The 21st Century Approach in Teaching Home Economics, A Singapore Perspective

By Li Mei Johannah Soo and Siew Kheng Catherine Chua.

Published by The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: March 26, 2014 $US5.00

According to Dewey (1990), there is a positive link between education and society because changes in the education reflect the changes that occur in the societies. In the present time, the process of globalisation and technological advancement has brought a new educational paradigm shift that calls for a fundamental change in teaching and learning. This is because the shift from Industrial Age production to the present Knowledge Age economy demands a new set of skills to be learned. According to Trilling and Fadel (2009), the world today is highly interlinked and thus requires “a new mix of skills… that involve higher levels of knowledge applied skills like expert thinking and complex communication” (p.8). The 21st century workforce must possess contemporary skills particularly digital and thinking skills, communication and social skills. This is specifically so when the new globalised world that is characterised by frequent, rapid and unpredictable changes, it requires a new breed of people who are able to multitask and have the ability to work in teams. Inevitably, school curriculum has to be redesigned to include activities and programmes that aim to cultivate the 21st century skills in the students. This paper discusses how the present day home economics syllabi are designed to cultivate these 21st century skills and to what extent the subject has evolved to meet the needs of the 21st century economy.

Keywords: Home Economics, Globalisation, Global Economy, 21st Century Skills

International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum, Volume 20, Issue 2, March 2014, pp.61-75. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 26, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 716.694KB)).

Li Mei Johannah Soo

Lecturer, National Insititute of Education, Nanyang Technological University (NIE/NTU), Singapore

Ms. Johannah Soo teaches family and consumer sciences at the NIE/NTU. She is involved in training home economics teachers for the secondary schools in Singapore. Prior to the NIE/NTU appointment in 2006, she taught home economics in secondary schools for more than 10 years. At present, she is pursuing her PhD and her research is in sustainable food consumption and home economics education.

Dr. Siew Kheng Catherine Chua

Assistant Professor, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University (NIE/NTU), Singapore, Singapore, Singapore

Dr. Catherine Chua is an assistant professor in NIE/NTU Singapore. She has been involved in teaching in the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Her research interests include globalisation and educational reforms, language planning and policies, twenty-first century competencies and skills, as well as school leadership