WUFT News

The changing face of home economics

By on January 8th, 2013

Some students from Gainesville High School use their Nutrition and Wellness class to learn how to cook, an option few Alachua County schools still provide.

Once called home economics, Nutrition and Wellness is the next best thing. Home economics used to teach students cooking, child care and sewing.

In Nutrition and Wellness, students do book work and hands-on cooking under the family youth sciences category.

Nutrition and Wellness teacher at Gainesville High School, Dawn Bekaert, said her class teaches students basic home skills that aren’t necessarily needed to get a job in the real world.

“Problem is, is there’s not the funding for it that there used to be,” Bekaert said. “A lot of the money now a days is going into programs that provide job training and that have certification in the industry. But that’s were vocation education seems to be migrating.”

The schools not having teachers to teach the classes is also a problem. As home economics teachers are retiring, fewer teachers are coming to replace them.

Bekaert has been teaching the class for seven years and in that time, the traditional components of the class are no longer available.

“Since then, now we’re down to just the cooking class,” Bekaert said. “The parenting has gone by the wayside. The sewing has gone by the wayside. As home economics teachers have retired, newer teachers are not coming into this profession.”

The class does more than teach the students how to cook. It teaches the skills needed for everyday life, like balancing a checkbook and nutrition.

UF Family, Youth and Community Sciences Professor Linda Bobroff thinks all schools should have this program because of its benefits.

“I think it’s a really sad thing that there isn’t a family consumer sciences in all the schools that all the kids…should take,” Bobroff said. “A lot of guys end up at some point in their lives living alone, so they need basic food preparation skills.”

 Samantha Shavell edited this story online. 


This entry was posted in Education and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Education

Tudorel Tomlin, 21, (left) and Arthur Seabrooks, 17, (right) lay irrigation tape in the herb garden. The system replaces sprinklers that over-watered certain areas of the garden and left others parched.

Gardening Program Provides Opportunity For Students With Disabilities

Loften High School’s Growing Education Training program is bringing job skills and healthy living to intellectually disabled students. The gardening-based program hopes to bring the students’ products to local school cafeterias.


Investment Into Open-Access Textbooks Could Save Students Millions

Funding for Orange Grove Text Plus, an open-acess textbook initiative, can make textbooks even more affordable than e-textbooks. If enacted, it could cost students almost nothing.


Florida Prepaid Plans At Lowest Price Since 2007

Florida Prepaid College plans have dropped nearly 50 percent in price due to new legislation. Families that enrolled after 2008 are also eligible for refunds or reduced monthly fees.


Kent Fuchs, left, and David McLaughlin are the two finalists for the UF president position.

UF Presidential Search Committee Moves Forward with Two Candidates

Dr. W. Kent Fuchs and Dr. David W. McLaughlin move forward in the search for a new president for the University of Florida. Dr. Sibrandes Poppema was not selected to continue on in the presidential search.


Susan Bowles hugs Jennifer Anhalt after Anhalt roused the crowd at the town hall meeting Tuesday night regarding standardized test practices in in Alachua County. In an interview after the meeting, Bowles said she was so grateful to have heard Anhalt speak with such skill on the matter that is so close to the hearts of many teachers.

Town Hall Meeting Explains State Tests, Community Reacts

Parents and teachers in Alachua County spoke out against elementary school standardized testing they say is too advanced. Students in kindergarten through second grade are expected to take up to nine state-required tests.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments