IMPEDIMENT OF TEACHING SOCIAL STUDIES AT JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL



INTRODUCTION
Social Studies were introduced in the Nigerian School Curriculum as part of the instrument for achieving national development (National Policy on Education (NPE) 1981). This was what informed its designation as part of the core curriculum at different levels of education in Nigeria. Social Studies curriculum development agencies such as the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) and experts further identified and disseminated the curriculum goals or purposes of the subject in the school curriculum. These include citizenship education, reflective inquiry and social science education, (Barth-shermis, 1920; Barth-Norris, 1976; Dubey and Barth, 1980; Olawepo, 1984) among others.


These broadly stated goals must be clare to, and recognized as important as well as attainable by teachers and other participants connected with the Curriculum if the intentions or purposes must be realized and the investment of effort is to be considered worthwhile (Feather, 1982; Meece, Blumenfeld, & Hoyle, 1988). These intentions or purposes are prima facie stated with clarity, but their perception or conceptualization by teachers and scholars is still in doubt as Onyabe (1980) observed that the philosophy, content and methodology of social studies has remained vague to both scholars and teachers. The incidence of conflicting conceptions of social studies curriculum is a cause for concern for three major reasons. First, the anchor or strategic position of purposes or intentions in the curriculum development process (Pratt, 1994) as illustrated in Tyler (1949) (Linear) and Wheeler (1980) (cyclic) curriculum models, among others.

Secondly, curriculum goals or purposes are indispensable elements in instructions as far as effective implementation of an already developed curriculum is concerned. Thirdly, the correct conception, investment of efforts and ultimate realization of the purposes of the curriculum will facilitate the realization of the overall aims of the Nigerian educational enterprise.
Social studies are the "integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Social studies is most commonly recognized as the name of a course or set of courses taught in primary and secondary schools or elementary, middle, and secondary schools, but may also refer to the study of aspects of human society at certain post-secondary and tertiary schools around the globe. Many such courses are interdisciplinary and draw upon various fields, including sociology but also political science, history, economics, religious studies, geography, psychology, anthropology, and civics.

THE IMPEDIMENT
Many individuals including the teachers, students, civil servants and the entire community expect the teaching of integrated social studies to yield positive results. This is not an easy task because of certain problems such as lack of specialist teachers and instructional materials, inappropriate method of teaching, problem arising from the subject itself based on student’s evaluation and assessment, lack of resources centers, organized seminars, workshops and conferences to up-date teachers knowledge in integrated social studies.

1. SPECIALIST TEACHER PROBLEMS: An outstanding problem militating against effective teaching of social studies in Junior Secondary Schools is lack of expert teachers in the field.
“Although the social studies programme has been in existence for years in the teacher training colleges in the country, there has been n meaningful and comprehensive programme and drive at training social studies teachers”. For this reason, teachers currently handling social studies in Junior secondary schools are non-specialist because they were not trained as such. Obiadi (1980) holds that there are trained teachers for social studies but most of them handling the subjects at present still have little knowledge about the new integrated social studies methodology. The researcher discovered that unemployment of the NCE trained social studies teachers has led to the allocation of the subject to teacher who specialized in traditional subject like History, Geography, Government and Economics who are now teaching in Junior Secondary Schools.

2.         LACK OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIAL: In-adequate supply and utilization of instructional materials including textbooks which can increase teachers/students awareness and reinforce learning is an obstacle to the teaching of social studies in Junior Secondary Schools. According to Akinlaja (1978) “There is general shortage of books in some schools subjects. If the new social studies is not more than a revival of subjects like history, geography and government, than there dearth of appropriate textbooks for social studies in Nigeria.” Regarding materials that are produced commercially at this time brought into the Nigerian markers, Dubey (1978) notes that most of those books are for the teaching of Geography and History presented under the cover of titled Social Studies. There is no doubt that such books misrepresent the discipline not only from the lack of interdisciplinary perspective, but even more fundamentally from the methodological perspective. In addition, the textbooks that are available to schools and colleges in the country misrepresent social studies philosophy. Social studies a subject is closely related to humanities and the social –science. Therefore a single text book may not have sufficient material represent this broad integrated social studies.

