Nigerian Journal of Social Studies and Civic Education, Vol. 2 (1), 2012
REPOSITIONING SOCIAL STUDIES EDUCATION FOR POSITIVE NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA
MR. IKEM KENNETH
Dept. of Social Studies
College of Education, Warri.
Dept of Social Studies
College of Education, Warri,
Social Studies has come to be accepted as “a school subject that should assist students to acquire the basic knowledge, skills and positive attitudes needed to be responsible citizens and contributing members of society”, (Alberta, 2000). National development remains a challenge that preoccupies all nations of the world that aspire for greatness. Social Studies Education touches on all aspects of societal development; be it political, economic, social, cultural, technological or educational. In this paper, the authors with a sense of passion craved for the grooming of responsible citizenship as an enabling and stimulating instrument for the attainment of national development. The authors identified Social Studies Education as an effective instrument for National Development as it possesses the potentials to achieving the five cardinal goals of education in Nigeria. The quest for national development should begin with having responsible citizens who are ready to contribute to the growth of the society. Social Studies education, by its interdisciplinary character, builds in students the basic knowledge and ways of thinking that prepare them to participate in civic and community life as active and informed citizens. Critical issues of national development are multidisciplinary in nature and so, understanding them and developing resolutions to them require multidisciplinary education. This constitutes the defining aspects of Social Studies to include the building of good students who eventually will contribute positively to national development.
There is a general agreement that Social Studies Education is about the grooming of good citizens. The objective is to reposition the young people so that they possess the knowledge, skills and values necessary for active participation in societal activities. Important to Social Studies Education are the efforts that are geared towards bringing new meaning to citizenship participation in community and national development.
The roles of Social Studies in engineering sustainable national development were highly appreciated when Obama (2009) asserts that we need the insights and critical thinking skills gained in History and Social Studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and to make our nation fairer and freer. Addressing the issues so highlighted, are critical efforts in the quest for National Development, according to the US President
(Udoukpong, 1998) states that Nigeria lacks a clear direction for the purpose, method and content of teaching Social Studies that would have addressed many developmental challenges in Nigeria. However, Enoh (2009) blamed education for the slow pace of development in Nigeria. To achieve the expected results, he contends, the school curriculum has to be revisited and restructured to fall in line with the vision of the national development desired.
Social Studies Education has been identified as a potent instrument that can facilitate the attainment of national development goals through the production of responsible citizens that will contribute maximally to the growth of the society. This can be seen from the citizens’ behavioral dispositions which may include honesty, dedication, forthrightness, hard work, and productivity.
view of the above, a dynamic, purposeful, flexible and people-oriented curriculum should be developed to drive the society on the path of growth and development. This is where Social Studies Education comes handy as an instrument for National Development as encapsulated in the National Policy on Education which includes:
(a) A free and democratic society;
(b) A just and egalitarian society;
(c) A united, strong and self-reliant nation;
(d) A great and dynamic economy;
(e) A land full of bright opportunities for all citizens. (Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004)
Attainment of the above national objectives implies a complete state of national development. In pursuit of the above, FRN (2004) believes that education is an instrument for national development and Social Studies no doubt, has the capacity and potential to do so.
Social Studies Education for Positive National Development
Alberta (2000) posits that the acquisition of basic knowledge, skills and positive attitudes are basic ingredients needed by citizens to contribute meaningfully to the growth of a society leading to national development. According to Rodney (1979) national development implies increased skills and capacity, greater freedom, creativity, self-discipline, responsibility and material well-being.
Positive national development is attained when the citizens are conferred with the obligation of contributing to the common good by performing duties that are beneficial to the community. Such civic responsibilities performed by the citizens may include voting in public elections without coercion, improved work ethics, payment of taxes and obeying the laws of the land. To actualize the above, it is therefore important that the school curriculum must be responsive to the challenges of molding 21st century students who are thoroughly equipped with the capacity to adapt to the rising challenges of contributing to national development efforts.
Seer (1969) asks some pertinent questions with regards to national development. The questions he asked are:
(i} What has been happening to poverty?
(ii) What has been happening to unemployment?
(iii) What has been happening to inequality?
These questions were the consequences of the present state of development in most nations of the world. A nation that is tending towards growth and development must lay emphasis of a reorientation and reorganization of institutions and a transformation of the people’s welfare.
Others questions germane to national development may include:
(i) What gave rise to high profile corruption in the society?
(ii) Why the high rate of insecurity?
(iii) Why such intimidating injustice in the society?
(iv) Why are corrupt public officials not properly prosecuted?
A decline from high to low of the questions above, no doubt, is a positive indication of development for a country.
Akinlaye, (2003) notes that if youths are properly prepared for civic competence and presented with a conceptualized identity and consciousness for the future, no doubt, national development would be enhanced.
Alberta (2000) suggested that to achieve responsible citizenry status, the following criteria become the benchmarks for students and teachers:
(i) Understanding the role, rights and responsibilities of a citizen in a democratic society as well as in the global community.
(ii) Participate constructively in the democratic process by making rational decisions.
(iii) Respecting the dignity and worth of self and others in a democratic setting.
Alberta further says that:
Every responsible citizen is expected to support the country’s most important ideal - the common good, which is the general welfare of all individuals and groups within the community. The common good is supported when all citizens become aware that the meaning and purpose of education in the society is the intellectual and ethical development of the “students’ citizens”, young people who will eventually assume responsible adult roles in the society.
The attainment of national development is strongly linked with the concept of responsible citizenship. The young people, as a matter of deliberate effort, should contribute to the society they live in. Kennedy, (2003) opined that the youths should make a productive contribution in order to make a difference in their national economy.
When the young people are properly brought up, they will develop what Fairbrother (2003) called “Critical Patriotism”. This will enhance their capacity to love their country, develop an understanding of their culture which is dynamic and ever changing as the promotion of a nation’s cultural heritage.
How to Reposition Social Studies Education for Positive National Development
Given that the purpose of Social Studies Education programme is to promote civic competence; knowledge, skills and attitudes requisite for national development, a number of strategies have been recommended on how to reposition the subject so that national development processes would be enhanced.
(i) Social Studies contents should be designed to include work ethics, dedication, honesty, national ideals and values, democratic principles, skills for data collection and analysis, decision-making process and problems solving.
(ii) Students should be taught to show commitments, demonstrate knowledge and skills and how to participate in national economic and democratic activities.
(iii) Social Studies Education should be made to address issues that are today confronting the nation. The issues that are inimical to national development to be addressed include terrorism, armed robbery, hostage taking, suicide bombing, pipeline vandalism and etcetera. These align with Law (2004) dispositive curriculum that the global requirements for education in recent times include promoting life-long education; re-emphasizing the quality of learners’ experiences, recognizing subjects into key learning areas so as to develop broad knowledge base.
(iv) Social Studies Education should develop in the learners the ability to think critically and be innovative. This kind of education affords the products of the system the ability to respond to social goals, economic realities and future life- challenges.
(v) There should be a deliberate effort to strengthening the pedagogical approaches for Social Studies teaching with a view to actualizing the quest for national development. That is why Enoh (2009) pointed out that we need aspect of education that is interested in making contribution in development. Social Studies teaching method should focus on thought-provoking and investigation-oriented approach. It should be integrative and dynamic to enhance a transformative discipline that will chart a course for national development.
(vi) Social Studies Education should be reinvigorated and adopted as Millennium Pedagogical initiative of addressing issues of national development. This proposal is in line with Nwachukwu (2007) call to create and adopt new sets of paradigms that choose to see problem-solving from new perspective as a viable option.
Obasanjo (2000) in a Global Education Summit at Dakar, Senegal asserts that Education for Africa today must change in content. He argued that should not concern itself on how much a child learnt but on the process and how learning ready is the child. Ignorance is one singular set back of development, which Africa must deal with in the 2000 millennium.
Obasanjo (2007) says that the present challenges of Nigeria will be addressed based on a set target to be one of the largest economies in the world by the year 2020. This he said is attainable and achievable but that if we focus on the path of economic prudence, reform and realities.
Social Studies Education curriculum should be made to take cognizance of vital changes and challenges in the environment and prepares the learners to meet such changes and challenges, (Enoh, 2009).
Social Studies curriculum should equip the learner with the knowledge of Information Communications and Technology (ICT), local and global challenges, conflicts resolution, peace building, health and health needs and myriads of social, economic and political demands that confront individuals and the entire society on daily basis.
The Roles of Social Studies Education in National Development
The indispensable roles of Social Studies Education in national development can be overemphasized. The major objective of the programme is the production of effective citizens who will be committed to the national ideals, goals and developmental agenda. Such individuals should be:
(i) Equipment with the intellectual skills essential for national decision-making and sound judgment.
(ii) Active in the participation of the nation’s political system.
(iii) Willing to assume and perform civic responsibilities without coercion.
(iv) Obedient to the laws, rules and regulations of the land.
(v) Able to understand, respect and accommodate other individuals’ views and aspirations.
(vi) Hard working, dedicated and honest in his/her personal and corporate activities.
(vii) Co-operative, interdependent, integrative, tolerant and loyal for the purpose of unity and development of the nation.
(viii) Able to coexist harmoniously with other members and groups in his/her society.
(ix) Nationalistic and patriotic geared towards societal improvement.
These citizenship ideals, norms and values are essential for national development. Madubuike (1985) affirmed that only effective and productive citizens, who are products of Social Studies Education would contribute to national development in midst of Nigerians who are selfish and materialistic.
The import of Social Studies Education was reechoed by Okobiah (1984) when he states that: “... as far as Social Studies is concerned, the other skills become important as far as they help in facilitating the development of value …”.
To facilitate the development of individuals that will contribute to positive national development through Social Studies programme, the following become quite imperative.
(i) Social Studies Education learning process should be activity packed to elicit active involvement and participation of the learners. The participative-consciousness to Social Studies teaching spills into activities, issues and trends in one’s socio-political environments; thereby making one to contribute, directly or indirectly, to national development.
(ii) Social Studies curriculum content should such positive attitudes and values as hard work, diligence, cooperation, patriotism, honesty, self-help etc as against such socio-psychological defective behaviour as self-centredness, bribery and corruption which are inimical to national development.
