The study was designed and conducted to determine the
effectiveness of the Collaborative learning instructional strategy (CLIS) in
influencing students’ achievement and retention in Upper Basic Secondary School
Social Studies. Five research questions and five null hypotheses
guided the study. A Quasi-Experimental Pre-test, Post-test, Non-equivalent
Control Group Design was adopted for the study. A sample of 124 upper Basic VII
Social Studies students, drawn by both purposive and simple random sampling
techniques from two co-educational schools in Agege Education District 1
was used for the study. The two schools were assigned to experimental and control
groups respectively. Two intact classes in each school-(one as experimental and
the other one as control group) were randomly selected. The experimental and
control groups were taught the concept of values, leadership and followership,
science and technology by the regular social studies teachers. Three
instruments Pre-SSAT, Post-SSAT and Retention Test were developed, duly
validated and reliability of coefficient (.086) before using them for data
collection. The research questions were answered using mean and standard
deviation while the hypotheses were tested at (0.05) using analysis of
covariance (ANCOVA). The result of data analysis showed that, there is a
significant difference in the mean achievement scores of students taught social
studies with collaborative learning instructional strategy and those taught
with lecture method. There is no significant difference in the mean achievement
scores of male and female students exposed to collaborative learning
instructional strategy. There is a significant difference in the mean
achievement score of students exposed to collaborative learning instructional
strategy in their post test and retention test. A major educational implication
of the findings is that the use of Collaborative learning Instructional
Strategy (CLIS) was found to be more effective than the lecture method on
students’ achievement and retention. Based on these, some recommendations were
made that seminars and workshops should be organized by government and relevant
professional bodies like Social Studies Association of Nigeria (SOSSAN) should
educate teachers on the use of Collaborative learning as they may not be
familiar with it.
Background to the Study
Education as an important tool for national development has
become one of the major concerns of government in recent times in Nigeria. It
is a matter of grave concern for educational stakeholders that the level of
achievement and commitment of students to learning is reducing day –in
–day-out. One of the major causes identified is the ineffective teaching of the
school subjects including social studies. (Abdu-Raheem, 2012)
Social studies is a discipline that involves experiences which
deal with the problems of human relationship in the school and the larger
community. Social Studies could be seen as a programme of study in schools
which is used to inculcate in the learners the knowledge, skills, attitudes and
actions considered important in human relationship in the society (Adeyemi,
2003). It also includes human relationships with other culture. These
experiences and their rightful application form the values which control the
social relations of individuals.
Social Studies has the special focus of positively influencing,
modifying and changing pupil’s behaviour in the direction of acceptable norms,
values, beliefs, attitudes and practices of the society (Morriset,1980). A
competent teacher of Social Studies must acquaint himself or herself with
Social Studies methodology and be well groomed in the application of the
various methods of teaching social studies.
The general aim of curriculum planners for Social Studies is to
provide a forum whereby children will be taught to imbibe the values in the
society. The provisions and objectives set for the accomplishment of social
goals are sufficiently worthwhile to achieve the set goals. The values
emphasised in the current curriculum of Social Studies are those ones which are
important to get across to school children. (Adesina& Adeyemi,2009). Common
Wealth of Learning(2000), defined curriculum as a composite whole including the
learner, the teacher, teaching and learning methodologies, anticipated and
unanticipated experiences, outputs and outcomes possible within a learning
institution. With the values and attitudes for survival , aimed at in the
national guide, it is hopeful that students at the end of the
courses should be able to develop the right type of
attitude and learn more about their society and others and
the right type of value of Social Studies as a school subject.
The aims and objectives of education that may help the
individual to develop physically and socially, and be able to contribute to
national development as stated by the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004),
include the following:
the inculcation of the right of values for the survival of the
individual and the Nigerian society.
the acquisition of appropriate skills, abilities and competence
both mental and physical as equipment for the individual to live and to
contribute to the development of his society. (FRN, p.8)
These characteristics of the national objectives are fully
reflected in the Social Studies objectives. Social Studies, apart from
imparting knowledge and providing valuable information necessary in life, also
aims at helping students to acquire desirable social habits, attitudes and
values needed for the survival of the individual in the society.
Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (2007)
clearly spelt out that the overall objectives of Social Studies at both the
lower basic and upper basic (Junior Secondary) levels should enable pupils and
students to achieve the following:
the ability to adapt to his or her changing environment.
responsible and disciplined individuals capable and willing to contribute to
the development of their societies.
the right types of values.
a sense of comprehension towards other people, their diverse cultures, history
and those fundamental things that make them human.
the capacity to recognise the many dimensions of being human in different
cultural and social contexts.
a sense of solidarity and sharing based on a sense of security in one’s own
In spite of the important place of Social Studies in our
educational system, students’ academic achievement in the subject has shown a
fluctuating decline especially in Junior Secondary Certificate Examination in
Agege Education District 1 of Lagos State. For instance, the Lagos State
Examination Board,(2012),Social Studies analysis of Agege Education District 1
has indicated that as at 2008, the percentage of males that passed was
18.31%, and in 2009 it increased to 24.53%, and in 2010 it dropped to
18.31%. While the percentage of the females that passed in 2008 was 21.53%, in
2009 it increased to 26.15% and in 2010 it dropped to 21.53%. This is an
indication of low retention of what is taught and subsequently poor
achievement. Factors which have been identified as contributing to the
persistent low retention and poor level of achievement in Social Studies
include the following:
Poor teaching methods adopted by teachers.
The prominent use of text and lecture instructional technique
strategies by Social Studies teachers.
Learner variables such as gender and home background.
Lack of organised strategies for concept formation,
teacher characteristics and memory skills (Falade, 2001).
The aforementioned gives an indication that there may be low
desire in the area of social studies. This may also be an indication that
meaningful learning had not taken place. It has been observed that effective
teaching may facilitate learning and make it more meaningful.
In line with this, Sander (2001) stated that effective
teaching helps the learner to learn better, while poor teaching would naturally
lead to poor learning and consequently poor achievement. Abdu-Raheem(2011)
noted that lecture method commonly used for teaching / learning process in
Nigerian schools is not so effective because the students are not given the
opportunity to interact with the environment and maximally develop their
intellectual capabilities. Under the lecture approach, the teacher according
to, Yusuf (2007) simply becomes only the expositor and drill master while the
learner remains the listener and a store house of facts that can be retrieved
when a student hears his name called by the teacher.
The method of teaching could be regarded as the vehicle through
which a message is delivered (Salawu,1999). There exist several methods of
instruction which have permeated our educational system over the years.
Classroom experience shows that in most cases, two or more teaching methods are
combined by teachers in classroom practice.
The lecture method according to Awotua-Efebo (2001), is mainly
teacher-centred, with the students being consistently passive and contents are
taught as absolute knowledge. Lecture method allows a great deal of information
to be passed to the learners and favours handling of large classes .In spite of
this advantage, the lecture method does not stimulate student’s innovation,
inquiry and scientific attitudes. It encourages students to cram facts which
are easily forgotten (Okwilagwe, 2002). Furthermore, it does not facilitate the
development of reasoning skills and processes in the students. These, among
other reasons have not enhanced learning in students and thus had led to poor
achievement of students in social studies. However, there is still the need to
search and incorporate modern instructional strategies or techniques which the
advanced world has long accepted into their classrooms.
It is likely that intervening variables like gender, retention
and academic ability can also have an effect on the effectiveness of teaching
methods and learning outcomes. Gender refers to the social attributes
associated with being a male or female. It is an attribute that differentiates
feminine from masculine socially (Lee, 2001). It is a related term that
stresses the roles and responsibilities of male and female (Okeke,1999). In
this statement, gender is referred to one’s sex; it becomes a factor in
classroom instruction when the teacher creates a learning environment that
favours either the boys or girls. This study will find out whether gender will
influence the achievement of students in social studies if exposed to
Retention is a repeated performance by a learner of the
behaviour that an acquired piece of knowledge is always intended to elicit in
the learner after an interval of time. Chauhan (1998), described Retention as a
direct correlate of positive transfer of learning. This means that high
retention may lead to high achievement which is a factor of many
variables such as interval between learning and retrieval , intervening
experiences , specific subject involved, teaching
strategies/methods used and environmental situations , among others. Evidence
from researches showed that there is no consistency on the variables that may
lead to the students retaining more of what they have learnt. Separate studies
carried out by Ndukwe (2000), Nnadi (2001) and Eze (2002) showed that there was
no significant differences between the pupils mean post achievement and
retention scores. These findings suggest that there is need to carry out more
studies to clarify issues related to achievement and retention as it concerns
methods of teaching. Since there is no consensus on the effect of methods on
students’ retention and achievement, there is need to investigate a learner
oriented method and its effect on achievement and retention. The overall
achievement and retention in social studies and any other social sciences
subjects are very much related to many other variables, which are evident in
the studies carried out by other researchers. The variables include: academic
ability levels of learners, gender issues, teaching-learning environment
(location), teaching methods , teachers ability to use the various methods and
materials provided, students backgrounds, level of intelligence, students
cognitive styles, among other variables
Students vary in their academic abilities and this tends to be
reflected in the extent to which they are affected by a particular teaching
methods. For instance, Diamond and Onwuegbuzie (2001) expressed concern over
the influence of different teaching methods on learning benefits of students of
different ability groups, stating that differences in intellectual functioning
among learners necessitate variations in instructional strategies. Various
researches conducted by Okeke (1986), Ezeh (1992) and Udeji (2007) indicated
that teaching methods have different effects on students’ of different academic
ability levels (low, average, high levels) with one group benefitting more from
a particular teaching method than the other. In the view of the foregoing, it
might be necessary to find out the students’ academic ability group (low,
average, high) for which a particular teaching method will be more effective.
