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Academic Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences

The family and consumer sciences standards can be accessed at the Academic Standards section of the Department of Education Web site.

This standards document includes academic standards for family and consumer sciences at four grade levels (third, sixth, ninth, and twelfth) with the emphasis on what students will know and be able to do in the following areas:

  • 11.1. Financial and Resource Management
  • 11.2. Balancing Family, Work, and Community Responsibility
  • 11.3. Food Science and Nutrition
  • 11.4. Child Development

The focus of the academic standards for family and consumer sciences education is the individual, the family,and the community. The economic, social, and political well-being of our state depends on the well-being of Pennsylvania’s families. The family is responsible for nurturing its members. Family experiences, to a great extent, determine who a person is and what a person becomes. Family and consumer sciences, working with Pennsylvania’s families, supports the development of the knowledge and skills that students need as family members both now and in the future. The 21st century requires students to develop the ability to transform information into knowledge by using standards to certify that this information is meaningful, categorizing it to a purpose and then transforming their knowledge into wisdom by applying it to real life.

Family and consumer sciences is a discipline composed of strong subject matter concentrations with a commitment to integration. Concepts form a framework for learning based on these tenets:

  • Families are the fundamental unit of society.
  • A life-span approach to individual and family development contributes to creating lifelong learners.
  • Meeting individual and family needs inside and outside the home are shared responsibilities.
  • Individual, family, and community well-being is strengthened through an awareness of diversity.
  • The use of diverse modes of inquiry strengthens intellectual development.
  • The content learned in family and consumer sciences classes enhances the mastery of academic standards.
  • Standards-based learning within family and consumer sciences classrooms can best be demonstrated through performance-based assessment.

Learners in family and consumer sciences nurture themselves and others, taking increased responsibility for improving their quality of living.

The academic standards for family and consumer sciences are written to empower individuals and families to manage the challenges of living and working in a diverse, global society. These academic standards address the functioning of families and their interrelationships with work, community, and society. The focus is on the recurring, practical problems of individuals and families. An integrative approach is used to help individuals and families identify, create, and evaluate goals and alternative solutions to significant problems of everyday life. Students are taught to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. Comprehensive classroom experiences allow students to develop the knowledge and skills needed in making choices to meet their personal, family, and work responsibilities.

For additional information, please contact:

Jean Kelleher |
Pennsylvania Department of Education - Bureau of Career and Technical Education
333 Market Street | Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Phone: 717.783.6956 | Fax: 717.783.6962
jekelleher@pa.gov | www.education.state.pa.us