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PROJECT TOPIC AND MATERIAL ON SELECTION AND UTILIZATION OF SOCIAL STUDIES INSTRUCTIONAL METHODS BY SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHERS IN EBONYI STATE
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focused of this study was selection and utilization of Social studies instructional methods by secondary school teachers in Junior Secondary School in Ebonyi State. The study specifically focused on identifying available instructional methods for use in teaching, ascertaining the most widely selected and use Social studies instructional methods and determining the factors that affect selection and uses of instructional methods by Junior Secondary School teachers in Ebonyi State. The design of the study was descriptive survey and the population of the study was 250 Social studies teachers in Junior Secondary School in the three educational zones in the State. The instrument for data collection was questionnaire and data collected were analyzed using mean (x) and standard deviation (SD). The findings of the study revealed that there is wide spectrum of Social studies instructional methods available for use in teaching Social studies, that teachers of Social studies select and use lecture methods, brainstorming methods, questioning method, explanation, project, concept mapping methods more frequently as they rated higher than others in mean rating of items and inadequate funding, inadequate qualified teachers, poor school facilities, inadequate instructional aids amongst others were identified as factors affecting selection and utilization of Social studies instructional methods by secondary school teachers in Ebonyi State. Based on these findings, it was recommended that teachers as a matter of urgency and necessity should employ several teaching methods during teaching a unit of work since this approach give individual learner opportunity to asses different capacities ,skill, interest and leaving styles.
Social studies refer to the subject matters processing, skills attitudes and activities that focuses on society and individuals as members of a social group. However, National Teachers’ Institute (2000), opines that Social studies is an area of school curriculum specifically designed for the study of man and how he fits into the society by utilizing the necessary attitudes, values and skills at his reach. Awe in Fadeiye (2005:6) is of the view that
|…Social studies is a discipline if properly programmed and effectively taught should help to solve social problems that are facing developing countries like our (Nigeria) where the old norms are fast losing their grips and without any effective substitute to replace them.|
In reaction to the above, Mbakwem (2005), maintain, that Social studies focuses on skill acquisition and development of value, affective values, and learning outcome development which demands that the subject should be properly taught so as to equip the students with such skills as; locating information from print media, textbooks, newspapers, libraries as well as from resource persons and the community.
Bozimo and Ikwumelu (2008) add that Social studies aims at helping people to develop the ability to make decision so that they can resolve personal problems and shape policy by participating in intelligent social action. They also state that Social studies is concern not only with knowledge but also with attitudes, skills and values. Ikwumelu (2002) holds that it gives an opportunity for important social and moral issues such as attitudes to destitute, poverty, racialism, different types of government, cruelty to animals and children, brutality and injustice to be introduced into curriculum. In line with the above, Mkpa (2001) is of the opinion that students should be helped to develop the ability to analyze, evaluate generalize, compare and contrast, play different roles, accepting and rejecting. It is hoped that these right attitudes and values will be used to set in motion, the machinery for fighting social problems such as poverty, environmental degradation, terrorism, corruption, cultism, prostitution, over-population, inter and intra community conflicts, stealing, rape, drug abuse, armed robbery, kidnapping, disrespect for elders, examination malpractice etc.
It is on this note that National Policy on Education made Social studies one of the compulsory subjects in the junior secondary schools and the junior secondary school Social studies curriculum stresses on topics and learning experiences that will lead to the realization of the general objectives of Social studies.
Anadi, Egboka and Ikwumelu (2008), opine that it has been over fourty year since the introduction of Social studies in Nigerian schools. One would have thought that by now, Nigeria would have been reaping the expected fruits of Social studies education but the present situation reveals that our society is beset with all kinds of indiscipline. The researches carried by Agheta (2001), Iyamu (2002), Okobia (2003) and Anadi, et al (2008) reveals that, it is common to find Nigerian students displaying disrespect for teachers, aggression to fellow students, involving themselves in armed robbery, stealing, smoking, examination malpractice, rape, cultism etc.