(iii) In view of Ololobu (1992) Social Studies should be made to give impetus to positive developmental trends in Nigeria. The subject should try to re-socialize the once inert and development-unconscious people to imbibe the global culture of mobilizing human and materials resources towards national development.
(iv) Social Studies should reflect on Nigeria’s social realities, social needs and social aspirations. The Social Studies curriculum should be made flexible so as to accommodate current issues and problems relevant to national development.
Repositioning Social Studies Education for National Developmental in Nigeria
If Social Studies Education must accomplish the foregoing laudable roles towards national development, the followings become quite compelling.
(i) The teaching of Social Studies in Nigerian educational institutions should be entrusted in the hands of professionally trained Social Studies Educationists who would utilize the appropriate methods, strategies, techniques and resources germane to effective Social Studies Education.
(ii) The Social Studies teacher must, on a constant basis, recharge his professional skills and competences through regular exposure to professional development activities.
(iii) The training programme in Social Studies Education should emphasize competencies essential for effective Social Studies teaching and learning.
(iv) The training programme in Social Studies Education should be subjected to periodic evaluation to attune it to the changing societal demands and modern trends and realities.
(v) Government should show positive commitment to the effective implementation of the Social Studies curriculum through adequate funding and resource development.
(vi) The formalized ‘in and out of school’ Social Studies learning activities should be complemented with informal and non-formal educational activities and strategies with emphasis on desirable social attitudes, habits and values that are essential to social participation in national development.
(vii) The improvement of the socio-economic well-being of the people should be made compelling in order to elicit a minimum of their cooperation in the nation’s developmental bid.
(viii) The rural communities should be made to actively participate in the national development project through a redesigning and involvement of the rural dwellers towards enthusiastic commitment to national development endeavour.
(ix) Nigeria’s dependency on foreign aid, imported raw material, luxuries and finished products, technology and expertise should be reconsidered as they are counter-productive to national development.
(x) Socio-political stability is a sine-qua-non to meaningful national development. Social Studies Education should be made to address the various security challenges in Nigeria today. A peaceful environment is a necessary condition for national development.
(xi) Mezieobi (1992) counseled the government to adopt the development pattern that addresses the needs of a particular area that is dictated by the geographical condition of such area. This development approach was further buttressed by Oji (I99I) when he noted that different regions of Nigeria have their peculiar developmental challenges and as such, should be addressed on their merits.
Summary and Recommendations
There is a strong relationship between Social Studies Education and national development. That is why Social Studies Education is identified as a potent force in the pursuit of development challenges in Nigeria. This paper sees the use of Social Studies Education as a realistic platform for the production of responsible citizens who will contribute positively towards the country’s quest for national development. In meeting the challenges of national development, Social Studies has the capacity to perform its mission of promoting and educating the culture that stimulates civic competence, critical thinking skills, articulate, analyze and proffer solutions to complex socio-economic and political issues of State policy. Social Studies Education therefore represents educators’ pedagogical paradigm shift that enhances thinking about what is expected in productive activities that will contribute to national development. It is not an overstatement to say that responsible citizenship is the hallmark of any national development efforts. That is why in this paper emphasis is placed on ensuring the grooming of right citizens for the future developmental needs. If the citizens are therefore identified as instruments to pursue development, Social Studies then should be strengthened as a catalyst for the advancement of national development in Nigeria.
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Nigerian Journal of Social Studies and Civic Education, Vol. 2 (1), 2012
STUDENTS’ PERCEPTION OF NEED FOR APPLICATION OF ICT IN SOCIAL STUDIES CLASSROMM IN AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY (A.B.U.) ZARIA-NIGERIA
BAYERO H. I. RUFAI (PhD)
This paper x-rays the possibilities of applying Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the teaching of Social Studies with the aim of meeting the vision 20:2020 challenges in Nigeria. Two null hypotheses were formulated, which were accepted at 0.05 level of significance. A total of one hundred and twenty three (123) students of 300 and 400 levels B.Ed Social Studies were purposely sampled and served with a questionnaire known as opinion of Social Studies Students on ICT Application for effective teaching – learning (OSSSIAFETL). Findings revealed among other things that Social Studies teaching should be heavily ICT based. Thus, it was strongly recommended that, social studies “would be teachers” be trained in computer and provided with access to ICT facilities.
Teaching is generally viewed as a dynamic process with particular reference to social studies as perceived by many scholars such as Okam (1998), Danladi (2001), Fadeiye (2003), Mallum and Obe (2006), Ololobou (2007), Bayero (2007) and Argungu (2000) among others. Thus, information and communication technology (ICT) being an organized combination of people, hardware, software, communication networks, and data resources that collects, transforms and disseminates information (Idih, 2002) is the best approach to teaching in Social Studies. This is particularly so, because the vision 20:2020 could best be achieved through Social Studies, which according to Bayero (2006), is concerned with the study of man and how his problems could be solved.
In view of the above therefore, fundamental amongst Nigeria’s problems includes insecurity in polity, chaos in politics, corruption in the economy, frustration in oath, lack of creativity in literature, armed robbery, teenage prostitution, examination malpractices, drug pushing and addiction and lack of effective and purposeful leadership among others (Tikumah, 2009). Based on the foregoing, late President Yar’adua in his broadcast to the nation on October 1, 2007 stressed his
administration’s commitment to the vision 20:2020 which was aimed at making Nigeria among the twenty most industrialized countries of the world by the year 2020. Thus, a needed paradigm shift in education in general and social studies in particular is a necessity. This is because education according to Danladi (2006) has globally been identified as bedrock for sustainable national development.
Based on the aforementioned, for education in general and social studies in particular to contribute in achieving the 20:2020 vision, it is paramount that the instructional delivery be repositioned. According to Oyebola (2007), educational reforms emanate from the basic conviction that considerable progress can be made in a nation by its people through careful engineering of the educational process. For Nigeria to acquire a status of global recognition as well as the vision 20:2020, education must be used as a tool for the achievement of reformation drive, through effective and contemporary teaching strategies. This, according to Olakulehin (2007) will motivate learners to learn and assist them in acquiring the right type of concepts, values and attitudes.
Available literature in area of information and communication technology reveals a direct relationship between communication and
classroom teaching and learning. However, the dynamic nature of social studies as a school subject, based on its interdisciplinary approach to the study of human beings in group interrelationship (Okam, 1998) makes I.C.T. application to classroom instruction more fundamental. Education on the other hand is the most crucial instrument for empowering young people with knowledge and skills which will in turn provide them access to productive employment in future (Ayinde, 2006). The goal of vision 20:2020 in education sector is to ensure that all children irrespective of ethnicity, gender, or disability complete a full course of basic education, with human capacity development anchored on strong learning systems as central to the attainment of the vision (Bayero, 2010).
Various scholars attempted to define ICT with various degree of connotations. According to Idih (2007), ICT is defined as an organized combination of people, hardware, software, communication networks and data resources that collects, transform and disseminates information in an organization. For Orugbemi (2008) ICT is the handling and processing of information using electronic devices. In the word of Adamu (2004) it connotes a diverse set of technological tools and resources used to communicate, create, disseminate, store and manage information.
According to Ogunsola and Aboyade (2005) it is technologies people use to share, communicate, distribute and gather information through computer networks. For Nwakolo and Aliunnat (2002), ICT is the assembling of all modern systems of processing information and communication in data, text, images and voices. Similarly, Adamu (2007), Oyebola (2007), Umar (2006), Yakubu (2004), Okafor (2003), Tancook (2002), Nie (2001), and Putman (2000) perceive ICT as the creation of powerful electronic information and communication for effective dissemination of ideas.
Social studies on the other hand is defined as a dynamic education (Okam, 1998), effective classroom pedagogy discipline (Okam, 2002), study aimed at conquering diseases and making environment a better place for living (Bayero and Lawal, 2010). Oladobe (2008) defined Social Studies as “the study of man’s social relationship which follow man in time (History), in space (Geography), in groups (Sociology), in culture (Anthropology), in leadership (Government); in exploitation of resources (Economics) and response to stimulus (Psychology)”
Other scholars such as Jekayinta (2007), Nwagu (2004), Okam (2006), Kazi (2006), Argungu (2000), Ayinde (2006), Ubah (2004), and Ogundare (2004) perceived Social Studies as a study of problems of survival in all environment and how to find solutions to them. Furthermore, Mezieobi, Fabura and Mezieobi (2008) defined Social Studies as:
an integrative field of study which proves man’s symbiotic relationship with his environments, endows man with the reflective or contemplative capacities, intellectual, affective, social and work skills, to enable him understand his world and its problems, and to rationally solve or cope with them for effective living in the society.
Deriving from the definitions of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Social Studies, one can deduced that, application of ICT in the teaching of Social Studies is a dynamic and time-tested approach to classroom instructions which Mohammed (1999) refers to as the internationalization of information acquisition, processing, retrievals, access and dissemination without restriction to national, community, ward and/or societal boundary. Thus, ICT application in social studies classroom will expose learners to be abreast with contemporary happenings within his environment be it local, national and global.
Various research findings reported the needs and necessities for integrating ICT into classroom instructions, with varying degrees, Tutu (2007), Okhiria (2007), Agyeman (2007), Osei (2007), Omamurhomu
(2007), Raymond (2006), and Marshall and Taylor (2006). Furthermore, the National Policy on Education (NPE, 2004) clearly states:
In recognition of the prominent role of information and communication technology in advancing knowledge and skills necessary for effective functioning in the modern world, there is urgent need to integrate information and communication technology (ICT) into education in Nigeria that government shall provide basic infrastructure and training for the realization of this goals.
The implication of the literature reviewed on the current paper is that vision 20:2020 would only be a dream 20:2020 if necessary mechanism were not adequately put in place. The first pillar to vision 20:2020 is to guarantee the well-being and productivity of the people with education as the bedrock. But how many children of school-age are now out of school in spite of the UBE programme? Thus, we are all living witness to the fact that initially we were at a “stage of on-learning, latter to a stage of not-learning and now a stage of un-learning. Vision 20:2020 is distinct from purchasing Tokumbo cars, which Nigeria is championing because many countries are running away for fear of environmental pollution caused by climatic change.
Therefore, if ICT is well applied in social studies classroom, learning environment would not be only learner-centered but comparison and ranking among learners will be achieved. This could further give room for competition among the learners on global perspectives. It is only international/global interaction among countries of the world through teaching, research and dissemination of research findings on economic, political, technological and other measuring parameters that vision 20:2020 in Nigeria could either be a reality or dream.
