1.1 Background to the Study
Using instructional media began somewhere from the Stone Age period (World Encyclopedia, 2001). The Egyptians for instance made use of hieroglyphics for visual communication of ideas. With such inscriptions, the elders made use of them as signs to teach their kids how to kill animals precisely during their hunting and farming. Likewise, through initiation rites, storytelling, and festivals the young were offered some form of training and instruction.
Numerous studies have analyzed the significance of instructional media for effective teaching and learning. Fidanboylu (2014) noted that using visual aids in teaching can inspire the students and reinforce the subject content. According to Makewa, Role and Ngussa (2012) media resources are essential when it pertains to instruction. They likewise contended that instructional resources are important to the teaching of any subject. Seth (2009) specified that lack of wall charts, models and various other conventional media to compliment the use of chalkboards and textbooks in the schools, increased concerns for teachers to offer high quality teaching and learning to promote high academic performance for junior secondary school students in Ghana. Chinooneka and Mupa (2015) carried out a comparable study in Zimbabwe and found that teachers' failure to use a range of media in the teaching and learning process resulted into failure in grasping fundamental skills of reading and writing. When it pertains to the teaching of Religious Education, the sponsor in consultation with the Ministry of Education can prepare Religious Education materials to be made use of in schools in order to promote moral and spiritual development of the pupils. This suggests that Christian Religious Studies as well as Islamic Religious Studies are, and remain to be part of the official school curriculum in Nigeria and for that reason considering Religious Education as one of the essential subjects in our primary and secondary schools in Nigeria.
Christian Religious Studies is one of the most important subjects being taught in the Secondary Schools in Nigeria (Ikechukwu, 2014). This is because the subject helps to streamline the thought, character, moral and aspiration of the students. It also offers hope for the future, integrate, discipline, harmonious and progressive society. Christian Religious Studies contributes in formation of personality and character in the students. Christian Religious studies teach the necessity and duty of participation in government and encourage the cultivation of better relations, socially, professionally, industrially and commercially with others irrespective of their religious inclinations (Chinooneka and Mupa, 2015).
Many authors have examined the importance of using instructional media in teaching/learning process. Wambura, (2017) noted that computer has lots of advantages in education and learning, for instance: improving academic works, improving lesson and students understanding and influencing independent learning. According to Nasibi and Kiio (2006) as pointed out in Karanja (2015), teaching and learning resources are essential in education since they inspire and motivate learners to use more than one sense therefore enhancing their interest and retention capability. Furthermore, teaching and learning resources create motivation in learning (Monda, 2012).
Christian Religious Studies continues to be the only subject that addresses moral issues of learning in Nigeria's primary education. If Christian Religious Studies was taught by using audiovisual media, the pupils would certainly know and keep more of what they would have learnt and this is most likely to have a favorable moral influence in their lives. Teaching of Christian Religious Studies allows the learner to incorporate all subjects of the curriculum, their relationship with the environment, both physical and social, other people and God (KIE, 2000). Among the vital goals of Christian Religious Studies in Nigeria is to aid learners acquire social, spiritual and ethical understandings to help them make suitable moral decisions in a rapidly changing society. This might be credited to the way the subject is taught. Like any other subject, Christian Religious Studies have to be taught with the use of audiovisual resources and the right techniques for students to understand and for the subject to be relevant to their lives. Christian Religious Studies in primary schools in Nigeria therefore occupies a vital position in the curriculum and pupils must perform well academically in this crucial subject (KIE, 2000). The need for instructional media for efficient teaching and learning was established particularly in other studies (Wootting Pong, 2014; Asadi, 2015).
Slavin (2000) maintained that instructional or audio-visual materials such as text book, pictures diagram’s, flashcards, posters, television and others are materials or devices that help in the teaching learning process because they influence the senses of seeing and hearing, but its utilization must depend on proper planning. The focus of this study will be to address the use of instructional materials in teaching and learning of Christian Religious Studies in primary school in Keffi Local Government Council of Nasarawa State. Eya and Onuor (2004) opined that the educational programme currently in operation must have as part of its curriculum, designing and production of learning and instructional materials to make teaching and learning easy and interesting. Effective utilization of instructional materials will make the learners employ most of their senses to make learning easier and a worthy experience. Hence, the reason for this study.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The interesting stories contains in the teaching and learning nature of Christian Religious Studies makes it difficult for the subject to be taught effectively without instructional materials. At present instructional materials in primary schools in Nasarawa State seems to be inadequate. The extent of the situation is not ascertained. The attitude of teachers going to class offhand is a sign that there is a need for the intervention of all the stakeholders to ensure the availability and utilization of learning materials of Christian Religious Studies in primary schools in the State. A situation where a lesson is going on but pupils are making noise, teachers are losing class control, pupils' attention and concentration is a clear indication that something is wrong. Teachers' attitude towards the usability of instructional materials is worrisome, the fact that the substantial number of primary schools has inadequate instructional materials such as standard or locally made that engage pupils in an activity that will lead to knowledge discovery. Teacher's inability to improvise in the absence of the real object is another issue of concern and this is a result of laxity, take away attitudes and overreliance on the government to provide all for the system. Stakeholders are yet to recognize the importance of instructional materials in teaching and learning yet they only partake in other areas of concern and interest.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The general objective of this study is to examine the use of instructional materials in teaching and learning of Christian Religious Studies in primary school in Keffi Local Government Council of Nasarawa State. The specific objectives will however be:
i) To investigate the prevalence of the use of instructional materials in teaching and learning of Christian Religious Studies in primary school in Keffi Local Government Council of Nasarawa State.
