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1History of Costume: Theory and Instruction

By Cynthia R. Jasper and Mary Ellen Roach-higgins


History of costume courses were part of the clothing and textiles curriculum in developing home economics programs early in the twentieth century. Since that time nineteenth-century theories of social evolution have been a continuing influence on history of costume courses, sometimes introducing misconceptions regarding origins and an elitism featuring Westerners as those who are privileged to know civilized rules for dress. Teachers can improve learning outcomes of courses by emphasizing a global view of dress, weeding out misleading carry-overs from evolutionary theory, and working out instructional strategies for utilizing newer theories regarding changes in form and meaning of dress. Using a tri-part conceptual scheme outlining the processes of cultural, temporal, and temporo-cultural authentication of dress is one step toward helping students comprehend how the art of borrowing elements of dress from a previous era across cultural lines leads to cultural conversion of the elements into forms unique to their setting. Additional work is needed to develop a comprehensive theoretical base that will utilize these or other constructs to improve learning outcomes for students. At the beginning of the twentieth century, history of costume, was one of the subjects included in developing academic programs in home economics (Stoner, 1905). B

Year: 2016
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