All Hands on Deck: Research Needed to Examine the Educator Shortage in Family and Consumer Sciences
- Authors: Janine Duncan, Carol Werhan, and Karen Bergh
- Publication: Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, December 2017
The purpose of this article is to present the current status of the FCS educator shortage and the “Say Yes to FCS” national initiative to recruit FCS educators. Emergent findings from the Say Yes initiative demonstrate a few important points: 1) comprehensive data collection at the state and federal level is needed, beginning with counting students and teachers; 2) there is a need to work across all practice settings and with all professionals, including secondary teachers, to address the shortage; 3) the shortage of post-secondary FCS teacher education programs and faculty likely contribute to a shortage of researchers dedicated to this issue; and 4) there is a need to garner support from content area researchers to document the impact FCS education has on individual, family, and community outcomes. Developing a strategic research collaborative across content and practice settings—an “all hands on deck” approach—has the potential to affirm the relevance of FCS education to the well-being of individuals, families, and communities, and it could also serve to strengthen the pipeline for future FCS educators and researchers, alike.