The Removal of Mandatory Home Economics from Quebec’s Official Education Curriculum
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This study examines the Quebec government‟s 1997 decision to remove mandatory home economics from the province‟s secondary school curriculum, on the grounds that home economics has the potential to be a valuable tool in the construction of sustainable and socially just societies. The decision is specifically being examined since home economics is a gendered domain and is vulnerable to institutionalized and systematic discrimination. This study consisted of a review of government documents and interviews with key figures central to the decision making process. The aim of this project has been 1) to discover the primary reasons behind the removal of mandatory home economics from Quebec‟s secondary school curriculum; 2) to examine the considerations Quebec‟s domestic sphere received during the formation of this decision; and 3) provide policy recommendations. The primary reason for the removal of the course was limited time in the provincial time table. Specific reasons for its removal instead of other subjects appear to be the fact that it was thought that the family could adequately convey certain components of the course, other components of the course were transferred to different sections of the new curriculum. There is currently no written information available stating exactly which components have been reintegrated and transferred and which have been completely removed. Quebec‟s domestic spheres seem to have received very little consideration in and during the formation of this decision. No consideration seems to have been given to the contemporary challenges facing Quebec households. Given this, it is recommended that the ministry of education work to determine exactly which elements were removed and then work with individuals in the field of home economics to decide what needs to be done to assure Quebec families have adequate resources and knowledge to manage their homes in a sustainable and socially responsible manner.