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Home Ec or Home Economics?

If we could create a 4 year Home Economics high school program, what would it look like?

Photo of Darrick Hildman

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Who does this idea benefit, who are the main players and what's in it for them?

This would help high school students as they transition to adulthood and living on their own as financial citizens.

How is your idea specifically using the power of communities to improve financial opportunities and resources?

This is using schooling systems that are already in place, but focusing more on the bigger picture of success outside of highschool.

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

There are a few programs out there that are already successful. Looking at the best practices would help. This is also a school budget and community will issue.

What skills, input or guidance might you be seeking from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

Imagining what a successful program would include and intail.

This idea emerged from:

  • A student project or collaboration

For many, Home Ec (I didn't even know that the Ec stood for Economics till later in life) is a fun class where you learn how to sew and cook a little meal. For others, it is a class that prepared students for life outside of high school. 

So what if Home Economics could be more? Financial literacy and empowerment, home maintenance, car repair and driver's education, education on the local living economy, professionalism and career skills and exploration, interpersonal relationship skills, health and wellness including food, nutrition and cooking, shop, making and repairing, etc. 

This could easily be a 4 year program with the curriculum geared toward the students as they get closer to graduation. 

What are your thoughts on what this could look like?


Join the conversation:

Photo of Eliza Rosenbaum

Darrick, your ideas have been phenomenal. We love how this one takes advantage of the broadest possible distribution channel for reaching young people (the school system), and it actually has a lot in common with Zoe Rose's Idea "Mock Stock" ( She has some similar ideas about how to engage students, and we think you guys could make a great team – especially given your first-hand experience as an educator. Feel free to also loop Will Fung in your discussion – he shared some similar ideas about a financial curriculum for classrooms. Thanks for being such a force in this challenge!

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