Public opinion and perception can determine the outcome of the operations and sustainability of Home Economics. Similarly the image projected to the public by Home Economists individually or collectively through their professional associations can likewise perpetuate the image held by the public. Home Economists must therefore project an image that ultimately leads to the survival of this discipline that is the bedrock for ensuring a high quality of life for families, communities and the global village at large. The matter of image building is urgent since changes to the curriculum in some schools in the region have resulted in the marginalization of Home Economics as a tool for transmitting the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that can develop positive behaviours within individuals and transform societies in a meaningful way.

Formerly, the image of a home economist was a teacher of cookery, sewing and housekeeping. However in the 21st century Home Economics has emerged as profession not simply grounded in Domestic Science but as a synergistic study of a wide range of disciplines grounded in the Human Sciences for the empowerment and sustainability of families and communities.  The resulting is a powerful mandate that must rely on the combined efforts of all home economists. Consequently the Caribbean Association of Home Economists, mindful of this grave responsibility, has seen it fit to facilitate ventilation of the views of those who will support the sustainability of this profession hence the student forum.

This paper is prepared for a  forum that is poised to be a powerful assembly where fresh young minds and those of the young at heart can freely and openly discuss several pertinent issues of which professionalism and advocacy will be paramount. The forum will also seek to garner commitment to the cause of sustainability of Home Economics.  Four main questions will be addressed:

  1. What values do Home Economists represent?
  2. What is meant by representing “the image”?
  3. What is the role of the Home Economists in the community?
  4. How should Home Economists advocate ensuring the sustainability of the profession?

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Audrey A. Jones-Drayton.  M. Ed.) (Author)