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Family & Consumer Sciences 

Academic Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences

Pennsylvania Department of Education

22 Pa. Code, Chapter 4, Appendix D (#006-276) Final Form-Annex A  July 18, 2002


Introduction………………………………………….……. XXXII.


Financial and Resource Management……………………. 11.1.

A. Resource Management

B. Spending Plan

C. Housing

D. Consumer Rights and Responsibilities

  E. Income

 F. Purchasing

  G. Services

Balancing Family, Work and Community Responsibility.. 11.2.

A. Practical Reasoning

B. Action Plans

C. Team Building

D. Space Planning

E. Technology

F. Family Functions

G. Family Life Cycle

H. Communications

Food Science and Nutrition..……………………………… 11.3.

A. Food Supply

B. Safety and Sanitation

C. Nutrient Analysis

D. Nutrition and Health

E. Calories and Energy

F. Meal Management

G. Food Science

Child Development.…...…………………………………... 11.4.

A. Developmental Stages

B. Health and Safety

C. Learning Environments

D. School Involvement

E. Literacy

Glossary……………………………………………………. XXXIII.


This document includes Academic Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences at four grade levels (third, sixth, ninth and twelfth) with the emphasis on what students will know and be able to do in the following areas:

  • •                      11.1. Financial and Resource Management
  • •                      11.2. Balancing Family, Work, and Community Responsibility
  • •                      11.3. Food Science and Nutrition
  • •                      11.4. Child Development.


The focus of the Academic Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences education is the individual, the family and the community. The economic, social and political well-being of our state depends on the well-being of Pennsylvania’s families.  The family is responsible for nurturing its members.  Family experiences, to a great extent, determine who a person is and what a person becomes.  Family and Consumer Sciences, working with Pennsylvania’s families, supports the development of the knowledge and skills that students need as family members both now and in the future. The 21st Century requires students to develop the ability to transform information into knowledge by using standards to certify that this information is meaningful, categorizing it to a purpose and then transforming their knowledge into wisdom by applying it to real life.

Family and Consumer Sciences is a discipline composed of strong subject matter concentrations with a commitment to integration. Concepts form a framework for learning based on these tenets:

  • •                      Families are the fundamental unit of society.
  • •                      A life-span approach to individual and family development contributes to creating lifelong learners.
  • •                      Meeting individual and family needs inside and outside the home are shared responsibilities.
  • •                      Individual, family and community well-being is strengthened through an awareness of diversity.
  • •                      The use of diverse modes of inquiry strengthens intellectual development.
  • •                                                       The content learning in Family and Consumer Sciences classes enhances the mastery of academic standards.
  • •                               Standards-based learning within Family and Consumer Sciences classrooms can best be demonstrated                     through performance based assessment.


Learners in Family and Consumer Sciences nurture themselves and others, taking increased responsibility for improving their quality of living.

The Academic Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences are written to empower individuals and families to manage the challenges of living and working in a diverse, global society. These Academic Standards address the functioning of families and their interrelationships with work, community and society.  The focus is on the reoccurring, practical problems of individuals and families.  An integrative approach is used to help individuals and families identify, create and evaluate goals and alternative solutions to significant problems of everyday life.  Students are taught to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. Comprehensive classroom experiences allow students to develop the knowledge and skills needed in making choices to meet their personal, family and work responsibilities.

A glossary is included to assist the reader in understanding terminology contained in the standards.

11.1. Financial and Resource Management

11.1.3. GRADE 3

11.1.6. GRADE 6

11.1.9. GRADE 9

11.1.12. GRADE 12

Pennsylvania’s public schools shall teach, challenge and support every student to realize his or her maximum potential and to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to. . .

A. Identify money denominations, services and material resources available as trade-offs within the home, school and community. B. Define the components of a spending plan (e.g., income, expenses, savings). C. Explain the need for shelter for the purpose of safety, warmth and comfort. D. Explain consumer rights and responsibilities. • To be safe • To be informed • To be heard • To choose • To redress

A. Justify the decision to use or not use resources based on scarcity. B. Know the relationship of the components of a simple spending plan and how that relationship allows for managing income, expenses and savings. C. Describe the adaptability to meet basic human needs of the different types of housing available (e.g., single home, apartment, mobile home, shelter, recreational vehicle, public housing). D. Analyze information in care instructions, safety precautions and the use of consumable goods as a demonstration of understanding of consumer rights and responsibilities.

