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This study was conducted to assess the instructional competencies of teachers for effective implementation of social studies curriculum. The aim of the study was to determine the content/subject matter knowledge, classroom management and evaluation competencies of teachers as well as the influence of teachers factors like gender and qualifications on the competencies possessed in implementing junior secondary social studies curriculum. Descriptive research design was employed. A population of all 63 Social Studies teachers and a sample of 354 social studies students from Obollo education zone were used. Simple random sampling technique was used to select the population of study. The instruments for data collection were two questionnaires (i.e. one for teachers and one for students). Reliability test, The instrument was trial tested using ten (10) Social Studies teachers and ten (10) social studies students in schools that would not be used as part of the study but share the same characteristics with the subjects for the study. Mean and t-test were used to analyse research questions and hypotheses respectively. The major findings of the study revealed that Social Studies teachers possess adequate competence in subject matter/content knowledge for the effective implementation of Social Studies curriculum. Social Studies teachers possess competencies in classroom management for effective implementation of Social Studies curriculum. Classroom management competencies possessed by Social Studies teachers is adequate. Gender has no influence on teachers’ competencies in managing classroom for effective implementation of Social Studies curriculum. Social Studies teachers possess adequate competencies in evaluation for effective implementation of Social Studies curriculum. Social Studies teachers’ evaluation competency is adequate for effective implementation of Social Studies curriculum. Teacher’s educational qualification significantly influences their competencies for effective implementation of Social Studies curriculum. On the aspect of research hypotheses, the findings revealed there is no significance difference in the mean ratings of male and female students on the teachers’ classroom management competencies for implementation of Social Studies curriculum in junior secondary school. Also, there is no significant difference in the mean ratings of male and female students on teachers’ evaluation competencies for effective implementation of Social Studies curriculum. Based on the findings, the researcher recommended that the Ministry of Education through its education board should ensure full implementation of Social Studies curriculum in Obollo education zone through job training, promotion and provision of seminars and workshops to help teachers to be committed to the teaching of Social Studies. The Social Studies curriculum planner should liaise with the management of junior secondary Obollo education zone to ensure that classroom management, content/subject matter knowledge and evaluation competency is improved. Professional bodies like Nigeria Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) should initiate researches in finding ways of developing instructional materials that will suit the various topics in Social Studies.
Background ofthe Study
Social Studies is a new subject adopted into educational programme for benefit of mankind. The national philosophy of education in Nigeria commend the need for Social Studies Education in building the desired social orientation needed after independence in mobilizing the young citizens for national development (Uche in Akubue, 2015). This implies that Social Studies is a subject that emphasizes the needs for integration and cooperation with one another in a society.Social Studies is the study of people in relation to each other and to their world. It is an issue focusedand inquiry-based interdisciplinary subject that draws upon History, Geography, Anthropology, Economics, Law, Philosophy, Political Science and other Social Science disciplines.Enem cited Jiboku (2006) contends that Social Studies is an aspect of learning which deals with how to get on (get along) with one’s environment, physical, as well as human, and how to develop those skills, knowledge, attitudes and values that characterise a responsive and responsible citizen in a free society. For one to behave in a responsible manner, one needs to understand his environment. Social Studies develop the key values and attitudes, knowledge and understanding, and skills and processes necessary for learners to become active and responsible citizens. This is in line with Onyabe in Akubue (2015) who stated that citizenship education is the focus of Social Studies. To him, Social Studies is a field of study that deal with the integration of knowledge, outlooks, and values that will be learned by the students.
Social Studies provide knowledge, skills, attitudes that will enable people to act or behave as responsible citizens.Akinola (2014) opined that Social Studies teacher have tremendous responsibilities to salvage this nation from opprobrium or disunity through their classroom interaction. This implies that Social Studies inculcate right attitude, skills, knowledge to the learner which enable him to compete favourably to the dynamic society. So, if Social Studies teachers in junior secondary school Obollo education zone are competent enough to implement Social Studies curriculum effectively, they are expected to inculcate right attitude, skills, knowledge to the learner as this could help to eliminate the keeping of negative attitude of students in school records. Bad behaviour recording in our society could have been things of the past but bombing, disunity, violenceand corruption such as bribery, ethnicity, robbery, kidnapping etc. are common in our environment.Mezieobi (2012) argued that “Social Studies education is designed to equip the learner with functional skills, attitudes for their meaningful contributions to national development and nation building”. This means that Social Studies can take this nation to a desirable height in the attainment of her goals.This is in line with Saunders (2004) that Social Studies education teaches students about history and enables them to understand how society has evolved. It places a strong emphasis on important and enduring ideas, events and personalities that affect peoples’ lives. Through competent teacher, students are able to learn about their place in the living history of Nigeria and to establish a foundation for their future ideas. (Enem, 2006, p.23) maintained that “teaching Social Studies in junior secondary school appropriately offers students a strong knowledge content base and helps them develop an ability to think critically about societal issues and learn how to address them based on their understanding of social values”. So,Social Studies curriculum is prepared in away that learners will attain its goal. The world is changing rapidly, students need to be well equipped to be able to perform their roles and make meaningful contribution in their society.