3. INAPPROPRIATE METHOD OF TEACHING AND LEANING SOCIAL STUDIES:
Through social studies can develop a positive attitude towards good citizenship, and a desire to make positive and concrete contributions to support a united Nigeria. The realization of the numerous objectives of social studies will be achieved if teachers apply social studies method, expository – method, Excursion method and Assignment method in their teaching and learning social studies.
Emphasizing on the objectives of social studies DuBey (1978) states that the overall objectives of social studies should be to help students to develop the ability to make reflective decisions in order to resolve individual and social problems a well as participating intelligently in social actions. Social studies emphasis an interdisciplinary approach to the study of man interacting and coping with problems in society. Appropriate method to facilitate such interaction and cooperation among the; earners and teachers should be encouraged.

4. PROBLEMS OF SOCUAL STUDIES PER SE: Improper social studies structure in various Junior Secondary Schools has hindered effective teaching. Social studies deals with human beings. Since human behaviour varies from person to person to person as a result of changes in their mode of life, social studies serve to mould and form man’s behaviour. Although social studies is a new subject in Nigeria, and despite the fact that little is known about its contents, it is a moral oriented subject whose concern is to help people appreciate and solve their problem.

Modern Educationists see the study of social studies as not only the best course for fostering good citizenship, but it gives information to students and help them learn about the physical, social and economic Environment in which they live. They also agree that it helps the child to understand the diversity among the peoples of Nigeria, the wider world as well as learning to appreciate the world’s phenomena.

5. PROBLEM OF EVALUATION AND ASSESSMENT: In appropriate structuring of curriculum for instruction and teaching constitute another hindrance to the teaching of social studies. Obiadi (1980) states that since social studies is an open ended subject, it may be difficult to standardize answer and achievements. It is expected that social studies should have positive effects on human behaviour even though human behaviour is to easy to evaluate. It has been generally agreed that performance in social studies either in or outside the classroom can be evaluated. Experts are working hard to introduce evaluation criteria for measuring attitudinal performance.

6. RESOURCE CENTRES PROBLEM: Lack of provision for and lack of resource centres in Junior Secondary School also constitute a problem to the teaching and learning of social studies. Akinlaje (1978) states: “the development of resource centres in schools and colleges is closely connected with the social studies trend away from the traditional class instruction towards individual learning, group learning, independent learning, and inquiry and discovery methods.

7. LACK OF SEMINARS, Workshop AND CONFERENCES FOR SOS TEACHERS: Organized seminars, workshops and conferences provide opportunities for interaction, learning and teaching. It also caters for appropriate reception of information and instruction on the issue and problems.
According to Akinlaje (1978) “mention must be also, if only in passing, of the skepticism of pupils, parents and Headmasters as to the relative merit of school studies in the social curriculum, They seem to regard it as a clog in the education wheel, preventing early specialization and excellence in history, Geography and Government at G C E ordinary and advanced levels,”

Lack of organized seminars, workshops and conferences contribute to the lukewarm attitude of social studies teachers in Junior Secondary Schools. The Teachers themselves have stressed adequately the role and prospect for studying social studies.

REFERENCE:
Adewuya, B. et al (1982) Onibon Oje Social Studies for schools and colleges. Onibon joe Press and Book Industries Ltd Ibadan, Nigeria.

Akpabio A.J (1984) Social studies for Junior secondary school and colleges PAICO Ltd. (Press & Books) Calabar.

Amono B. et al (1979) Nigeria Secondary Schools Social Studies Project. (CESAC) and Heinemann Educational Books (Nig) Ltd.

Ezewu E.E. (1985) Social Studies for Junior Secondary Schools Evans Brothers (Nig) Ltd Ibadan.

Nigeria Educational Research Council. (1980) Social Studies: Teaching Issues and Problems. Ethiope Publishing Corporation Benin, Nigeria.

Obiadi, G.O.A. (1980) Essentials of Social Studies for teacher training colleges and Secondary Schools in Nigeria. Snaap Press, Enugu, Nigeria.

Ogundele, A (1978) A Hand Book ofSocial Studies for Colleges Macmillan (Nig) Ltd Ibadan.
Uzoagulu,P.C. (1981) Social Studies for Schools and Colleges African Educational Publishers (Nig) Ltd. Onitsha, Nigeria .

Akinlaje, F. A (1978) “Meaning and concept of Social Studies” In Social Studies Teaching and Problems. Ethiope Publishing Cor. Benin, Nigeria, for NERA. P. 100.

Dubey, D.L. (1978) “Problems and Issues in Teaching the Methods of Social Studies” In Social Studies Teaching and Problems. Ethiope Publishing Cor. Benin , Nigeria. For NERC P. 77.

Eyo Anthony (1986) Social Studies Instrument for Unity: Nigeria Chronicle; P. 12.

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