VIEWS OF NIGERIAN TEACHERS ON THE ADEQUACY OF SOCIAL STUIDES CURRICULUM CONTENTS AT THE COLLEGE OF EDUCATION LEVEL

 

By

 

Dr. (Mrs). A. A. Jekayinfa

Department of Arts and Social Sciences Education,

University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria

 

ABSTRACT

            This study investigated the views of Nigerian teachers on the adequacy of social studies curriculum contents at the College of Education level. The views of 47 teachers comprising of 18 males and 29 females in 8 Nigerian Colleges of Education were investigated.  Twenty two (22) teacher respondents were from state Colleges of Education while 25 teachers were from the Federal Colleges of Education in Nigeria.  Responses to a two-section questionnaire revealed that most of the teachers in both Federal and State College of Education were of the opinion that the contents of the social studies curriculum were not adequate.  The results of the chi-square analysis showed that teachers views were not significantly influenced by years of teaching experience, academic qualification and the type of college.  But gender has a significant influence on the views of teachers. The study concluded with the suggestion that the contents of the NCE social studies curriculum should be properly modified and taught by qualified social studies teachers so as to achieve the important objectives of Social studies education which is to ensure the survival and growth of pupils as individuals in their society and of the total society of man (Adaralegbe (1972).

 

Introduction

            One of the acceptable definitions of social studies is that which states that it is an integration of experience and knowledge concerning human relations for the purpose of citizenship education.  Barth and Shermis (1977) and Onyabe (1978) defined social studies as a field of study that deals with the integration of knowledge, experience and effective use of resources for the purpose of citizenship education.  Social studies is an interdisciplinary subject which has potential capabilities to achieve the aims of education than any other fields of learning.  It is a subject which is expected to help in the promotion of consciousness and knowledge of and pride in the child’s local culture as well as an understanding of other cultures both within and outside their national boundary (Makinde, 1999).

            Another important role of social studies is that it aims at inculcating in the child the facts that bribery and corruption, nepotism and other allied evils are far from what Nigerians bargained for, when demanding and achieving self government.  The subject, according to Makinde (1999), should assist  the child to develop a patriotic attitude towards the welfare, fundamental human rights and development of the community and that of the country for a sustainable national development.

            Since the focal point of any form of education is the curriculum, social studies curriculum should be organized to reflect the demands of contemporary times by being open ended, flexible and dynamic in nature to incorporate all relevant topics so as to be able to achieve the laudable objectives of education in general and those of the social studies in particular.  It is against this background that this research was carried out to investigate the views of social studies teachers on the adequacy of social studies curriculum contents in the Nigerian Colleges of Education with reference to the stated aims and objectives of the discipline. 

 

The Contents of Social Studies Curriculum at the Nigerian Colleges of Education level

            The social studies curriculum is designed for two categories of students, namely those with single and double major.  The fundamental concern of social studies is with man and his complex relationship with the world around and beyond.  Social studies students who offer the programme as a major

 

Table I:         Summary of credits to be registered by double major students

NCE Year

Compulsory

Elective

Total

Year 1

23

4

27

Year 2

25

4

27

Year 3

18

6

26

Total

66

16

82

Source: NCE (1996) minimum standard for Nigeria Certificate in Education. Kaduna: Government press.

 

Table II:        Summary of credits to be registered by single major students

NCE Year

Compulsory

Elective

Total

Year 1

10

4

14

Year 2

12

2

14

Year 3

8

8

16

Total

30

14

44

Source: NCE (1996) minimum standard for Nigeria Certificate in Education. Kaduna: Government press.

 

Table III:      Course content for 100 level double major students

Course Code

Course Title

Credit

Status

SOS 111

Foundation of Social studies

3

C

SOS 112

Origin and nature of man

3

C

SOS 113

Man and Historical Environment

3

C

SOS 114

Man and his physical environment

3

C

SOS 115

Man and his economic activities

2

C

SOS 121

Introduction to the Teaching of Social studies

2

C

SOS 122

African community

2

E

SOS 123

Man and his government

3

C

SOS 124

Nigeria as a nation

3

C

SOS 125

Dynamics of group behaviour

2

E

SOS 126

Environmental studies

2

E

Source: NCE (1996) minimum standard for Nigeria Certificate in Education. Kaduna: Government press.