The following two null-hypotheses were formulated for this paper
Ho1 There is no significant difference in the opinion of 300 and 400 level B.Ed Social Studies Students on the application of ICT for effective teaching and learning of social studies to meet vision 20:2020.
Ho2 There is no significant difference in the opinion of male and female B.Ed Social Studies Students on the application of ICT for effective teaching and learning of social studies to meet vision 20:2020.
Population of the Study
The population of this study consists of all B.Ed Social Studies Students Main-campus. There were a total of two hundred and sixty-nine (269) students at B.Ed levels 100 – 400 as at the time of this study; viz:
Level No of students
100 25 *
* Newly admitted in 2011/2012 session
** 92 Newly admitted in 2011/2012, and 29 proceeded from 100 level in 2010/2011 session.
Source: office of sectional head, social studies.
Sample and sampling procedures
All the 300 and 400 level B.Ed social studies students were selected, while 100 and 200 level students were not involved in the study because most of them were still busy with their registration as at the time of the study .The total number of the sampled respondents were 123, Viz:
Level Frequency percentage
300 66 100
400 57 100
Total 123 100
Source: Office of the sectional Head, social studies
The questionnaire known as opinion of social studies students on ICT application for effective teaching-learning (OSSSIAFETL) developed by the
researcher was the main instrument used for this study. The questionnaire was a structured format designed on a modified four points Likert scale of strongly Agreed (SA); Agreed (A) Disagreed (D), and Strongly Disagreed (SD). It was divided into two sections, with section A comprising of respondents’ personal information on sex and level of study. Section B on the other hand consisted of nine items opinion regarding the use of ICT in social studies classroom for meeting the vision 20:2020 challenges. It was administered to all 300 and 400 level students of social studies which was completed and returned at 100% level of compliance.
Based on the questionnaire administered to the subjects, the following findings were made, viz;
Table1: t-test analysis for 300 and 400 level students at p≤ 0.05
Variable N Mean STD Df T cal T cri P Result
300 level 66 45.27 13.0
400 level 57 37.81 14.83
Ho1 accepted since critical value of t is more than the calculated value.
Table2: t-test analysis for gender at P ≤ 0.05
Variable N Mean STD df T cal T cri P Result
Male 93 45.78 12.41
Female 30 36.56 15.56
Ho2 accepted since the critical value of t is more than the calculated value.
The mean and standard deviation of 300 level and 400 level students were derived at 66x45.27 = 2987.82 and 57x37.81 = 2155.17 respectively.
that is mean = while the std = that is x-score = mean,
= square of the deviations
Discussion on the findings
Basically, the two null hypotheses were accepted. The interpretation of this figure underscore an acceptance of the hypotheses because, the calculated value of 0.06 and 0.07 for respondents level of study and gender(sex)respectively were far less than the critical value of 1.97. The respondents were favourably disposed to the items which stated that ICT-based instruction when applied in the teaching of social studies arouses students interest, particularly in contemporary and global based issues like vision 20:2020.This findings is in congruency with the study embarked upon by Salawu et al (2010) which argued that ICT-based instruction is more effective and efficient in learning because learners were at more liberty to learn on their own.
Similarly, respondents expressed a favourable opinion regarding the use of ICT- based instruction in modern teaching by helping the learners to learn the subject matter through inquiry based approach which is central to the teaching of social studies. This findings confirmed the submission of Okam(2002)who maintained that students’ desire for success is closely linked with interest, target, attitude and aptitude. Furthermore, when asked regarding restricting ICT application to any age ,ability level, gender, race, nation or location, respondents mostly agreed that ICT-based instruction
should not be restricted to certain categories of students based on their age, ability, or sex. Corroboratory, these findings reveals the fact that classroom in social studies as postulated by Mezieobi et al (2008) is not restricted to the four wall business as propagated in other subjects. Thus, activities outside the classroom within and outside the school environments all combined to give a clear picture of social studies classroom including access to ICT at global levels.
Based on the findings of the paper, the following recommendations were proposed, viz:
1. Federal, state and local governments as well as organised private sectors should help in the provision of computers and other internet facilities to facilitate the teaching of ICT in schools.
2. The university management should ensure that the few available ICT facilities are well maintained and additional ones provided.
3. Social studies teaching should be heavily ICT based at all levels.
This paper was concluded with the submission that ICT based instruction should be applied in the teaching of social studies because it arouses students interest in learning, without restriction to age, ability, level, sex, or location which will lead to inquiry based learning for achieving the vision 20:2020.
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Nigerian Journal of Social Studies and Civic Education, Vol. 2 (1), 2012
NEEDED PARADIGM SHIFT FOR REPOSITIONING SOCIAL STUDIES EDUCATION TO MEET VISION 20-20-20 CHALLENGES IN NIGERIA
PROF. C. C. OKAM
FACULTY OF EDUCATION
UMARU MUSA YAR’ADUA UNIVERSITY, KATSINA
The focus of this paper is influenced by a number of elements of the basis of social studies education, which have contributed in guiding the author in the course of teaching and publishing in the subject in the past thirty one years. These elements include the following:
Only professional teachers of social studies education can achieve instructional effectiveness in the subject.
Social studies education is not synonymous with any of the social sciences; it has a completely different orientation.
The strength of social studies education derives from the view that it has a well-established curriculum design; it is the ability of the teacher to manipulate this curriculum design and/or paradigm that enables him to achieve instructional effectiveness in terms of the learners exposed to him during classroom pedagogy.
Social studies education is essentially an integrative subject; if this addiction to “integration “is removed from the subject, then its pride and strong point is removed and the subject is almost dead.
The efficacy of social studies education lies on the view it can be employed to bring about solutions to human predicaments; it is a problems-approach discipline.
Social studies education possessed a serious and positive citizenship function; although the Federal Government is trying to remove this function through the introduction of civic education, one point is very clear: the concession is made by the NERDC that only professionally qualified social studies teachers could handle civic education effectively classroom- wise.
In the course of this presentation, I will be guided by these preambles I have tried to portray.
The Essential Basis of the Paradigm Structures and Curriculum Frameworks Established in Social Studies Education as a Subject Discipline in the Nigerian Schools Systems
Although social studies education has had a chequered profile in its fifty years of sojourn in this country, Nigeria expects very seriously that academics and knowledge purveyors in the subject should recognize and endorse the prevalence of necessary curriculum structures and functions intrinsic in the subject which are designed to facilitate communication and action germane for revealing concrete problems and for solving these problems. This framework and consensus constitutes the basis for the paradigm or set of paradigms which are noted in the subject; these curriculum paradigm structures constitute essential elements for making concerted attacks on problem solution and thereby advancing knowledge in this field. There prevails, therefore, a consensual model or exemplar for problem solution in the subject; these representations portray the eclectic synthesis of modes of thought and methodology intrinsic in this subject field. It is this framework that makes progress possible through substantive problem solving. These levels of operations have enabled experts, academics and curricularists in the fields to move beyond the stage of minor disputations and to address the wider and deeper problems of curriculum developments and knowledge reconstruction. The focus is on macro-curriculum since any concerted focus on substantive problems, including those which impinge on Nigeria’s vision 20-20-20, will necessarily require a movement towards synthesis in social studies education, as a curriculum field. This curriculum field has a rich heritage of past achievements that can lend perspectives to the contemporary educational situation and thereby serve as a basis for consensus and progress. From its inception in the late 1950s in Nigeria, social studies as a curriculum field emerged to be identified as a distinct area of study, characterized by paradigm structures which constitute a consensual basis for systematic curriculum development. The paradigm structures serve to account for the various sources and developments in curriculum development and are based on reflective formulation and testing of alternatives for the solution of practical problems (Tyler, 1949; Taba, 1962; Tanner and Tanner, 1980), Taba (1962) discloses that this model or paradigm has served as a basis for communication in social studies education, as a curriculum field. She expatiates that this paradigm has been explored in working on problem solutions in the social studies curriculum. She recounts the components of this model or paradigm thus: (a) Needs’, diagnosis; (b) Objectives formulation; (c) Content selection, (d) Content organization; (e) Learning experiences (selection of); (f) Learning experiences (organization of); and (g) Evaluation processes and procedures. Taba’ (1962) however, makes the reservation that because some curricularists have used this paradigm mechanically, it has been criticized as mechanical. In spite of this development, she advances that this paradigm has also been used in an organically interactive way. She endorses further that the paradigm established in social studies education is designed to help practitioners recognize the “NEED” to consider the necessary interrelationships of all sources and determinants if the social studies curriculum is to be balanced and coherent, and if problem solutions are to be addressed.
Again, Taba (1962) and Tanner and Tanner (1980) concede the reservation that no model or paradigm rightly serve to eliminate debate or differences in theoretical orientation. They elucidate that progress in the curriculum depends upon such differences provided that they are tested reflectively in the field of practice. Taba (1962) submits that the model or paradigm established in social studies education provides a basis for such testing. She reflects further that this development is not a literal representation of the world of curriculum development, but an economical and simplified scheme for dealing practicably with the complex process of curriculum development. Besides, according to her, this thought pattern serves to synthesize past achievements with current practices, and it cannot be dismissed lightly unless something that is more comprehensive and convincing can take its place.
Challenges, Issues and Problems which have militated and Constrained against the Status and Relevance of our various Institutions of Learning as Citadels and Purveyors of the Curriculum Paradigm Established in Social Studies Education in Nigeria.
A number of social studies academics, research writers and teachers (Dubey and Berth, 1980; Ogundare, 1985; Adeyoyin, 1993; Mezieobi 1996; Okam 2002, 2005 and 2007) have continued to criticize and condemn for over three decades the practices of assigning the teaching of social studies education to non-professionals in the subject in our various Colleges of Education. Most of these teachers have received very little or no professional grooming in the ideals and philosophy intrinsic in social studies education; these teachers, very often, hazard ideas in seminars, conferences and workshops purported to be in the interest of social studies education in Nigeria. A good number of these theoreticians go further to write articles, papers or books in “Social Studies” which may not only portray inconsistency with the goals of the subject, but may also detract from the social studies philosophy, theories, methodologies and interdisciplinary perspectives and practices that are rooted in the subject (Mezieobi, 1996; Okam, 1998).
