FACTORS AFFECTING TEACHING AND LEARNING OF SOCIAL STUDIES IN SECONDARY SCHOOL
SOCIAL FACTORS AFFECTING EFFECTIVE TEACHING AND LEARNING IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN ABUJA NIGERIA
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Effective teaching and learning is affected by a number of factors including admission points, social economic status and school background. Geiser and Santelices (2007), Acato (2006), and Swart (1999) all argue that admission points which are a reflection of the previous performance influence future learning ability of students. Considine and Zappala (2002) argue that families where the parents are advantaged socially, educationally and economically foster a high level of achievement in their children.
Sociocultural approaches to the process of learning are increasingly being applied by educationalists. Sociocultural theorists argue that individuals cannot be considered in isolation from their social and historical context and therefore it is necessary to look at the society and the developments occurring at a given time. Two principal agencies, the family and the school powerfully shape children’s learning experiences. The influence of these two agencies is constrained by the wider social and cultural systems into which they are embedded. There is great diversity in cultural backgrounds, social conditions, family arrangements and school organization. These two factors have been going through constant modifications.
The relationship between family socio-economic status and the learning outcomes of students is well established in sociological research. While there is disagreement over how best to measure social factors, most studies indicate that students from low social status families do not perform as well as they potentially could at school compared to students from socially high background (Graetz, 1995). Most studies, however, compare students from across all social backgrounds to reach the conclusion that low social status adversely affects a range of teaching and learning outcomes.
Research has shown the importance of the type of school a student attends in influencing educational outcomes. While research in the US has found that social variables continue to influence teaching and learning even after controlling for different school types, the school context tends to affect the strength of the relationship between social factors and effective teaching and learning (Portes and MacLeod, 1996). Similarly, research in Britain shows that schools have an independent effect on student attainment (Sparkes, 1999). While there is less data available on this issue in Australia, several studies using the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth have found that students attending private non-Catholic schools were significantly more likely to stay on at school than those attending state schools (Long et al., 1999; Marks et al., 2000). Students from independent private schools are also more likely to achieve higher end of school scores (Buckingham, 2000). While school-related factors are important, there is again an indirect link to social factors, as private schools are more likely to have a greater number of students from high socially high families, select students with stronger academic abilities and have greater financial resources. The school effect is also likely to operate through variation in the quality and attitudes of teachers (Sparkes, 1999). Teachers at disadvantaged schools, for instance, often hold low expectations of their students, which compound the low expectations students and their parents may also hold (Ruge, 1998)
statement of the Problem
Formal education confronts students with many demands that are not a regular or frequent characteristic of their everyday experience outside the classroom. The practice of education confronts students with meaningful and necessary discontinuities in their intellectual, social and linguistic experiences. Hence, the need to examine the effects of social factors on effective teaching and learning in senior secondary schools.
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