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Can someone define what a "soft" subject is

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by objectiveledcack, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. objectiveledcack

    objectiveledcack New commenter

    Can someone define what Mr Gove states as a "soft" subject?
    I work in one of the "weaker" authorities and would like to know.
    I would also like to know why these "poorer" students are underachieving - maybe its because they have slashed the BSF funding, and are generally slashing money from budgets. This same education department seems to be throwing money at free schools which to me seem to be like the old grammar schools therefore widening the gap??

    My advice to the Gove should he read this:
    1: stop persecuting the teachers in those schools - parental support is always low and there are only so many things you can do.
    2: give funding in the areas that truly need it
    3: give children the wide curriculum choice they want rather than forcing options on kids that aren't interested in the EBacc
     
  2. objectiveledcack

    objectiveledcack New commenter

    Can someone define what Mr Gove states as a "soft" subject?
    I work in one of the "weaker" authorities and would like to know.
    I would also like to know why these "poorer" students are underachieving - maybe its because they have slashed the BSF funding, and are generally slashing money from budgets. This same education department seems to be throwing money at free schools which to me seem to be like the old grammar schools therefore widening the gap??

    My advice to the Gove should he read this:
    1: stop persecuting the teachers in those schools - parental support is always low and there are only so many things you can do.
    2: give funding in the areas that truly need it
    3: give children the wide curriculum choice they want rather than forcing options on kids that aren't interested in the EBacc
     
  3. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Subtract what is taught in the third quote from the second quote and you will have your answer to the first quote.

     
  4. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Textiles are usually soft[​IMG]
     
  5. The Universities have lists of subjects they don't value as much as others. A soft subject tends to be one that meets more than one of these criteria:
    * not mathematically challenging
    * not intlellectually challenging
    * can be perceived as vocational
    Schools, universities and different people may all have therir own lists but often, the list may include: Media studies, business studies, photography, art and design, law, drama.
    'Hard' subjects include: Geography, history, english, maths, physics, chemistry, biology, economics, latin, greek, modern languages etc etc.
    As someone said : "It is time Ofqual put an end to the myth that mathematics and media studies are 'equivalent'."
     
  6. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Occasional commenter

    Durham University did a data exercise a couple of years ago looking at the relative difficulties of different subjects
    (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7482225.stm)
    Looking at the graphs, A level in particular, will be of no surprise as to which subjects are harder. Whether that means that the other subjects are soft is a slightly different question but anything which has a below 0 relative difficulty (which does include Geography and English!) could be considered to be a soft option
     
  7. Lovely data - thanks for the link.
     
  8. Oops - just spotted the date on the data: 2008. Wondor if any more recent research has been done.
     
  9. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Occasional commenter

    This is the most recent that I am aware of though there was an Ofqual report at a similar time responding to the issues of inequalities between the A levels and trying to find a way of recognising through UCAS points that Physics and Media Studies were not comparable. From memory they basically said that Science Departments at University did not want their A levels made easier and that it would be difficult / unfair to massively increase the difficulty of some of the easier subjects (mainly due to the fact that if you could have an easy Media A grade one year and be competing for a job with someone who took the exam the following year and was better but only got B)

    The other study that came out at a similar time was comparing the skills assessed and relative difficulty of three A levels, Biology, Psychology and Sociology mainly through their assessment. Whilst Biology was the hardest of the three it only assessed relatively low thinking skills, recall and application of knowledge whilst Sociology was more about arguing a case.
     
  10. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Occasional commenter

  11. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    Er...

    Lol. Watered-down science is "hard".

    Where does music fit into this hierarchy?
     
  12. Nobody can. I doesn't matter. The Daily Mail readers loved it. That's all that matters.
    I love it when I get to help my own daughter with her physics homework. It's facts, convergent thinking and a single answer that you can check if it's right. Media studies is far too soft for me. I have to engage in discussion with her about intentions, cultural relevance, multiple meanings and all of that "soft stuff". Give me a quadratic equation every time!!!
     
  13. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    A soft subject accepts students who would not do well in your own subject, and gets them grades.
    P
    (so I am pleased that they have achieved something and not spent time making me look as if I can't teach or that they can't learn or some combination thereof).
     

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