Problems And Prospects Of Teaching Social Studies In Junior Secondary Schools In Nigeria

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Problems And Prospects Of Teaching Social Studies In Junior Secondary Schools In Nigeria


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine the problems and prospects of teaching social studies in junior secondary schools in Nigeria using 6 registered secondary schools in Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State as the case study. Specifically, the study aimed at finding out the extent to which students’ attitudes constitute problems to the teaching and learning of Social Studies, assess the extent to which teacher quality and quantity constitute problems to the teaching and learning of Social Studies, find out the extent to which instructional materials constitute problems to the teaching and learning of Social Studies, and determine the extent to which curriculum issues pose problems to the teaching/learning of Social Studies. The study employed the survey descriptive research design. A total of 200 responses were validated from the survey. From the responses obtained and analysed, the findings revealed that lack of motivation, lack of professionals to effectively the Social Studies courses (both in the curriculum and teaching angle), inadequate facilities and many more are all hindrances to the growth of Social Studies sector of the Secondary Schools in Nigeria. Furthermore, this situation is partly responsible for the reason why it has been increasingly difficult to run experiments effectively for students; and made the teaching and research in science and technology difficult and therefore the country, resulting to the production of insufficient and ill-prepared Social Studies education graduates. The study therefore recommend the educational authorities in the secondary schools should be charged with the responsibility for distributing curriculum guide for secondary schools. This is because the curriculum guide has columns for objectives to be attained after each topic as well as suggested materials for teaching each topic. This will assist the lecturers in the Secondary Schools in knowing what to do as well as act as orientation for the old ones. More so, there is need also for governmental agencies to organize workshops from time to time to keep instructors abreast of the new approaches to teaching some Social Studies education topics. To this effect, curriculum planners should review the present curriculum to see whether there are some topics that need be deleted.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Social Studies was introduced in the Nigerian School Curriculum as part of the instrument for achieving national development (National Policy on Education (NPE) 1981). This was what informed its designation as part of the core curriculum at different levels of education in Nigeria.

Social Studies curriculum development agencies such as the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) and experts further identified and disseminated the curriculum goals or purposes of the subject in the school curriculum. These include citizenship education, reflective inquiry and social science education, (Barth-shermis, 1920; Barth-Norris, 1976; Dubey and Barth, 1980; Olawepo, 1984) among others. These broadly stated goals must be clare to, and recognized as important as well as attainable by teachers and other participants connected with the Curriculum if the intentions or purposes must be realized and the investment of effort is to be considered worthwhile (Feather, 1982; Meece, Blumenfeld, & Hoyle, 1988). These intentions or purposes are prima facie stated with clarity, but their perception or conceptualization by teachers and scholars is still in doubt as Onyabe (1980) observed that the philosophy, content and methodology of social studies has remained vague to both scholars and teachers. The incidence of conflicting conceptions of social studies curriculum is a cause for concern for three major reasons. First, the anchor or strategic position of purposes or intentions in the curriculum development process (Pratt, 1994) as illustrated in Tyler (1949) (Linear) and Wheeler (1980) (cyclic) curriculum models, among others.

Secondly, curriculum goals or purposes, are indispensable elements in instructions as far as effective implementation of an already developed curriculum is concerned. Thirdly, the correct conception, investment of efforts and ultimate realization of the purposes of the curriculum will facilitate the realization of the overall aims of the Nigerian educational enterprise.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Presently, junior secondary school students’ interest and academic achievement in social studies is declining. Lemchi (2001) noted that some students are losing interest in the subject.

Attitudes associated with Social Studies appear to affect students’ performance in the subject. Also, many Social Studies teachers teach Social Studies without instructional materials and facilities (Mberengwa 2004). The quality of teachers, and class room facilities are grossly inadequate and obsolete. Owolabi et al. (1991) also indicated that a serious disconnection exists between Social Studies training in secondary schools and the needs of the labour market, as students that do not proceed to higher education have been found to be incompetent in the field of work. Where students consistently perform poorly, the implication is that adequate teaching and learning has not taken place in schools. Therefore, the problem of this study is to examine the problems of teaching and learning of Social Studies in secondary schools in Anambra State.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to examine the problems of teaching and learning of Social Studies in Junior Secondary Schools in Anambra State, Nigeria.

Specifically, this study sought to:

  1. Find out the extent to which students’ attitudes constitute problems to the teaching and learning of Social Studies.
  2. Assess the extent to which teacher quality and quantity constitute problems to the teaching and learning of Social Studies.
  3. Find out the extent to which instructional materials constitute problems to the teaching and learning of Social Studies.
  4. Determine the extent to which curriculum issues pose problems to the teaching/learning of Social Studies.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:

  1. To what extent do attitudes of Anambra State Junior Secondary Schools Students constitute problems to the teaching of Social Studies?
  2. To what extent to teacher quality and quantity cause problems to the teaching of Social Studies?
  3. To what extent do instructional materials pose problems to the teaching and learning of Social Studies?
  4. To what extent do curriculum issues pose problems to the teaching and learning of Social Studies?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study gives various insights into the challenges of teaching social studies in junior secondary schools in Nigeria. These highlighted challenges will enable stakeholders in the education sector to take adequate measures in tackling these challenges, and make learning of social studies a lot easier for both teachers and students in junior secondary school levels.


