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THE USE OF REFLECTIVE THINKING IN TEACHING ENGLISH LANGUAGE TO CHILDREN IN NIGERIA
This study critically exposes way in which the teaching and learning of English language can be enhanced through reflective thinking. Reflective practice is encouraging and relevant to learner centered Education because it exposes the educators and learners to thinking beyond the doing. It also creates a friendly class atmosphere whereby the principle of fallibilism, open mindedness and tolerance is practiced.
1. O INTRODUCTION
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Education is the life wire of any nation. It is the catalyst that propels both economic and social development. This explains why nations as well as individuals lay so much emphasis on the intellectual development of individuals. No individual or group of individual has ever disagreed on the efficacy of education in solving societal problem. Everybody all agrees that education is the panacea for the eradication of ignorance and poverty.
In the same vein (Babalola (2005:130) noted that education is one of the major elements that influence economic growth. It inculcates skills which are useful in the productive process of (extractive, manufacturing, engineering, construction and commercial services). Second, education provides knowledge of law, since, medicine, arts, philosophy and mathematics.
Third, education provides job ethics and attitudes towards production of goods and services. Finally, education produces dynamic and creative human resources.Having seen the importance of education in our society, the question is what kind of education will help Nigerians attain to a greater height? Shall we continue to adhere to an education that is too passive and rote oriented? Nigerians have reached a stage that they need an advanced education system which will help to empower, enlighten and rebrand them. COIP4C educative approach will address this issue.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Nigerian education system is in shambles because of lack of reasoning in the curriculum and this has destabilized the nation’s economic and social progress. The reflective method, if applied will help to remedy the drastic situation encountered in English language study.
There are two main phases to the problems of Nigerian education system.
Problem of what to teach
How to teach
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study is to enlighten Nigerians on the need to change to an innovative and effective system of education and there reflective method meets the entire requirement for moving Nigerian educational system forward.
This research study aims among other things:
i. To do a survey on Nigeria's education system with a view to finding out how the pedagogical conventional method of education has affected the teaching and learning of English language in Nigeria.
ii. To show evidence of misplaced priorities in approach to educational issue in Nigeria.
iii. To evaluate the teaching profession with a view to finding a lasting solution to the problems confronting the teaching profession, e.g. the Issues of falling standard of education; poor academic performance/ achievement of pupils/ students; teachers incessant strikes and cultism in our schools.
iv. To see that the child as the center of education is given its rightful place in the education process.
v. To point out and place the right values to our education system.
vi. To show how the learner centred educational approach could be used to address the socio-economic, political and cultural issues that affect education in Nigeria.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study is important in that it will enlighten Nigerians on how to think reflectively, critically, creatively, caringly and collaboratively in all ramifications of life.
The importance of this study is that the outcome of the inquiry will be useful in:
1. Addressing the Issue of academic backwardness of pupils/ students in English language class.
2. It will address the problems of lack of motivation for the teachers and the taught in English language class.
3. It will address the problem of placing much emphasis on rote learning and memorization which does not elicit thinking in the learner.
4. The study is like a roadmap showing/directing our course objectives in English language class.
5. The study will provide a format for redesigning language curriculum.
6. The study will help the teacher's educators in the colleges of education to see the importance of giving adequate training to the student teachers that is in line with modern methods of education.
7. It will help the student teachers to embrace this innovative method of performance/achievement through the teaching of thinking skills in a community of inquiry format.
8. It will help the education curriculum designers in formulating better curriculum for our schools.
9. it will help to solve the problems of cultism and examination malpractices in our schools and education system.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions will guide this study
1. What are the basic problems confronting teaching of English language in our school system?
2. Whose duty is to prepare the teachers for effective teaching of English language?
3. How has misplacement of priority affected Nigeria's education system?
4. How does motivation help the teacher and the learner in language class?
5. What are the effective methods for managing the education system In Nigeria?
6. What is the best education policy for Nigeria?
7. What are the benefits of all round education?
8. How can students improve in their level of thinking?
9. What are the features of education that is learner centered?
10. What are the values of sharing and caring in our educational system?
11. How can creative thinking be useful in classroom?
12. What are the values of reflective thinking in the English language class?
1.6 SCOPE (OR DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY)
This study is limited in examining the usefulness of reflective thinking in teaching and learning of English language.
1.7 TARGET AUDIENCE
This study is directed to the following group of people in Nigerian education system:
2. Student teachers in the colleges of education
3. Classroom teachers both in pre-service and in-service, education administrators and managers of our various institution of learning
4. Education curriculum designers
5. Policy makers and various governments at both local, state and federal levels
6. Parents and guardians of the pupils/ students
1.8 ASSUMPTIONS OF THE STUDY
The Researcher presents the following assumptions as guide in answering the questions elicited in the study
1. It is assumed that over reliance on the conventional method of education has led to misplacement of priorities in education in Nigeria.
2. That negligence to adopt a holistic view of education in the management hierarchy has dealt great havoc to our education.
3. That bad education policy has been associated to the fallen standard of education in Nigeria.
4. That poor educational background of some teachers has contributed to poor teaching quality in our schools
5. That lack of quality teachers is a contributive factor to teachers' lack of understanding and implementation of school curriculum.
6. It is assumed that N.U.T.s' inability to control "entry into the teaching profession has contributed to the employment of non-qualified teachers into the teaching profession.
7. It is assumed that government's inability to provide enough motivation for the teachers has had an adverse effect on the in-put of teachers in the classrooms.
8. It is assumed that government and policy makers in our education industry have shown utter neglect to the teachers who are the goose that lay the golden eggs and shown more interest in the award frivolous and over inflated contracts to enrich themselves and thereby become stumbling blocks to the progress of education.
9. It is assumed that massive training of quality teachers in the andragogical COIP4C method of education will help to solve the problems of backwardness in education in Nigeria.
10. It is assumed that changing our education system from the traditional pedagogical method to the new innovative method of COIP4C will help to enhance the socio-cultural, political-economic status of Nigeria.
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