I Do, We Do, You Do Home Economics: Explicit Instruction Connecting Content with Ideology

  • Jay Deagon College of Education, School of Education and the Arts, Central Queensland University, Australia
Keywords: home economics, explicit instruction, ideology, professional practice


Explicit instruction is a teaching model that demonstrates to students what to do and how to do it. One purpose of ideology is to focus the who, what, when, where, and why of a disciplinary field. Trained home economists make a sustained commitment to the core ideology of home economics. Mechanisms for identifying locally relevant challenges faced by individuals, families, and communities are embedded in the home economics knowledge base. To identify challenges and locate solutions (who, what, when, where, and how), home economics education programmes must actively teach or provide explicit instruction about the ideology that underpins the home economics disciplinary field. Neglecting ideology results in teaching unrelated subjects or compartmentalised content that may dilute connection to the core aims of the home economics’ ‘big picture’. This paper outlines how explicit instruction and embedded home economics ideology have positively impacted perceptions of the discipline amongst professionals who are new to the field. In teaching and learning environments, making home economics ideology visible and reinforced continuously across all content specialisation areas, the author observed that students acquired the words and concepts to explain the importance of home economics to others. Professionals who are new to the field became more confident and passionate advocates for home economics, because they had learnt and appreciated, through explicit instruction techniques, the what, the how to, and the why of home economics. Equipped with the discipline’s core ideology, professionals who make visible the home economics ‘big picture’ (i.e., the why) to others are better equipped to enact real-world applications of home economics that can adapt continuously to meet ever-changing and complex societal needs.


Download data is not yet available.


Ashman, G., Kalyuga, S., & Sweller, J. (2020). Problem-solving or Explicit Instruction: Which should go first when element interactivity is high? Educational psychology review, 32(1), 229–247. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-019-09500-5

Benn, J. (2010). Home economics in development through action research. International Journal of Home Economics, 3(1), 2–19.

Brisbane chef using home economics education to serve up unique path to inclusion. (2021). CQUNINEWS. https://www.cqu.edu.au/cquninews/stories/general-category/2021-general/brisbane-chef-using-home-economics-education-to-serve-up-unique-path-to-inclusion

Brown, M. M. (1993). Philosophical studies of home economics in the United States: Basic ideas by which home economists understand themselves (Volume 3). Michigan State University.

Christensen, J. H. (2019). Blind spots of the self-glorification in home economics. International Journal of Home Economics, 12(2), 76–80. https://doi.org/https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/informit.871935594378394

Cunningham-Sabo, L., & Simons, A. (2012). Home economics: An old-fashioned answer to a modern-day dilemma? Nutrition Today (Annapolis), 47(3), 128–132. https://doi.org/10.1097/NT.0b013e31825744a5

Darling, C. A., & Turkki, K. (2009). Global family concerns and the role of family life education: An ecosystemic analysis. Family Relations, 58(1), 14–27. http://search.proquest.com.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/docview/213932701?accountid=14543

Deagon, J. R. (2012). Deaths, disasters and tasty treats: challenging public perceptions of home economics. In D. Pendergast, S. McGregor, & K. Turkki (Eds.), The next 100 years – creating home economics futures (pp. 75–87). Australia Academic Press.

Deagon, J. R. (2015a). Spiritual knowledges in Queensland curriculum documents: A framework for analysis. Curriculum Perspectives, 35(2), 16–29.

Deagon, J. R. (2015b). “Through the eyes of a satin bowerbirdâ€: A bricolage metaphor as an organising principle for a self-reflective process to explore spirituality in home economics contexts. Victorian Journal of Home Economics, 54(1), 7–21.

Deagon, J. R., & Pendergast, D. (2014). Home economists’ views and perceptions of spiritual health and wellbeing: A collective affirmation statement. Journal of the HEIA, 21(2), 2–12.

Dewhurst, Y., & Pendergast, D. (2011). Teacher perceptions of the contribution of home economics to sustainable development education: a cross-cultural view. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 35(5), 569–577. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1470-6431.2011.01029.x

Dislere, V., Pridane, A., Vronska, N., & Lice-Zikmane, I. (2020). Development of home economics and technologies education in life quality in Latvia Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, Faculty of Engineering, Institute of Education and Home Economics.

Erjavšek, M., Lovšin Kozina, F., & Kostanjevec, S. (2020). In-service home economics teachers’ attitudes to the integration of sustainable topics in the home economics subject. CEPS journal, 11(1), 27–47. https://doi.org/10.26529/cepsj.614

Gagne-Collard, A. (2002). Celine Mathieu: A career based on reason and passion (Focus on people and programs / Regard sur les gens et les programmes). Canadian Home Economics Journal, 52(1), 41.

Gentzler, Y. S. (2012). Home economics: Ever timely and forever complex. Phi Kappa Phi Forum, 92(2), 4–7. http://search.proquest.com.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/docview/1020414791?accountid=14543

Graham, S., Graham, S., Gillespie, A., Gillespie, A., McKeown, D., & McKeown, D. (2013). Writing: importance, development, and instruction. Reading & Writing, 26(1), 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-012-9395-2

Hall-Mills, S. S., & Marante, L. M. (2020). Explicit text structure instruction supports expository text comprehension for adolescents with learning disabilities: A systematic review. Learning Disability Quarterly, 73194872090649. https://doi.org/10.1177/0731948720906490

Henry, M. (1995). Well-being, the focus of home economics: An Australian perspective [Doctoral dissertation]. University of New England.

