THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL STUDIES CURRICULUM REFORM ON JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT

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THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL STUDIES CURRICULUM REFORM ON JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

Social Studies was introduced into the official school curriculum following its success in solving societal problems not only in Britain but also in America as well as Nigeria in the late 1960s. This programme of study was first introduced in Britain after the 1st and 2nd world wars in order to appease the conscience of the citizens to respect constituted authority, submissive to their parents, show regards to the elders of the society, help to protect public property, value the lives of fellow citizens and contribute positively towards the development of the society. (Edinyang, Mezieobi and Ubi 2013).

The national curriculum conference held in 1969 at Lagos was a major turning point in the history of curriculum development in Nigeria and a historical landmark in the history of education in Africa. Fafunwa, (2004:239), observes that it was the first national attempt to change the colonial orientation of the Nigerian educational system and promote national consciousness and self- reliance through the educational process.

The recommendation of the national conference according to Fafunwa,emphasizes national unity, citizenship education, national consciousness, nationalism and national reconstruction. These recommendations became the bedrock on which the Nigerian Educational goals were realized. The National Policy on Education (FRN 2009), spelt out the goals of Nigerian education which include; the inculcation of national consciousness and national unity; the inculcation of the right types of values and attitudes for the survival of individuals and the Nigerian society; the training of the mind in the understanding of the world around; and the acquisition of appropriate skills and the development of mental, physical and social abilities and competencies as required for the individuals to live in, and contribute to the development of the society.

The desire to achieve the aforementioned goals prompted the introduction of more subjects into the primary and secondary schools among which is Social Studies Education which is the focus of this study. Thus, For the philosophy to be in harmony with

Nigeria‘s national objectives, Social Studies education is geared towards self-realization, better human relationship, national consciousness and national unity as well as towards social, cultural, economic, political, scientific and technological progress. These are the main targets of Social Studies Education. Ogundare (1984:82), says Social Studies programme should aim at achieving the diverse and ever changing physical and social environment as a whole including its natural resources, together with the rational use and conservation of these resources for development; developing in the learners, the capacity to learn and acquire skills including not only the basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing but also of developing the skills of hand together with those of analysis and inference which are important in the formation of sound judgment; developing in children, positive and desirable values of citizenship and the desires in them to make positive contribution to the creation of a united Nigeria; and inculcating in the learners sympathetic views which will enable them to appreciate the diversity and interdependence of all members of the local community and of the wider national and international community.

The researcher intends to assess the Social Studies Curriculum reform Implementation in junior secondary schools in Yobe state. Though, Okam (1998), stresses that upon all the subjects studied in the Nigerian school system, Social Studies is the most (if not the only) appropriate for addressing Nigerian societal problems educationally and comprehensively. Curriculum implementation is aimed at actualizing the planned curriculum. It is the translation of the curriculum contents into practice or action. In the words of Offorma (1994), Nzewi, Okpara and Akudolu (1995), implementation of curriculum is normally done in the classroom through joint efforts of the teacher and learners and those concerned. In curriculum implementation, the Teacher is expected to adopts appropriate teaching methods and instructional materials to guide the students learning. Students are expected to be actively involved in the process of interacting with the learning materials and activities.

Assessment of the implementation of the Social Studies curriculum on the other hand is expected to help to reposition social studies teaching and learning process and make it more relevant to the needs of the learners and the society at large. Thus, assessment is defined as assigning marks, selecting individuals for special opportunities or the quality of instructional materials, assessing the effectiveness of various approaches to instruction and many other kinds of activities (Herzberg, 1975). Ololobou (2007), defines evaluation as the collection and use of information as a basis for rational decision-making on the curriculum. This decision therefore will help to improve on the implementation process which will lead to the attainment of the set objectives. Equally, Yusuf (2012), defines curriculum evaluation as the systematic process of identifying, assembling or gathering data and making value judgment about such data to determine the merit, worth and significance of a curriculum. It is a process of determining whether the implementation of the programme needs to be improved, modified or attracts innovation so as to actualize the set objectives. It is a quality control exercise to ensure that resources are used maximally. In line with the above, a conclusion could be made to say that, this research work will assist in shaping the Nigerian citizens through social studies education in order to benefit themselves and immensely contribute their quarter towards the development of their community, Nigeria and the world at large. Okam (1998), posited that, there is an indication that social studies education has not been properly implemented in the schools to equip students with the necessary knowledge, facts and ideas that can enhance positive values and attitudes for the survival of individuals and the society. That is why social problems range from disrespect to elders and constituted authorities, chronic dishonesty, corruption, religious crisis, ethnic/tribal crisis, murder, arson, examination malpractices, drug abuse, cultism, indiscipline and other forms of mal-adaptive behaviors bedeviled the Nigerian society. This is what motivated the researcher to embarked on this research.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Social Studies Curriculum as a policy document and academic programme was introduced to educational system in Nigeria with the aim of inculcating positive values and building of better Nigeria. This could be possible only when it positively affects the academic performance of student of social studies at all levels of education. According to Okam (1998), there is an indication that social studies education has not been properly implemented in the schools to equip students with the necessary knowledge, facts and ideas that can enhance positive values and attitudes for the survival of individuals and the society. That is why social problems range from disrespect to elders and constituted authorities, chronic dishonesty, corruption, religious crisis, ethnic/tribal crisis, murder, arson, examination malpractices, drug abuse, cultism, indiscipline and other forms of mal-adaptive behaviors which has bedeviled the Nigerian society. However, these problems are seriously poor performance of students of social studies, since the actors engage themselves with negative attitudes, thereby making the implementation of social studies curriculum difficult. Thus, positive values and attitudes must be the habit of the Social Studies Curriculum reform Implementation actors for the success of the programme.

In view of the above, this research intends to assess the extent to which social studies curriculum reform is being affected the academic achievement of students in Junior Secondary Schools. The study also aims at identifying the problems associated with the implementation of the social studies curriculum reforms in junior secondary schools.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the study are to:

  1. determine the extent to which social studies curriculum reform is has affected students academic achievement in Junior Secondary Schools in Yobe State;
  2. identify the problems associated with the implementation of the social studies curriculum reforms in Junior Secondary Schools in Yobe State; and
  3. make recommendations of strategies to improve the implementation of social studies curriculum reforms in Junior Secondary Schools in Yobe State.

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THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL STUDIES CURRICULUM REFORM ON JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT

 

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