Arts (Also known as Humanities) stream is a very popular & diverse stream for students after grade 10. This stream is excellent for students with theoretical bent of mind and for those who are interested in subjects like History, Geography, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Languages, etc. Traditionally, Arts was thought fit for students who were below average in studies and were thought to be not too bright. This is a wrong thought and also inappropriate method of choice for streams after 10th.
There are people who are at extremely powerful and knowledgeable positions across the globe in the fields of Politics, Economics, Bureaucracy and Archeology, etc. The entire world depends upon various kinds of societal research / administrators, and professionals from Arts background who are known for being one of the finest people to understand and deal with.
Arts/Humanities stream should be the right choice in Indian education system for students who possess the following qualities in grade 10:
Thanks to the availability of such diverse areas of studies, career options associated with this field are equally impressive. After completing 12th in Arts stream, students will have access to numerous professional courses focusing on areas like Visual Arts, Law, Performing Arts, Languages, Media and Communication and Management etc.
In short, 11th and 12th can be compared to a foundation course. On completion of this foundation, one may choose a professional course and thus take first step towards building one’s career.
I shall again like to state that there’s a misconception regarding this stream among Indian students and parents. Many of them think that arts stream is only taken by students who are academically dull. Well, this perception is false. There exist many challenging subjects in this stream too, and it takes certain aptitude to perform well in its exams too. In fact, many subjects present in arts stream will help one prepare well for Civil Services Examinations.
There are five main education boards available in India. Students may choose a board that suits them best. The choice shall be made on the basis of difficulty level associated with the boards and aptitude of the student. The five available education boards are:
IB is the most practical oriented board and thus is considered to be the toughest board among all. It focuses on the concept of ‘What to learn’ and ‘how to learn’. This board gives one a good amount of Elective subject choices and in turn gives flexibility of what a child wishes to learn. Much emphasis is laid on ‘application of knowledge’ and ‘practical aspects’ of learning.
In this Board, there is no concept of stream selection after 10th like Science, Commerce or Humanities/Arts. The candidate has to pick up subjects of his/her choice and then the choice available for graduation depends upon the eligibility of various graduate courses available.
Subjects available in IB Board (Tentative List - may vary from school to school)
|GROUP 1 : Studies in Language and Literature||GROUP 2 : Language Acquisition||GROUP 3 : Individuals and Societies HL/SL||GROUP 4 : Sciences HL/SL||GROUP 5 : Mathematics||GROUP 6 : The Arts|
|Language and Literature HL/SL||French ab initio||Business Management||Biology||Mathematics HL||Visual Arts HL/SL|
|Literature HL/SL||French B SL/HL||Economics||Chemistry||Mathematics SL||Theatre Arts HL/SL|
|Literature and Performance SL||Hindi B SL/HL||Geography||Computer Science||Mathematical Studies SL||Dance|
|Spanish ab initio||Global Politics||Physics|
|Spanish B SL||History Psychology||Sports, Exercise and Health Science (SL only)|
|Environmental Systems and Societies SL||Environmental Systems and Societies SL|
IB Board is followed by CIE or IGCSE (regulated by Cambridge Assessment International Education. While International General Certificate of Secondary Education deals with Std. 10 and AS and A Levels deal with std. 11 and 12 respectively) in its practical approach of pedagogy. This board also gives good number of Elective subject choices offering something for all learners of different abilities, interests and backgrounds. It focuses on developing vital educational knowledge, understanding and skills. Again, it is considered to be tougher than other national boards, because of advanced level of learning and the teaching methodology.
In this Board also, there is no concept of stream selection after 10th like Science, Commerce or Humanities/Arts. The candidate has to pick up subjects of his/her choice and then the choice available for graduation depends upon the eligibility of various graduate courses available.
Subjects available in IGCSE Board (Tentative List, may vary from school to school)
|Group 1 (Compulsory)||Group 2 (Compulsory)||Group 3 (Any one)||Group 4 (Mathematics)||Group 5 (Creative, Technical & Vocational)|
|First Language English||World Literature||Physics||International Mathematics||Art & Design|
|First Language Thai||Global Perspectives||Chemistry||Additional Mathematics (optional)||Accounting Business Studies|
|A Foreign Language (French or Spanish)||Geography||Biology||Computer Science Design & Technology|
|Second Language (Hindi)||Economics||Combined Science||Drama|
|History||Physical Education (optional)|
|Information & Communication Technology|
ISC board comes next in the difficulty level. This board also follows quite a bit of practical learning approach though reference books and the pedagogy is less rote oriented. In this board, the first level of selection of stream takes place after grade 8, i.e. Science or Commerce or Humanities. If you have taken Science, you can shift to any other stream after 10th but vice versa is not allowed by most of the schools.
Second level of stream selection takes place after 10th. The options available are Science-A Group, Science-B Group, Commerce or Humanities/Arts. The candidate has to pick up Compulsory subjects of commerce stream and can choose 1 or 2 electives as per the offer of various schools.
Subjects available for Humanities/Arts in ISC Board (Tentative List & may vary from school to school)
|Geography||Sociology||Computer Science||Indian Language|
|Modern Foreign Languages||Classical Languages||Psychology||Physical Education|
|Environmental Science||Art / Music||SUPW|
Next in the difficulty scale is the CBSE board. I think most of us are aware of this board. This board is a good mix of practical and rote oriented Pedagogy. It functions under the Union Government of India. Difficulty level associated with this board is moderate.
Subjects available for Humanities/Arts in CBSE Board (Tentative List& may vary from school to school)
|Mathematics||Philosophy||Physical education||Legal studies|
Last comes State Boards. Each State in India has its own education board. It functions under the respective State Government of each state. Language of instruction (medium) in case of schools affiliated to such boards may be regional language and English. This board in most cases is found to be rote oriented. There is no much creativity and flexibility allowed in the method of pedagogy. Also the children studying through vernacular medium in state boards are at risk of not fairing too well in National level competitive Exams.
Subjects available for Humanities/Arts in State Board (Tentative List & may vary from school to school)
|Social Studies||Philosophy||Agricultural Science||Physical Education|
Note: Not all the subjects have been mentioned above. Many of the above mentioned subjects fall under the ‘optional subject’ category. Students have to select optional courses and form a ‘course combination’ to pursue throughout 11th and 12th. Professional courses after 12th and career, to an extent, depends upon this course combination.
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