 

Table IV: Course Content for 200 Level Double Students

Course Code

Course Title

Credit

Status

SOS 211

Nigerian political life

3

C

SOS 212

The Nigerian constitution

3

C

SOS 213

Religion in Society

2

C

SOS 214

Strategies and Techniques for social studies teaching

2

C

SOS 215

Contemporary public issues

2

C

SOS 216

Social studies Research methods

2

C

SOS 221

Issues and problems of National Development

3

C

SOS 222

Science and Technology in society

2

E

SOS 223

Social change in Nigeria

3

C

SOS 224

Social services in Nigeria

3

C

SOS 225

Social studies instructional materials

2

C

SOS 226

Basic Statistics and statistical representation

2

C

Source: NCE (1996) minimum standard for Nigeria Certificate in Education. Kaduna: Government press.

Table V: Course Content for 300 Level Double Major Students

Course Code

Course Title

Credit

Status

SOS 311

Introduction to socialization

2

C

SOS 312

Citizenship education

3

C

SOS 313

People of the world

2

C

SOS 314

Social institution

3

C

SOS 315

Population Education

3

C

SOS 321

Transportation and communication

2

E

SOS 322

Process and issues of modernization

2

C

SOS 323

Nigerian’s External Relations

3

C

SOS 324

Economic Structure and Organization

3

C

SOS 325

Law Related education

2

E

Source: NCE (1996) minimum standard for Nigeria Certificate in Education.

A very close observation of the Social studies Curriculum Contents from 100 – 300 levels in the Nigerian Colleges of Education level as shown in tables III – V indicates that the Curriculum had followed a thematic arrangement. The contents of the 100 level curriculum provides a general introduction to Social studies so as to give students the background necessary for those who are just coming from the secondary schools to tertiary institutions.  The introductory contents deal with basic concepts and themes in social studies.  The contents of the 200 level deals more on Nigeria as a nation and the necessary instructional materials needed to effectively teach social studies.  Advanced and abstract concepts necessary to equip students with the needed tools to cope with their socio-political environment and to prepare them for the tertiary education are contained in the 300 level curriculum.

 

Statement of the Problem

            Jarolimek (1977) highlighted some of the desirable attributes and attitudes expected from social studies students.  These according to him include self realization by providing experience that fosters maximum growth of individual personalities.  The development of human relationship, such as interdependence, cooperation, impact of culture on ways of thinking, behaving and acting.  Other basic desirable attitudes are economic efficiency, development of concepts, skills and attitudes related to man’s use of limited resources.  Most of these are incorporated into the social studies curriculum at the primary and secondary school levels. 

            Some works i.e Olivers (1977) Olawepo (1987) Onyejekwe (1996), Anise (1999), have been done in the areas of organization of Social studies Curriculum contents at the Primary and Secondary school levels.  To the researchers knowledge, no work has been carried out to find out the adequacy of the Social studies curriculum contents at the NCE level.  The present research was carried out to fill the gap.  Specifically, the research addressed itself to answering the following questions:

1.         Are the contents of the social studies curriculum adequate at the NCE level with reference to the identified objectives and goals of social studies?

2.         Can there be any significant difference in the views of teachers in the federal and state Colleges of Education on the adequacy of the Social studies Curriculum content at the NCE level with reference to the identified objectives and goals of social studies?

3.         Can the views of teachers be influenced by their gender on the adequacy of the social studies curriculum contents at the NCE level with reference to the identified objectives and goals of social studies?

4.         Can qualification and experience affect the views of teachers on the adequacy of social studies contents at the NCE level with reference to the identified objectives and goals of social studies?

 

Research Hypotheses

1.         There will be no significant difference in the views of teachers from Federal Colleges of Education and those from State Colleges of Education on the adequacy of social studies contents at the NCE level.

2.         There will be no significant difference in the views of male and female teachers on the adequacy of Social Studies contents at the NCE level.

3.         There will be no significant difference in the views of experienced and less experienced teachers on the adequacy of Social Studies contents at the NCE level.

 

Methodology

            The research was of a descriptive survey type which aimed at analyzing the views of the Nigerian Social studies teachers on the adequacy of the Social studies Curriculum contents at the Colleges of Education level.

