A New Human Ecology Middle Years’ Curriculum: Advancing Home Economics in Manitoba Schools

January 2016

For Immediate Release 

Home Economics is getting a fresh start in Manitoba Middle Years’ classrooms this year. Manitoba Education and Advanced Learning started the Middle Years Home Economics Curriculum renewal in November 2013. The Middle Years Home Economics Team had five rural and urban teachers nominated by their local superintendents and selected by the province, a University of Manitoba representative and project lead from the department, Susan Lee.


The Honourable James Allum, Minister of Education and Advanced Learning, recently approved a new “Human Ecology” curriculum as an optional area of study from grades 5 to 8. The implementation is optional for this school year but mandatory implementation of new curriculum is expected in September of 2016. Teachers had the opportunity to explore the curriculum during the annual Professional Development Day hosted by the Manitoba Home Economics Teachers’ Association in October. Susan Lee, project lead, guided the audience through the seven essential foundations and the document outcomes, uncovering the exploratory/introductory and intermediate delivery options. The areas of study include food and nutrition, and clothing and textiles; human development is integrated into both these disciplines and is intended to support students in the family studies discipline that is fully developed at the senior years’ level.


“This fully integrated approach will help students to develop essential skills, knowledge and understanding through experiential learning to enhance their quality of life,” says Alison Delf-Timmerman, member of the curriculum development team, human ecology teacher and member of the Manitoba Association of Home Economists. “Our society depends on youth and their ability to be successful, not only in the workplace but also in their homes and personal lives. Human Ecology is the only program in schools that provides this integrated knowledge and skill set related to how food and nutrition, financial literacy, family well being, textiles and housing design play a role in relationships, living environment and your choices as a consumer.”


Exposure to the six essential foundations will provide students with background that can be fully studied at the senior years level; curriculum which is expected to be receiving approval for update within the next year. “There are so many great career opportunities for students interested in this field”, says Arlene Skull, Principal of Gordon Bell High School and Professional Home Economist. “Manitoba is growing in a number areas that require Human Ecology expertise including the development of textile products for medical, exercise, military, and sports applications; basic skill programs for independent living; services for Manitoba’s Immigrant, Indigenous and Aging populations; and teachers who are trained experts in these field of study and learning.”


Home Economics professionals are trained to educate individuals, families and communities through practical skill application, and by identifying how values, attitudes, beliefs, habits, culture and family dynamics can empower people to live their lives in a healthy, meaningful, productive way. Visit the Manitoba Association of Home Economists for more information.

The complete Middle Years Human Ecology: Manitoba Curriculum Framework of Outcomes document can be found on the Manitoba Education and Advanced Learning website.

For more information, please contact:                                                                  

Melissa Gabbs – Public Relations Director, MAHE