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REDUCING THE PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED BY STUDENTS IN LEARNING SOCIAL STUDIES IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS
Many Nigerians have passed through poor quality education because of ineffectiveness of qualified personnels in the educational sector. Many teachers lack the indepth knowledge of the subject matter but the worst is that majority don’t know the rightful teaching methodology in approaching the subject matter. Teacher’s effectiveness invariably affects students’ effectiveness. This study exposes the Andragogical method of education as the rightful approach in teaching economics to students in secondary schools.
1. O INTRODUCTION
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Social studies programme has been in existence in Nigeria for more than two decades, yet, there has been no comprehensive programme and endeavour at training social studies teachers. As a result, most of those who teach social studies never received any training in teaching social studies. Most teacher-trainers, themselves the products of the traditional system, naturally experience difficulties in training their student-teachers in their methodology of social studies.
Any new discipline in the curriculum normally calls for its textbooks and other learning materials. There is an acute dearth of appropriate textbooks for social studies in Nigeria. If social studies is not to be a regeneration of history, geography and government in new garb, books in the area need to be urgently developed.
There is an undue emphasis on the cognitive learning domain of social studies at the expense of the affective and psychomotor domains.
Students, parents and teachers express doubts as to the relative merit of social studies in the school curriculum and in the future of the pupils' academic career. They seem· to see it as a "cog" in the educational wheel, preventing early specialization in history, geography and government and blurring the chances of access to university education in the traditional subjects.
There seems to be considerable disagreement as to how the learning’s of the students in social studies are to be evaluated. It is our view that the proper evaluation of social studies in the school test the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains. The balance between these will depend on the given situation. Both the essay and the objective-type questions may be used as may be necessary.
Unless we are convinced about the merit of social studies, we may not be sufficiently strongly disposed to find solutions to these problems. And for so long as these problems persist, for so long will the teaching of social studies be hindered.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The pedagogical method of education has dealt a great havoc to our education system. As a result we have the problems of cultism in the secondary schools and tertiary institutions to contend with. The students vandalize school properties, kill and main1their fellow students and teachers; they are threat to themselves and the society in which they live and above all they have been performing woefully in their academic out-put generally.
Anih, S. (2004: 109) states that negligence of reason results in the loss of everything. He emphasized the need for redesigning of Nigeria’s education philosophy. We need an authentic philosophy or education to solve national problems in Nigeria.
The problem of what to teach has to do with the curriculum of education while the problem of how to teach is concerned with the method to be used in teaching and learning business to make learning effective. The management or bureaucratic problem is the mother of all problems since management is concerned with planning, directing, controlling organizing and supervising of any organization.
Quite unfortunately, there are many mediocres in the various levels of administrative cadres of our education system. Inthe classrooms, there are teachers who are not qualified to teach in the first place but they are for one reason or the other. Because they do not understand the nature of impact any meaningful learning to the learner.
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 social studies 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 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 social studies class.
2. It will address the problems of lack of motivation for the teachers and the taught in social studies 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 social studies class.
5. The study will provide a format for redesigning the social studies 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
1. What are the causes of poor performance among students in learning social studies?
2. Does teachers’ performance influence students’ academic performances?
3. What are the effects of students’ poor performance in social studies?
4. What are the possible solutions to poor performance in social studies?
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