A. Analyze current conservation practices and their effect on future renewable and non-renewable resources. • Refuse • Reduce • Reuse • Recycle B. Explain the responsibilities associated with managing personal finances   (e.g., savings, checking, credit, non-cash systems, investments, insurance). C. Delineate and assess the factors affecting the availability of housing (e.g., supply and demand, market factors, geographical location, community regulations). D. Explain how consumer rights and responsibilities are protected (e.g., government agencies, consumer protection agencies, consumer action groups).

A. Evaluate the impact of family resource management on the global community. B. Analyze the management of financial resources across the lifespan. C.   Analyze the relationship among factors affecting consumer housing decisions (e.g., human needs, financial resources, location, legal agreements, maintenance responsibilities). D. Evaluate the role of consumer rights and responsibilities in the resolution of a consumer problem through the practical reasoning process.


E. Explain the relationship between work and income.  F. Describe criteria needed to identify quality in consumer goods and services (e.g., food, clothing, furniture, home technology, health care, transportation, services). G. Identify the services that communities provide for individuals and families.

E. Explain the principles of child labor laws and the opportunity cost of working by evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of holding a job while a teenager. F. Explain practices to maintain and/or repair consumer goods and services. G. Identify the public and nonpublic services that are available to serve families within the community.

E. Compare the influences of income and fringe benefits to make decisions about work. F. Evaluate different strategies to obtain consumer goods and services.     G. Analyze how public, nonpublic and for-profit service providers serve the family.

E. Compare and contrast factors affecting annual gross and taxable income and reporting requirements (e.g., W-2 form, Income tax form). F. Compare and contrast the selection of goods and services by applying effective consumer strategies. G. Compare the availability, costs and benefits of accessing public, nonpublic and for-profit services to assist the family.


11.2. Balancing Family, Work and Community Responsibility

11.2.3. GRADE 3

11.2.6. GRADE 6

11.2.9. GRADE 9

11.2.12. GRADE 12

Pennsylvania’s public schools shall teach, challenge and support every student to realize his or her maximum potential and to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to. . .

A. Examine consequences of family,

A. Contrast the solutions reached through

A. Solve dilemmas using a practical

A. Justify solutions developed by using

work or career decisions.

the use of a simple decision making process that includes analyzing consequences of alternative solutions against snap decision making methods.

reasoning approach  • Identify situation • Identify reliable information • List choices and examine the consequences of each • Develop a plan of action • Draw conclusions • Reflect on decisions

practical reasoning skills. 

B. Identify the importance of routines and schedules while differentiating between short and long term goals.

B. Deduce the importance of time management skills (e.g. home, school, recreational activities).

B. Know FCCLA action planning procedure and how to apply it to family, work and community

B. Evaluate the effectiveness of action plans that integrate personal, work, family and community responsibilities.





C. Indicate the benefits and costs of

C. Classify the components of effective

C. Assess the effectiveness of the use of

C. Analyze teamwork and leadership

working as an individual or as a team

teamwork and leadership.

teamwork and leadership skills in

skills and their application in various

member and of being a leader or


accomplishing the work of the family.

family and work situations.





D. Explain the importance of organizing

D. Identify the concepts and principles

D. Analyze the space requirements for a

D. Based on efficiency, aesthetics and

space for efficiency and a sense of

used in planning space for activities.

specified activity to meet a given need

psychology, evaluate space plans

comfort (e.g., desk space, classroom


(e.g., family room, home office,

(e.g., home, office, work areas) for




their ability to meet a variety of needs including those of individuals with special needs.


E. Analyze the effectiveness of

E. Describe the role of technology within

E. Evaluate the impact of technology and

E. Assess the availability of emerging

technology used for school and home

a community in maintaining a safe and

justify the use or nonuse of it

technology that is designed to do the

in accomplishing the work of the

healthy living environment

(e.g., safety, cost/budget, appearance,

work of the family and evaluate the

family (e.g., security, entertainment,

(e.g., safety, hospitals, waste treatment,


impact of its use on individuals,

communication, education).

water quality, schools).


families and communities.

F. Explain daily activities that fulfill

F. Compare and contrast how different

F. Contrast past and present family

F. Assess the relationship of family

family functions in meeting responsibilities (e.g., economic, emotional support, childcare and

cultures meet family responsibilities within differing configurations      (e.g., new parent, just married, single

functions and predict their probable impact on the future of the family.

functions to human developmental stages.

guidance, housekeeping, maintaining

adult living alone, “empty nest”,



kinship, providing recreation).

retired, senior citizen).