The implication of the above mentioned situations is that things are not right with Social studies education. The reason for this failure may be that the subject is not well programmed and taught to the students. In support of the above, Mbakwem (2005) states that the inability of Social studies to realize the lofty goals expected of it rest on methodology approach to the subject which embodies on the adequate selection and appropriate utilization of Social studies instructional methods in classroom. Akubue (1993:5) maintains that:
|For effective teaching to occur there is need for the teachers to possess… the ability to select appropriate methods from a variety of options like problem-solving, inquiry method, lecture, expository;, and discussion method for delivering instructions to students. The success of any of these methods depends on the teacher’ approach as well as the support system he employs.|
Thus, therefore effective teaching of Social studies will, to a very large extent be achieved if Social studies teachers adequate select and utilize appropriate Social studies instructional methods in teaching of Social studies. If Social studies must succeed in accomplishing the task of inculcating in the learners those desirable skills formally stated, Social studies teachers should endeavour to provide learners with adequate instructional methods and opportunities should be given for actual practice of the skills implied in the concepts.
The thrust of this paper is to examine the selection and effective utilization of Social studies instructional methods by secondary school teachers in Ebonyi State.
Statement of the Problem
Social studies is often seen as all comers’ course and a dumping ground for those rejected admission in other disciplines by the school management. They often appoint teachers that read courses like Geography, Economics, History, Government, English language and even Fine Arts to teach the subject in junior secondary schools Ebonyi State (Igba, 2005).
In addition, Onasanya (2008:7) opines that “Social studies education in Nigeria for long had been criticized for not quite preparing students for effective living in the society as result of inappropriate utilization of teaching methods in Social studies classroom”. Okpalama (2008:65) maintains that “inability of Social studies education to actualize its expected goals of preparing students for worthy living is proved beyond reasonable doubt by the low level of achievement of Social studies students in external examination”. Mkpa (2001) attributed low level achievement to improper selection and poor uses of Social studies instructional methods, poor teaching methods involving frequently selection and application of orthodox or traditional methods in Social studies classroom (Mezieobi, 1991). This probably results in poor performances in junior secondary schools Social studies examinations in the study area.
Since Social studies records poor results in the area of study there is the need to revisit the teaching methods applied by the teachers in classroom interaction. While considering the methods in use in Social studies teaching, the factors influencing the selection of such methods have to be in focus. Research has shown that successful teaching and learning are dependent upon the selection and use of appropriate teaching method(s) for classroom (Mbakwem, 2005). Therefore the problem of this study is which method(s) are selected and used by Social studies teachers for Social studies education at Junior Secondary Schools in the study area?
Three research questions were formulated to guide the study. They are:
- What are the instructional methods available for use the teaching of Social studies in Secondary Schools?
- What are the most widely selected and utilized instructional methods by Social studies teachers in Secondary Schools in Ebonyi State?
- What are the possible factors that affect the selection and proper utilization of instructional methods for Social studies education in Secondary Schools in Ebonyi State?
The following null hypotheses were formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance to guide the study.
Ho1: There is no significant difference between the responses of male and female Social studies teachers on methods available for use in teaching Social studies in secondary schools in Ebonyi state.
Ho2: There is no significant deference between the responses of male and female teachers in secondary schools on selection and utilization of Social studies instructional methods.
The design of the study is a descriptive survey; it is a design that seeks information on the population of the study with out manipulation of any variables (Ali, 1996). The population of the study comprises 250 Social studies teachers in public junior secondary schools in the three educational zones in Ebonyi State. The entire population was used for the study. The instrument for data collection in this study was structured questionnaire designed to elicit information from the population based on the three (3) research questions that guided the study. The three questions were answered using mean and standard deviation (SD) and the null hypotheses were analyzed using t-test. The mean for decision rule were 2.5 that is 2.5 and above was accepted while scores below 2.5 were rejected.
Research Question One:
What are the Social studies instructional methods available for use in teaching Social studies in Junior Secondary Schools?
Table 1: Mean rating of Respondents on the Available Instructional Methods in Teaching Social studies.
|3.||Creative activity method||2.70||0.82||Accept|
|5.||Guide discovery method||2.80||1.06||Accept|
|6.||Games and simulation||2.89||1.12||Accept|
|10.||Devil advocate method||2.45||1.17||Reject|
|13.||Field trip method||2.86||1.11||Accept|
|14.||Future wheel discovery||2.28||1.01||Reject|
|15.||Concept mapping method||2.82||0.89||Accept|
|18.||Problem –solving method||3.12||1.11||Accept|
|20.||Role playing method||2.78||1.01||Accept|
|22.||Story telling method||3.06||1.17||Accept|
Table I reveal that the respondents rejected items, 9, 10 and 14, that is panel method, devil advocate, and future wheel discovery methods were much available, for use in the teaching and learning of Social studies. The respondents accepted items 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10, 12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20, 21and 22 with grand mean of 2.78.
