Home Economics Skills for the 21st Century: Restructuring the Home Economics Curriculum: A Caribbean Approach

The field of Home Economics has moved beyond the home into the global sphere where its scope has broadened to relate to 21st century concepts, issues, education and careers. While students at the secondary education level need to develop home economics skills, learning in this discipline encompasses more than just the home or local communities. Thus, the traditional subject areas, instructional design and delivery methods have become antiquated. There needs to be a curriculum that reflects the knowledge and skills for the home, community, related industries and careers in the 21st century. As such, this paper examines the need for a restructuring of the home economics curriculum at the secondary education level within the Caribbean.


The subject areas, particularly at the senior high school level, need to reflect the broader scope of the home economics discipline. Students at this level, considering a future career, should be equipped to envision themselves in such careers or roles and be motivated for further study and skills development at the post-secondary education level. Secondary research and curriculum reviews have been conducted, to provide a comparative analysis of the current CXC syllabus. The paper presents recommendations for the implementation of a 2-tier level (Grades 7-9 and Grades 10-12), secondary education for the home economics discipline, with proposed subject title changes at the senior level, to reflect a 21st century focus. A restructured home economics curriculum will allow students to identify with the global society in which they live and will eventually work.

Key Words: Home Economics, Caribbean Approach, CXC syllabus, 21st century careers        

Jacquline A. Smith

Yeates School of Graduate Studies

Ryerson University

Toronto, ON Canada