G. Identify the life stages by identifying

G. Identify the characteristics of the

G. Explain the influences of family life


their developmental task (e.g., infant, pre-schooler, school age, teen-age, adult, senior citizen).

stages of the family life cycle        (e.g., beginning, expanding, developing, launching, middle years, retirement, variations).

cycle stages on the needs of families and communities (e.g., a large number of young families needing day care, fixed income senior citizens, school age children).

G. Hypothesize the impact of present family life-cycle trends on the global community (e.g., over population, increase in an aging population, economic base).

H. Identify how to resolve conflict using

H. Describe positive and negative

H. Justify the significance of interpersonal


interpersonal communications skills. • Speaking and listening • I messages

interactions within patterns of interpersonal communications. • Placating

communication skills in the practical reasoning method of decision making.

H. Evaluate the effectiveness of using interpersonal communication skills to resolve conflict.

• Active listening

• Blaming



• Checking for understanding

• Distracting



• Following directions

• Intellectualizing



• Empathy

• Asserting



• Feedback





11.3. Food Science and Nutrition

11.3.3. GRADE 3

11.3.6. GRADE 6

11.3.9. GRADE 9

11.3.12. GRADE 12

Pennsylvania’s public schools shall teach, challenge and support every student to realize his or her maximum potential and to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to. . .

A. Know the production steps that a food travels from the farm to the consumer. B. Describe personal hygiene techniques in food handling (e.g., handwashing, sneeze control, signs of food spoilage). C. Explain the importance of eating a varied diet in maintaining health. D. Classify foods by food group within the food guide pyramid including the serving size and nutrient function within the body. E. Define energy-yielding nutrients and calories.

A. Demonstrate knowledge of techniques used to evaluate food in various forms (e.g., canned, frozen, dried, irradiated). B. Describe safe food handling techniques (e.g., storage, temperature control, food preparation, conditions that create a safe working environment for food production). C. Analyze factors that effect food choices. D. Describe a well-balanced daily menu using the dietary guidelines and the food guide pyramid. E. Explain the relationship between calories, nutrient and food input versus energy output; describe digestion. 

A. Explain how scientific and technological developments enhance our food supply (e.g., food preservation techniques, packaging, nutrient fortification). B. Identify the cause, effect and prevention of microbial contamination, parasites and toxic chemicals in food. C. Analyze the impact of food addictions and eating disorders on health. D. Analyze relationship between diet and disease and risk factors (e.g., calcium and osteoporosis; fat, cholesterol and heart disease; folate and birth defects; sodium and hypertension). E. Analyze the energy requirements, nutrient requirements and body composition for individuals at various stages of the life cycle.

A. Analyze how food engineering and technology trends will influence the food supply. B. Evaluate the role of Government agencies in safeguarding our food supply (e.g., USDA, FDA, EPA and CDC). C. Evaluate sources of food and nutrition information. D. Critique diet modifications for their ability to improve nutritionally-related health conditions (e.g., diabetes, lactose-intolerance, iron deficiency). E. Analyze the breakdown of foods, absorption of nutrients and their conversion to energy by the body. 


F. Identify components of a basic recipe (e.g., volume, weight, fractions, recipe ingredients, recipe directions, safety techniques).

F. Analyze basic food preparation techniques and food-handling procedures.

F. Hypothesize the effectiveness of the use of meal management principles         (e.g., time management, budgetary considerations, sensory appeal, balanced nutrition, safety, sanitation).

F. Evaluate the application of nutrition and meal planning principles in the selection, planning, preparation and serving of meals that meet the specific nutritional needs of individuals across their lifespan.

G. Classify foods according to senses (e.g., taste, touch, smell, mouth feel, sight, sound).

G. Describe the physical, biological, and chemical changes that take place in food preparation.

G. Analyze the application of physical and chemical changes that occur in food during preparation and preservation.

G. Analyze the relevance of scientific principles to food processing, preparation and packaging.


11.4. Child Development


11.4.3. GRADE 3

11.4.6. GRADE 6

11.4.9. GRADE 9

11.4.12. GRADE 12


Pennsylvania’s public schools shall teach, challenge and support every student to realize his or her maximum potential and to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to. . .