Research Question Two
What are the most widely selected and utilize instructional methods in the teaching of Social studies in Junior Secondary schools in Ebonyi State?
Table II: Mean Rating of Respondents on the most Widely Selected and Utilize Instructional Methods in Teaching Social Studies.
|23.||Story telling method||2.78||1.11||Accept|
|26.||Creative activity method||2.92||0.81||Accept|
|28.||Games and simulation||2.57||1.10||Accept|
|32.||Guide discovery method||2.43||0.82||Reject|
|33.||Concept mapping method||2.67||1.17||Accept|
|35.||Field trip method||2.85||1.11||Accept|
|36.||Problem – solving method||2.76||1.08||Accept|
Table II shows that the respondents rejected item 27 and 32, that is brainstorming method and guided discovery method were not widely selected and utilize by Social studies teachers in the classroom. The respondents accept item 23,24,24,25,26 .28,29,30,31,33,34,35,36,37,38 with the grand mean of 2.77.
Research Question Three
What are the possible factors that affect selection and utilization of Social studies instructional methods by Social studies teacher in Junior Secondary Schools in Ebonyi State?
Table III: Mean Rates of Respondents on the Possible Factors that Affect Selection and Utilization of Social Studies Instructional Methods.
|40.||Unclear objectives of the subject Lecture method||3.02||1.12||Accept|
|41.||Poor planning and implementation strategies||2.81||0.98||Accept|
|42.||Poor attitudes of teacher||2.87||0.82||Accept|
|43.||Poor supervision mechanism||2.83||0.76||Accept|
|44.||Incompetence of teachers||2.85||0.86||Accept|
|45.||Inadequate school facilities||2.76||1.01||Accept|
|46.||Poor sitting condition and learning spaces||2.96||1.13||Accept|
|47.||Poor provision of instructional aids||2.83||1.09||Accept|
|48.||Lack of fund for commercial materials||2.83||1.11||Accept|
|49.||Lack of fund for organizing field trip||3.14||0.85||Accept|
Table III revealed that the respondents accepted all items in table III as factors that affect selection and appropriate utilization of Social studies instructional methods with the grand of 2.87; therefore inadequate qualified teachers, unclear objectives, poor planning, poor implementation strategies, poor attitudes of teachers, poor supervision mechanism, inadequate school facilities and fund are possible factors that affect selection and utilization of Social studies instructional methods by Social studies teachers.
Testing of the Null Hypothesis I
Hoi: There is no significant difference between the responses of male and female Social studies teachers on methods available for use in teaching Social studies in secondary schools in Ebonyi State.
The data for testing the hypothesis are presented in the table iv
Table vi: T-test analysis of the mean rating of male and female teachers on methods available for use in Social studies education.
From table iv, it can be observed that, although male teachers recorded higher mean score of 2.74 than the mean score 2.11 for female teachers, the difference in these mean scores is statistically not significant at P– 0.05. This is because the calculated t-value (0.84) is less than the critical value (1.96). Therefore, the null hypothesis (Hoi) is accepted which implies that there is no significant difference in the responses of male and female teachers on methods available for use in Social studies classroom.
Null Hypothesis 2
There is no significant difference between the responses of Social studies teachers in rural and urban secondary schools on selection of instructional methods available for use in Social studies education.
The data for testing the null hypothesis are presented in table v below.
Table v: T-test analysis of the mean rating of male and female teachers on selection of methods
From table v, it can be observed that although male teachers recorded higher mean score of 3.00 than the mean score of 2.86 for female teachers, the difference in these mean scores is statistically not significant at P– 0.05. This is because the calculated value (0.048) is less than the critical value (1.96). Therefore, the null hypothesis (Ho2) is accepted which implies that there is no significant difference in the responses of Social studies male and female teachers on selection of instructional methods for use in Social studies education.
