SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHERS’ PERCEPTION ON THE USE OF COMMUNITY RESOURCES IN THE TEACHING/LEARNING OF SOCIAL STUDIES IN SOME SELECTED JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS
The purpose of this study was to
investigate social studies teachers’ perception on the use of community
resources in the teaching and learning of social studies in some selected
junior secondary schools in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State. The sample of the study was made up of 100
social studies teachers in 20 junior secondary schools. Four research questions and two hypotheses
were raised in the study to find out the teachers’ perception on the use of
The research instrument used for this
study was a modified 4-point Likert type scale questionnaire consisting of
seventeen items. The instrument used was
validated by the supervisor and two other experts in the department of
educational psychology and curriculum studies.
A reliability coefficient of 0.67 was obtained. Data were collected and simple percentage and
t-test of independent sample was used to analyze the data collected. The two hypotheses were tested at an alpha
level of .05.
The finding of this study revealed
that the perception of professional and non-professional teachers was not
significant in their use of community resources. However, it was recommended among others,
that there should be full scale implementation of community resources in the
teaching/ learning social studies in junior secondary schools.
Background of the Study
The introduction of social studies
into the Nigeria School System was based on certain philosophical
considerations. One of them is to address social issues and man’s problem of
life in their interrelatedness, as they appear in real life situations instead
of addressing them in an uninterrelated manner as those learnt through separate
disciplines like Geography, Religion, Sociology and Anthropology. Social
Studies according to Ezegbe (1994), was therefore introduced as an integrated
discipline to make education real to life.
Social studies was also introduced
into the Nigerian School System to achieve one of the philosophies of Nigerian
education as indicated in the National Policy on Education (2004) which is “the
development of the individual into a sound and effective citizen”. The
realization of this objective through social studies is possible since the
subject is an integrated programme which is taught and learnt. Social studies
looks at all aspects of the life of the child in the society.
It is further stated in the National
Policy on Education (2004) that the essence of education is to achieve the
inculcation of national consciousness and national unity; the inculcation of
the right type of values and attitudes for the survival of the individual and
the Nigerian society. All these, according to Ezegbe (1994) involve the
development of modern democratic values which are taught and learnt in social
studies because of its broad based scope. The accomplishment of the purposes
for which social studies was introduced in schools would depend to a large
extent, not only on the availability of the right caliber of professionally
trained social studies teaching personnel but also of the material resources
available in schools for its teaching. Of the personnel involved in the
development, implementation and evaluation of a curriculum, the teacher is the
most important. Brown (1982) pointed out the vital role of the teacher in the
curriculum process when he notes that:
The curriculum can be a great
success or a dismal failure, depending on the teachers. They are the key
persons who alone can make the curriculum design achieve whatever it was
designed to achieve… (pg. 19).
how strongly motivated a nation may be in desiring to provide education for its
citizens irrespective of the financial resources and the good will, the
effectiveness of the system ultimately depends on the quality of the teachers
that operate it. It is the teacher who translates societal values and aspirations
to practical lessons in the class. Several educators amongst who are Coombs
(1970), Fafunwa (1974), Fayemi (1991) and Ukeje (1970) have written on the
vital role of the teachers as implementers of the curriculum. According to
them, whatever abilities are available, whatever content is presented for
teaching, whichever kind of environment the school is situated and whatever
kind of pupils are given to teach, the important and vital role of the teacher
cannot be over-emphasized. Teachers represent a large proportion of the input
of an educational system.
Instructional materials are also
educational inputs and they are of vital importance in the successful
implementation of any curriculum. Relevant and appropriate textbooks, visual
and audio-visual materials like globes, charts, slides, maps, tapes etc are of
paramount necessities in the teaching and learning process. Audio-visual
materials supplement and consolidate what is read in textbooks and journals. An
important, but often – neglected source of instructional material for effective
teaching and learning of social studies is the community. No matter the nature,
size and location of the community, there are various resources both human and
non human which enhance the teaching and learning of social studies within and
outside the classroom. Social studies as a broad discipline deals with the
study of the activities of man in his physical and social environment (i.e how
man influences the environment in which he lives and in turn examines the
environmental effect on man). Consequently, the community becomes the
laboratory for social studies teachers.
examination of the Nigeria primary and junior secondary school social studies
curriculum would show that they are heavily loaded with topics and issues that
are common in our communities. These could be historical, geographical,
economic, social and cultural issues. There is no better place than the local
community for effective teaching and learning of social studies bearing in mind
the nature and scope of the subject. The students can see at first hand the
social processes and interactions. Social studies is about home, school,
community functioning, work and government at the local level and about the
explanation of these things at the national levels. Members of the students’
families can often be used as a resource. A parent may be able to describe his
or her job when the class is studying community workers or the job market.
