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Social Sciences and Humanities: Family Studies Home 405
Social Sciences and Humanities: Family Studies Home

Fa​mily Studies offers a wide variety of courses, covering a range of topics inclu​ding:

  • home economics roles and functions
  • nutrition sciences
  • food security
  • human development
  • gender equity
  • parenting  and child development
  • fashion marketing and industry

Students will participate in social science research and investigate change and development of Canadian society while also learning about global connections. As part of the Social Sciences and Humanities discipline, Family Studies allows students to see how theoretical frameworks apply to their lives and society at large. Students will be well equipped with tools to navigate the new technological age, preparing them for a range of careers and pathways. The courses are designed to bridge gaps in society and to strengthen families by discussing strategies which aim to improve the quality of life for every Canadian.

Please see the recently revised Social Sciences and Humanities Curriculum Document for more information.

The Following Links can provide you with more information about Family Studies:

Family Studies Department Members Contact information

​Teacher Name​ email address​ Ext.​
Rita Kumar Dhillon​ ​4615
Claudette Howell Rutherford​ (Head) claudette.rutherford@yrdsb.ca​ ​4679
​Vanessa Stoby vanessa.stoby@yrdsb.ca ​4606


Overview of the Social Sciences & Humanities - Family Studies Program

All five of the subject areas in the secondary social sciences and humanities program – equity studies, family studies, general social sciences, philosophy, and world religions – are concerned with how students view themselves, their families, their communities, and the broader society, and how they come to understand and respond to the world around them. Through practical experience, discussion, debate, research, reflection, and the development of critical and creative thinking skills, social sciences and humanities courses help students become self-motivated problem solvers equipped with the skills and knowledge that will enable them to face their changing world with confidence. 

We aim to build on the important teachings of home economics and merge this learning with evolving world views and innovative technology.

Commitment to Student Achievement and Well Being

Promoting the healthy development of all students, as well as enabling all students to reach their full potential, is a priority for educators across Ontario. Students’ health and well-being contribute to their ability to learn in all disciplines, including social sciences and humanities, and that learning in turn contributes to their overall well-being.

Educators play an important role in promoting children and youth’s well-being by creating, fostering, and sustaining a learning environment that is healthy, caring, safe, inclusive, and accepting. A learning environment of this kind will support not only students’ cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development but also their mental health, their resilience, and their overall state of well-being. All this will help them achieve their full potential in school and in life.

A variety of factors, known as the “determinants of health”, have been shown to affect a person’s overall state of well-being. Some of these are income, education and literacy, gender and culture, physical and social environment, personal health practices and coping skills, and availability of health services. Together, such factors influence not only whether a person is physically healthy but also the extent to which he or she will have the physical, social, and personal resources needed to cope and to identify and achieve personal aspirations. These factors also have an impact on student learning, and it is important to be aware of them as factors contributing to a student’s performance.

An educator’s awareness of and responsiveness to students’ cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development is critical to their success in school. A number of research based frameworks, including those described in Early Learning for Every Child Today: A Framework for Ontario Early Childhood Settings (2007) and Stepping Stones: A Resource on Youth Development (2012),1 identify developmental stages that are common to the majority of students from Kindergarten to Grade 12. At the same time, these frameworks recognize that individual differences, as well as differences in life experiences and exposure to opportunities, can affect development, and that developmental events are not specifically age-dependent.

The framework described in Stepping Stones is based on a model that illustrates the complexity of human development. Its components – the cognitive, emotional, physical, and social domains – are interrelated and interdependent, and all are subject to the influence of a person’s environment or context. At the centre is an “enduring (yet changing) core” – a sense of self, or spirit – that connects the different aspects of development and experience (p. 17).

Educators who have an awareness of a student’s development take each component into account, with an understanding of and focus on the following elements:

  • cognitive development − brain development, processing and reasoning skills, use of strategies for learning
  • emotional development − emotional regulation, empathy, motivation
  • social development − self-development (self-concept, self-efficacy, self-esteem); identity formation (gender identity, social group identity, spiritual identity); relationships (peer, family, romantic)
  • physical development – physical activity, sleep patterns, changes that come with puberty, body image, nutritional requirements

Special Program Opportunities

York Region Skills Challenge

Each year students enrolled in our Fashion Courses have a chance to participate in the York Region Skill Challenge. This competition allows students to join with hundreds of students across the region showcasing their garment design and construction talent. If they qualify students move on to compete with students across the province. This is an amazing experiential learning opportunity for our young learners.

Chopped Food Skills Challenge

Students in the Grade 10 Food and Nutrition class puts on it’s own CHOPPED cooking competition. Groups participate in friendly competition as part of their food preparation labs. At the end of the semester, the class competes for the CHOPPED championship with students and staff acting as judges.

Subject Support

Ontario Family Studies Home Economics Educators Association

With the ultimate goal of strengthening the family, the role of OFSHEEA​ is to facilitate the professional development and personal growth of educators to promote quality Family Studies programs in Ontario.

Ontario Home Economics Association

Assisting families and individuals to achieve and maintain a desirable quality of life through food literacy, home economics education​ and programming.

Ontario Family Studies, Social Science and Humanities Leadership Council

The council​ works closely with other organizations to refine curriculum and resources, while also creating a forum for professional development in the subject area.

Research and Inquiry

Research is an integral part of the Social Sciences and Humanities- Family Studies subject area. Research and Inquiry is built into the curriculum expectations of each course. This will help students to develop a growing awareness of the world around them. Students can use the Middlefield Collegiate Institute Library Moodle where they have free access to online databases such as Gale and Ebsco, which are widely used in most post secondary learning institutions. Through modern learning opportunities, students are encouraged to conduct purposeful investigations and critically evaluate information in order to make informed conclusions.

Tools that may be used for social science research:

MCI Library Learning Commons 

About Education - Sociology 

Elsevier - Social Science Research

McMaster University - Faculty of Social Science 

Connected Researchers​

 
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