Most schools no longer offer home economics classes in the traditional sense; however, the basic elements of home ec. classes continue to be offered in a variety of classes such as courses in child development, nutrition, family health, food service, hospitality, etc.
California is the only state in the US still offering programs called “home ec” classes, but even these classes are more inclusive (taught to both genders) and specialized (focusing on mechanics, nutrition, and psychology rather than decoration, cooking, and socializing) than the home ec classes of the 1960s and 1970s.
I went to school in New York State, and while my high school did not offer any home economics courses, my middle school did, and, I believe, still does. Like hlennon described, it was certainly not like the home economics classes of the past, which taught women how to run the home and be good mothers. Instead, both genders were required to take the course, which focused on cooking and measuring ingredients. In fact, this was pretty much the only skill I can remember learning from the class. On the flip side, every student was also required to take a “technology” course the next half of the year, which focused on woodworking and drafting floorplans. There were no courses that taught skills like balancing a checkbook or sewing, which might be interesting or important for a home economics class.
I went to a high school in Los Angeles and was required to take a “home economics” course that was basically a cooking class. We were taught how to properly measure ingredients as well as how to cook basic dishes in different types of cuisine. The class was inclusive, so it wasn’t just limited to females like these classes used to be. Interestingly, someone explained to me that the “economics” in home economics refers to how women not only had to manage their households, but they also had to optimize the use of supplies they had on hand.
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