Family and Consumer Sciences teachers' attitudes and perceptions of the impact of the name change on FCS education in Iowa

Munya, Stella
Major Professor
Sally K. Williams
Committee Member
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Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies

Many colleges and universities in the United States have resorted to using proven business marketing strategies to market themselves better, such as changing the program's name to broaden consumer appeal. Family and consumer sciences adopted this strategy in an attempt to present to the public a more accurate picture of the state of the profession. Over the years names of FCS programs in institutions of higher education had changed into a wide proliferation of directions. In addition the public image of home economics varied widely across the country. It was decided that a coordinated and common strategic name change would address these issues. In 1993, the American Association of Home Economics made a recommendation to change the name of the profession to family and consumer sciences.;The purpose of this study was to examine FCS teachers' attitudes and perceptions of the impact of the name change on FCS education in Iowa. Objectives focused on attitudes and perceptions toward the name change, program changes, ways in which FCS teachers have enhanced the new image of the profession, and relationships between attitudes and perceptions with demographic variables. The sample consisted of 300 teachers randomly selected from a population of 498 FCS teachers in Iowa. Forty-three percent (129 teachers) responded with usable data for the analysis.;Results showed that teachers held an overall positive attitude toward the name change and saw it as a necessary step toward stronger unity and identity in the profession. Changes in curriculum and instruction were indicated but attributed to student needs as well as needs of the job market rather than the name change. The majority of respondents indicated their willingness to be involved in promoting the new image of the profession; hence, the recommendation that professional associations in the field should expand their recruitment efforts and involve FCS teachers in public relations campaigns. It was also recommended that this study should be done on a national level to include other professionals employed in FCS positions other than teaching to get a more complete picture of the impact of the name change. Overall, on the basis of this study the conclusion is reached that the name change from home economics to family and consumer sciences in Iowa is a positive change.