The discipline of Family & Consumer Science (FACS), formerly Home Economics, dates back to 1899 in Lake Placid, New York, where 11 people gathered to create this new field of study.
In 1909 Ellen H. Richards, the first female graduate of M.I.T., founded the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS). She saw a need and actively promoted consumer education, nutrition, child protection, industrial safety, public health, career education, women’s rights, purity of air, food and water and the application of scientific management principles to the family.
In the early 1900s, FACS coursework was required for all girls to teach them skills so they would be prepared to run a household. They learned to cook, clean and sew as well as how to manage finances and children. All valuable skills then and now. Today, FACS continues to teach these skills and works toward helping prepare all students for the future.
FACS today is the comprehensive body of skills, research, and knowledge that helps people make informed decisions about their well-being, relationships and resources to achieve optimal quality of life. The field represents many areas, including personal finance, nutrition, parenting and childcare, interpersonal relationships, family systems, career exploration and preparation, family resource management, design and merchandising, interior design, the apparel industry, and environmentally responsible construction. Today, across America, there are more than 37,000 FACS middle and high school educators reaching over 5 million students. FACS is taught in Asia, Africa, Europe, South America, Central America and Canada.
White River Valley reflects the then and now. This year’s course offerings include Introduction to Fashion and Textiles, Interpersonal Relationships, Child Development and Advanced Child Development, Nutrition and Wellness and Advanced Nutrition and Wellness. There are two career pathways: Culinary and Hospitality and Early Childhood Education. Students enrolled in Introduction to Culinary and Hospitality or Early Childhood Education 1 and 2 will have the opportunity to take the PrePAC assessment offered by the AAFCS and earn preprofessional certification in their area of study.
These certificates are great for applications or scholarships. I am so excited to be part of such an amazing group of FACS educators supporting students as they prepare for adulthood.
A Brief History of the Family and Consumer Sciences profession and the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences. (n.d.). Retrieved August 13, 2019, from www.vafcs-aafcs.org/uploads/5/7/3/4/57348791/history.pdf
Betsy Misner has been the Family and Consumer Science, formerly Home Economics, teacher at White River Valley for over a decade. Her motivation is helping students to strive for strong, happy, healthy families and providing career pathways. Check out more of what is happening in the classroom by following her on Twitter: WRVFACS@BetsyMisner