In our various Colleges of Education, Mezieobi (1986) laments and regrets that the caliber of teachers portrayed above play-down on the functionality and qualitative principles established in social studies education as a curriculum design for national value re-orientation and human development. In other words, these teachers are not committed to the successful implementation of curriculum programmes in social studies education because they lack most of the qualities which characterize good professional teachers of the subject. These teachers could display ignorance and lack of the necessary skills as to what it takes to cultivate the following principles and attributes: (a) the need for continued professional regeneration through continuous learning and participation in professional life; (b) a command of the subject matter and curriculum content of the subject and the ability to communicate these clearly; (c) ability to utilize effectively a variety of teaching methodologies and resources; (d) the need to demonstrate what it takes to be ‘pleasant’, ‘kind’, ‘tolerant’, sympathetic;, ‘friendly’, ‘patient’, ‘caring’, ‘humorous’, ‘loving’, and ‘humble’ (e) the need to display understanding and consideration for the learners, their interests and biogenic and socio-cultural differences; and (f) the need to display self-control and self-discipline.
On general note, an overview of the empirical studies reflected in this exposition underscore the unsatisfactory status of social studies education as a curriculum instrument not only for cultivating the ideals of national value re-orientation but also for bringing about improved and enhanced human and social development amongst young learners within the framework of the Nigerian schools’ system. Thus, this exposition emerges with the view that social studies education, as currently dispensed in our schools’ system, has failed to prepare youths and students for effective citizenship responsibilities which are required for genuine national re-orientation and human development within the framework of Nigeria as a young democracy.
What might be gleaned from the research literature recounted in this presentation is that their revelations are generally unanimous in pointing to the “teacher factor” as a major source of failure in the process of utilizing social studies education as a curriculum design for inculcating our national values amongst students for human development in our schools and colleges. It is held very fervently in this exposition that if social studies education is to contribute its own quota in generating positive orientation amongst students for the purpose of enhanced human and social development, it must capitalize on the assets of the “teacher factor” in bringing about this objective. It is underscored here that whenever social studies education is taught, the classroom teacher is the primary determiner of what students learn. That the teacher is the most important single factor in any teaching – learning episode is underscored by Ukeje’s (1976:24) revelation that:
Teachers are at the hub of any educational system. For upon their number, their quality, their devotion and their effectiveness depend on the success of the system and no education system can be stronger than its teachers.
The Need for Exploring and Employing the Human Resources and Capacity-Building Assets Intrinsic in the Curriculum Paradigm Established in Social Studies Education in Achieving Nigeria’s Vision 20 – 2020 Goals.
We need to overcome the foregoing challenges, issues and problems which have proved antithetical to the enthronement of Social studies education as a human resources and capacity-building asset for a positive transformation of Nigeria in all ramifications. We must necessarily embrace the vitality of a needed paradigm shift for repositioning social studies education to become engulfed in a massive transformation, re-orientation, redirection, rebirth and reconstruction in this 21st century if we must move from retrogressing to developing and indeed join the club of developed nations of the world. Nigeria should be the African super power and beacon of hope for the black man all the world over (Ukeje, 2000). It is considered that this philosophy constitutes our own destiny in the present world but which has been eluding us due to ineffective leadership and poor education system. Thus, it is emphasized that education is the most potent instrument for our salvation; more importantly in this exposition, it is submitted here that the exploration and employment of the human resources and capacity-building assets intrinsic in the social studies curriculum paradigm in the task of achieving Nigeria’s vision of this 21st century should constitute the pivot of our control.
It is recounted here that the first expression of this vision for Nigeria was in the Second National Development Plan (1970 – 74), which endorsed as the necessary foundation for National Policy on Education, as the building of:
a free and democratic society,
a united, strong and self-reliant nation,
a great and dynamic economy and
a land of bright and full opportunity for all citizens
Regrettably, none of the foregoing ideals and goals has been realized in Nigeria since the past four decades when they were enunciated (Ukeje, 2000); Umar and Okam, 2007; and Umar 2008). Presently, Nigeria is witnessing the launching of a programme of rebirth which is tagged “Vision 20-20-20” and which possesses positive and serious bearings with the Seven-point Agenda for Sustainable Development of the Yar’Adua Administration. The Federal Government has identified education, generally as the instrument for galvanizing and sustaining the goals established in the programme. However, and specifically, it is proposed in this exposition that the exploration and employment of the human resources and capacity-building assets intrinsic in the social studies curriculum paradigm in the task of grooming and producing effective citizens, could assist Nigeria achieve the goals established in Vision 20-20-20. Indeed, it is envisaged that this frame of thought could also lead to recovery of a good deal of what Nigeria lost over the years since her independence in 1960. Thus, an emergence of a social order of disciplined citizenry, self-reliant populace, justice, equity and fair-play in all human relations and creative development, based on the philosophy of social studies education, is proposed and endorsed in this exposition. We need to have disciplined citizens; we must develop our human potentials and resources to the full; and we must reconstruct the Nigerian society for effective life and progress in the 21st century though an exploration and employment of human resources and capacity-building assets which are rooted in social studies education in its ideals as a curriculum design.
Challenges Intrinsic in Nigeria’s Vision 20-20-20 Goals
Nigeria’s Vision 20-20-20 is buttressed on the planning and execution of national economic goals and development programmes designed for positioning Nigeria amongst the first twenty developed nations of the world by 2020. Boroffice (2008) reflects that the emergence of this grand design is meant to haul out Nigeria of misery, promote human dignity and equality, and achieve peace, democracy and environmental stability. The emphasis, according to Agbaje (2006), is to build and groom skilled human capacities who would display organizational and management practices needed for developing Nigeria’s natural resources and managing the environment in a sustainable manner. Boroffice (2008) discloses further that the centerpiece of the Nigerian government’s reform or transformation agenda towards Vision 20-20-20 is the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) launched in May, 2004. The NEEDS constitutes a home-grown reform programme which is expected to lay solid foundation for sustainable poverty reduction, employment generation, wealth creation and value-orientation.
Agbaje, Ingersoil and Mochamuk (2008) expatiated further that the articulation of policies, strategies and plans executed in the country for the purpose of achieving the goals of vision 20-20-20could be seen as a defining moment for global cooperation in the 21st century especially in the human resources and capacity-building skills and assets in the task of achieving the laudable goals in the programme.
In their elaboration on the goals of Vision 20-20-20, Agbaje et al (2008) reflected that in technology and skills acquisition, the need is for the emergence of a National Development Agenda (NDA) for bringing about the envisaged transformation and changes. This Agenda has to embrace the vital need and necessity for operationalizing a number of developmental designs including: (a) transformation of the economy; (b) instituting an action plan for creating the right environment for effective transformation; (c) the need for venturing into entrepreneurship programmes in order to generate wealth; (d) the need to stimulate rapid economic growth through venturing into entrepreneurship skills programmes; and (e) the need for stimulating the productive capacity of the society at large. The emphasis is on productivity and the main mechanics of this is for investors to use resources to promote productivity by way of making the economy competitive, perhaps through the exploration and employment of entrepreneurship skills.
On the question of national resources management, Agbaje et al (2008) reflect that emphasis is to be placed on human capital development in which entrepreneurship programmes are to be explored for the following: (a) rapid economic growth; and (b) stimulation of the productive capacity of individuals. Implementation of people-oriented policies are to be put in place for the provision of the following necessities: (i) qualitative and adequate water supply; (ii) adequate energy and power generation; (iii) all weather roads; (iv) establishment of peace and security institutions for ensuring peace and security; (v) provision of adequate health facilities; (vi) provision of employment opportunities for youth; (vii) improvement in the provision of infrastructures including the establishment of good schools; (viii) instituting measures for engendering compliance with the International Agency for Transparency (IAT) to foster and enthrone accountability in the country; (ix) instituting food technology and good science consortiums for boosting the following assets: food industries, good processing, food productivity, food export and food safety; (x) strengthening and instituting poverty-alleviation schemes; and (xi) instituting result-oriented programmes so as to sustain the current transformation agenda.
With regard to infrastructural development, particularly in road construction and maintenance, Agbaje et al. (2008) submitted that the strategy hinges on the need to embark on a National Road Network Schemes (NRNS) to attract investors the world over in order to boost business transactions. The envisaged efficient road transport system calls for meeting a number of challenges entailed including the following: (a) efficient execution, maintenance and usability of our roads; (b) the need for embarking on a construction and commissioning of all-weather roads throughout the country;(c) the need for the Federal and State Governments to embark on partner-schemes with private road consortia to boost and enhance road construction networks throughout the country; (d) urgent need for embarking on massive up-grading of our highways: from single lane to double lanes; from two-lanes to quadruple-lane structures and from six lanes to eight-lane structures; (e) the vitality for engagements in the construction and development of a system of fly-overs in our major urban centers in order to ease traffic jams in these zones of population concentrations.
Thus, in Nigeria’s Vision 20-20-20, Agbaje et al (2008) submitted that the view is strongly entertained that a serious embrace of road sector development programmes in Nigeria would necessarily improve the country’s competitiveness in business transactions. It is, therefore, envisaged that the expansion and boosting of national road networks in this country could go a long way in attracting investments the world over. This line of thought could lure people, particularly young persons, into exploring the assets and advantages intrinsic entrepreneurship education for tackling and overcoming a number of socio-economic tasks and problems in national development.
In respect to the vitality for government’s collaboration with public private consortiums in development programmes, the following views and advantages were entertained about Nigeria’s Vision 20-20-20 namely: (a) enthroning core values of democratic governance such as (i) embracing popular goals and objectives which are geared for the welfare and interests of all; (ii) instituting the necessary machinery for advancing the rule of law; (iii) re-shaping the role of government in her relationship to citizens in a more positive direction; (iv) decentralization of the governments in the task of responding to the needs of citizens; (b) increasing the synergy levels of Nigerians through human –capacity developments; (c) increasing and sustaining security awareness and consciousness amongst Nigerians, apart from gingering them to become peace-conscious so as to make the “productivity slogan” meaningful since Nigeria is functioning on democratic lines;(d) the recognition that Nigeria’s economy has the potential for rapid growth and expansion, particularly in the agricultural sector where there are prospects for increased employment opportunities especially for young persons; (e) the vitality in the enthronement of the view that governments usually provide employment or job opportunities for a few individuals; and that it is the private sector that usually generates employment opportunities for a majority of the people; the government must necessarily take up the initiative not only to encourage the private sector in this task but also to create forums for partnership with public private consortiums with a view to establishing fruitful development programmes.
