TEACHING OF SOCIAL STUDIES IN JSS LEVEL: CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTIONS

Social studies is the study of how society and people have changed and developed through the years, and how lessons from the past can be applied to improve current social circumstances. It involves studying history, economics, politics and culture, and how these aspects of our society all impact upon people.The introduction of Social studies into the Nigerian school system was based on certain philosophical considerations.  One of them is to address social issues and man’s problem of life in their interrelatedness, as they appear in real life situations instead of addressing them in a uninterlated manner as those learnt through separate disciplines like geography, religion, sociology and anthropology.  Social Studies, according to Ezegbe (1994), was therefore introduced as an integrated discipline to make education real to life. 


Social studies was also introduced into the Nigerian school system to achieve one of the philosophies of Nigerian education as indicated in the National Policy on Education which is “the development of the individual into a sound and effective citizen” (1998:7).  The realization of this objective through Social studies is possible since the subject is an integrated programme which are taught and learnt in Social studies looks at all aspects of the life of the child in the society.  It is therefore, better equipped to properly socialize the child to become a sound and effective citizen. It is further stated in the National Policy on Education (1998:8) that education is to achieve the inculcation of national consciousness and national unity; the inculcation of the right type of values and attitudes for the survival of the individual and the Nigerian society.  

All these, according to Ezegbe (1994) involve the development of modern democratic values which are taught and learnt in social studies because of its broad based scope.  The accomplishment of the purposes for which Social studies was introduced in schools would depend to a large extent, not only on the availability of the right caliber of professionally trained Social studies teaching personnel, but also of the material resources available in schools for its teaching.  Of all the personnel involved in the development, implementation and evaluation of a curriculum, the teacher is the most important.  Brown (1982) pointed out the vital role of the teacher in the curriculum process when he noted that: the curriculum can be a great success or a dismal failure depending on teachers and the  instructional materials at the disposal of the teacher are of vital importance.  They are the keypersons who alone can make the curriculum design achieve whatever it was designed to achieve… (pg. 19). 

No matter how strongly motivated a nation may be in desiring to provide education for its citizens irrespective of the financial resources and the good will, the effectiveness of the system ultimately depends on the quality of the teachers that operate it and availability of instructional materials and educational inputs that are of vital importance in the successful implementation of social studies curriculum. . It is the teacher who translates societal values and aspirations to practical lessons in the class.  Several educators amongst who are Coombs (1970), Fafunwa (1974), Fayemi (1991) and Ukeje (1970) have written on the vital role of the teachers as implementers of the curriculum.  

According to them, whatever abilities are available, whatever content is presented for teaching, whichever kind of environment the school is situated and whatever kind of pupils are given to teach, the important and vital role of the teacher cannot be over-emphasized.  Teachers represent a large proportion of the input of an educational system. Instructional materials are also educational inputs and they are of vital importance in the successful implementation of any curriculum.  Relevant and appropriate textbooks, visual and audio-visual materials like globes, charts, slides, maps, tapes etc are of paramount necessities in the teaching-learning process.  Audio-visual materials supplement and consolidate what is read in textbooks and journals.  This study was aimed at finding out if there are necessary human and material resources in the Nigerian secondary schools for the implementation of the new social studies curriculum at the senior secondary school level. 

In conclusion, though, Social studies had been introduced into the educational scene in Nigeria since 1958, it went through various stages of development before it was officially entrenched in the educational curriculum of the nation at the primary, junior secondary, teachers colleges and tertiary levels of education.  However, social studies was not included in the senior secondary school curriculum until 1998. The basic problem it has encountered is in the area of availability of instructional material for it teaching at the various levels of learning. More need to be done by policy executors in the educational sector in Nigeria. The inability of student to effectively comprehend the subject may be due to lack of adequate facilities, both instructional and personnel.
Importance of Teaching Social Studies

Importance of Social Studies
Anthropology is a social science that includes archeology, ethnography and anthropological linguistics. It deals with the study of the evolution of human life. It includes the study of humans as a species and tries to answer questions like how we evolved, what were our ancestors like, what makes human beings different from one another and how evolution has affected society. The study of anthropology lets us look objectively at human behavior and understand the human element of human nature.