            The sample consisted of 47 teachers of Social studies teaching in the Nigerian Colleges of Education. This was made up of 18 male and 24 female teachers from four State owned and four Federal owned Colleges of Education in the country.  Some of the teachers who participated in the research were from the Federal Colleges of Education located in Kotangora, Okene, Abeokuta and Oyo.  Other teachers came from the State Colleges of Education located in Oyo, Minna, Oro and Warri.

            A two-section questionnaire was used to collect the data used for analysis.  The first section of the questionnaire consisted of demographic items on variables of gender, qualifications, years of teaching experience and type of school of teachers who participated in the research.

            The second section of the questionnaire consisted of the item-listing of the contents of Social studies (double major) Curriculum at the College of Education level.  The contents comprised of a total of 33 courses. The teachers were requested to respond to the adequacy of the contents with reference to the identified objectives and goals of Social studies on a three likert type scale of very adequate, adequate and not adequate.

            The data collected were analysed using simple percentages to answer research question one and chi-square statistic to test research hypotheses one to three.

Results of Findings

Table 1:         Analysis of Teachers views on the adequacy of NCE social studies curriculum content to its stated objectives and goals at the NCE level

VARIABLES

RESPONSES

TEACHERS’ GENDER

Very adequate

Adequate

Not Adequate

Total

Male

Female

Total

2

1

3 (6.44%)

9

2

11 (23.4%)

7

26

33 (70.2%)

18

29

47 (100%)


 

TEACHERS’ QUALIFICATION

B.A. Ed (History)

B.A. Ed. (Geography)

B.A. Ed. (Social Studies)

M.Ed (Social Studies)

M.Ed. other discipline

Ph.D (Social Studies)

Total

 

1 (2.1%)

2 (4.2%)

3 (6.4%)

 

1 (2.1%)

1 (2.1%)

3 (6.4%)

1 (2.1%)

3 (6.4%)

2 (4.3%)

11 (23.4%)

 

1 (2.1%)

11 (23.4%)

5 (10.6%)

16 (34%)

33 (70.2%)

 

1 (2.1%)

3 (6.3%)

16

1 (2.1%)

8

18

47 (100%)

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

5 years and above

Below 5 years

Total

 

1 (2.1%)

2 (4.3%)

3 (6.4%)

 

8

3

11 (23.4%)

 

25

8

33 (70.2%

 

34

13

47 (100%)

The analysis on Table 1 shows that majority of teachers were of the view that the contents of social studies curriculum at the NCE level are not adequate.  33 teachers (70.2%) out of a total of 47 responded that the contents are inadequate while the rest were of the views that the contents are adequate.

 


Table 2:         Comparison of Teachers views on the basis of Ownership of the Colleges of Education

OWNERSHIP

RESPONSES OF TEACHERS

 

Very Adequate

Adequate

Not Adequate

Total

X2

State Colleges of Education

3 (6.4%)

9 (19.1%)

10 (21.2)

22 (46.8)

 

Federal Colleges of Education

0 -

2 (4.3%)

23 (49%)

25 (53.2)

3,9979

Total

3 (6.4%)

11 (23.4%)

33 (70.2%)

47 (100%)

 

 

The analysis on table 2 shows that the calculated X2 value of 3.979 is lesser than the critical value of 5.9914 at .05 level of confidence.  This means that there is no significant difference in the views of teachers at the federal and state colleges of education on the adequacy of the social studies curriculum contents at the NCE level i.e the two groups viewed that the contents of the social studies curriculum is not adequate, at this level of education.

 

Table 3:         Comparison of Male and Female Teachers’ views on the

adequacy of Studies curriculum contents at the NCE level

RESPONSES OF TEACHERS

Gender

Very Adequate

Adequate

Not Adequate

Total

X2

Male

2 (3.4%)

9 (19.1%)

7 (14.9%)

18 (38.3)

 

Female

1 (2.1%)

2 (4.3%)

26 (55.3%)

29 (61.7)

13.9556

Total

3 (6.4%)

11 (23.4%)

33 (70.2%)

47 (100%)

 

 

Analysis on table 3 shows that the calculated value of 13.9556 is greater than the critical value of 5.9914 at 0.05 confidence level.  This indicates that gender has significant influence on the views of social studies teachers on the adequacy of the contents of social studies at the NCE level.  While majority of male teachers, i.e. 11 out of 18 viewed the contents of the curriculum as being adequate, majority of the female teachers 26 out of 29 viewed the contents of the curriculum as not being adequate.

