CHALLENGES OF EFFECTIVE TEACHING OF SOCIAL STUDIES IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL

CHAPTER 1: Introduction

Attempts have been made by many writers to define or rather describe Social Studies. However, there is no particular agreed definition as every attempt is based on individual beliefs about the role of Social Studies in society. For example, Adaralegbe (1975) argued that Social Studies is the study of how people live, what they do and how their life is affected by various things and social practices around them. Adaralegbe (1980) stated that Social Studies is the totality of experience a student goes through having been exposed to a course explaining the problems men and women encounter in chosen environments (historical, geographical, traditional, political, religious, economic, psychological, cultural, scientific and technological). Meanwhile, Makinde (1979) claimed that Social Studies is a subject that attempts to study human beings in all their manifestations. However, Awoyemi & Ndagunnu (2005) claimed that Social Studies embraces those studies which are concerned with how people build a better life for themselves and their fellow human beings; how people deal with the problems of living together, how people change and are changed by their environment.

The Comparative Education Study and Adaptation Centre (CESAC, 1982) defined Social Studies as a subject that is concerned with the way people live and interact with their social and physical environments and how science and technology help them to live well in those environments. CESAC went further to state the usefulness of Social Studies is enhanced when it is seen as a way of looking at society in order to understand social problems and thereby helps to seek a solution to them. In contrast, Akinlaye (1980) defined Social Studies as the study of people and their environments which has an influence on them in one way or the other

 

 

Background of the Study

      There are challenges facing teachers in delivering the Social Studies curriculum appropriately, and there are both experiential and gender differences in teachers’ ability to deliver the Social Studies curriculum. It also revealed that not all the teachers are Social Studies specialists; there are some non-specialist teachers teaching Social Studies because their subject embraces disciplines that have to do with human existence (e.g. human geography)

and this was perceived by the authorities as appropriate to deliver the curriculum.This may have accounted for a diversity of teaching methods and opportunities. Teachers reported that the curriculum content in Social Studies is not adequate for addressing the social issues and problems that face Nigeria today; the importance of peace and consequences of conflicts, the importance of culture, and the need for national unity and progress. They were of the opinion that illustrated talks, visiting speakers, drawing and painting, posters, creative writing, cartoons, brainstorming, costume making, plays, puppetry and quizzes are not always suitable teaching

techniques. Additionally instructional material such as charts, relevant and current Social Studies textbooks are not readily available in schools. They also indicated that the matching or pairing of item tests and multiple choice tests is not suitable evaluation techniques.

 

 

 

1.1            Statement of the Problem

Social Studies provide a way of looking at society in order to understand its structure and its problems and to look for ways of solving those problems. Social Studies therefore seek to integrate knowledge from the various traditional disciplines. Although the National Policy on Education accepted social studies education as a curriculum design for inculcating norms and values of active citizenship amongst young learners in our schools, most of the studies (Lat, 1999; Akims, 2003; Shingumi, 2003 and Kazi 2004) and data available in this direction have demonstrated that we are yet to achieve the virtues and assets intrinsic in the subject area Social studies as a subject has several attractive characteristics.  Unfortunately, there are factors militating against the successful teaching of social studies in the secondary schools. Teachers need to be aware of the factors militating against the effective teaching in order to create positive learning environment for all students to learn. Therefore the problem confronting this research is to investigate the challenges of effective teaching of social studies in senior secondary school.

  

1.2            Objective of the Study

1 To determine the nature of social studies as a subject in secondary school

2 To determine the challenges of the effective teaching of social studies in senior secondary school

 

1.3            Research Questions

1 What is the nature of social studies as a subject in senior secondary school?

2       What is the nature of  the challenges in the effective teaching of social studies in senior secondary school

 

 

2.1            significance of the Study

The study shall proffer a structural appraisal of the nature of social studies in senior secondary school

It shall highlight the challenges confronted in the effective teaching of social studies in senior secondary school.

The study shall provide significant information on issues regarding the effective teaching of social studies in senior secondary school.

 

2.2            Statement of Hypothesis

1 Ho The level of understanding of social studies in senior secondary school is Low

      Hi   The level of understanding of social studies in senior secondary school is high

2   Ho   The Challenges in the teaching of social studies in senior secondary school is low

     Hi    The challenges in the teaching of social studies in senior secondary school is high

3       Ho  The teaching of  social studies in senior secondary school is not effective

Hi    The teaching of social studies in senior secondary school is effective

 

 

3.1            Scope  of the Study

The study focuses on the appraisal of the challenges in the effective teaching of social studies in senior secondary school.

 

3.2            Definition of Terms

 

SOCIAL STUDY DEFINED

The Comparative Education Study and Adaptation Centre (CESAC, 1982)

Defined Social Studies as a subject that is concerned with the way people live and interact with their social and physical environments and how science and technology help them to live well in those environments

 

 

         Traditional Education

Before the introduction of western education in Nigeria, there had been a traditional form of education which was not rigidly structured. The purpose of traditional education was clear because functionalism was the main guiding principle i.e. the curriculum was relevant to the needs of the society. Traditional education was generally a means for immediate induction into society and a preparation for adulthood. It emphasized social responsibility, job orientation, political participation and spiritual and moral values.

 

Realistic Approach

‘Realistic’ approach to education underpins science, technical and vocational subjects. The teaching and learning of these subjects involves the carrying out of practical exercises and experiments that provide students with the ability to observe the natural world and understand cause and effect.

 

Idealistic Approach

Idealistic approaches to education expose students to subjects that allow them to enter discourses and evaluate evidence or meaning: such subjects include History, Political Science, Geography, Literature, the Creative Arts, and Music.

 

An existential approach

 Is used quite often in Religious Studies, where students apply principles and ideas to their own existence, taking biblical lessons and applying them to their own lives (O'Grady, 2003). Finally, the

 

‘Pragmatic’ approach

(attributed to John Dewey) and closely allied to the constructivist approach exposes students to subjects such as Social Studies which equip them with the understanding and skills to explore the world in which they live (Kivinen & Ristela, 2003).

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