Social studies also include economics, political science and law. Economics intends to study the distribution and consumption of wealth by human population the world over. Every educated individual should have basic knowledge of the world economy and a general awareness about global issues like recession, inflation, unemployment, taxation, investments and labor force. A basic know-how of the political systems, public policies and political theories is essential. It is to render this understanding to our kids, that we must teach them social studies. An introductory knowledge of the legal system of one's country is a vital constituent of one's knowledge. Being a citizen of a certain country, one must know about its law and order. This idea further stresses the importance of teaching social studies to school children.

Geography encompasses the study of the planet we live on and the life forms we live with. An overall understanding of world geography helps us know how the geography of a region influences the lifestyle of its inhabitants. The geography of a country affects its social and political conditions. One should possess knowledge about the geographical conditions of one's country. This includes the knowledge of the country's location, its climatic conditions, its available resources and its vulnerability to natural disasters.

As social studies involves humanities, it covers fields such as psychology, communication and linguistics. Study of psychology renders better understanding of the human mind, which aids the understanding of human behavior and thinking pattern. Linguistics and principles of communication come under social studies. Effective communication plays a vital role in one's social life and with that comes the necessity to understand language.

Social studies make the best attempt at answering 'what makes us humans', and this subject includes a breadth of disciplines covering various aspects of living. The inclusion of social studies in education helps students grow up into informed citizens. Knowledge of the sociopolitical and economic conditions of their country and the world, and the knowledge of one's rights and duties as an individual in society, helps students become responsible citizens. Through social studies, they gain knowledge of human behavior and cultural differences that separate individuals from one another. They develop increased levels of acceptance for differences between people, be they social, economic or lifestyle-related.

Social studies aim at creating educated individuals who can be responsible citizens of their nation. Teaching children social studies increases the possibility of their becoming more aware, more responsible as human beings. Teaching them social studies increases chances that they will adhere to ethical and moral values in life. The study of social sciences is necessary, if we want a brighter future for our society.

LECTURE METHOD is the oldest procedure of teaching. It is widely used in schools and colleges. It is a good method its cover a wide topic at heights level of college or secondary schools and higher secondary classes but its success depends on the personality and ability of students.
WHY THIS METHOD SHOULD BE USED?
1.   To motivate students.
2.   To give an overview of a large topic.
3.   To add supplement the students reading.
4.   To make an importance matters understanding.
5.   To provide background of a topic or to introduce the topic
6.   To help the students to use their time wisely
7.   To explain the major concepts of a lesson
8.   To develop reasoning skill of students
9.   To have a classroom discussion


MERITS OF THE METHOD: To establishes face to face contact. It develops attention span. Students develop listening and note taking skills. Students can prepare the notes. It is easy method for new teachers.

DEMERITS OF THE METHOD: It is a teacher centered method not very good for SS. It is a monotonous tiring and sometimes it becomes a boring method. It brings a lot of burden and reading to the teacher.

It is not an interactive method.
Difficulties faced by teacher. Passive learning, such as lecture, note-taking, busy work, worksheets, and rote memorization is what students dislike
about social studies.

Students generally dislikes about social studies Instruction is nothing lese than lecture method."It is the teacher who is key to what social studies will be for the student. Instruction tends to be dominated by the lecture, textbook or worksheets.... and social studies does not inspire students to learn" Teachers tend to use only one teaching style day after day which denies students the opportunity of a variety of teaching techniques.
References
Borg, W. R. & Gall, M.D. (1979).  Educational Research: An Introduction (3rd Ed.) New York: 

Longman. Brown, N. (1982). Curriculum and Instructions. Lagos: Macmillan. 

Coombs, P.H. (1970). The World Educational Crisis: A Systems Analysis. New York: Oxford University Press. 

Adegbe, M. O. (1994). “Social Studies Curriculum and Instructions” in Amadi, H.C. and Joof, G.W. (1994) (eds). Social Studies in Schools: Teaching Methods, Techniques, Approaches and Perspectives. Onitsha. Outrite Publishers. Federal Republic of Nigeria (1998). National Policy on Education, Lagos: Federal Ministry of Information. 

Obagah, H. (1993). “The Senior Secondary School’s Social studies Syllabus.  An Unfinished Business”.  Paper presented at the 2nd National Conference of Social Studies Association of Nigeria

Ukeje, D. O. (19970). “Performance Oriented Teacher Education”. Report of the 5th Annual Conference, Western Council of the Association for Teacher Education in Africa.
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