A number of scholars and strategists (Boroffice, 2008; Umar, 2008; Ukeje, 2007; Agbaje 2006, Agbaje, Ingersoil and Mochamuk, 2008) and Agbaje and Akinyede, 2006) generally endorse that Nigeria must necessarily embark on initiatives and developing agendas if the foregoing goals which are rooted in Vision 20-20-20 are to be achieved. However, these scholars and a number of other research critics have entertained serious fears and doubts as to whether Nigeria would be capable of attaining the objectives and goals established in Vision 20-20-20. Their fears are largely centered on Nigeria’s lack of adequate human resources capabilities needed for developing her natural resources very effectively with a view to managing the environment in a sustainable manner. They also disclosed doubts that the available human resources in the country might not be able to display a high level of organizational capacity and management practices required in sustainable development planning operations which are needed if we must realize the objectives intrinsic in the Vision 20-20-20. The research reflections of these scholars generally portray the view that Nigeria lacks what it takes to possess adequately the necessary and adequate human resources and capacity-building skills and assets needed for the achievement of Vision 20-20-20 development goals by the end of 2020.
The Federal Government has also linked the task of achieving the Vision 20-20-20 with her NEEDS programmes for the purpose of mobilizing the resources of Nigeria to make a fundamental break with the failure of the past and bequeath a united and prosperous nation to the generations to come. The NEEDS is anchored on the belief that Nigeria has all it takes to be one of the leading economies in the world and intended to break the nation away from its current rentier status (Boroffice, 2008).
It is pertinent to recognize that the Federal Government has also articulated the SEVEN Point Agenda of the Yar’Adua’s Administration as a sustainable development vehicle aimed at achieving Vision 20-20-20; these agenda are tailored to accomplish these goals: (a) sustainable growth in the real sector of the economy’ (b) physical structure development including power, energy and transportation, (c) agricultural growth, (d) human capital development, education and health growth and expansion; (e) security, law and order maintenance, (f) combating corruption, and (g) addressing Niger Delta Development issues.
The challenges confronting Nigeria in these tasks of achieving the development goals presented in the fore-going strategic plans and agendas bear seriously on the problem of implementing all the objectives intrinsic in them so that the country could be portrayed as being the verge or threshold of attaining sustainable development in all its ramifications by 2020. If our education has to be employed in achieving these development goals, it must be efficient. In particular, if our education is to serve as a vital instrument for capitalizing on the human resources and capacity-building assets needed for achieving the objectives of the Vision 20-20-20, we need a re-orientation. We require the kind of education that has to be tailored at recreating the necessary socio-economic and political values considered critical to the growth and consolidation of the country’s democracy (Umar, 2008). Umar (2008) recounted the main values to be promoted as follows: honesty, transparency, accountability, cooperation, and respect for the rule of law, respect for the dignity of labour, discipline, industry, self confidence and moral courage. Indeed, these values are rooted in the ideals of the Dakar, Framework of Action (DFA): (2000) which called and endorsed the necessity for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of individuals, particularly women, in the task of enabling the generality of the populace to recognize the vitality of “education as a necessary foundation for life-long learning and human development on which an individual can build systematically further levels and types of education and training”. The foregoing “values” and the “endorsements for educational empowerment of the populace” are constituted into one of the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals. Thus, it is submitted that these “values” and the “empowerment structures” which are needed for facilitating the achievement of the eight Millennium Development Goals are compatible with the essence of human resources and capacity-building assets and skills which are intrinsic in he “ideals of effective citizenship and citizenship development” (Fleckmore, 1973; Banks and Clegg, 1977; Okam, 1992; Osler and Starkey, 2003; Lambert, 2003, Okam, 2007). In other words, if our educational programmes are effectively tailored at capitalizing on the virtues enshrined in “effective citizenship and citizenship development”, Nigeria could go a long way in achieving Vision 20-20-20 Goals. In essence, the conceptual basis of this exposition is hinged on the vitality of exploring the human resources and capacity-building assets and skills rooted in “effective citizenship and citizenship development” through the curriculum paradigm structures established in social studies education in the achievement of Vision 20-20-20. The thesis displayed in this exposition endorses the “solution strategy” that the exploration and employment of the curriculum design structures intrinsic in social studies education furnishes a necessary basis for grooming and producing individuals and effective citizens alike who would constitute the “pillars” not only for achieving the goals established in Vision 20-20-20 but also for transforming Nigeria into the “Giant of Africa” in all ramifications by 2020.
Embracing the Needed Curriculum Paradigm Shift in Social Studies Education for Exploring and Employing the Assets Rooted in Effective Citizenship Development in Generating and Producing Individuals Characterized by the Virtues Required in Coping with the Challenges and Demands of Nigeria’s Vision 20-20-20 Goals.
Corbin (1983) portrays citizenship as a curriculum instrument which is usually tailored at bringing about the breaking of barriers amongst societies for the purpose of increasing the chances for individuals and groups to be able to benefit from social opportunities, which might be available to them. Gross, Messic, Chapin and Southerland (1978) visualized citizenship as one of the designs of looking at human life and of organizing our knowledge and experiences about the world in which we live. They disclosed further that citizenship has largely grown out of our attempts to understand and, perhaps control man’s social environment and/or the world at large. Thus, it has become possible, according to Gross et al (1978) to view citizenship from a host of perspectives which bear on the study of many aspects of societal systems and sub-systems including the following: (a) issues concerning the social system of human roles and role behaviours; (b) issues and matters that deal with the cultural systems of norms of human behaviour and/or customs including the behavioural system of the mind in interaction with the physical and social environments (c) problems and affairs that pertain to the political system of social control and power allocation as well as issues that deal with the economic system of production, distribution and consumption of goods and services; and (d) problems and issues which impinge on the ecosystem of the elements of space and earth which humans need.
More importantly, Gross et al (1978) advanced further that citizenship may also be concerned with aspects of intellectual analysis of significant problems where human choices are required: choices that have influenced subsequent events, decisions about resource allocation, public policy decisions, vocational choices, and choices made in social situations.
Based largely on the varieties of provisions intrinsic in citizenship considerations, Russel (1977) was constrained to make a distinction between the good citizen and the good individual because of the demands usually made on the former by society. He disclosed that in practical daily life, the education which results from regarding a child as a good individual is very different from that which results from regarding him as a future citizen. He contends that ‘although the good individual is he who ministers to the good of the whole and the good of whole is a pattern made up of the goods of individuals, his attitude could degenerate into an exhibition of nonchalance in sensitive issues involving human-kind. On the other hand, Russel (1977) submits that the attitudes of the citizen are such that he is always aware that he is not the only one in the world, and he is concerned in one way or another to bring harmony to the conflicting “wills” that exist in the society or community”. Thus while the attitudes of the individual are such that they are subsistent, according to Russel (1977), “that of the citizen are essentially circumscribed by those of his neighbours. Thus, the citizen is first and foremost aware of his potentialities as an individual and this awareness governs much of the concessions, compromises and the ability to acquiesce what he initiates and adopts in the light of attempting to solve and resolve problems and/or issues which confront him on the one hand and the larger society on the other hand”. He reveals that “the fundamental characteristic of the citizen is that he cooperates in intention if not in fact; it is on this very characteristic of the citizen, according to Russel (1977), that his creative and potentialities for addressing and solving societal problems are rooted. Banks and Clegg (1977) noted that an important criterion that can be employed in designating effective citizens in their outstanding performance in situations which require them to exhibit potentialities and abilities in the art of cooperating and conforming to a variety of societal needs and demands which require the proffering of solutions to problems and issues. They advanced that it is largely to conform and cooperate that contribute to the superiority of good citizens when compared to the ordinary members of their groups in such societal “need areas” as: dependability in executing responsibilities”. (b) Commitment to activities which bear on social participation:, (c) “display of submissive gestures and attitudes of self-sacrifice in societal activities that demand a demonstration of relevance and vitality of socio-economic status.
Social science scholars (Engle, 1977); Fraenkel, 1977; Tanner and Tanner, 1980; Banks and Clegg 1977; Fleckmore, 2002; Newton, 2002; Lambert 2003; Osler and Starky, 2003) generally endorsed that the association of creative abilities and potentialities with good citizens largely derives from their conformable attitudes to issues and problems that emanate from societal systems. Thus Engle (1977) confirms that good citizens exceed the ordinary or average members of their group in such creative qualities and characteristics that are germane for effective leadership as (a) sociability; (b) initiative; (c) persistence; (d) knowing how to get things done; (e) perseverance; (f) self confidence (g) alertness to and insight into situation; (h) cooperativeness; (i) popularity; (j) adaptability; and (k) verbal fecundity.
On the other hand, Lambert (2003) submits that the creative abilities and potentialities of the effective citizen must bear some relevance or relationship to the characteristics, activities and goals of the group or society in which he functions as a productive individual. Thus, he contends that “creativity”, examined within the framework of citizenship, must be conceived in terms of the interactions of the variables which are in constant flux and changes in a given group or society; as such, citizenship is not a matter of passive status, nor does it devolve upon a person because he is the possessor of some combination of traits, Rather the effective citizen, according to Lambert (2003), acquires citizenship-status and the creative potentialities and abilities that go with it through the interactions prevailing in the group or society in which he participates and demonstrates his capacity in assisting the group to complete its tasks or address and solve its problems. Lambert (2003:19) emerged with the perspective concerning the relationship between taints on the one hand and the creative potentialities and abilities of the citizen on the other hand thus:
That a sound knowledge applicable and relevant to the problems faced by a group contributes significantly to citizenship status including the creative potentialities and activities that are intrinsic in it. These behavioural characteristics, virtues, skills and assets essentially rest on a display of the following: insight, initiative, cooperation originality, ambition, persistence, emotional stability, perseverance and judgment, popularity, and communication skills.
