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Bring back Home Ec!

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An interesting article by Ruth Graham in the Boston Globe on how Home Ec is an eminently practical and useful course that can convey a lot of important life information. I’m wondering though… I had a woman who worked for me when I was director of admissions who was a powerhouse: intelligent, good judgment, lots of initiative, and so on. I more or less stood back and marveled at her accomplishments.

She was from a small town in Texas, and was about my age (born in the early 1940s), and since she was a woman, her h.s. guidance counselor helpfully outlined career choices for her: secretary, nurse, teacher, and so on. I’m not sure how she settle on home ec, but perhaps at the time and in the region it was the natural choice.

She brought her amazing gifts to the job and was constantly creating extensions to the standard course materials. For example, her students couldn’t understand how a sewing machine worked, so she had a model with an enormous needle (a knitting needle, with a hole drilled near the tip) with string for thread. It sewed when you turned a crank, so you could make it go slowly and watch exactly how the needle and thread (knitting needle and string) did their work.

That was only one. She had scores of projects like that.

Were she a young woman today, she would be thinking more of working toward being a CEO or head of R&D or whatever. Truly, she was enormously gifted.

So that was the sort of person teaching home ec back in the day. Today, with more opportunities for energetic and intelligent women, perhaps home ec teaching would not be so attractive a career.

But that’s part of the overall problem of the US: compare how we train and pay teachers with how (say) Finland does.

Written by Leisureguy

17 October 2013 at 10:16 am

Posted in Daily life, Education

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