However, there is still the need to search and incorporate modern instructional
strategies or techniques like the collaborative learning which the advanced
countries have long accepted into their classrooms.
Collaborative learning is an instructional strategy in which
students at various performance levels, students work together in small groups
toward a common goal. The students are responsible for one another’s learning
as well as their own. Thus, the success of one student helps other student to
be successful. Collaborative Learning (CL), however, is a personal
philosophy not just a classroom technique. It suggests a way of dealing with
people which respects and highlights group member’s abilities and
contributions..(Amuradha,1995) The underlying premise of collaborative
learning is based upon consensus building through cooperation among group
members, in contrast to competition in which individuals compete against other
group members (McGroaty, 1993). This type of learning brings about equality
amongst the learners because they tend to help one another. Thus social studies
is all about man and his relationship with his environment, because the
classroom is a community and the learners will need to work together
effectively to achieve a goal.
Based on the nature of Social studies, that involves
interaction and discussion, the instructional strategy to be adopted should be
learner centred and oriented .This is so because there will
be free flow of information through discussion and debates and by so
doing, both teachers and learners will gain from lessons. Students learn
best when they are actively involved in the process, students working in small
groups tend to learn more of what is taught and retain it longer than when the
content is presented in other instructional formats. Students who work in
collaborative groups seem to appear more satisfied with their classes (Berk
man, 1990; Tinto & Associates, 1992).
Proponents of collaborative learning claim that the active
exchange of ideas with small group not only increases interest among the
participants but also promotes critical thinking. According to Johnson and
Johnson (1980), there is pervasive evidence that cooperative teams achieve at
higher levels of thought and retain information longer than students who work
quietly as individuals. The shared learning gives students an opportunity to
engage in discussion, take responsibility for their own learning, and thus
become critical thinkers (Totten, Sills, Digby& Russ, 1991). The thinking
skills will enable learners to contribute to the lessons by fully participating
in the lessons and the communicative skills will improve learners’ ability of
interacting with his /her peers and the larger society in their environment.
In collaborative learning, ideas, facts and knowledge are
exchanged and brain storming is done among the learners so as to achieve the
common goal. The researcher proposes that collaborative learning is an
instructional strategy that has to do with the learners and the teacher working
together in order to solve problems. It is expected that collaborative learning
will bridge the ethnic and cultural gaps in the students because learners will
work irrespective of their differences. Yusuf (2007) pointed out that efforts
have been made to redress the observed inadequacy by teaching the social
studies as a discipline that brings the reality of everyday societal living to
students with the desire to making them acquire the knowledge, attitude, values
and skills required to be responsible and discipline members of their society.
Considering the above, it is necessary that an experimental study be carried to
ascertain the actual effect of collaborative learning on students’ academic
achievement in social studies.
Statement of the Problem
The persistent poor achievement and low retention of students’
in Social Studies as revealed by both research results call for concern
especially for teachers of social studies. The problem has to a large extent
been attributed to ineffective teaching method employed by the teachers of the
subject, especially lecture teaching method which is teacher-centred.