Lambert (2003) disclosed that the foregoing qualities and attributes are shared by most effective citizens, he also endorsed that these characteristics are present in “citizenship situation” rather than portraying characteristics that denote status or qualities of mere individualistic nature. Thus the studies executed by Fleckmore (2002), Newton (2002), Osler and Starkey (2003) to determine the relationship between characteristics intrinsic in personality traits” on the one hand and “citizenship behavioral and creative abilities that are intrinsic in it” on the other hand revealed that “personality traits” will not explain “citizenship behaviours and/or exhibition or creative abilities and potentialities that go with effective citizenship” The research studies of these scholars clearly demonstrated that the assumption “citizens are born not made” is largely false; they generally emerged with the view that the only inherited traits that have been identified as having some relationship to citizenship and/or manifestation of citizenship behavior including the creative potentialities intrinsic in it is “intelligence”. These scholars advanced that all other characteristics are personality traits, and as such, are subject to modification by education, training and experience.
Thus curriculum programmes in social studies education, according to these researchers (Fraenkel, 1973; Engle, 1977; Banks and Clegg 1977; and Tanner and Tanner, 1980), have featured as pedagogical instruments for transforming ordinary individuals into effective citizens, who have positively transform their countries into the great democracies of the world, such as the United States of America, England, France, Germany, Japan and Australia. The writer opines that these countries have achieved much more than the benefits accruable from the objectives of Nigeria’s Vision 20-20-20 for themselves through their citizens. These citizens have enabled these countries to develop into nation-states. Thus Banks and Clegg (1977:20) were prompted to endorse that the appropriate pedagogical exploration and exposures of an individual to classroom work in social studies programmes could enable him acquire and exhibit a variety of characteristic behaviors which are typical of effective citizens. They listed these as follows:
An appreciation of the nature and laws of social life; a display of intelligent and genuine loyalty to high national ideas; a possession of a sense of responsibilities as a member of social groups; a display of loyalty and a sense of obligation to his city, state, nation and to the human race; and a possession of the intelligence and the will to participate effectively in the promotion of social well-being.
Banks and Clegg (1977:220) also underscored that it has become a norm, through appropriate and requisite training in curriculum programmes in social studies education to train and groom individuals characteristics by the following citizenship ideals:
Looking at thing with a democratic slant: belief in decency and fair-play, forbearance and respect for others; commitment to an acquisition of the customs, traditions and nationalistic ideals of his country; belief in the idea of progressive improvement of society; a desire to promote the general welfare and be pledged to raise and safe-guard living standards for all; and a belief in universal education.
In further expatiations on the place of social studies programmes in nation-building, Banks and Clegg (1977) entertained the view that the critical times in which we live demand not only a change but a new orientation regarding our overall handling of issues which are centered on citizenship. On the pedagogical value of social studies education in enabling the world produce large numbers of effective citizens that could display the necessary social skills required for overcoming the challenges entailed, Banks and Clegg (1977):220) emerged with following:
To perpetuate democratic deals and a just society, we need citizens who are not only acutely aware of the characteristics of a democracy, and committed to its ideals, but who are also aware of the inconsistencies associated with human ideals and their actual behavior. Only then will they be able to help close the gap between the ideal and the real. Clearly, citizens who are uncritical and unreflective will not be able to improve the human condition in any given nation.
Thus Banks and Clegg (1977) reflected that the theoretical perspective and thinking-patterns or principles, which bear on human development, nation-building including the generation and sustenance of nation-states were largely responsible for shifting classroom dispensation of citizenship and citizenship issues and problems” form the individual arts subjects and disciplines and social sciences to broad integrated group of knowledge spheres, as represented in the social studies curriculum for coping effectively with classroom work in regard to challenges; issues and problem which bear on human development and nation-building (Engle, 1977; Banks and Clegg, 1977; Newton, 2002, Gross et al. 1978’ Lambert, 2003; Osler and Starkey, 2003). The dissatisfaction of experts, critics and social scientists with courses in citizenship in schools and colleges has given rise to a spate of curriculum innovation in social studies education with the major aim of developing curriculum programmes in which instructions are geared towards cutting across the disciplines, while special efforts are made to show intimate relationships between these fields as concepts from them are brought to bear on societal issues or problems which bear on individuals, including citizens, so that attempts could be made to proffer solutions to them (Okam, 1988, 1992). It is considered that the challenges raised earlier in the context of the achievement of the Nigeria’s Vision 20-20-20 could be addressed and possibly solved through effective execution of curriculum programmes in social studies education. Currently, this subject is taught at all levels of education in this country.
Capitalizing on the Needed Curriculum Paradigm Shift of the Human Resources and Capacity-Building Skills and Assets Intrinsic in Social Studies Education in Meeting Vision 20-20-20 Challenges in Nigeria.
Okam (1993) reflects that as a unique area of study social studies represents one of those modern curricular arrangements which capitalizes on the use of methods to sustain the reasons for its existence as an important subject area. One of its assets is aimed at assisting young learners perceive the limitations in using single subject discipline of the social sciences in interpreting events as they occur in society. The social studies perspective is primarily engaged in describing and explaining human activities and predicaments (whether social, cultural, political and economic) as they occur in society. In this development, social studies is considered as an interdisciplinary study of a topic, a problem, an issue or an aspiration. Thus, Adaralegbe (1980) considers the subject as representing a problem-approach discipline through which man, including the citizen, learns about problems of survival in his environment. This orientation stipulates that social studies should assist each person or citizen acquire the analytical ideas and problem-solving tools that are developed by scholars in the various fields, particularly the social sciences, for the purpose of examining and solving societal problems.
Besides, as social studies is committed to transmitting and forming the values of citizens, its philosophy is essentially geared to the maintenance and extension of the fundamental values of a democratic society with reference to the citizen. This orientation, according to Engle (1977), portrays the social studies as an applied field which attempts to fuse scientific knowledge with ethical, philosophical, religious and social considerations which arise in the process of decision-making as practiced by the citizen. The main aim is to improve the processes by which citizens use knowledge from the social sciences and other areas of disciplined thought in making decisions concerning their individual behaviour and also concerning questions of public policy. Since values are so clearly involved in citizenship formation, social studies cannot afford to turn its back on the value component of citizenship education. As both scientific and ethical consideration are essential for the development of good citizens. (Engle,1977), then social studies is, of necessity, concerned with the problem and challenges of how the realms of science and morality can be made to complement one another. Thus, social studies has to seriously dabble into ethical questions and speculate about the future states to which human beings could conceivably aspire in order to participate in the reform of society (Frankel, 1973; Engle, 1977; Banks and Clegg, 1977; Tanner and Tanner, 1980). Thus, it is submitted here that the values enshrined in Nigeria’s Vision 20-20-20 could be addressed and achieved in the Nigerian society through the curriculum design established in social studies education. In line with this perspective, Okobiah (1985) observes that the main philosophy behind the birth of social studies in Nigeria during the 1970’s is aimed at a mobilization of youths, students and young learners for the purpose of helping them cultivate an awareness and understanding that would transform them into citizens with skills, attitudes, competencies, moral values and reasoned judgment to effectively live, interact, interrelate and contribute positively to the economic, social, political and cultural development of the Nigerian society. The introduction and teaching of social studies in a young democracy such as Nigeria is meant to assist schools and colleges reduce and overcome the need for grooming and producing patriotic Nigerians as demanded in the National Policy on Education (2004). This Policy regards the teaching of social studies as a compulsory core artifact of the curriculum at all the level of secondary education. The subject is not only designed to contribute a major quota in the social education of the young but it is also required to play a significant role in their social growth and provide them with insights into the values and processes through which people live, work and play together.
Thus, the essence of the social studies curriculum at all levels of education in Nigeria is expected to provide learners and students with insight into the use of a variety of knowledge structures and procedures that have relevance in modern civilization. It is concerned with fostering better understanding of the movements, events and personalities that have influenced the history of Nigeria; it does not only deal with the controls imposed on our lives by political, social and economic institution, but also capitalizes on fostering and improvement of human relations through a better understanding of others both at home and abroad; the ultimate objective of a social studies programme is the development and improvement of living generally, not merely in the classroom but also in community, country and in the world as a whole. Okam (2002) reflects that the curriculum design envisaged in the philosophy behind the teaching and learning of social studies education has to be seen in terms of a development of intelligent, responsible and self-directing citizens who are expected to contribute their productive and meaningful quotas towards democratic governance and National sustainability in the twenty-first century in Nigeria.
This paper underscores the importance of the emergence of social studies in filling conceptual gaps created in school settings in our bid to employ social science knowledge for classroom dispensation of citizenship education in a bid at addressing and solving a variety of developmental problems which bear on humankind. The social studies curriculum paradigm is designated to capitalize on the functional use of subject matter from the social sciences and other vast areas of relevant and disciplined thoughts integratively for coping, addressing and solving ethical, spiritual, religious, moral and social problems, which arise in the process of decision-making as practiced by the citizen in a given geopolitical framework. It is, therefore, increasingly becoming a norm to associate the goals of social studies, rather than the social sciences, with the grooming and development of good citizens who would be armed with the necessary human resources and capacity building skills and assets intrinsic in the curriculum design established in the subject for coping not only with the challenges of Vision 20-20-20 Development Goals but also for achieving the objectives established in them.
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Nigerian Journal of Social Studies and Civic Education, Vol. 2 (1), 2012
UTILIZATION OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) IN TEACHING AND LEARNING OF SOCIAL STUDIES
DR. IGBA DANIEL I. AND OYIBE, OGENE A.
DEPARTMENT OF ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCE EDUCATION
FACULTY OF EDUCATION
EBONYI STATE UNIVERSITY, ABAKALIKI
This paper focused on the application of information and communication technology (ICT) in the teaching and learning of Social studies. The relevance of ICT in the teaching and learning of Social studies was discussed and programmed instruction of ICT in the teaching and learning of Social studies was also espoused. In all, this paper showed that teachers and students of Social studies must harness ICT to promote teaching and learning of subject and improve students’ attainment of Social studies instructional and programme objectives. It was recommended that government should train Social studies teachers on the application of ICT. In addition, Social studies teachers on their own should encourage and give the students take-home assignments that require the use of information and communication technology (ICT) facilities.
