Academic And Non-Academic Subjects

Academic And Non-Academic Subjects

The educational system changes from time to time. It also varies from one geographical region to another. In the early 2000s, one critical mistake in the educational system was the removal of specific academic subjects. Following this, there was the introduction of more vocational subjects into the UK education system. An example was the removal of Modern Foreign Language (MFL) from the school curriculum. It was no longer considered a compulsory subject.

Students are under constant pressure to perform academically. Hence, several interventions have seen the removal of non-academic subjects from the syllabus. The idea is to force students to concentrate on more academic disciplines. Performance indicators like Ebacc and other changes in performance requirements can help. They are currently working towards reinforcing the importance of academic subjects in schools. However, there is confusion in deciding which courses are academic and which ones are not.

Academic Vs Non-academic Subjects

Academic subjects include those subjects that you can study and master in higher educational levels. For instance, Mathematicians study Maths, while Historians study history. On the other hand, masters or experts of non-academic subjects show their skill by engaging in that particular profession or activity in the field. For example, individuals who are best at cookery are known to be chefs. Also, professionals in football are known as professional football players. Even though you may find licensed vocational professionals studying at the university, they do not usually major in subjects like Mathematics, Statistics and other academic courses.

In some cases, there can be confusion in classifying some subjects as “academic”. People may argue that individuals who are best in music are those who play music, while others may say they are those who study music. In the case of MLF, people who speak or write a language are considered to have the highest mastery of the language, while some people may argue that people who study the language are the masters in that language.

Some subjects can be partially academic and vocational. Such courses can be taught academically but also with an emphasis on mastery of the course. In other courses, the distinction is crystal clear. For instance, we expect to find the best scientists in the University while the best artists spend their time in their field of practice.

What is the way forward?

The issue is that in our schools, the credibility of a given subject depends on it being an academic subject. For instance, arts and sports have academic grading systems in most schools. Indeed, this is to provide them with more legitimacy and credibility.

Schools should create a culture where the mastery of non-academic subjects is not dependent on it being academic. It should have a different grading system from GCSE and A-level subjects. It should focus on the results in that particular subject field. For example, drama should focus on producing the best actors, PE to make the best sportsmen, and Plumbing to make the best plumbers.

Non-academic subjects should be valued as they are, but not as pseudo-academic subjects. Indeed, this means being good at Arts, PE or other non-academic subjects should mean showcasing the relevant skills in the field.

Final Words

Both academic and non-academic subjects are equally important. Hence, schools should increase resources allocated to vocational subjects since student cultural life is critical as passing their exams.

At Phi Tuition, we offer strictly academic courses. Our area of speciality is GCSE and A-level science subjects. If your child is struggling with their grades in Maths, Biology, Physics, Chemistry or Applied Science, then we can help.

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