IFHE (International Federation for Home Economics). (2008). Home Economics in the 21st century: position statement. http://www.ifhe.org/

Kruit, P. M., Oostdam, R. J., van den Berg, E., & Schuitema, J. A. (2018). Effects of explicit instruction on the acquisition of students’ science inquiry skills in grades 5 and 6 of primary education. International Journal of Science Education, 40(4), 421–441. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500693.2018.1428777

Lichtenstein, A. H., & Ludwig, D. S. (2010). Bring back home economics education. JAMA, 303(18), 1857–1858. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2010.592

Luke, A., Weir, K., & Woods, A. (2008). Development of a set of principles to guide a P-12 syllabus framework. http://www.qsa.qld.edu.au

McCloat, A., & Caraher, M. (2020). An international review of second-level food education curriculum policy. Cambridge Journal of Education, 50(3), 303–324. https://doi.org/10.1080/0305764X.2019.1694641

McGregor, S. L. T. (2011). Home economics as an integrated, holistic system: Revisiting Bubolz and Sontag’s 1988 human ecology approach. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 35(1), 26–34. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1470-6431.2010.00920.x

Nickols-Richardson, S. M. (2001). Our collective soul. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, 93(3), 32–32. http://search.proquest.com.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/docview/218161910?accountid=14543

Nickols, S. Y. (2001). Keeping the Betty lamp burning. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, 93(3), 35–44. http://search.proquest.com.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/docview/218169914?accountid=14543

Nickols, S. Y., & Kay, G. (2015). Remaking home economics: Resourcefulness and Innovation in changing times. University of Georgia Press.

Nickols, S. Y., Ralson, P. A., Anderson, C., Browne, L., Schroeder, G., Thomas, S., & Wild, P. (2009). The family and consumer sciences body of knowledge and the cultural kaleidoscope: Research opportunities and challenges. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 37(3), 266–283. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077727X08329561

Nickols, S. Y., Turkki, K., Pichler, G., Kirjavainen, L., Atiles, J. H., & Firebaugh, F. M. (2010). A Global perspective for FCS: Sustaining families, natural environments social capital. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, 102(4), 10–16.

Pendergast, D. (2013). An appetite for home economics literacy: Convergence, megatrends and big ideas. Journal of Asian Regional Association for Home Economics, 20(2), 57–65.

Pendergast, D., & Deagon, J. (2021). Home economics, the COVID-19 global pandemic and beyond. International Journal of Home Economics, 14(1), 2–15.

Pendergast, D., Garvis, S., & Kanasa, H. (2013). The value of home economics to address the obesity challenge: An evaluation of comments in an online forum. International Journal of Home Economics, 6(2), 272–285.

Ronto, R., Ball, L., Pendergast, D., & Harris, N. (2017a). Environmental factors of food literacy in Australian high schools: views of home economics teachers. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 41(1), 19–27. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijcs.12309

Ronto, R., Ball, L., Pendergast, D., & Harris, N. (2017b). What is the status of food literacy in Australian high schools? Perceptions of home economics teachers. Appetite, 108, 326–334. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2016.10.024

Sewell, D. T. (2008). Passion: A narrative journey to family and consumer sciences education (Order No. 3307064). Available from ProQuest One Academic. (230700160). https://ezproxy.cqu.edu.au/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/dissertations-theses/passion-narrative-journey-family-consumer/docview/230700160/se-2?accountid=10016

Smith, G., & de Zwart, M. (2010). Home Economics: A contextual study of the subject and home economics teacher education. http://www.thesa.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/inquiry_contextual.pdf

Smith, M. G. (2016). “Bring back home economics� challenging contested discourses on obesity. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, 108(4), 7–12. https://doi.org/10.14307/JFCS108.4.7

Stage, S. (2018). Rethinking home economics: Women and the history of a profession. In S. Sarah & B. V. Virginia (Eds.), Introduction home economics, what’s in a name? (pp. 1–14). Cornell University Press. https://doi.org/doi:10.7591/9781501729942-003

Turkki, K. (2012). Home economics - a forum for global learning and responsible living. In D. Pendergast, S. McGregor, & K. Turkki (Eds.), The next 100 years – creating home economics futures (pp. 38–51). Australia Academic Press.

van de Kamp, M. T., Admiraal, W., van e, J., & Rijlaarsdam, G. (2015). Enhancing divergent thinking in visual arts education: Effects of explicit instruction of meta-cognition. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 85(1), 47–58. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjep.12061

Wahlen, S., Posti-Ahokas, H., & Collins, E. (2009). Linking the loop: Voicing dimensions of home economics. International Journal of Home Economics, 2(2), 32–47. http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=721941138737452;res=IELHSS

Worsley, A., Wang, W. C., Yeatman, H., Byrne, S., & Wijayaratne, P. (2016). Does school health and home economics education influence adults’ food knowledge? Health Promotion International, 31(4), 925–935. https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/dav078

How to Cite
Deagon, J. (2021). I Do, We Do, You Do Home Economics: Explicit Instruction Connecting Content with Ideology. Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal, 11(4), 135-150. https://doi.org/10.26529/cepsj.1188