 

Table 4:         Comparison of Teachers’ views on the Adequacy of Social Studies Curriculum Contents at the NCE level based on their Qualifications and Specializations

QUALIFICATION & SPECIALISATION

RESPONSES OF TEACHERS

 

Very Adequate

Adequate

Not Adequate

Total

X2

B.A.ED (History)

1 (2.1%)

1 (2.1%)

 

B.A.ED (Geography)

1 (2.1%)

1 (2.1%)

1 (2.1%)

3 (6.4%)

 

B.A.ED (Social Studies)

2 (4.3%)

3 (6.4%)

11 (23.4%)

16 (34%)

13.3869

M.Ed (Social Studies

1 (2.1%)

1 (2.1%)

 

M.Ed (other discipline)

3 (6.4%)

5 (10.6%)

8 (17.0%)

 

Ph.D (Social Studies)

2 (4.3%)

16 (34%)

18 (38.4%)

 

Total

3 (6.4%)

11 (23.4%)

33 (70.2%)

47 (100%)

 

 

Level of Significance = 0.05

Critical value = 18.3070

 

Analysis on table 4 shows that the calculated x2 value of 13.3869 is lesser than the critical value of 5.9914 at 0.05.  This therefore signifies that qualifications and areas of specialization do not affect the teachers’ views on the adequacy of the social studies curriculum content at NCE level.  In conclusion, most of the teachers, regardless of their qualifications and areas of specialization viewed the contents of the NCE social studies Curriculum as being not adequate for the attainment of the stated aims and objectives of the subject.

 

Conclusion and Recommendations

            Social studies education is continually growing and has gained recognition in the educational arena curriculum at all levels.  The recognition given to it is not unconnected with its relevance to Nigerian unity and development.  According to Anise (1999), social studies education programmes have been developed to influence a child’s social understanding and behaviour.  Its programmes are supposed to be means of inculcating desirable social understanding and action in a citizen.  Social studies should emphasize more on the non-cognitive domains and the socialization of the Nigerian child into a true citizen.

            From the results of this research, many teachers both at the federal and state owned colleges of Education, were of the views that the contents of the social studies curriculum are not adequate at the NCE level.  If the well intended lofty goals of social studies education must be accomplished, what social studies connotes need to be properly comprehended by the students.  The curriculum contents must not only mirror the social trends, events, realities and continuous change, it must also keep in tune with emergent ideas in and outside the country as highlighted by Joof, Mezeobi and Amadi (1994).  It is therefore recommended that the NCE social studies curriculum be properly modified to properly achieve its stated objectives.

            The work did to extend to knowing the reasons for the responses of teachers as to why they feel that the contents of the social studies curriculum contents are adequate or not.  It is therefore recommended that further researchers should be conducted to find out which aspects of Curriculum to be modified, removed or expanded.

 


REFERENCES

Abe V, (1980). “Defining Social Studies for Nigeria” in NERC Social Studies Teaching Issues and Problem. Benin: Ethiope Publishing Corporation.

Anise, A. C. (1999). “Social Studies Primary School Curriculum and the implementation of the Democracy in Nigeria”.  Paper presented at the 7th annual conference of National Association of Social Studies Educationists, Ondo.

Barth, H. L. and Shermis, S. S. (1987). Defining the Social Studies. U.S.A. National Council for Social studies.

Jarolimek, J. (1987). Reading for Social studies in Elementary Education: New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.

Joof, G.W.; Mezieobi, K.A., and Amadi, H.C. (1994). “Teaching in the context of Social Studies” in Social Studies in schools (eds) G.W. Joof and Amadi.  Onitsha Outrite Publishers.

Makinde, S. A. (1999). “Human Rights, Social Studies and sustainable National Development” paper presented at the Social Studies Association of Nigeria (SOSAN) Conference, University of Ibadan.

Olivers, D. (1977). The selection of Content in Social Studies. Harvard Educational Review 1 (2) 10 – 21.

Onyejekwe, F. U. (1996). “Extent of the implementation of Primary School Social Studies Curriculum in Kwara State” M.Ed Thesis. University of Ilorin.