In line with what social studies can offer in human society,Akinola (2014) outlined five rational for teaching Social Studies: They are as follows-:
v The promotion of national unity and economic development.
v Preparing students for the world of work and understanding of everyday problem that they may face as adult.
v The development of critical thinking, problem-solving and decision making for the survival and progress of the nation.
v Enhancing socialization and acculturation of citizens in the society.
The rational for teaching Social Studies cannot be over emphasized as it was designed to produce effective citizens with global values. Argugungu(2012) opined that rational for Social Studies, are to re-orientate Nigeria‘s positive values capable of cohering sound political and economic order and inculcating the right type of skills and civic virtues in the citizens. This means that Social Studies curriculum has to be carefully organized and the pattern of instruction subdivided in five main interrelated sections including topic, objective, content, notes and related activities.Enem (2006) maintained that Social Studies is a discipline that will take the nation to a desired goal. He went further to highlights objectives of Social Studies in junior secondary schoolas follows
Linking the disciplines of Social Studies of everyday life of individuals and communities;
Enhance understanding of the social system through the culture and values to create a multi-ethnic society of national integration;
Linking the country with a history of nation building;
Environmental incidents relating to the social and economic development of society;
Explain basic economic principles and economic activities associated with social development and nation building;
Applying knowledge of environmental education in the life and
Cultivate a spirit of patriotism.
Despite all these rational and objectives of Social Studies, our society is still not producing patriotic citizens. This signifies a wide gap between the expectations of the curriculum developers and the perceptions and attributes of teachers in actual classroom practices in the study area.
A teacher is a person who is capable of imparting knowledge and skill to the learner. Mbise (2008) defined a teacher as a person who has knowledge, skills, and special trainings in teaching, explaining and educating. In view of Nyerere (2010), a teacher is a person, an expert who is capable of imparting knowledge that will help learners to build, identify and acquire skills that will be used to face the challenges in life. That is, teachers must be knowledgeable enough to implement Social Studies curriculum to learners’ cognition.The implemented curriculum refers to the practices, activities, and institutional arrangements within the school and classroom that are designed to implement the goals of the system (Jercas, 2010). It represents the interaction between the learner and the learning. A competent teacher of Social Studies is expected to implement Social Studies curriculum very well to ensure that stated educational objective is achieved.
Curriculum implementation is a very important aspect in the teaching and learning of Social Studies because without implementation there will be no evaluation and students learning will not be guided. Akpochafo (2014) supported this by defining implemented curriculum as what was actually taught in the classroom by Social Studies teacher. He further explained that the only way for learning to take place is to depend on instruction competence of teacher in the classroom and outside the classroom. In the same veinOkam in Idowu (2013) opined 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.
The only people to drive this society out of the pool of ignorance are the teachers. Both male and female teachers are expected to be professional in the field or area of his and her specialization, also have the zeal to produce desirable crops who will continue to expand the growth of education. The role of competent teacher in the teaching and learning of Social Studies cannot be over emphasized. This means that Social Studies teacher must be the one who will possess requiredpedagogical skills and requisite knowledge in the subject so that the recipients of Social Studies curriculum will be well equipped with the knowledge needed for personal and societal development and peaceful co- existence, but students are still not performing well in academic performance in Obollo Education Zone. This means that teaching competencies of Social Studies teachers is questionable.
Competent simply means having suitable skills, knowledge and experience for some purpose. Competent is a demonstrable professionally acquired specified, requisite teaching skills , abilities and attitudes essential for effective teaching(Mezieobi&Mezieobi2012). That is, teaching competences is the observable instructional ability of the teacher in the classroom setting to actually prove his skills, knowledge and experience as a competent teacher by discharging instruction effectively for learners’ cognition.A teacher competence can be judged by his/her Content knowledge, Classroom management, Gender, Evaluation
techniques, and Quality of a teacher (his or her qualification).
Content knowledge/subject matter is an essential component of a teacher’s
knowledge.If teaching entails helping others learn, then understanding what is to be taught is a central requirement of teaching. Social Studies teachers who are competent must be capable of designing lesson plans to meet student needs and cover the standards. This requires knowing how to choose and create instructional materials to accommodate students at different levels. The myriad tasks of teaching, such asselecting worthwhile learning activities, giving helpful explanations, asking productive questions, and evaluating students' learning, all depend on the teacher's understanding of what it is thatstudents are to learn.
What Social Studies teachers need to know about the subject matter they teach extends beyond the specific topics of their curriculum. Otherwise his/herteaching will be meaningless. Good teaching demands that teachers know a lot of other things for example, about learning, about their students, and about the cultural, social, and political contexts within which they work.Horngern in Ebiringa (2012) defined Social Studies teacher content/subject matter competence as the ample, up-to-date knowledge of the subject area.
