The techniques now practiced in teaching character education offer a temporary solution by Today’s society expects public schools to correct social problems with educators being directed to address the needs of their students.
In an effort to help prepare Mississippi’s children for the task of thinking critically to solve problems in conflict resolution, parenting, and the challenges of living in today’s complex society, the Mississippi legislators created House Bill 1467.
House Bill 1467 passed into law in 1994 requires that high schools in the state of Mississippi offer Family Dynamics classes to their students. During their regular legislative session, representatives and senators deemed it worthy to enact legislation that provided grades 10 through 12 in all school districts in Mississippi with Family and Consumer Science programs.
Their legislation also provided state funding for such programs and authorized school districts and community/junior college districts to apply for funding for Family and Consumer Sciences training programs. Section 1 of House Bill 1467, cited in the Mississippi Department of Education Resource Manual for Family Dynamics, also mandated that prior to July 1, 1997, all local school districts would provide programs of education in Family and Consumer Sciences for grades 10, 11, and 12 that would include course work in responsible parenting and family living skills.
According to the bill, programs are to include instruction that prepares students to assume responsibility for meeting the challenges of living in today’s complex society. Curriculum emphasis is placed on nutrition, emotional health, and physical health. An outgrowth of House Bill 1467 has been a Family and Consumer Sciences course entitled Family Dynamics.
The Family Dynamics curriculum focuses on teaching students to utilize skills in critical thinking, decision making, conflict management, communication, and resource management as they relate to personal development, understanding the family in today’s society, and parenting decisions and responsibilities.
The one-semester Family Dynamics course cannot solve the complex problems of society alone but can be a part of the solution by assisting students to understand the need for strong family units where individuals can develop in a healthy environment.