Case study of the home economics program at Mooseheart, Mooseheart, Illinois, 1913 to 1930
Kies, Helena M.
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This paper looks at the implementation of the home economics program within a progressive school, Mooseheart, Mooseheart, II, during the infancy of the home economics movement. Home economics was officially named in 1899 at the first Lake Placid Conference where a group of scientists and social scientists came together to discuss common concerns about home and family life. These meetings were a formal reaction to the events of the day that were having a destructive effect on the role of home and family in society. At these conferences, the need for a comprehensive educational program became apparent. Mooseheart, a progressive school and community that began in 1913, experienced many of the same struggles for existence as did the home economics movement. They also shared the same ideals. Even though Mooseheart was an institution for parentless children, it sought to compensate for this parental loss by creating an environment replicating, as closely as possible, the home and family. Home economics, therefore, was a very important part of the curriculum. Under a variety of names, home economics classes were required of all the female students from the time the school opened. These classes reflected the attitude encouraged by the founders of the movement. Therefore, this program has been studied in order to examine the way in which the newly formulated model of home economics was implemented within the classroom during the years 1913 through 1930. By learning about the past, one can see more clearly what needs to be done in the future.