The results of data analysis presented in table 1 shows that panel method, devil advocate method, and future wheel discovery method are the instructional methods that are not available for use but Social studies teachers in some schools recognized it with low rating of 2.20, 2.45 and 2.28 respectively. The teachers argued that due to time and other abstract ideas people attaché to these methods make it irrelevant in junior secondary schools. The finding is in accordance with the opinion of Bozimo and Ikwumelu (2009: 157) who maintained that ‘devil advocate method cannot safely be applied in the junior secondary school’. In the same vein, Okoro (2001) pointed out that devil advocate and panel methods of teaching Social studies are not relevant to junior secondary school classroom, since it results to name-calling and shouting about among the students if the moderator is not properly trained to handle the task.
The findings also revealed that inquiry methods, lecture method, discussion method, dramatization, story telling, concept mapping, debate, modeling, games and simulation are available for use in teaching Social studies. This finding is in line with Mkpa (2009) who states that Social Studies instructional methods should be selected based on the topic or unit of course the teacher want to teach for successful actualization of the instructional and programme objectives. In line with the above, Fadeiye (2005) discovered that some of the selected Social studies instructional methods are relevance in achieving specified objectives while others are relevance in achieving multiple objectives. Accorn (1990) quickly declare that Teachers should desist from using only traditional methods like lecture method since they do not give students an opportunity to explore, to think, or to interact. They tend to make students gullible relievers of knowledge.
Anadi et al (2008) supporting Accorn (1990) opine that the above state of affairs is very disturbing because, given the interdisciplinary nature of Social studies and the purpose for which the subject is intended, it is expected that its’ teaching would require diversification and judicious utilization of its methods of delivery. Unachukwu (1990:22) warned that no one method could be said to be best in teaching, as some methods or techniques may be better than others in teaching a particular skill.
The results of data analysis presented in table III revealed that the respondents accepted that all items in table III are the possible factors that affect proper selection and appropriate utilization of Social studies instructional methods by Social studies teachers.
The results also revealed that unclear objectives of subject, poor funding of educational sector, poor qualification of Social studies teachers amongst others are the major factors that affect selection and utilization of instructional methods as they rated higher than others in their mean rating. Anadi et al (2008) state that teachers’ qualification in Social studies is related to what a teacher needs to be able to teach Social studies successfully and level of skill acquisition necessary for Social Studies teaching. Ajoku (1992:150) adds that ‘teachers’ qualification involves special ability or training exhibited in a performance’. It includes proficient and expert knowledge exhibited in selection and appropriate utilization of Social studies instructional methods by Social studies teachers in secondary schools.
Social studies education was introduced in Nigeria with the expectation that the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values inculcated will enable learners to develop competence that assist them to deal with and to some extent manage, the physical and social forces of the world in which they live. It also provide them with a feeling of hope in the future and confidence in their ability to solve social problems that are facing developing countries like ours (Nigeria) where the old norms are fast losing their grips and without any effective substitute to replace them. For Social studies to achieve these objectives, Ademiji (2004), suggest that all the teachers of Social studies in all affected levels of education need to familiarize themselves with the content and methods of teaching the subject in order to interpret the content of Social studies correctly and encourage its learning. Again, if Social studies is properly taught will produce students who will appreciate the values of good living in the society, morality that binds the society, the interdependent that exist between man and man, groups and the need for group to participate in the work of functions that will be useful to them as individual and the society at large. By so doing the teaching and learning of Social studies will be more meaningful and the achievement of its expected goals and objectives will not be in doubt.
- There is an urgent need for the Ministry of Education and the State government to organize seminars and workshop to educated Social studies teachers on the need to properly select and appropriately utilize instructional methods in teaching Social studies.
- Teachers as matter of urgency and necessity should employ several teaching methods during teaching a unit of work since this approach give individuals learner’s opportunity to assess different capacities, skills, interest and leaving styles.
- Finally the government and other stakeholders in Educational sector should make money available to schools especially for the provision of instructional aids and to organize field trip for the learners.
- Government and Ministry of Education should employ qualified and competent teachers to teach Social studies.
- Educational supervisors and head teachers should be supervising the teachers during teaching in order to enhance effective performance.