Home Economics in Canadian Schools, 1919-1944 Essay

Home Economics in Canadian Schools, 1919-1944 Essay

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In my research I looked at home economics in between the years of 1919 and 1944. By looking through primary sources, most of which were newspaper articles I have been able to piece together a glimpse of home economics in schools at this time.Though deemed unnecessary by some, Home Economics was accepted by most as an integral part of girls’ education, and was promoted by women’s groups and educators, as not just preparing them to keep a home, but also how to manage various aspects of day to day life.
The push for home economics in schools appears to be the result of the general desire during this period that children should have a practical aspect to their education. An article in The Globe and Mail, in October of 1925, suggests that high school girls should have their education focused in a practical and therefore useful manner:
The survey doubts that whether the smattering of Latin and French three-quarters of high school girls now receive will help them make their own dresses or prepare dinner. The arithmetic of elementary school, without the addition of a high school course, would answer most of the prospective needs in that would be more helpful than a hazy memory of geometry. The ability of being able to express oneself with pen or tongue would be better than algebra. In the opinion of the survey, home economics for girls should be an encouraged to a vastly greater extent than it is.

In this article entitled “Drastic Revision Urged in Schools: Home Economics May Replace Mathematics for Girl in B.C.,” it suggests that the education of young women should on only focus on basic academic subjects, and that young women should be schooled in lessons that they would find more useful in the assumed career of home maker. Other ar...


... middle of paper ...


...8, 1939, 11.
“Home Economics Study Teaches Girls at School to be Good Housewives: Dull Meals Probably to Be in Limbo of Past as Result of Course,” The Globe and Mail, August 29, 1939, 13.
“Home Economics to be Separate School at ‘U’,” The Winnipeg Evening Tribune, April 19, 1943, 13.
Ted Schrader. “Education for Life,” The Winnipeg Evening Tribune, April 26, 1943, 6.
“Urges School Emphasis on Homemaking,” The Globe and Mail, April 4, 1944, 9.



Secondary Sources:
Linda Peterat and Mary Leah Dezwart, eds., “The Pioneers: 1900-1925; View Points of the Times.” An education for women: the founding of home economics education in Canadian public schools. Charlottetown: the Home Economics Publishing Collective, UPEI, 1995. Print.
Mary Leah Dezwart, The Red Book Revealed: British Columbia’s Home Economics Secret 1930-1975. British Columbia History Vol. 40, no.2, 2007.


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