SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHERS’ PERCEPTION ON THE USE OF COMMUNITY RESOURCES IN THE TEACHING/LEARNING OF SOCIAL STUDIES IN SOME SELECTED JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS
It is well known among educators that the educational experiences involving the learner actively participating in concrete examples are retained longer than abstract experiences. Instructional materials add elements of reality by providing concrete examples to learning.
Many authors have written on the use of instructional materials both in teaching social studies and other related subjects in order to enhance teaching for desired social and behavioural change. These authors include McLuhan (1964), Alaka (1978), Kochhar (1986), Mkpa (1989), Bozimo (2002) Nnanna-Nzemwumna (2003) and Adekeye (2008). More specifically, it was emphasized on the works of these authors that the use of community resources is a since qua non in affecting behaviour of learners in every field, especially social studies and that these materials are important catalysts for social re-engineering and change. It is obvious that social studies teaching and learning cannot be well accomplished without the use of community resources.
Concept of Social Studies
Social studies is one of the school subjects which came into being at the beginning of the 20th century. In the recent past, social studies has been made one of the core subjects in the primary and junior secondary schools in Nigeria and has ever since gained recognition in the school system.
Iyamu (1991) observes that the focus of social studies in Nigeria is a new reaction to the inadequacies of past educational practices, particularly in its primary concern for the inculcation of desirable norms, values and attitudes that were required to sustain the new independent nation. Social studies as a problem approach discipline, focuses on the problems of man and the society as well as how to solve them. Social studies is a subject whose scope is not definite as it is interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary in nature. It is difficult to say where social studies begins or ends. This, coupled with its focus on changing social condition of man and society makes its scope assume an increasing horizon. Social studies is an interdisciplinary subject that cut across several other discipline particularly in the social sciences and humanities. Consequently, social studies is the integrated study of the social science and humanities to promote civic competence within the school programme. It provides co-ordinated systematic study drawing upon such discipline as anthropology, archeology, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, religion and sociology as well as appropriate content from the humanities, mathematics and national sciences. From the foregoing, one can asset that the primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse democratic society in an interdependent world.
Social studies is primarily culture bound as, most of it’s curriculum content is derived from different cultures which change from time to time depending on the needs and aspiration of the people. Social studies is a subject whose meaning is a fluid maintained Iyamu (1991), its scope is not definite, it focuses on changing social conditions of man and society.
The needs and aspirations of a society or state is a determining factor in fashioning out the meaning of social studies. Contributing to the diverse meanings of social studies Adaralegbe (1981) did conceptualized social studies as “the study of man in his totality - where he lives, his activities in the past and present; his culture; his frame of mind; and how he relates to others. It focuses on developing the right values, attitudes and abilities which help the child to get on well with others as he grows up to become a responsible citizen”.
The concept of social studies is therefore too embracive to be reduced to a single definition. This seems to underlie the position of the Comparative Education Study and Adaptation Center (CESAC) that social studies deals with man in his environment – it is not only concerned with the acquisition of knowledge for its own sake. Social studies teaches ways of life – it is a means by which people know what they ought to do as a member of a society. However, in 1992 the board of directors of National Council for Social Studies, the primary membership organization for social studies educators in the United States of America, adopted the following definition that; the primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as a citizen of a culturally diverse democratic society in a interdependent world.