A. Identify characteristics in each stage of child development. • Infancy/BIRTH TO 1 YEAR • Early childhood/1 TO 6 YEARS • Middle childhood/6 TO 9 YEARS • Late childhood/NINE – 13 YEARS • Adolescence/13 – 18 YEARS

A. Compare and contrast child development guided practices according to the stage of child development.

A. Analyze physical, intellectual and social/emotional development in relation to theories of child development.

A. Analyze current research on existing theories in child development and its impact on parenting (e.g., Piaget, Erikson and prior findings versus new brain development research).


B. Identify health and safety needs for children at each stage of child development. C. Identify the characteristics of a learning environment. D. Identify community resources provided for children.

B. Identify ways to keep children healthy and safe at each stage of child development. C. Identify the role of the caregiver in providing a learning environment (e.g., babysitting, daycare, preschool). D. Identify child-care provider considerations. E. Identify characteristics of quality

B. Evaluate health and safety hazards relating to children at each stage of child development. C. Evaluate various environments to determine if they provide the characteristics of a proper learning environment. D. Analyze the roles, responsibilities and opportunity for family involvement in schools.

B. Analyze current issues in health and safety affecting children at each stage of child development. C. Analyze practices that optimize child development (e.g., stimulation, safe environment, nurturing caregivers, reading to children). D. Analyze plans and methods to blend work and family responsibilities to meet the needs of children.



E. Explain how the home and community help a person learn to read, write and compute.

literature for children and other literacy enhancing activities. 

E. Explain how storytelling, story reading and writing enhance literacy development in children.

E. Identify practices that develop the child’s imagination, creativity and reading and writing skills through literature.



Aesthetics: CDC: Child-care provider


Child development stage: Consumer responsibilities: Consumer rights: Dietary guidelines: Developmental tasks:

Empathy: EPA:

Appreciation of and responsive to beauty. Center for Disease Control

Criteria to use in evaluating child care facilities.  These include well-trained and highly motivated staff, pleasant sanitary surroundings, variety in toys and supplies, ratio of staff to children.

An age range with similar growth characteristics: infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, late

childhood, adolescence. The need to interpret information in care instructions, safety precautions and proper use of consumable goods as a user of goods and services.

The guarantee to be safe, the right to be informed, to be heard, to choose consumer education and to

redress as a user of goods and services. A set of seven recommendations developed by the United States Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Services to help healthy people over age two know what to eat to stay healthy.

Changes in the thinking and behavior of individuals over time. The action of understanding another’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Environmental Protection Agency

FCCLA Action planning procedure: The decision making process endorsed by the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America,

FDA: Family, Career and:

Community Leaders Of America: Food guide pyramid: Guided practices: I message:

Kinship: Leadership skills:

involving five steps:

  1. Identify concerns - brainstorm and evaluate, narrow choices to workable ideas.
  2. Set your goals - write what you want to accomplish as an achievable objective.
  3. Form a plan - who, what, when, where and how.
  4. Act - carry out the plan.
  5. Follow up - determine if your goal was met and create an improvement plan.


Food and Drug Administration

Vocational student organization sponsored by Family and Consumer sciences’ classrooms.

A visual tool used to help people plan healthy diets according to the Dietary Guidelines for America.

Interaction with a child based on age appropriate developmental principles.

A statement containing three parts:

  1.  The situation
  2. How it makes the speaker feel
  3. What will happen if it continues.


Relationships or relatives.

The ability to:

  • Use resources
  • Delegate authority
  • Communicate effectively
  • Assess composition of group
  • Determine and rank goals
  • Evaluate consequences.


Microbial contamination: Nutrient: Opportunity cost: Practical reasoning:

Redress: Toxic chemical: Scarcity: Team work skills:

Trade-off: USDA:

Most common food contaminants causing foodborne illnesses. A basic component of food that nourishes the body. The tangible and non-tangible trade-off necessary to procure a good or service or to take an action. A decision making process unique because of its emphasis on relationships and involving six 


  1. Identify situation to be solved
  2. Identify reliable information
  3. List choices and examine consequences
  4. Develop plan of action
  5.  Draw conclusions


6. Reflect on decisions. To set right or remedy. Contaminants found in natural, environmental and pesticide residue forms that are poisonous to the body. The lack of provisions for the support of life.   The ability to:

  • Collaborate
  • Cooperate
  • Set community goals


• Reach consensus. Exchange of goods, services or monies. United States Department of Agriculture.