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EXTENT OF THE USE OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS IN THE TEACHING OF SOCIAL STUDIES
This research work was aimed at identifying the extent of the use of instructional materials in teaching Social Studies in Nsukka Educational Zone. This work was necessary because the success of any classroom teaching depends more on the extent of the use of teacher resources than verbalization. Three research questions were posited to guide the researcher in the study. These questions are: (1) What instructional media are available for Social Studies Instruction in Nsukka Education Zone? (2) To what extent are instructional materials used in Social Studies Instruction? (3) To what extent are different methods used in Social Studies lesson? Twenty-nine schools were sampled for this study. Instruments for data collection were questionnaire distribution schedule and checklist designed to elicit information from teachers. The data collected were analyzed based on mean scores and percentages. The information collected indicated that most of the resource materials are not available in schools, while some were available in some schools. The available materials were not adequately used. Based on these findings, recommendations were made which include that, teachers should be resourceful and use available teaching materials to make their lessons interesting thereby providing some motivation to the learners. Government should provide some money to schools to purchase the resources that the teachers cannot improvise. The researcher believes that if these recommendations are followed strictly, there would be much improvement in the teaching and learning of Social Studies in Nsukka Education Zone.
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study
There is no single universal definition of Social Studies because the subject is defined according to the need of each society, which adopts it as a programme of study in schools and colleges. However, the Committee on Primary School Social Studies programme in Nigeria defines Social Studies as those common learning of man’s interaction with his social and physical environment, adding that it is not only a study, but a way of life, of how man influences, and is influenced by his physical, social, political, economic, psychological and cultural environment (Aina, Adeyoyin, Obilo. and Ahmadu, 1982)
Similarly Olaniyan (1998) emphasized that Social Studies is a programme which a society uses to instill in students the knowledge, skills, attitudes and actions it considers important concerning the relationship which human beings have with each other, their world and themselves. Bearing in mind the concept of Social Studies as an integrated discipline, the objectives are clearly stated in the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004).
The primary concerns of the subject are encouragement of the awareness of the world in the child, inculcation and development of appropriate knowledge, skills, attitudes, values and social activities concerning relationships in people; to enable them find solutions to social problems in their surroundings and to develop positive attitudes towards our fellow men in society.
Social science as the teaching and learning of individual subjects such as History, Geography, Government, etc. has finally given way to the conception in Social Studies as an integrated subject This came about in fact with the adoption in 1975 of the Integrated Social Studies Syllabuses developed by the National Educational Research Council fortheprimary schools and Teacher Training Colleges throughout the country at the on-set of the Federal Government University Free Primary Education (UPE). Similarly, the Integrated Social Studies Syllabus currently being used in the lower forms of secondary schools in the country as well as the one for the 3-3 Secondary School system of the New Education Policy was prepared by the Comparative Education Study and Adaptation Centre (CESAC), University of Lagos (Ogunsanya, 1984). Social Studies is a subject which deals principally with how human beings interact with one another and with the environment. The Committee on Social Studies singled it out as one major area of study through which national objectives on education in Nigeria can be achieved. Specifically, the Committee spelled out the underlisted objectives for teaching Social Studies in the primary and secondary school levels of the Nigerian education system:
The objectives of Social Studies Education in Nigeria, as stated above, show that the subj ect was introduced into the school curriculum to, among other things, get rid of certain social vices plaguing the Nigerian society. Such vices include tribalism, ethnicity, nepotism, political instability, mass poverty, immorality, drug abuse, disrespect for elders and so on. Social Studies also meet the needs of the society in the areas of social and intellectual skills as well as attitudes and values. The subject
is also concerned with acquiring the desirable information in order to be able to achieve meaningful development in all sectors of the economy (Ogunsanya, 1984). The summary of our discussion clearly indicates that Social Studies education is central to nation building. Our leaders and policy-makers need to acquire desirable social and intellectual skills, as well as positive attitudes and values that will enable them to make positive contributions to the process of nation building. They need to appreciate the economic and socio-political diversities of Nigeria, and the need for unity, tolerance and inter-dependence among the various component units of Nigeria.
To achieve the above objectives, the subject must be properly taught in our schools. One major characteristic of good teaching of Social Studies is the ability to inculcate in students a spirit of curiosity and self-instruction (Enem, 2002). A great deal has been discovered about what attracts the interest of children, holds their attention and fosters that natural curiosity. Enem (2002) opined that nothing attracts learners’ attention faster than the use of relevant resource materials. For example, bright, contrasting colours seem to stimulate them as well as seize their attention. Similarly, interesting shapes and objects are also very important, especially at the lower levels of our education system.
The use of adequate and relevant resource materials has numerous advantages. For example, it facilitates teaching and learning, and makes learning faster and more permanent. Teachers do not need to expend a great deal of energy or time in giving out much information or much guidance. Rather, he guides the pupils to find out or
discover things on their own. For instance, if a picture of a boy eating a banana is shown to the class and the caption of the picture is: “This boy is eating his banana”, the teacher could ask his class “Where do you think the banana came from?”. A question such as this forces the pupils to look at the picture critically and study it for contextual clues. Where is the boy standing? (Market, Farm or School?) What has he been doing? What are the commonest ways through which boys obtain banana?
In Social Studies, resource materials encourage the pupils to think critically and reflectively about their lives and their surroundings. This helps to build up the students’ self esteem and confidence. In addition, resource materials arouse the students’ interest on the subject. We all know that interest motivates learning. Social Studies teachers should make effective utilization of instructional materials in teaching because, they make teaching more meaningful, interesting and more permanent. The extent teachers make use of instructional materials in the teaching of Social Studies is not known. Therefore, the need arises for a determination of the extent teachers use instructional materials in teaching Social Studies at the Junior Secondary Schools (JSS).
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