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Support for Home Economics Education in the Smith-Hughes Act

Support for Home Economics Education in the Smith-Hughes Act

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the interests that supported the inclu sion of home economics education in early vocational legislation. Primary and secondary sources were used to record the emergence of support for vocational education in the early 1900s, to identify the interests that supported the inclusion of home economics in the federal legislation, and to identify the issues faced by the supporting interests. It was a major achievement that home economics was included in the Smith-Hughes Act three years before women were granted the right to vote. Many interests such as the National Society for the Promotion of Industrial Education, National Education Association, American Federation of La bor, National Association of Manufacturers, and American Home Economics As sociation all supported inclusion of home economics education. The Smith- Hughes Act mentioned home economics 18 times and included funding for the total program and for teacher training. The article concludes with implications for today's program, such as the importance of maintaining coalitions, retaining ser vice area identity, using a common name, and meeting society's needs.
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