1.1  Background of the Study

Social studies plays a significant role in fundamental education in terms of helping students get ready for and adjust to life in society (Çal and Demirkaya, 2020).  It is commonly defined as “the study of man and his environment”. Social studies is concerned with the development of man, how he affects his surroundings and how it affects him in turn (Salmamza, 2022). Practically, the term "man" refers to both males and females, children and adults, leaders and followers (Oluwagbohunmi,   2012).

It is a subject that equips students with the information, abilities, attitudes, and moral principles required to be responsible, productive citizens. Social studies encompass a wide range of academic fields, particularly the social sciences, which have a direct bearing on human existence. The top fields in social science are geography, history, philosophy, sociology, psychology, economics, political science, citizenship, as well as law. The Social Studies Curriculum of the Ministry of National Education places a lot of emphasis on the necessity of using an interdisciplinary approach when teaching social science subjects (Çal and Demirkaya, 2020).

Social studies have been defined by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS, 1994) to be "...the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to foster civic competence”. The social studies curriculum in schools offers an integrated, organized learning that incorporates relevant material drawn from the humanities, math, and natural sciences in addition to the following academic fields: economics, social science, anthropology, geography, law, religion, government, behavioral science, archaeology, philosophy and history.

Social Studies was introduced to address Nigeria’s issues, following the devastation of the colonial period, which left a void of discord among the populace. In the years following independence, it was developed to address societal problems, the nation's values, as well as moral education in Nigeria (Abdu-Raheem and Olorunda, 2020).

In an effort to find a solution to the issue of national unity as stated in social studies objectives, Adaralegbe in Gbadebo (2012) enumerated the overarching objectives of social studies education in Nigeria. These include: helping individuals achieve complete societal integration: fostering a sympathetic understanding of the diversity and interdependence of all individuals within the local community as well as the larger national and global society: cultivating responsible behaviour, nationalism and effective citizenship: developing  both analytical and manipulative skills as well as positive attitudes and values like integrity, respect, dignity of labour, unity, equity, and compassion for the advancement of the people and the country.

To lay the groundwork for practical social education geared toward developing a generation of smart, accountable, and independent citizens, the structure of the social studies syllabus aims at the development of a healthy and balanced mind. To help achieve these fundamental objectives, field studies have been emphasized in the curriculum's content and context among other things.

 Field trips have long been a crucial component of social studies education. They expose students to real-life scenarios and allow them to connect with individuals from different cultural backgrounds, as well as enable them to learn about their cultural and historical backgrounds. Field trips, according to Sitali-Mubanga et al. (2018), are group outings that take place outside of the normal classroom setting and allow students to learn about a noteworthy place or area of particular interest directly.

Field trips allow students to apply the theoretical concepts learned in class to real-world situations. In other words, students might be able to put into practice what they learned in the classroom. The knowledge that is theoretical and the new knowledge that is being gained through experience may be alternated by students and instructors (Addo, 2021).

This is in line with the objectives of field trips, which were outlined by Michie (1998). According to Michie (1998), field trips help to provide first-hand experience through which students' interest and motivation in social sciences are piqued using pertinent teaching strategies and interrelationships. Field trips help students become better observers and perceivers, and they also foster personal (social) growth,

A field trip with a specific purpose could have an effect on the intellectual capacities of students, skills, passions, and potential professions. This might be especially true for students who struggle academically or are labeled "at risk" because of their poor performance on significant tests or in class. Field trips provide students with a unique chance to make connections that will aid in their comprehension and love for learning.

By using all of their senses, students on field excursions hone their ability to observe as well as their perception skills (Nabors et al., 2009). Students acquire optimistic learning attitudes, which inspires them to make connections between what they have learned in theory class and what they have actually experienced (Behrendt and Franklin, 2013). Outdoor field trips give students the chance to sharpen their perceptions, expand their vocabulary, and grow more interested in the natural environment (Hoisington et al., 2010). A growing interest sparks curiosity. enabling students to make observations, debate them, think about their previous experiences, or just think about the subject (Farmer et al., 2007; National Research Council, 2009). Students' experiences on field trips are not limited to the destination; while en route from the school to the field trip destination, they learn more about their local areas and communities.  (Nabors et al., 2009).

