Date of Award

Fall 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Transformative Education and Social Change

Committee Chairperson

Dana Morrison, Ph.D.

Committee Member

John Elmore, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Curry Malott, Ph.D.


Family and consumer science is a subject that carries a complex cultural legacy. Beginning as a response to the social upheaval of the industrial revolution, family and consumer started as home economics, and was split between elevating the importance of the domestic arts and applying science to traditionally domestic tasks to both improve homelife and create new fields of academic research. While second goal was reached, and we now have food science, sanitation engineering, and materials research, among others, family and consumer science is still often relegated to domestic associations. However, family and consumer science is still relevant and powerful – and can be especially helpful in middle school. Middle school should not simply be a preview of high school, but instead serve as a bridge between elementary and high school. Middle school serves a unique population of adolescent learners who struggle with changes in their social, physical, emotional, and intellectual development. The team structure of middle school was developed to account for these challenges and to balance students’ duel needs of independence and support. Family and consumer science education, however, typically operates outside of the team structure so crucial to middle school education. My goal here is to design a series of workshops that will improve the integration of family and consumer science into general middle school practice. Family and consumer science should not be dismissed as merely cooking and sewing. This dismissal is harmful, as it ignores the vast potential of subject. Integrating family and consumer science education more fully with the team structure of middle school will enhance the value and visibility of family and consumer science education, help students through their adolescence by instilling practical skills, and enhance the core classes within the team structure of middle school education.