Home science is a subject that concerns itself with a broad range of topics which includes personal and family finance, human development, food science and preparation, housing and interior design, nutrition and wellness, consumer issues, and textiles and apparel.
Home science is a subject that was initially quite hard to categorize because it is at the crossroads of science and art. It represents an interdisciplinary field that can prepare young students for the two most important goals in their lives – caring for their family (and subsequently all aspects of home) and preparing them for a career or vocation in life. Hence, the scope of home science includes activities that are associated with setting up home-based enterprises as well as consultancies. Today, both women and men are equally responsible for the proper functioning of a household and therefore have to know how to make use of the resources available to them as a means of making their lives more comfortable.
The Intersection of Art and Science
As mentioned earlier, home science is a subject that lies smack in the middle of art and science. However, that does not explain what it means. Home science teaches the learner the art of using things at home for the purpose of achieving a wholesome harmony in their home, while at the same time giving them all the scientific knowledge required to understand the reasons behind doing so and the methods of implementing them. This intermingling of the arts and sciences can give an individual a unique insight into the art of homemaking and the sciences that are involved in the same.
This can be better explained with the help of an example. Home science teaches the learner about the nutrients that the body requires on a daily basis and the various functions they perform. This part is the ‘science’ part of the activity. When that person is able to select those dishes having the necessary nutrients and serve them to their family in an attractive manner and motivate them to eat the right food, it becomes an art.
Relevance of Home Science
100 years ago, if you were to ask someone to imagine a scenario where a man would stay ay home taking care of the home, while his wife went to work, people would laugh. However, today, millions of families across the world are doing just that. Gender stereotypes related to work are being challenged every day, and with each passing generation, people are starting to realize that taking care of a household is more of an art than a chore.
Both men and women are living in a competitive world full of uncertainty and therefore will have to work hard to stay ahead of the curve. This will lead to the inevitable emergence of a partnership between them, and that is how a household should function.
A lot of people are balancing their work and personal life just to make sure they have a good home aesthetic. In such a safe and inclusive environment, the importance hence shifts to the perfect allocation of resources in the right direction. This is where home science comes in.
Home science covers areas such as food and nutrition, resource allocation and management, fabric and apparel science, human development, communication, extension, etc. Home science teaches learners the importance of building strong interpersonal relationships with people both inside and outside the family. Allocation of resources such as time, money, and human effort is also taught so that it can be applied effectively for maximum satisfaction.
One of the most important aspects of home science is the fact that it helps us evolve, both as an individual as well as a society. It helps us get in touch with and value the traditional knowledge that was imparted to us by our grandparents and parents. It helps us adapt to the ever-changing socio-economic environment around us smoothly and seamlessly.
Because of its unique relationship with arts and science, home science makes the learner quite adept at applying science when and where it is required. It helps them identify and become eligible for the vast number of interdisciplinary fields that are emerging today.
In short, while home science may seem like a mundane and irrelevant subject, it is actually quite useful in today’s socio-economic and socio-political generation of equality and diversity inclusion. Home science strikes the perfect balance between two polar opposites of disciplines to create a wholesome futuristic mix of the two.