This chapter reviews the literature which forms the basis for the various themes to be addressed in this study. It begins by providing an insightful overview of the development of Home Economics as a junior-curricular subject in Ireland, tracing its evolution from the early 1900s to the current Junior Cycle Home Economics specification launched in 2017. The review emphasizes the significance of practical assessments within the Junior Cycle, with a focus on Home Economics, and examines the prevalent issue of stress and anxiety in adolescents. In this context, the review highlights the potential benefits of the practical cooking element in Home Economics as a means to reduce stress and anxiety.
Practical assessments, including cooking practicals, are fundamental to the Junior Cycle Home Economics curriculum, providing students with essential life skills and enhancing their understanding of nutrition and food preparation techniques. While Home Economics education has the potential to positively impact students’ well-being and possibly alleviate stress and anxiety, the specific relationship between cooking practicals and stress and anxiety relief remains relatively unexplored. To address this research gap, this study aims to investigate the potential impact of cooking practicals in Home Economics on stress and anxiety levels in junior cycle students.
By examining students’ experiences and perspectives, this study aims to contribute valuable insights into the potential benefits of Home Economics education as a stress and anxiety reliever in the post-primary classroom. Throughout the literature review, the author will examine key studies and research articles related to Home Economics, stress, anxiety, and practical assessments. This review aims to build a robust foundation for the subsequent analysis and discussion.