This article questions whether home economics is something that still has a place within education, looking at the pros and cons of covering this topic.
For those unclear, home economics is the technical name for cookery class. Yet it all sounds so glamorous, doesn’t it? At a very young age, whether you are introduced to this in primary or secondary school, or junior high or high school, depending on where you are in the world, the very mention of economics is enough to raise some sort of mystique.
There is also an element of excitement that comes with “studying” home economics, in that you are learning something that will help you out in later life, in theory. This all sounds great, especially as many schoolchildren spend their mathematics lessons asking what impact algebra will have on their everyday lives, or what the reaction of ammonia when heated by a Bunsen burner is going to teach them.
But is it really worthwhile?
Everyone learns while growing up how to make simple things. Throw pasta into a pan of boiling water, the same for rice or frozen vegetables, and put meat in the oven. That gives the basis to a lot of meals and probably describes the eating habits a lot of people follow throughout their entire lives.
Was any of this ever learnt at school? No, of course it wasn’t. At school, students learn how to do things that are unlikely to be common staples of their diet – or make them very unhealthy if they are! We were allowed to make a pizza topped with jelly sweets! And the teacher just stood and watched.
Seriously, if students were taught about kitchen safety, or how to organise themselves while cooking a meal, or even something fun and quirky like how to make a cake, them home economics classes would be a lot more worthwhile.
A Marked Effort
Perhaps the biggest joke of all is the fact that schools actually mark students on how good their food tastes. Don’t get me wrong, this must be great for young, budding chefs who know how to put a great recipe together, but what about those who aren’t particularly great at it?
Is it reasonable to expect someone at 13 years old to have Masterchef potential? Of course it isn’t, yet if someone’s spaghetti sauce is a touch off, teachers are quick to tear a strip off them and tell them it isn’t good enough. It’s no wonder so many people become obese and turn to comfort foods, takeaway dinners and convenient, ready-made meals.
They were told at 13 they can’t cook, so what will have changed since then? Ironic that such time is wasted when many schools complain about lack of time for physical education!
Videojug makes cookery classes easier with its instructional videos on a wide array of food and drink recipes. You can learn how to make a cake.