For 48 years, the Curriculum Center for Family and Consumer Sciences at Texas Tech University has created curriculum for family and consumer sciences teachers to use.
Students in the College of Human Sciences, Texas Tech alumni and other teachers and school districts across the nation use the program. Lauren Peterson, a family and consumer sciences teacher at Garland High School, used the center as a student and now uses it as a teacher.
Peterson, who received her bachelor's degree in family and consumer sciences in 2014, heard about the Curriculum Center through undergraduate classes with Patti Rambo, center director, and Barbara Allison, student teacher coordinator and associate professor in family and consumer sciences education, and she used the free lessons offered for classes. As a first-year teacher she said she had to teach four preps that she hadn't done while student teaching, but the Curriculum Center provided a way for her to save time in the creation of PowerPoint presentations, worksheets and engaging lessons.
“I felt prepared in the fact I knew the content I was in charge of presenting to my students, but the challenge I faced was planning engaging lessons with four different courses,” she said. “The Curriculum Center provided me with engaging lessons my students loved, which allowed me to spend more time building positive relationships with students and showing them school can be fun.”
The center was established in 1967 by Camille Bell, chairwoman of the home economics education department in what was then known as the College of Home Economics – the name was changed to human sciences in the 1990s. Bell received a grant through the Texas Education Agency to develop and share curriculum with middle and high school home economics teachers throughout the state, Rambo said. The center had the grant for 42 years.
The Curriculum Center developed print materials until changes to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills were implemented during the 2010-11 school year when the center switched to distributing the curriculum online, Rambo said. The newest curriculum package the center provides is for hospitality and tourism management.
“We create high-quality, comprehensive and rigorous online curriculum, serving not only Texas teachers, but family and consumer sciences teachers throughout the nation,” Rambo said. “It is the only curriculum center in the world that specializes in and disseminates family and consumer sciences curriculum.”
In September, the center added study guides and test banks that students, including current Texas Tech students, studying for the family and consumer sciences teacher content certification exam can use.
Rambo said her goals for the center include continuing to develop and disseminate the highest-quality information, reach more subscribers and continue outreach and engagement opportunities that provide family and consumer sciences teachers with professional development. Rambo also wants to ensure all students complete the content exam successfully after finishing their coursework.
“As far as I know, the Curriculum Center is the oldest center housed under the auspices of the College of Human Sciences,” Rambo said. “We have been around developing curriculum and other materials for family and consumer sciences for a long time. We are recognized around the U.S. as innovators of family and consumer sciences curriculum and have received many awards for our curriculum. We also are recognized in the state of Texas as highly qualified presenters for teacher professional development.”
The center offers 27 different curricula and contains at least 350 strategies for
teaching each course while including slide presentations, teaching aids and other
resources, Rambo said. Those involved with the center also develop new curriculum
for new courses yearly.
The subscription for the online curriculum is on a year-by-year basis. The curriculum uses PDF fillable forms and contains interactive games and teaching aids, which are created by staff at the center.
All curriculum developed is correlated with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, National Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences and financial literacy standards. The center has partnerships with the Education Services Centers in the state of Texas along with the Texas Education Agency.
“The Curriculum Center offers so much to all teachers,” Peterson said. “When I had to create a lesson on the fly – I think every teacher has been there – the Curriculum Center offered me peace in knowing my students were always going to get to participate in an engaging lesson. The curriculum covers the standards that we follow in Texas, but any teacher from any state would benefit from these lessons. There are a plethora of concepts and ideas that could fit the requirements of any states' standards, and prompt teachers to think of creative activities that directly reflect the information provided by the center.”