Academic journal article Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences

Sewing: A Middle School FCS Experience

Academic journal article Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences

Sewing: A Middle School FCS Experience

Article excerpt

For many years, middle school teachers in Wisconsin have questioned the role of sewing in the family and consumer sciences (FCS) curriculum. If students are involved with sewing projects, are they better prepared as adolescents for their roles within the work of the family or have the old stereotypes of their parent's home economics classes been reinforced?

Veteran FCS educators have been involved with pilot initiatives designed to redirect traditional home economics state curricular guides to a critical-science base. Yet, the concept of sewing continues to be included within a critical-science approach. As FCS departments make a decision, they recognize local community needs. Some communities have certain expectations of FCS programs; some believe that including sewing from a critical thinking approach provides the best education for middle school students.

In the traditional approach, sewing skills are presented using individual projects that are completed for personal use. Technical skills gained include: suitable fabric selection and preparation, correct pattern layout, appropriate construction and finishing techniques, and appropriate sewing terminology. These skills become self-gratifying and require information not usually needed for future work and for functioning of the family.

Sewing from a critical-science based curriculum, however, provides students a work-based approach. Students learn strong employability skills when preparing projects from a manufacturing perspective. …

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