There may be artifacts from different nations in the homes of the students that
would be of interest to the class. Many teachers have found that these add
sparkle to the class. Students are to be prepared to think constructively, to
make judgment and decision, to analyze and criticize what they have learned and
to affiliate themselves with these things when they become adult citizens of
The acceptance of the above assertion
will lead one to ask whether secondary school students of social studies are
expected to sit down in the classroom and listen to the teachers’ definition of
lake or hill or go out to observe these features and how man’s activities shape
and reshape them. Effective utilization of community resources in the teaching
and learning of social studies is one of the ways through which the objectives
of social studies can be achieved. According to Mezieobi (1991) social studies
teachers should move away from reliance on textbook and other reading materials
and as an alternative to the textbook disease turn attention to participative
approaches in social studies instruction which are inductive and
problem-solving oriented and encourage discovery, creativity and reflective
inquiry which cannot be inculcated through sheer reading of social studies
textbook and other reading materials. The peculiar nature of social studies
makes it possible for great variety of resource materials to be employed in its
teaching and learning. The ultimate goal of any teaching – learning activity is
to bring about desirable behavioural changes in the learner. Effective interactive
process demands appropriate utilization or commitment of instructional
materials and resources. According to Fadeiye (1992) resources could be a
stimulus, an object, a person, etc which helps the learners in their pursuit of
knowledge in social studies.
The community is the neighbourhood
beyond just family. Community resources are materials both natural and man-made
found within the community that could enhance teaching and learning in and
outside the classroom. According to Mezieobi (1992) community resources are
those persons, places and institutions which desirably enrich the horizon of
the student teaching and learning, deepen the social studies content and widen
the horizon of the students in social studies teaching and learning. To ensure
students effective functioning later in their lives they should be exposed to
the realities of their communities.
Instructional materials and community
resources can be grouped into two categories namely conventional resources and
grouped into broad categories, human resources and non human resources. Human
resources refer to the use of individuals who serve as resource personnel
within urban and rural communities. A resource person is an expert or
acknowledgeable person in an area of specialization who is invited to or is
visited for explanation and dissemination of information. Human resource
includes the following: community leaders, farmers, hunters, priests,
librarians and postman, police officers, doctors, legislatures, amongst others.
The non human resources include: health institutions e.g. hospital, clinics and
maternities; museum, amongst others.
Despite the wide variety of
instructional materials which are utilized in teaching – learning activities in
general, community resources are most appropriate for effective social studies
instruction in Nigeria given the social relevance of social studies, coupled
with low level of technology development of the Nigeria society, the growing
emphasis on community based education and the dwindling economic circumstance
which has occasioned the inadequate supply of instructional materials and
facilities to our schools. Community resources therefore serve as panacea for
he inadequate supply of instructional materials.
to Meziobi (1991), they help to expose the students to the realities of their
environment or community and make them have direct experiences, which will help
to concretize the social studies content that have been taught. It breaks the
monotony of the teacher as it adds variety to learning during visit to interest
acquaint learners with their social and physical environment, as well as strengthen
the school community relationship.
addition, students can serve the community in projects ranging from helping
senior citizens to clearing up local parks. Community service provides a bridge
between students and the community and can be an important resource in building
toward the goal of citizenship. The students are made to appreciate the fact
that the community plays vital roles in their lives and education.
Statement of the Problem
The child is the product of his
community, consequently the issue of community resources in the teaching and
learning of social studies becomes a means of promoting socio-ecological
equilibrium and learners’ understanding of their environment. Researchers in
community resources like Mezieobi (1991), Jarolimeto (1971) pointed out that
the dependence on high level technology materials such as radio and television
for social studies instructional effectiveness in Nigeria at this level of our
development is not only unrealistic; it will impede the proper institutionalization
of social studies education.
The scarcity and at time
non-availability of the imported high level technology materials such as cine
projector, slide projector, overhead projector, impede effective teaching in
schools. Furthermore, the inability of most social studies teachers to
effectively operate the instructional materials poses problems. Unfortunately
where some of the materials are available the schools lack electricity to
energize them. These problems have being manifested in the manner in which
students find difficulty in concretizing abstract concepts taught.
To give the study a direction, the
following research questions are raised.
1. Are social
studies teachers in schools aware of available community resources for the
teaching of social studies?
2. Are social
studies teachers aware of the value of community resources in the teaching of
3. Is there any
difference between professional and non professional social studies teachers in
their perception of the value of community resources?
4. Do social
studies teachers differ significantly in their perception of the constraints in
the use of community resources?
1. The awareness
of social studies teachers of available community resources will not be
significantly less than the acceptable level.
2. The awareness
of social studies teachers value of community resources will not be
significantly less than the acceptable level.
and non professional social studies teachers will not differ significantly in
their perception of community resources.
4. Social studies
teachers do not differ significantly in their perception of the constraints to
the use of community resources.
Purpose of Study
1. To determine if
social studies teachers are aware of the value of community resources available
for teaching the subject.
2. To determine if
social studies teachers are aware in schools of the value of community
resources in the teaching of social studies.
3. To determine if
professional and non professional social studies teachers differ in their
perception of community resources.
4. To determine if
social studies teachers differ significantly in their perception of constraints
to the use of community resources.
Significance of the Study
The outcome of this study will
encourage social studies teachers to use materials within the school local
communities to facilitate teaching and learning. The findings of this study
will hopefully strengthen the school - community relation. Finally it is also hoped
that findings will stimulate school authorities and Parents Teachers
Association (P.T.A.) to support teachers’ effort to make use of community human
and non human resources because of their potency to contribute to effective
schooling. Curriculum designers will place emphasis on the need to use
community resources. It will also serve as a base for future research into the
use of community resources.
Scope and Delimitation of the Study
This study focuses on social studies
teachers perception of the constraints to the use of community resources for
teaching and it is limited to social studies teachers in all junior secondary