1.6 Scope of the Study

This study covers the challenges and prospects of teaching social studies at junior secondary schools in Nigeria using Anambra state as a case study. Findings and recommendations for the study may not reflect the true view of the challenges of teaching social studies in Nigeria, as the researcher could not cover a wider area in Nigeria due to time and financial constraints.


1.7 Limitations of the Study

There are some limiting factors which influence the researcher’s effort towards developing this work (project). The most prevailing being time factor as other school extra curricula activities that had to be met with


1.8 Definition of Terms

Social studies is the “integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Social studies is most commonly recognized as the name of a course or set of courses taught in primary and secondary schools or elementary, middle, and secondary schools, but may also refer to the study of aspects of human society at certain post-secondary and tertiary schools around the globe. Many such courses are interdisciplinary and draw upon various fields, including sociology but also political science, history, economics, religious studies, geography, psychology, anthropology, and civics.

A challenge is a general term referring to things that are imbued with a sense of difficulty and victory.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary of the Study

The purpose of this study is to examine the factors hindering effective teaching and learning of Social Studies courses in the Nigerian Secondary Schools. And also identifies ways by these factors responsible for the poor growth of Social Studies education can be reduced or eliminated. The population of study comprises of teachers and students in six 96) selected secondary schools in Esan Local Government area, Edo State. The researcher used hand delivery and on the spot collection in administering the questionnaire. This was influenced by the delay and loss of questionnaires inherent mailing system. For the purpose of this study, a sample was randomly obtained from the population. Students possessed different experience on the basis of their various level of study.

The study reveals that there is a poor attitudinal disposition to Social Studies courses. This is in line with the findings of Amoor (2009) who posited that the society does not accord respect or recognition to the graduates of Social Studies and Technical Education. The impression is that this type of education is meant for the unintelligent and under-achievers. According to Amoor (2009), most parents do not encourage or guide their wards to take a course in Social Studies and Technical Education programme in Nigerian Secondary Schools; this is because the society does not place any significant value or dignity on the programme. In his conclusion, this attitudinal variataion subsequently affects the enrolment of candidates into Social Studies and technical education programme in Nigerian Secondary Schools.

The study also found that there is a dearth of infrastructures in the Nigerian Secondary Schools, this and the luke warm attitude of government towards the educational sector is affecting the growth of Social Studies courses in the Nigerian Secondary Schools. These findings corroborated the research carried out by Oryem-Origa (2005), he indicated that only 40% of technical Institutions in Nigeria have laboratory or workshop space for technical and Social Studies education programmes. Classrooms only have the items or equipment that was provided when the Secondary Schools were established. programme. The others, 60% do not have laboratory or workshop space and that this reflects the low quality of technology programmes in higher institutions. He further noted that these few colleges that have laboratories experience acute shortage of laboratory equipment and supplies.


5.2 Conclusion

Based on the result of this study on factors hindering the effective teaching of Social Studies courses in Nigerian Secondary Schools. The position of the researchers is that attitude as part of students personal traits need be enhanced so that they can reach for a greater height in their intended future career. Based on the research findings, we identified lack of motivation, lack of professionals to effectively the Social Studies courses (both in the curriculum and teaching angle), inadequate facilities and many more are all hindrances to the growth of Social Studies sector of the Secondary Schools in Nigeria. The researchers concluded that this situation is partly responsible for the reason why it has been increasingly difficult to run experiments effectively for students; and made the teaching and research in science and technology difficult and therefore the country, resulting to the production of insufficient and ill-prepared Social Studies education graduates. A situation which will not help in driving the technological and socio-economic development of this nation.


5.3 Recommendations

Based on the findings of our study, recommendations were made as follows:

The educational authorities in the secondary schools should be charged with the responsibility for distributing curriculum guide for secondary schools. This is because the curriculum guide has columns for objectives to be attained after each topic as well as suggested materials for teaching each topic. This will assist the lecturers in the Secondary Schools in knowing what to do as well as act as orientation for the old ones. There is need also for these governmental agencies to organize workshops from time to time to keep instructors abreast of the new approaches to teaching some Social Studies education topics. To this effect, curriculum planners should review the present curriculum to see whether there are some topics that need be deleted.

The government should as a matter of urgency set into motion a programme for training for Social Studies instructors training institutions, not just to know more of Social Studies courses, but to learn the subject in a way that the students will be able to enjoy the teaching. This will also help to raise the quality of teaching Social Studies courses, and consequently result in effective teaching.

There is need for equipping the Secondary Schools with audio visual and other teaching aids to aid teachers’ efforts in teaching Social Studies courses and to foster understanding among students. And lecturers should be encouraged by paying them relevant allowances as at when due.

Finally, the role of the parents should be that which is supportive of the students’ career development in Social Studies field. Parents should not quarrel with their children for failing Social Studies courses but rather encourage them to put more effort in studying and watching the kind of friends they move and study with.


Problems And Prospects Of Teaching Social Studies In Junior Secondary Schools In Nigeria


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