THE RELEVANCE OF SOCIAL STUDIES AS A CORE SUBJECT IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL: A CASE STUDY OF OREDO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EDO STATE
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The study attempts to examine the relevance of social studies as a core subject in schools; A case study of selected Junior secondary schools in Oredo local government area of Edo State. The research method included the use of questionnaire and oral interviews. A total of about sixty respondents were used. Research questions postulated were as follows:
1. What are the benefits of teaching social studies in schools?
2. Are adequate institutional materials used in teaching the subject?
3. Are the teachers encouraged to teach the subject matter?
A simple percentage analysis was used to collate data. The study preferred some basic recommendation to up lift the teaching of the subject-social studies in school.
TABLE OF CONTENT
Background of the study
Statement of problems
Purpose of the study
Significant of the study
Limitation of the study
Definitions of terms
Meaning of social studies
Nature of social studiers
Relevance of social studies
Social studies objectives
Social studies curriculum
Design of the study
Method of data collection
Validity of instrument
Data analysis and presentation
Presentation of data
Discussion of result
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The 21st century requires equipping children with basic education in literacy and numeracy, as the more advanced completes skills needed for living that can serve as the foundation of life enabling the children to adapt and change life abetting to life every-changing circumstances. Basic education remains the most important fac6tor that enables the very process is about enhancing knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for societal and national growth of any country of the world. Slavin (1983) defines learning as an activity of acquiring and applying knowledge to facilitate meeting individual needs. A child’s education starts from the home that is the family (informal education) and proceeds to nursery school, primary school, secondary school, and tertiary level call formal education.
The objectives of secondary schools as stated in the national policy on education is:
1. Preparation for useful living in the society.
2. Preparation for high education.
The secondary schools (JSS). This refers to education that is pre-vocational and academic designed to enable students acquire further knowledge other than acquisition of literacy and numeracy and also develop basic life skills. This level is for children age 12-14 years and it is for three years. The curriculum has on education and they are:
5. Integrated science
7. Business studies
8. Social studies
9. Home economics
10. Physical health education
11. Religious and moral instruction.
The knowledge acquired as this live provides the children with ability to cope with issues, relating to the entire spectrum of their survival, well-being knowledge on how to deal with people and situations encountered. It home, school and street, helps them interact with other and appreciates their own rights and respect opinions of others. Students can stop at this level equipped with a little vocational knowledge for survival go to the next level which is the senior secondary school.
SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL (SSS)
This refers to education that is academically and vocational designed for those waiting to complete the six years circle. Its core subject in the curriculum are comprehensive and broad designed to broaden students knowledge and outlook. The core subject area;
1. English language
3. One Nigeria language
4. Physics or chemistry or biology
5. Literature in English, history or geography
6. Agriculture science
These core subject are basic subjects which will enable students offers and study a particularly course inn the high institution of need be. Take note there is no special studies in this curriculum. Social studies is a field of study or subject in schools. It is an inner disciplinary one. From its introduction till date, there remains confusion and disagreement as to what social studies is should be. The rational content and approach of social studies differs depending ion the needs and conditions of the society it serves.
Ethiopia: in Ethiopia social studies is seen as a means to transform the political culture of the people.
Gham: it is used as a weapon for economic emancipation.
Japan: it is used for building the foundation for a democratic society.
Nigeria: it is used to inculcate nationalism and unity among its diverse people.
Sierra Leone: see it as a means of improving their self-image after colonial rule.
United states: view it as the development of social problems solving abilities at one time and also acknowledge for effective citizenship during a different time and as integrated and adapted social sciences for the school as yet another time.
West Germany: regard it as a means of developing a new order each view is a reaction to different situation as the case may be. The department of curriculum development and evaluation (undated) defines social studies as the study of ma, the way he behaves and organizes in group, his relationship with his physical and social environment and interaction with them considering the past, present and emerging in future.
Kesock (1981) defines social studies as a programme, which a society uses to instill in students the knowledge, skills attitudes and action. It consider important relationship human have with each other their world and themselves. Dubey (1986) see it as a program of education, which utilizes the study of human life for the purpose of given children the opportunity to practice solving the problems of crucial importance, both for the individual and society. It is based on the common learning of mans interaction with his social and physical environment. Salav (1991) defines it as the study of man and his physical environment. As Ulehe (1980) put it, social studies provide people understanding their physical and human environment in order to act as responsible citizens. Newman (2003) defines it as a unit of course or study based on the social sciences e.g. history, geography, economics, psychology, government and anthropology. Social studies came into existence in Nigeria in 1916 when the national education organisation decided the less emphasis should be placed on memorizing factual information and more preparing people for the future. Such preparation requires that attitudes and skills be taught along side with knowledge,. At this time social studies was considered integrated curriculum combing the already established history and geography with newer social studies it should be noted that Nigeria inherited the colonial form of education which upon independence was seen as irrelevant to the need to change the school curriculum for a relevant one become necessary in Nigeria. Also the agitation to formulate policies and change the existing curriculum gained momentum among local elites, farmer and concerned individual. to this end, effort made to fashion out the type of education future African citizens should have.
Man as a social being is always interacting with his fellow being till the day he dies. This interaction has implication on both man and his environment. Based on this t he study will attempt following questions.
1. Does social studies have any relevance in the study daily life?
2. Are the objectives of social studies achieved by the time a child completes the junior secondary school?
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The researcher has embarked on this study in order to:
i. To determine the learning experience in the class.
ii. To outline the benefit of social studies problems and make necessary contribution.
SCOPE OF STUDY
The study is limited to Oredo local government area of Edo State and remote part of Egor area covered are Oliha quarters, Uselu quarters, Ugbowo quarters and Benin city environs.
The researcher assumed that
1. Social study is taught in all junior secondary school whether public or private.
2. That the students do not have an awareness of the relevance of social studies.
DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
Some terms used in this research are defined below:
1. Environment: this is the totality of circumstances surrounding an organism or organisms in the complex of social and cultural condition affecting the nature of an individual or the society.
2. Knowledge: is the assured belief referring to that which is known?
3. Objectives; there are desirable out achievement with resources and time.
4. Perception: this is achieving knowledge through the sensory organs.
5. Relevance: this is pertinent to the matter at hand.
6. School: this refers to institution of pre-college formal education. It also includes colleges, universities and many other types of special establishment.
7. Skills: refers to expert knowledge concerning matter, or accomplishment or craft.