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TEACHERS AND STUDENTS’ PERCEPTION ON TEACHING ECONOMICS
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Economics is one of the subjects in secondary school. It is an important subject taught in the secondary schools. Economics is important both to students and the society at large because it cuts across all spheres of human endeavour, as it can be seen in its simpler definition by Professor Lord Robin (1975).
Economics is associated with scarcity and choice. Robin defines economics as a social science that studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends, scarce means which have alternative uses.
Economics according to Hornby (1973) is the study of production and distribution of money and goods of a country. It is the study of how people of society choose to use their limited resources like land, capital, labour, goods and technical knowledge to provide various goods for the consumption of the people in the society. Pigou (1972) believed that economics makes it easier to institute practical measures to promote welfare, so that the society may build upon the work of economist. He concluded by saying that the study is not worthwhile for its own sake but only for the healing that the knowledge may help to bring. Economics is relevant to the field of science and art. It enable the individuals to think in the sense that he/she is able to apply its principles to solve practical problems and avoid unnecessary costly mistake, it enables the individual to understand better the relationship between himself and his fellow human beings in his effort to make a living. From another stand point; economics education may prepare us for a career.
Notwithstanding, it has been observed that there are many problems militating against the teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools as enumerated by many writers on problems of economics in Nigeria, they attributed the high level of economics failure to lack of students concentration in the classroom, their view steamed from observed students performance in economics.
Thus observe failure could be as a result of inability of the students to understand economics terms lack of finance to buy needed textbooks, inadequate teachers, inability of the students’ to interpreted economics table and graph, inappropriate and ineffective method of teaching, lack of control over the attitudes of students and teachers and others which have contributed to low level of teaching economics in secondary schools.
Okorie (1979:152) suggested that for the effective teaching to take place, the skilful teacher needs to use the many effective method and techniques effectively because in them his successes and failure depends. He further more emphasised that the success in the use of methods depends of the intelligent analysis of educational purposes, pupil in the class and the curriculum content of the moment.
A few moments reflection is sufficient to reveal that every society faces crucial issues and problems in education which have very serious economic angels that cannot be overlooked easily for instance, the production of education as well as the acquisition of education both require the use of large qualities of scare resources (production of education require conducive classrooms, administrative blocks, personal, librarians, laboratories of education require expenditures on tuition, books, travels, uniform, lodging etc and students time.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Economics is being taught in secondary schools in Owerri Municipal Council and it has been observed that students in government college Owerri performed poorly in the 2003 May/June Senior Certificate Examination. It has been also observed that there are lots of factors militating against the effective teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools in the study area.
Some questions are posed below to throw more light into the problem of economics in the secondary school system.
Could inadequate qualified teachers create problems for proper teaching of economics in secondary schools?
Could it be that teaching and learning aids such as textbooks constitute additional problems?
However, the pivoting problems of economics is varied and complex and can only be minimally solved if the teachers and students change their attitude to teaching and learning in schools generally and to economics in particular.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
Study has been undertaken with a view to identify the problems involved in the teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools in Owerri Municipal Council and factors responsible for these problems. It will therefore examine the teacher and students factors in process of teaching and learning economics on our secondary schools.
The study will specially determine:
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
There is need to apply knowledge from economics to many area of our life endeavour in other to benefit the society the achievements of the objective necessitates an understanding of the basic teaching of economics. We cannot attain national objectives in the light poor average performances in examinations and lack of application of economics to life of students.
Without doubts, improves teaching and learning of economics will spur us into greater heights. This study will help to make our educational administrator to see the need to have qualified economics teachers if not available to handle the subject effectively for the benefit of the students and society at large.
This study will help to sensitise the educational administrators to appreciate the need to make available the necessary materials, example, chalkboard, graphs, audio-visual materials etc that will enhance effective learning of economics if they are not available.
This study will if need be direct the economics teachers’ attention to the need for them to adopt more appropriate teaching method in order to bring about the above mentioned desirable experience in the learners. This study will have a great significance because it is going to provide information to economics for formation and evaluation of their plans.
It will be useful to learners for through this they will be able to identify the factors militating against the proper teaching and learning of economics. This study will help to produce sound economics students that will function very well in the economy such as:
(a) Knowing how to use scarce productive resources with alternative uses to meet prescribed ends and be able to apply the principle of economics.
(b) The product of economics should be able t pick employment within a limited employment opportunity in any economy.
This work will serve as a source of encouragement to students and teachers that will come across it. It is hoped that the findings of this study would also form the basis for further research work by future researchers on this issue.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions guided this research work:
To what extent are instructional materials available for the teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools?
How often do economics teachers use the available instructional materials on teaching?
To what extent does attitude of people, students,teachers and school administrators influence effective teaching and learning of economics?
How do qualifications of the economics teachersinfluence the effective teaching and learning od economics in secondary school?
What influence do other school subjects have oneffective teaching and learning of economics?
To what extent does shortage of various teaching methods hinder the effective teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools?
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