Most of us remember Home Ec back in middle school and high school. Somebody burned a cake; a few of us learned to sew. Fewer people know that the discipline's founder, Ellen Richards, focused her efforts on exactly what her course was called--the economics of the home. Richards believed firmly that "no state can thrive while its citizens waste their resources of health, bodily energy, time and brain power, any more than a nation may prosper that wastes its natural resources."
During the progressive era in the first decades of the twentieth century, scientific approaches to all areas of society were being tested, and that included homemaking. Women were also taking on new roles in their communities as the march toward suffrage was peaking. Richards was so devoted to the new scientific approach that she created a quiz to determine a homemaker's efficiency!
Today, the class has been revamped, disassembled, reassembled, and at times, eliminated entirely. In Georgia, Family and Consumer Sciences encompass several distinct pathways that include consumer relations and career skills, food and nutrition science, and interior design training, to name a few concentrations. To support these courses, we've put together a host of resources along with our partners.