ii) To determine the extent in which teachers use instructional materials in teaching and learning of Christian Religious Studies in primary school in Keffi Local Government Council of Nasarawa State.
iii) To ascertain if the use of instructional materials by the primary school pupils in Keffi Local Government Council of Nasarawa State have any positive effect on their teaching and learning of Christian Religious Studies.
iv) To understand the challenges facing the teachers to use instructional materials in teaching and learning of Christian Religious Studies in primary school in Keffi Local Government Council of Nasarawa State.
1.4 Research Questions
The study was guided by the following research questions:
i) What is the prevalence of the use of instructional materials in teaching and learning of Christian Religious Studies in primary school in Keffi Local Government Council of Nasarawa State?
ii) To what extent do teachers use instructional materials in teaching and learning of Christian Religious Studies in primary school in Keffi Local Government Council of Nasarawa State?
iii) Does the use of instructional materials by the primary school pupils in Keffi Local Government Council of Nasarawa State have any positive effect on their teaching and learning of Christian Religious Studies?
iv) What are the challenges facing the teachers to use instructional materials in teaching and learning of Christian Religious Studies in primary school in Keffi Local Government Council of Nasarawa State?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The study was guided by the following research hypotheses:
i) There is a significant correlation between teachers’ use instructional materials and effective teaching and learning of Christian Religious Studies in primary school in Keffi Local Government Council of Nasarawa State.
ii) The use of instructional materials by the primary school pupils in Keffi Local Government Council of Nasarawa State does not have any positive effect on their teaching and learning of Christian Religious Studies.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study would be beneficial to curriculum planners, Christian Religious Studies teachers, educators and students. The outcome of this study would enable curriculum planners to review the curriculum in line with the compulsion of the use of instructional materials for the classroom instruction. The idea of teachers doing the teaching without the integration of instructional materials would be reduced to the barest minimum and maximise teachers’ effectiveness in the classroom. This study would also make students actively involved in the teaching and learning process as their attentions would be more attracted when taught with the instructional materials and as a result, improve and develop students’ cognitive aspects of learning. Text-book writers would find the result of this research beneficial by recommending appropriate teaching aids specifically for content in the course of writing text books. This study would also assist teachers in the selection of appropriate instructional materials in impacting the required knowledge to the pupils in the area of cognitive, affective and psychomotor domain in order to achieve the desired educational goal.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The focus of the study was on the availability and utilization of instructional materials. The study focused on selected community primary schools in Keffi Local Government Council of Nasarawa State. The context of this research is unique to in Keffi Local Government Council of Nasarawa State and therefore it cannot be generalized for the whole country.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
The researcher encountered some constrains which limited the scope of the study. The limitations include:
- Availability of Research Materials: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.
- Time: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Christian Religious Studies: Religious studies, alternately known as the study of religion, is an academic field devoted to research into religious beliefs, behaviours, and institutions. It describes, compares, interprets, and explains religion, emphasizing systematic, historically based, and cross-cultural perspectives. Christian Religious Studies is the study of Jesus and Christian beliefs and systems.
Effective: Successful in producing a desired or intended result.
Instruction Materials: are facilities given to students, so that they can use every opportunity to develop full potential. Instructional materials include fixtures, equipment, and buildings necessary for the effective and efficient operation of the program of public education.
Learning: Learning is the act of acquiring new or modifying and reinforcing existing knowledge, behaviours, skills, values, or preferences which may lead to a potential.
Teaching: Perhaps the most significant difference between primary school and secondary school teaching is the relationship between teachers and children. In primary schools each class has a teacher who stays with them for most of the week and will teach them the whole curriculum.