By Mary Carver, P.H.Ec
Teachers and students waited a long time for it, but finally on June 6, 2013, the Ontario Ministry of Education released new and revised Family Studies Curriculum. Revision to the area of study began in 2007. No reason was given for the extended delay, although the Ministry does say that the review process was guided by research and consultations on new approaches specific to the discipline.
Once known as Home Economics, Family Studies (FS) courses today are part of the Social Sciences and Humanities Curriculum. Of the 31 new or revised Social Sciences and Humanities courses, 20 of them are in Family Studies which is most encouraging to the Ontario Home Economics Association (OHEA).
The Social Sciences and Humanities Curriculum, Grades 9-12, 2013 (Revised) is available on the Ontario Ministry of Education website - click here.
School boards will make local decisions about their ability to implement all or part of the revised document in the fall of 2013. Mandatory implementation of the document begins in September 2014, while Family Studies remains an optional choice for students.
Teacher training sessions will be provided this summer.
For teachers interested in doing their Family Studies qualifications - Parts One, Two, Three, Senior and Hon Specialist are offered through OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education) for the 2013 summer session. This program is unique in that the first four days are "face-to-face" in Mississauga and the remaining 12 classes are online. This blended learning approach has been well received by past candidates as it combines the benefits of online learning with a personal connection. For more information click here.
OHEA and OFA (Ontario Federation of Agriculture) continue to work together to convince the Ministry of Education that at least one food and nutrition FS course should be mandatory in Ontario schools.
According to the Ministry of Education website, the government and the Ontario College of Teachers are working to update teacher education in general, beginning September 2015. ‘ In addition to expanding the program to two years, admissions will be reduced by 50 per cent starting in 2015. This will help address an oversupply of graduates, enabling Ontario's qualified teachers to find jobs in their chosen field.’
Ontario Home Economics Association © 2013