Certified Women: Professional Program Curriculum at the Macdonald Institute for Domestic Science in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, 1903-1920


  • Mary Wilson University of Toronto


History of Cirriculum, Higher Education, Women's Education, 20th Century, Domestic Science Education, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, Macdonald Institute for Domestic Science, Mary Wilson, HIC, 2008, 2009


Curriculum, as both practice and text, is a medium for negotiating and defining preferred roles, practices, perspectives, and knowledge sets. The generation and implementation of curriculum in the domestic science teacher certification and professional housekeeping programs at the Macdonald Institute for Domestic Science was instrumental in defining emerging professions and subjectivities for women at the turn of the twentieth century. They tied women to familiar spheres of influence while allowing them to extend that influence into the public realm.

Author Biography

Mary Wilson, University of Toronto

Mary Wilson marywils@uoguelph.ca holds a doctorate in education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. She is a Curriculum Developer at the University of Guelph and the Canadian Representative for Supplemental Instruction Programs. Her research interests include the history of curriculum development in Canadian higher education including the intentional development of co-curricular programs to enrich the student experience, and the theory and practice of post-secondary curriculum reform.