Social Studies is a core subject offered in the junior secondary schools and tertiary institutions in the education system. And its aims cannot be achieved without the use of instructional materials, owing to the challenge of using instructional materials, which need to be tackled for the achievement of the aims. Therefore, this research work is designed to assess the problems of using instructional materials in the teaching of Social studies in junior secondary schoolse. Findings obtained from the analysis of the data collected; show that the problems of using instructional materials are the shortage of materials, laziness amongst the teachers, lack of fund for the purchase of instructional materials, and time. It was also observed that the performance of the student has a lot to do with the use of instructional materials during classes. Recommendations were based on the findings. And if this is well implemented, it will go a long way in solving the said problems of using instructional materials in the teaching of social studies for the growth and achievement of the objectives of the subject and the development of the country at large.
Background to the Study
Teaching at any level requires that the students be exposed to some form of stimulation such as the use of instructional materials like; Education radio, charts, chalkboards, maps, film strips and realia materials. Adekunle (2008) noted that teaching resources in Social studies means anything that can assist the teacher in promoting teaching and learning. When the students are given the chance to learn through more sense than one, they can learn faster. The use of instructional materials provides the teacher with interesting and compelling platforms for conveying information since they motivate learners to learn more. Furthermore, the teacher is assisted in overcoming physical difficulties that will have hindered his effective presentation of a given topic. Larson (2001) quoted Lane who noted that the use of electronically mediated instruction to duplicate the traditional face- to-face classroom has resulted in a shift from teacher –to student- centered classes. In this situation the responsibility for learning is shifted to the students. The teacher facilitates the learning by acting as a coach, resource guide and companion in learning. The use of an instructional material does not only encourage teachers and students to work collaboratively but also results in more cooperative learning activities among the students.
Ikerionwu (2000) referred to instructional materials as objects or devices which help the teacher to make learning meaningful to the learners. Similarly, Ezegbe (1994) classified them into two as visual materials, made up of reading and non-reading materials and audio-visual materials comprising electrically operated and non-electrically operated materials. Social studies is a subject that depends in the use of a number of resources. Osakwe and Itedjere (1993) summarized these resources as textual like books, audio-visual and human resources. They stated that these resources are either used individually or collectively in any meaningful social studies teaching and learning situation.
The purpose of instructional materials is to promote efficiency of education by improving the quality of teaching and learning. Incorporating these tools and materials present support and reinforces teaching. According to Aduwa-Ogiegbaen and Imogie (2005) these materials and resources including audio tape recorders, video tape recorders, slide projectors, opaque projectors, over head projectors, still pictures, programmed instruction, film strips, maps, charts, graphs, offer a variety of learning experiences individually or in combination to meet different teaching and learning experiences. Other investigators including Jimoh (2009), Yeager (2000), Nwanyanwu (1999), Bozimo (2002) and Ogbondah (2008) have similarly emphasized the importance of instructional materials and resources in the effective delivery of social studies lessons in secondary schools.
Bolick, Berson, Coutts and Heinecke (2003) observed that while some educators are fascinated by the potential of instructional materials in enhancing teaching and learning, other teachers lagged behind in using instructional materials to teach. However, achieving these estimable goals of conscientious utilization of instructional materials and resources in social studies teaching and learning has been very challenging in developing countries such as Nigeria. As noted by Garuba (2003), the Nigerian teacher operates from a deficient environment where teaching and learning are seriously impoverished particularly in the rural set- up. And even in the urban areas only few schools are connected to the national grid while virtually all the rural schools do not enjoy basic facilities like pipe borne water and electricity.
A resourceful instruction needs to give all students the opportunity to group the content taught at a time. The production of well –informed citizen who will be useful to their respective local communities and nations is the ultimate goal of Social studies. For instance, Barr, Barth, Shermis (1977) considered social studies to be the integration of experience and knowledge concerning human relations for the purpose of citizenship education. Savage and Armstrong (2004) also stated that citizenship is a key element and a major justification for Social Studies education, so it is expected that a good citizenship education programme will produce young people who will leave school with a disposition to become actively involved in public affairs and contribute fundamentally to social progress.
Howe and Marshall (1999) also stated that Social studies is the only subject area which has citizenship education as its primary concern. Their main argument is that social studies is one of the few subject areas which has an explicit objective and focus on the development of interpersonal skills needed of a citizen in a democratic society.
Parker (2000) noted that the Social studies teacher has a responsibility to include controversial issues and current events in curriculum. Parker believes that students need to study issues on which there are some disagreement so as to practice analyzing problems; gathering and organizing facts; discriminating between facts and opinions; discussing differing viewpoints and drawing tentative conclusions. DuBey (2009) said that exposing students to controversial issues in their studies enables them to develop the capacity for ethical and moral reasoning so that they become critically reflective thinkers. The social studies classroom should therefore focus on using instructional materials which will help more students into developing a democratic character.
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