When I was in school [many, many years ago] there was a strict division of genders...in phys ed, but also in high school when the girls went to home economics and the boys took woodshop. By the time I became a teacher myself, it was clear that gender equity was needed. Girls wanted in to wood shop and automotives. Boys were less interested in home ec. Within 10 years budget cuts finally took their toll and home economics was completed eliminated. Not shop. Home Ec. Like many communities it has been decades now since the last cooking, sewing, child development, or home budgeting class was held for regular education and college prep kids.
WHY? It seem to me that home economics is the one skill that EVERYONE needs. The ability to run a household and to have the skills to live independently should be the baseline not the frill. Perhaps if more of today's citizens had learned checkbook balancing, budgeting, and the economics of running and maintaining a home, some of our current fiscal problems might have been avoided.
Now, I'm not recommending a return to gender split classes! Neither am I recommending that all 7th grade girls sew vests and aprons and skirts, as I had to do. But since pretty much speaking all kids will eventually live in a home, perhaps some education on how to do that would be a good idea! How to mend a tear, how to prepare food safely, the basics of child development and budgeting. Why is it only available to the severely handicapped students, occasionally the voc ed students? Bring back home economics. It is NOT a frill!
I am a lifelong educator, writer and author, a foster, bio, and adoptive parent, happy mom of five daughters, Grandma to six, Nana to four, and church and theater musician. Oh yes, and all-round optimistic, crazy lady.