Consequently, there is a felt need to improve on the teaching and learning of
social studies by exploring the use of innovative instructional strategy and
learner centred method such as the collaborative learning as proposed by the
researcher, since it is believed that meaningful learning may be as a result of
active participation by students. Although, many studies have been carried out
on some innovative methods, like discussion method, reflective inquiry amongst
many others. Findings have shown that they are students’ centred and can also
enhance learning and achievement. The study therefore aims at investigating the
effectiveness of collaborative learning instructional strategy on students
’achievement and retention in Social Studies.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to determine the effect
of collaborative learning instructional strategy on student’s academic
achievement and retention in Social Studies in Agege Education District 1 of
Lagos State. Specifically, the study will determine
effect of collaborative learning instructional on the achievement scores of
students taught Social Studies.
effect of collaborative learning instructional strategy on gender achievement
of students’ in Social Studies.
effect of collaborative learning instructional strategy on students’ retention
in Social Studies.
interaction effect of collaborative learning instructional strategy and gender
on students’ achievement in social studies.
influence of academic ability level on achievement of students taught social
studies using the collaborative learning instructional strategy.
Significance of the Study
The result of this study is expected to have both the
theoretical and practical significance. This study is theoretically
justified by the fact that there is a discrepancy between the student actual
development levels. This means that the achievement of the child depends on the
help form a competent partner or a knowledgeable peer. The Vygotsky’s theory of
zone proximal development theory believes that the knowledgeable partner could
be the teacher or the peer group, the teacher in this case acts as a scaffold
who gives support and guidance to the student where it is necessary. This
theory is synonymous with the constructivist theory that believes in the
students’ discovery of principles and by so doing it makes learning to be
learners- centred and promotes participation on the part of the learners and
the teachers other than being passive and regurgitate facts that lead to
memorization of knowledge. In other words, the collaborative learning
instructional strategy is in conformity with the theory emphasizing that
learners needs to collaborative effectively with the peers with the assistance
of the teacher. Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development theory will enable
teachers of social studies to facilitate learning rather than imparting
learning because of the nature of the subject that has to do with problem
solving and discovery. The result of this study will therefore help in
authenticating the tenets of Vygotsky’s theory.
The Social learning theory of Albert Bandura is based on the
principles of observation, imitation and modelling .This theory will enable
learners to emulate good attitudes and values amongst their peers, because the
collaborative learning will bring learners together to work for a common goal,
since the main aim is to aspire for a goal, the stronger ones will help the
weaker ones, and by so doing they learn from one another in terms of character
and learning. The findings of this study will help in authenticating the tenets
of Albert Bandura’s theory.
The findings of this result will be of benefit to the curriculum
planners, government, teachers and students. From the findings, curriculum
planners will benefit since they will be provided with information that may be
used in recommending effective innovations in teaching strategies. Also, the
findings will provide information that will be used to sensitize the government
on the need for workshops, seminars, and conferences on new teaching techniques
like the collaborative learning instructional strategy as an effective way for
teaching Social Studies. It will also enable them to re-train teachers by
organising symposia, workshops and training on the use of collaborative
methods. The use of lecture teaching method will be jettisoned as curriculum
planners will find the need to improve on it.
This study will be significant to the teachers because they will find the
study useful as it will suggest a better method of social studies teaching and
learning process as a sure way of achieving their set objectives with less
pains. It will sensitize teachers of social studies to the adoption of better
The students will find this study, helpful because it will help
them to work together as one so as to achieve a common goal and also to solve
their immediate problems. It will also enhance good team work and working
together in harmoniously with one other irrespective of their ethnic or
Scope of the Study
This study will be restricted to the Upper Basic 8 (JSS II)
students’ of Agege Education District 1of Lagos State. The work is restricted
to Upper Basic 8 students offering Social Studies. The content scope of this
study will cover values, types of values, importance of values, the concept of
leadership and followership, science and technology.
The following research questions are formulated to guide the
1. What is
the mean achievement score of students’ taught social studies using
collaborative learning instructional strategy and those taught using the
2. What is
the effect of gender on the mean achievement score of students’ taught social
studies using collaborative learning instructional strategy?
3. What is
the effect of collaborative learning instructional strategy on students’
retention in Social Studies?
4. What is
the interaction effect of collaborative learning instructional strategy and
gender on students’ achievement in Social Studies?
5. What is
the influence of academic ability level on achievement of students’ taught
social studies using the collaborative learning?
The following null hypotheses were formulated and tested at 0.05
level of significance:
H01. There is no significant difference in the mean
achievement score of students’ taught Social Studies with collaborative
learning instructional strategy and those taught with lecture method.
H02There is no significant difference in the gender
achievement scores of students’ taught Social Studies using collaborative
H03 There is no significant difference in the
collaborative learning instructional strategy on students’ retention.
H04 There is no significant difference in the
interaction effect of collaborative learning instructional strategy and gender
on students’ achievement in Social Studies.
H05 There is no significance difference in the
academic ability level on achievement of students’ taught social studies using
the collaborative learning instructional strategy.