Teach Middle East Magazine Apr - Jun 2020 Issue 3 Volume 7 - Page 31

Sharing Good Practice lens to frame education and what our next generation should be learning. Currently, every country in the world falls short on more than half of the targets of the 17 SDGs and a quarter of the world’s countries fall short on all 17 of the goals (UN, 2015). Goal 4, Quality Education, and specifically target 4.7, relates directly to the contribution home economics can make. The target is that “[B]y 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development” (UN, 2015). But this is just one of several SDGs that the teaching and learning of home economics education are fundamental to achieving. Other strongly aligned SDG goals include SDG 2 Zero Hunger; SDG 3 Good health and wellbeing; SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities; SDG 12 Responsible consumption and production. Where these skills are lacking, policymakers are taking action to educate. Becoming Home Economics literate is being seen as one strategy which can assist in creating healthier, more productive and creative individuals who strive for a sustainable quality of life. Home Economics literacy is a concept that has been developed over recent time and is defined generally as the amalgam of multiple literacies including food, health, financial, consumer and environmental literacy. Its purpose is to enable individuals like family members, responsible consumers and global citizens to make informed choices and opt for appropriate behaviours in order to safeguard and enhance personal, family and community wellbeing. Pendergast (2015) provides greater specificity, arguing that home economics literacy comprises the Essential Dimensions and the Areas of Practice of home economics knowledge identified in the IFHE Position Paper (2008). This is represented in Figure 1 and provides a philosophical stance for the profession and a curriculum structure for the field of study. The four Areas of Practice are: 5 5 An academic discipline to educate new scholars, to conduct research and to create new knowledge and ways of thinking for professionals and for society; 5 5 An arena for everyday living in households, families and communities for developing human growth potential and human necessities or basic needs to be met; 5 5 A curriculum area that facilitates students to discover and further develop their own resources and capabilities to be used in their personal life, by directing their professional decisions and actions or preparing them for life; 5 5 A societal arena to influence and develop a policy to advocate for individuals, families and communities to achieve empowerment and wellbeing, to utilise transformative practices, and to facilitate sustainable futures. The three Essential Dimensions are: 5 5 A focus on fundamental needs and practical concerns of individuals and family in everyday life and their importance both at the individual and near community levels, and also at societal and global levels so that wellbeing can be enhanced in an ever-changing and ever-challenging environment 5 5 The integration of knowledge, processes and practical skills from multiple disciplines synthesised through interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary inquiry and pertinent paradigms 5 5 Demonstrated capacity to take critical/ transformative/ emancipatory action to enhance wellbeing and to advocate for individuals, families and communities at all levels and sectors of society. Home Economics timetabled school countries around surprisingly not yet In other countries, is also finding its is taught as a subject in many the world but in all UAE schools. Home Economics way into lifelong Home Economics Literacy Model (HELM) Graphic Design: Joy Reynolds Pendergast, D.(2015). Home economics Literacy: A vision for the field. Keynote address presented at: Action for family and consumer well being - Home economics literacy bringing skills to life. University of Malta IFHE Conference, March 19-21, Malta. Figure 1. HELM – Home Economics Literacy Model