BARRIERS OF TEACHING AND LEARNING OF SOCIAL STUDIES IN SECONDARY SCHOOL IN IKERE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EKITI STATE
Background To The Study
Education forms the bedrock of any nation’s development. Effective teaching must not be taken for granted if a nation will boast of being economically, technologically and educationally developed, Daniel (1998).The content and philosophy of Nigeria education must reflect the past, present and drive into the future of Nigeria society in term of the role the individual is expected to play in the present national building process (Vision 20:2020)
Education is an important aspect of economic development. When citizens of a country are educated that is a key to social, economic and political stability (Ojiambo, 2009). The Nigeria government has considerably invested in education which is evidenced by the free secondary education and the free day secondary education (Ojiambo, 2009). The main purpose of education is to transmit wisdom and knowledge from one generation to another, this prepares young people to be members of the society, maintain it and develop it. Education also has positive influence on population, health nutrition and also increases value and efficiency for labour (Kising’s, 2012).The unemployment problems facing the country can best be addressed through equipping the young people with skills that can lead to self-employment, the curriculum therefore should equip the learners with skills and more so entrepreneurial skills and this therefore indicates the importance of Financial Social Studies in the school curriculum.
Education is the best legacy given to a child; it is the producer of human capital. It is the truth of existence and centre of life. Every human-being depends on education for truthful, peaceful and wise co-existence. It has witnessed active participation by non-governmental agencies, communities and individual as well as government parastatals in order to bring education to the country. Education is an instrument for national development, it fosters on the worth and development of individual to be self-reliant, just and building egalitarian society (Federal Republic of Nigeria [FRN] 2004).
Eya (2007) observed that the practical approach to teaching in schools is a major missing link. He also stated that the solution does not lie only with the availability of qualified teachers and modem, teaching facilities, but also the effectiveness applied in teaching.
Maduako (1996) stated that the mistake of a teacher is more devastating in effect to the future of any nation than those of doctors, engineers or lawyers. Forinstance, the mistake of a doctor may lead to the death of a patient, that of an engineer, may lead to the collapse of a bridge, and of a lawyer, someone may go to jail, but if a teacher makes a mistake in education, even generations yet unborn may suffer the consequences. Ezekwesili (2007) affirmed that the reforms in Nigeria education system were aimed at promoting functional education for life skills acquisition, effective teaching, reduction in student’s mass failure and academics performance.
Secondary school is the stage after senior secondary education. It is generally the low stage of compulsory before higher education. In some country, it is a period of compulsory and a period of non-compulsory education. Secondary school is characterized by transition from the typically compulsory education to selective education for adult and to train students for future development of education sector.
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)
Social studies teach culture, so it enables students to know their norms, culture, believe and rules in the society. It enables people to understand the relationship between human beings and social and physical environment in the past and present. Social studies help individuals to develop the capacity to learn and acquire certain basic skills such as listening, speaking, reading, writing, calculating, observing, analyzing, and inference which are essential in the formation of sound social, economic and political judgement.
Social studies enable students to understand the environment with its man made, natural, cultural and spiritual resources and the conservation of these resources for development. Social studies is taught in primary and secondary schools in order for them to know what they ought to do as members of the society. in some secondary schools some students are not ready to learn due to some circumstances, some believes that social studies is difficult as a result there is lack of interest in the subject which results to a negative attitudes towards the learning of social studies. As a subject that studies man and his totality, social studies should be encouraged at all levels of learning.
There are challenges facing teachers in delivering the Social Studies curriculum appropriately, and there are both experiential and gender differences in teachers’ ability to deliver the Social Studies curriculum. It also revealed that not all the teachers are Social Studies specialists; there are some non-specialist teachers teaching Social Studies because their subject embraces disciplines that have to do with human existence (e.g. human geography) and this was perceived by the authorities as appropriate to deliver the curriculum. This may have accounted for a diversity of teaching methods and opportunities.
Teachers reported that the curriculum content in Social Studies is not adequate for addressing the social issues and problems that face Nigeria today; the importance of peace and consequences of conflicts, the importance of culture, and the need for national unity and progress. They were of the opinion that illustrated talks, visiting speakers, drawing and painting, posters, creative writing, cartoons, brainstorming, costume making, plays, puppetry and quizzes are not always suitable teaching techniques. Additionally instructional material such as charts, relevant and current Social Studies textbooks are not readily available in schools. They also indicated that the matching or pairing of item tests and multiple choice tests is not suitable evaluation techniques.
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