Home Economics: A Panacea for Reform
DOI link for Home Economics: A Panacea for Reform
Home Economics: A Panacea for Reform book
The publication of Catherine Beecher's Treatise on Domestic Economy in 1843 signaled the emergence of a 'new' field of study and a major curriculum reform in women's education, the art and science of homemaking.1 By the end of the first decade in the twentieth century, this new field, alternately called home arts, domestic science and home economics, had developed into an organized effort to feminize women's education in the United States. The AHEA (American Home Economics Association) and the GFWC (General Federation of Women's Clubs) were collaborating to lobby for the inclusion of home economics in school programs at all levels of the public education system — kindergarten through post graduate school.2 This chapter is about the people and ideas that supported the growth of home economics in the Progressive Era. The basic questions framing this chapter are, why did home economics become a passionate cause, and what did the campaign represent from an educational history perspective?