PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS OF TEACHING SOCIAL STUDIES IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NIGERIA
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 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.
study reveals that there is a poor attitudinal disposition to Social Studies
courses. In his conclusion, this attitudinal variation subsequently affects the
enrolment of candidates into Social Studies and technical education programme
in Nigerian Secondary Schools.
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.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Studies was introduced in the Nigerian School Curriculum as part of the
instrumentfor achieving national development (National Policy on Education
(NPE) 1981). This was whatinformed its designation as part of the core
curriculum at different levels of education in Nigeria.
Studies curriculum development agencies such as the Nigerian Educational
Research andDevelopment Council (NERDC) and experts further identified and
disseminated the curriculumgoals 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; Dubeyand 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 connectedwith the Curriculum if the intentions or purposes must be
realized and the investment of effort isto be considered worthwhile (Feather,
1982; Meece, Blumenfeld, & Hoyle, 1988). Theseintentions or purposes are
prima facie stated with clarity, but their perception or conceptualizationby
teachers and scholars is still in doubt as Onyabe (1980) observed that the philosophy,
contentand methodology of social studies has remained vague to both scholars
and teachers. Theincidence of conflicting conceptions of social studies
curriculum is a cause for concern for threemajor reasons. First, the anchor or
strategic position of purposes or intentions in the curriculumdevelopment
process (Pratt, 1994) as illustrated in Tyler (1949) (Linear) and Wheeler
(1980)(cyclic) curriculum models, among others.
curriculum goals or purposes, are indispensable elements in instructions as
faras effective implementation of an already developed curriculum is concerned.
Thirdly, the correctconception, investment of efforts and ultimate realization
of the purposes of the curriculum willfacilitate the realization of the overall
aims of the Nigerian educational enterprise.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
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.
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
Studiestraining 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 Studiesin secondary schools in Anambra State.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
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:
out the extent to which students’ attitudes constitute problems to the teaching
and learning of Social Studies.
the extent to which teacher quality and quantity constitute problems to the
teaching and learning of Social Studies.
out the extent to which instructional materials constitute problems to the
teaching and learning of Social Studies.
the extent to which curriculum issues pose problems to the teaching/learning of
following research questions were formulated to guide the study:
what extent do attitudes of Anambra State Junior Secondary Schools Students
constitute problems to the teaching of Social Studies?
what extent to teacher quality and quantity cause problems to the teaching of Social
what extent do instructional materials pose problems to the teaching and
learning of Social Studies?
what extent do curriculum issues pose problems to the teaching and learning of Social
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
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
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
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Social studiesis 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.