Furthermore, it is reported that the impacts of this journey on students could last for many months to years after the excursion (Farmer et al., 2007). Field trips provide students with numerous opportunities to make observations, which is a significant factor in fostering students' mental growth  (Shakil,  et  al.,  2011).  The students' physical, mental, social, and emotional development, as well as other aspects of their personalities, are all helped by it. Students can experience the world firsthand and learn about it through educational field trips. It encourages engagement with the subject being learned by the students (Salihu, 2015). Academic performance involves the learning outcomes that students achieve over a predetermined period of time. How well a student is completing their assignments and studies is referred to as academic performance. Academic performance is also the capacity to learn, retain information, and verbally express one's knowledge (Behrendt and Franklin, 2013).

Despite the significance of field trips, it appears that social studies teachers only teach and have their students learn the subject in a classroom environment. A number of factors are known to be responsible for this. The various factors that typically affect field trips have been the subject of numerous studies.

The first factor being time constraints. Teachers frequently need to spend more time planning and preparing for field trips, which could conflict with their regular schedules. Compared to other methods, the participatory field trip takes the most time. According to other researchers, scheduling the journey and making plans for students who can't attend add more work to an already hectic teaching schedule (Mayer, 2016; Riegel and Kindermann, 2016). Moreso, It can be extremely challenging to supervise students during field trips (Bassaw et al., 2022)

Financial limitations are another aspect. Because field excursions can be costly, schools with limited resources might not be able to take students on it. When there are too many administrative issues and financial challenges to tackle, teachers can become demotivated. The majority of students occasionally find it difficult to pay for field excursions given the expenses involved (Riegel and Kindermann, 2016; Ijebor et al., 2022).

The inability of some teachers to plan field trips and the lack of support from some teachers are additional factors. The issue of which factors are specifically linked to the use of field trips in social studies teaching and learning still remains, though. Thus, the purpose of this study.


1.2  Statement of the Problem

Learning takes time. It takes time to analyze, then synthesize, a concept to fit into an existing body of knowledge (Behrendt and Franklin, 2013). According to the National Research Council (2009), contextual factors that influence learning include control, choice, motivation, expectation, prior experience, prior interests, and prior beliefs (National Research Council, 2009).

For learning to result in deep understanding, it takes time  (Behrendt and Franklin, 2013). Kolb's (1983) learning cycle states that in order to learn experientially, a learner must first have an experience, then reflect, analyze, and test the concept in order to gain knowledge and create another experience. This highlights the value of field trips as a crucial tool for improving learning because they offer opportunities for experiential learning that cannot be matched in a traditional classroom setting.

Field trips enable students to learn in a more active and immersive manner. They get the opportunity to actually engage with a subject rather than just reading about it in a textbook or listening to a lecture. This can make it easier for them to comprehend difficult ideas and improve their memory.

Even though field trips are one of the instructional strategies that assist students to learn about the social world in concrete ways, it has been noticed that social studies instructors rarely employ them. As a result, the students are now being taught social studies as a static body of knowledge because these outings were not utilized.

Investigating the factors that limit the use of field trips in the teaching and learning of social studies is therefore essential.


1.3  Aim of the Study

The study aims to determine the factors affecting the use of field trip in the teaching and learning social studies. 


1.4  Objectives of the Study

The study had the following objectives:

  1. To apprise the importance of field trip in teaching and learning of social studies.
  2. To identify the factors affecting the use of field trips in teaching and learning of social studies.
  3. To assess the impact of the factors affecting the use of field trips in teaching and learning of social studies.


1.5  Research Questions

  1. What is the importance of field trip in teaching and learning of social studies?
  2. What factors affect the use of field trips in teaching and learning of social studies?
  3. What is the impact of the factors affecting the use of field trips in teaching and learning of social studies?


1.6  Research Hypothesis

H0: There is no statistically significant difference in the impact of factors affecting the use of field trip in teaching and learning social studies.

Ha: There is a statistically significant difference in the impact of factors affecting the use of field trip in teaching and learning social studies.


1.7  Justification of the Study

Investigating the factors affecting the use of field trips in social studies is essential to ensure their success and impact on student learning. The findings of this research will be extremely helpful to educators as it will allow them to organize and carry out field trips which are both efficient and secure. Ultimately the findings of this study with contribute valuable information to the existing body of knowledge.


1.8  Scope of the Study

This study focuses on identifying the factors affecting the use of field trip in teaching and learning social studies. Data for the study will be obtained from grade 4-7 teachers and students in a selected school Akwa Ibom state.