The challenges of classroom instruction in Nigeria’s school system and research started changing dramatically with the emergence of new technologies which include Information and Communication Technology (ICT). This period of computer age had ushered in a new dimension of processing, preservation and dissemination of information among other vital roles of computer through the help of ICT. These days, ICT has had and is continuing to have an increasingly significant impact on all aspects of human life. ICT provides an avenue for people in all aspects of life to access and profit from the power of computer as a personal tool, to collaborate in groups and to disseminate information locally and globally. For a continuing global interaction in the international community and in a bid to solve the inter-cultural and language barriers that are part of the factors that result in global conflict in recent times, many countries of the world have taken steps to ensure that their citizens have access to information and communication technology through increased reliance on computer assistance in delivering their classroom instructions. In view of the fact that computer has become an inevitable instructional material/method for teaching and learning of Social studies, this paper explores how ICT must be harnessed to promote teaching and learning of Social studies.
The Concept of ICT
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) refer to several kinds of technological application and equipment which are utilized for processing, transmitting or communicating data and information. This informs Olibie’s (2008) assertion that one of the conditions that is very important in determining the extent to which a nation participates in the global world is information and communication technology (ICT). She maintains that it is an advance in technology that provides a rich globe resource and collaborative environment for dissemination of knowledge and information. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is defined as computer based tools used by people to work with the information and communication processing needs of an organization. It encompasses the hardworks and soft-wares, the network and several other devices (video, audio, photographic, camera, etc) that can convert information like text, images and sound into common digital form (Yusuf, 2002). Isoun (2006) describes ICT as a term that is used to indicate a whole range of technologies involved in information processing and electronic communications, including the internet, electronic mail, and video conferencing. In the same vein, Abolade and Yusuf (2005) opine that information and communication technologies relate principally to studying concepts, skills, processes and application of electronic devices. In support of the above, Ede, (2010) states that materials such as computers, internet, interface boxes are aspects of ICT.
The Usefulness of ICT in Social Studies Pedagogy
The indispensability of ICT in the teaching and learning of Social studies Education cannot be over emphasized; Abolade and Yusuf (2005) describe ICT as a powerful tool in the teaching and learning process. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have the viable potentials to accelerate the acquisition of basic skills and knowledge required in motivating the students to learn. ICT offers the teachers of Social studies new role that is preparing learners to manipulate information for solving social, political and economic problems. ICT encompasses different technologies that are used for processing, transmitting and communicating data. Olalere (2005) maintains that ICT has been found very useful in space exploration, engineering, banking and other fields but its greatest influence has been found in the field of education where it has helped tremendously to revolutionize teaching and learning. According to Jonkins and Springar (2002), ICT is a willing instructional tool which the teacher can use to present information and manage class activities in order to help students achieve their educational goals.
In other words, Social studies pedagogy can benefit immensely from the potentials of information and communication technology. Orungbemi (2008:162), opines that “Social studies is expected in the long term to affect the social values of young learners through exposure to realities about life”. Therefore, ICT is of tremendous importance in engaging all the senses of learners in examining social issues through seeing, feeling, hearing, even smelling and thinking through social situations presented to them, as well as helping to develop information and communication technology knowledge and skills for individuals and society at large, ICT also offers to the education process one of the most potentially powerful learning tools available (Beebe, 2004).
Teachers and learners in schools today will require considerable ICT knowledge, skills and awareness if they are to be successful in future. The nation will also depend on a high level of ICT capability from its people to develop technologically and to compete internationally (Boezerooy, 2003). However, not only can ICT support teaching and learning of Social studies across the educational curriculum, but communication networks also provide the learner with fast and searchable access to vast amounts of information. Thus, Olibie (2008) in line with the above view, maintains that ICT support a wide range of broader educational objectives, including independent learning, collaboration with others, and communication skills.
For a healthy application of information and communication technology in the teaching and learning of Social studies, Orungbeni (2008) suggests that there is need to have an insight into its knowledge structure which should serve as the focus of the programme. He further stated that ICT can play vital roles in the teaching process of both the practical and theoretical capacity of broad areas of study.
Information and communication technology can, therefore, be applied to present teaching tasks more vividly, or presenting concepts more clearly, for the purpose of enhancing learning outcomes as learners will learn and retain more of what is taught, involving more senses for perception than hearing alone. Orungbemi (2008) is of the view that since Social studies is practical based and ICT is all about disseminating information that has been tested to be factual, current and having social implication, ICT can be applied in assisting the students to store learning tasks and will give the students extra access to the lesson more than the volume they had in the normal classroom situation. It is, therefore, indispensable to all Social studies teachers and students to have adequate access to information and communication technology so as to acquire the necessary skills, knowledge, and taking full benefit of the learning capabilities that ICT provides. Numerous aspect of information and communication technology is of great significance to Social studies teachers and students. One of these aspects is programmed instruction of ICT.
Information and communication technology could be used to provide varieties of programmed instruction to Social studies classroom interaction. Akudolu in Olibie (2008) states that programmed instruction is a self-instructional technique which presents experience sequentially and logically such that a learner interacts with them in a predetermined order. Akinyemi (1998) opines that with the programmed lessons in the ICT, slow learners can go through the lesson several times and this enhances and-facilitates understanding.
Roiniszowskil (1994) explains that using ICT for programmed instruction involves arranging materials to be learnt in computer software through a series of small steps designed to lead the learner through self-instruction from what is known to the unknown, new and more complex knowledge and principles, with a view to realizing specific operationally defined objectives. In utilization of ICT in teaching and learning of Social studies, the programmed instruction from ICT could permit Social studies students to play active roles in the instructional process. In line with the above, Ike (1995) states that programmed-instruction from ICT could be used to emphasize the importance of immediate feedback in education and to propose a system of individualized instruction.
Social studies has to be taught to the learners in an active, interactive and effective way through the utilization of ICT. Orungbemi (2008) maintains that the oldest presentation tool used in classrooms in undoubtedly the chalkboard. It is an essential tool and will remain so in many places and circumstances. This has been replaced or complemented by “flip charts” and overhead projectors (Maiwada, 2004). ICT is a powerful information technology with various uses in education. Taylor (1980) categorizes the educational application of ICT into three broad categories, namely ICT as teacher, ICT as learner and ICT as assistant. ICT material/principles can be used to present instruction directly to the learners. In this mode, the ICT engages in activities radically associated with teachers. Information and communication technology presents instruction, provides instructional activities or situations, quizzes of otherwise receives instruction from learners, evaluate learners’ responses, provide feedback and determines appropriate follow activities. As teaching device, information and communication technology can be highly interactive, individualized and infinitely patient.
Notwithstanding, when ICT functions as learner, the traditional obligations of ICT and learners are reversed. The information and communication technology devices become the learners and students become the teachers. Students have to “teach” the ICT, to perform some task or to teach others some contents, through computer-based materials. To achieve this goal, Aremu and Okuntade (2010) suggest that students should learn how to perform the task and direct the ICT device to perform the task or present the content to others. This requires logical thinking to perform problem-solving tasks.
ICT as an assistant: ICT assists the teacher or learner in the performance of routine work task. ICT places the roles of the teacher as guidance and facilitator of learning, not instructor. The teacher in Social studies classroom will provide all the necessary materials and information and then allow the learners to work on their own individually or in groups, while the teacher with help of ICT device guides the process by motivating, providing example, discussing, facilitating, supporting and challenging, but not to act as knowledge conduit.
Aremu and Okuntade (2010) maintain that the use of ICT in Social studies classroom does not write off the roles of the teacher in the classroom. The use of ICT reduces the function of the classroom teacher to knowledge and meaning construction. The use of information and communication technology in Social studies classroom provides both the teacher and the students with the several tracks from which to retrieve knowledge and the ability to develop more complex schemes relevant to the learning experience. The teacher and students of Social studies will be experiencing multiple perspectives of a particular event and students will be provided with raw materials necessary to develop multiple representations. Oyibe (2011) opines that when instructional content is presented to the students from multiple perspectives and experiences along with concrete examples, it increases the students understanding and adaptability as they will be able to examine any experience from multiple perspectives.
Utilization of information and communication technology (ICT) in the teaching and learning of Social studies would, therefore, make the students to realize that in almost all settings, there is more than one solution to any problem, more than one way to accomplish any tasks; since a fundamental assumption of inquiry-base instruction is that multiple solutions to any problem are possible.
The challenges of carrying out classroom instruction and research became less stressful with the advent of information and communication technology (ICT). Social studies education is a multi-disciplinary and problem-solving subject which demands that varieties of methods, materials, and learning experiences are required in its teaching and learning. ICT provides several kinds of materials, methods, skills, learning experiences that are used to solve political, cultural, economic and environmental problems that surround man.
Utilization of ICT in teaching and learning of Social studies can assist the teacher and learners to discover new concepts, learn from other people’s view points, and experiences and understand that there are several solutions to a particular problem. The use of ICT can help to involve the learners in active participation, working on their own pace, become self-regulated, self-mediated and thus facilitate teaching and learning of the subject.
1. Government and Ministry of Education should as a matter of urgency train Social studies teachers in the application of computer.
2. Government and Ministry of Education should provide fund for the purchase of computer and other ICT materials.
3. Workshops and seminars should be organized by government on the utilization and relevance of ICT in teaching and learning of Social studies.
4. Social studies teachers should on their own encourage and give the students assignments that require the use of ICT facilities.
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Nigerian Journal of Social Studies and Civic Education, Vol. 2 (1), 2012
EFFECTS OF COOPERATIVE LEARNING INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGY ON JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT IN SOCIAL STUDIES
DR. USULOR, BENJAMIN E.
DEPARTMENT OF ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCE EDUCATION
FACULTY OF EDUCATION
EBONYI STATE UNIVERSITY, ABAKALIKI
This study investigated the “Effects of Cooperative learning Instructional Strategy on Junior Secondary School Students’ Achievement in Social Studies. The study adopted a quasi-experimental research design. The sample for the study consisted of two hundred and one (201) Junior Secondary School II Social Studies students, selected from two Secondary Schools in Abakaliki Education Zone of Ebonyi State. The instrument for data collection was a multiple type objective test titled: Social Studies Achievement Test (SOSAT) to elicit information from the respondents. The instrument was validated and had a reliability index of 0.91 obtained through the use of Kuder Richardson 20. One research question and one hypothesis were formulated to guide the study. The collected data were analyzed using adjusted mean (X) and standard deviation to answer the research question while Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) was used to test the null hypothesis at alpha level of 0.05. The result of the study showed that STAD model of cooperative strategy is more facilitating for teaching social studies than the conventional instructional strategy. HO1, was significant. From the finding of the study: STAD model of cooperative learning strategy was recommended to be adopted for teaching Social Studies in junior secondary schools in Ebonyi State.
Indeed, the importance of Social Studies, as a subject of study cannot be underestimated in Ebonyi State, which is striving towards full cordial co-existence and harmonious relationship amongst the citizens as well as better education for her citizenry in terms of achievement and performance at public examination in Social Studies. The broad objectives of Social Studies in Nigeria is to give direction to effective instruction and to develop a capacity to acquire certain basic skills essential for forming sound judgment and to ensure the acquisition of relevant body of knowledge and information which is an essential pre-requisite to personal development and positive contribution to the betterment of the society as a whole (Okobia, 1985). The realization of these broad objectives lies in the quality of instruction at schools, which explains the rationale on which the teaching of Social Studies as a discipline in the Nigerian schools is perceived.
The review on students’ achievement in Social Studies in Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination (JSSCE) in Ebonyi State for 2008 showed that students’ achievement in Social Studies was poor (Usulor, 2009). Attempts have equally been made to carry out carefully planned instructional strategies to attempt to improve students' achievement in Social Studies at different learning situations such as concept mapping, small group instruction as a problem solving oriented method; metacognitive, conceptual change pedagogical strategies on students’ achievement towards Social Studies (Ogbu, 2008).
The above strategies do not seem to have adequately addressed the need of schemata activation of the learner and, therefore, seem not to have had much impact on Social Studies achievement at the junior secondary school level. Low achievement and how to improve on it in schools have been problems of teachers, educationists and school administrators. Identified causes to these are: negative attitude of parents (Dunmoye, 1989), inappropriate medium of instruction (STAN, 1992; Obemeata, 1995); school environmental factors (Jegede, 1992) and admission of unqualified students (Igwe, 1994). Further studies attributed poor achievement largely to the use of poor instructional strategies (Unachukwu, 1990), inappropriate medium of instruction (STAN, 1992; Adeyegbe, 1993); and faulty methods (Igba, 2005) by teachers. Over dependence on the conventional teaching method by teachers appears to be the main culprit in this preponderance of ineffective instructional strategies used in teaching Social Studies (Igba, 2005). There is therefore an urgent need to look for an effective instructional strategy to teach Social Studies concepts, which should be innovative and learner-based in order to combat the high failure rate of the students in Social Studies and enhance their pursuit of chosen careers at the higher levels.
Students Teams Achievement Division (STAD) model of Cooperative Learning Strategy is the area of interest of this researcher. Slavin (1990) describes cooperative learning as an instructional approach through which learners have a common goal and they attain their goal through interdependence and cooperation with one another. Nevertheless, teacher intervention is essential in using this strategy. Since STAD exploits interactive nature of the subject matter and of the learner in terms of his/her alternative framework, acceptance and cooperation with each other, the strategy seems comprehensive enough to meet the need of the wide ability ranges of the students. This informed the reason this researcher sought to determine the effect of STAD model of Cooperative Learning strategy on junior secondary school students' achievement in Social Studies in Abakaliki Education Zone of Ebonyi State.
The STAD model of cooperative learning is simple and straightforward according to Arends (1991). At the end of the teacher’s presentation of his/her lesson, students within a given class form four to six member learning heterogeneous teams. Team members use worksheets and other study materials/devices to master the learning materials. They can work individually, in pairs or in larger groups in their teams through peer interactions, tutoring and discussion. They are encouraged to help each other and to make sure that everybody understands the material because each student is individually accountable to the success of the team. After students have had adequate time to study together as a team, they take individual quizzes or class test and are scored through the individual improvement score system (IISS) and the winning team is recognized by summing up the individual scores in each team to make up that team’s score. The team with the highest score becomes the winning team and is appropriately rewarded.
Fig. 1: Classroom Display of STAD Model Learning Team
Team Number - 1,2,3,4 & 5; Task Given - A, B, C & D
The conventional teaching method is usually teacher centered (Igwe, 2003) and was used as the control along with the treatment in this study.
Statement of the Problem
Poor achievement has been reported Social Studies at the junior secondary school level. Incidentally, of all factors causing the low achievement, the didactic methods that do not encourage students’ achievement in Social studies is on the top list. The situation will affect Nigeria from realizing her global aim of teaching Social Studies in her schools and redesigning Social studies curriculum to meet environmental challenges and problems.
The worry here is that if the low achievement of students in Ebonyi State is left unchecked, this global aim which is aimed at realizing curricula goals through education may not be realized. Thus, the problem of the study is: what is the effect of cooperative instructional strategy on students’ achievement in Social studies?
The following research question guided the study.
What is the effect of the Cooperative Instructional Strategy on the mean achievement scores of students in Social Studies?
The following null hypotheses were tested at an alpha level of 0.05:
H01: There will be no significant difference in the mean achievement scores of students taught Social Studies using the Cooperative instructional strategy and those taught using the conventional strategy.
This research adopted the quasi-experimental, pretest, posttest, non-equivalent control group design. Intact classes were used for the study. Specifically, the study utilized a 2-group design comprising one experimental group (the cooperative strategy group) and the Control group (conventional teaching method). The study was carried out in Abakaliki Education Zone of Ebonyi State. The researcher used only coeducational schools. Two secondary schools were drawn from the coeducational secondary schools through simple random sampling. Out of the two secondary schools that were used for the study, one was assigned to the cooperative instructional strategy group and the other assigned to the control group. The assignment of schools to the two groups was achieved through simple balloting. Data for the study were collected from two intact classes in JSS II from each of the two schools, making a total of four intact classes. A total of one hundred and thirty four students participated in the study as sample.
The instrument used for this study was a multiple objective test instrument entitled: Social Studies Achievement Test (SOSAT). It had two sections, A and B. Section A sought personal information on the students with respect to name of student, name of the school, gender (sex), age and date of test. Section B consisted of forty two (42) multiple choice objective test items that cover the contents taught. Each test item was followed by four (4) options (a-b) from which the student selected the correct alternative. Test items covered the concepts taught during the study in the three lower levels of cognitive domain of “knowledge, comprehension and application”.
The SOSAT was subjected to both face and content validation by specialists in Social Studies Education and Measurement and Evaluation. The draft was also face validated by two junior secondary school Social Studies teachers. The test items were scaled down to thirty eight (38) after the face validation. The SOSAT was also subjected to content validation exercise using test blueprint. In addition the researcher subjected the SOSAT to item analysis to verify the difficulty and discrimination indices of the items. Five items were further dropped and this reduced the number of items from thirty eight to thirty three (33). The test of internal consistency for the SOSAT was conducted using the K-R 20 approach. The SOSAT yielded internal consistency index of 0.91 considered sufficiently high.
At the end of the experiment the posttest was administered to the subjects in the two groups. Data that were collected during the pretest and posttest for the two groups were used to answer the research question and test the hypothesis through mean and standard deviation for the research question and ANCOVA for the hypothesis.
Result and Discussion
What is the Effect of the Cooperative Instructional Strategy on the mean achievement scores of students in Social Studies?
Table 1: Mean Achievement Result on Cooperative Learning and Conventional Teaching Method
Instructional Strategies N Mean SD
Cooperative instructional strategy 72 76.96 6.00
Conventional instructional strategy 62 50.37 7.45
From results in table 1, STAD aspect of cooperative method is most facilitating with a mean of 76.96 and student deviation of 6.00, followed by the conventional instructional strategy with a mean of 50.37 and standard deviation of 7.45.
HO1: There is no significant difference in the mean achievement scores of students taught social studies using the cooperative instructional strategy and those taught using the conventional strategy
Table 2: ANCOVA Result based on Cooperative Instructional and Conventional Instructional Strategy
Source of variation Sum of squares DF Mean square F Fcv
Covariates 24.312 1 24.312 .590
Main effects 24128.601 2 12064.300 292.679
Teaching methods 24126.621 1 24126.621 585.310 3.89
Gender 43.667 1 43.667
2-way interaction 19.886 1 19.886
Teaching methods and gender
Explained 24172.798 4 6043.200
Residual 5317.410 129 41.220
Total 29490.209 133 221.731
Significant at P<0.05
HO1 states that there is no significant difference in the mean achievement scores of students in social studies. From ANCOVA results in table 2, result is significant, meaning that HO1 is not accepted. Hence, there is a significant difference in the mean achievement between STAD and Conventional method.
From the results in tables 1 and 2 above, it was established that students who used STAD aspect of cooperative strategy performed better than those who used conventional teaching method. The study also found out that HO1 was significant showing that there was a significant difference in the mean achievement of students’ in social studies. The above results agree with the study of Adeyegbe (1993) where major methods of teaching social studies of discussion, assignment not copying and project performed better than the lecture method. The result of the HO1 is in line with Igwe (2003) who tested for significance of methods and procedures used in teaching social studies at 0.05 level; which was found to be significant. The results could not have been any difference as students interacted in small discussion groups, which facilitated learning. Hence, the result obtained justifies the procedure presented by this strategy.
The findings of this study have educational implications for teachers, students, institutions of higher learning, curriculum planners and school management. Cases of poor achievement in JSS social studies have been pointed out and the urgent need for the use of innovational strategy of STAD by teachers is highly advocated. The use of the strategy would mean improved performance by students in their school work in particular. If the strategies are neglected by teachers, it means that students’ achievement will continue to be low.
The results of the study have educational implications for institutions of higher learning especially colleges of education and universities. Teacher education is an important programme of these institutions for producing teachers for secondary schools. So, institution of higher learning realizing the usefulness of STAD model of cooperative learning should develop, streamline and adopt same for training future social studies teachers who will in turn train JSS social studies students for maximum performance.
The school management having realized the efficacy of the strategy of study should organize workshops and seminar to expose teachers and students constantly to the use of the strategy for maximum school output, else students might not perform well and the school will possible lose students as no parent would want to send his/her child to a non-performance school.
Following the results of this study, these recommendations are made:
1. STAD model of cooperative learning strategy instruction should be adopted in junior secondary schools in Ebonyi State.
2. Proper study habits should be inculcated into the study by encouraging group study in their class work.
The results of the study showed that students performed highly using STAD model instructional strategy. It is therefore expected that the application of the recommendations of this study based on the findings would improve the performance of Social Studies students in Ebonyi State.
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