Content knowledge therefore is an important consideration of a competent teacher of Social Studies. Content knowledge is necessary but not sufficient for good and qualitative teaching without well classroom management.
Classroom management is very important in the curriculum implementation. Competent teacher would create classroom conditions and climate, which are conducive for student learning. Zeiger, (2015) argued that teachers must set high expectations for student performance and behaviour, all rules must be enforced consistently and fairly,students should not have to worry about being bullied in the classroom and should feel comfortable when speaking. Jennings & Greenberg (2009) supported that Social Studies competent teachers set the tone of the classroom by developing supportive and encouraging relationships with their students, designing lessons that build on student strengths and abilities, establishing and implementing behavioural guidelines in ways that promote intrinsic motivation, coaching students through conflict situations, encouraging cooperation among students, and acting as a role model for respectful and appropriate communication and exhibitions of prosaically behavior. This implies that Social Studies teachers who fail to manage classroom well are likely not to implement curriculum very effectively, this can contribute to student failure in exam. Marzano, Marzano, and Pickering, in Jennings andGreenberg (2009) posited that when Social Studies teachers lack the resources to effectively manage the social and emotional challenges within the particular context of their school and classroom, children show lower levels of on-task behavior and performance. That is such crop of teachers will not achieve their stated educational objectives.
A gender competence of the teacher means awareness of the organizational, psychological,pedagogical and didactic aspects in managing schoolchildren’s educational activities based on their gender-specific attitudes. The desired level of the teachers’ gender competence, their willingness toimplement the gender approach in vocational, educational and social activities can be achieved if the design and organization of their education is realized as an integrated system, which includes principles, conditions, and technologies of gender competence development.In Nigerian society, social studies teaching have been seen as both female oriented and less relevant (Kardia& Wright 2004).For this reason, this study intends to assess and evaluate the extent gender influence social studies teachers’ competencies.
Evaluation performs significant roles in any educational programmes. It is equally aimed at identifying the strength and weakness of the implementation of the programme with the zeal to making useful suggestions and recommendations that will enhance it and make it more relevant to the needs of the learners and the society. Evaluation could be used to redesign or modify existing curriculum to meet expectation.Competency in classroom management, knowledge of subject matter, teachers’ qualification, etc. are vital to good teaching, but if learning cannot be effectively evaluated to ascertain the achievement of the set goals and objectives, then nothing has been done.
The competencies of Social Studies teacher is influenced not only by his evaluation competencies, classroom management, knowledge of subject matter, but also by his qualification.Anyone who wants to be a teacher needs to meet basic requirement in Nigerian schools.A certified teacher is a teacher who has earned credentials from an authoritative source, such as the government, a higher education institution or a private source. This teacher qualification gives a teacher authorization to teach and grade in preschools, primary or secondary education in the countries. According to Wikipedia (2008) a teaching qualification is one of a number of academic and professional degrees that enables a person to become a registered teacher. Examples of teaching qualifications include the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) and the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed).What constitutes competence in teaching is intimately connected with the type of teacher education programmes available for preparing primary and post primary school teachers. Therefore one of the problems of teacher education for post primary schools in Nigeria is the poor quality of teachers produced from the Teachers’ Colleges. The Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) has now become the minimum teaching qualification in the country. This implies that no post primary school teachers in Nigeria is expected to possess a teaching qualification lower than the NCE. Olusegun (2007) argues that the minimum of NCE in the post primary school in Nigeria could be regarded as a bold attempt at improving the quality of teachers who will be able to help us achieve the aspirations we hold for our children, so if any teacher who did not obtain at least N.C.E then he/she is not qualified to be teacher.
There is a wealth of research evidence that everyday practice of teachers’assessment in classroomsissurrounded with problems, short-comings and as well improve teaching competence. Current research states some of those findings, indicating that, when teachers reflect on their teaching practice, the area where they are least confident is that of assessment. To consider how best to support teachers in developing effective assessment practice in the context ofimplementing Social Studies Curriculum.Assessment is used to identify academic weaknesses and strength so that Social Studies teacher can provide specialized academic support, educational programming or social services. So the assessment will reveal the level of instructional competencies possessed by the teachers and if the level is found low, teachers require improvement.
Statement of the Problem
Social Studies curriculum reflects the problem, yearnings and aspirations of a given society. The nature of the problems and aspiration of the society have always determined the nature of Social Studies curriculum and as well determines the purpose which the curriculum is out to serve. With these, the society was expecting good citizens all over the environment, but literature has shown that robbery, disunity and violence spread over the society.
In Obollo education zone the problem could be associated to the inadequate knowledge of the subject matter, inadequate classroom management and gender competencies of Social Studies teachersinObollo Education Zone. In the same vein, some of the teachers teaching Social Studies in the study area are not specialized in the field of Social Studies. They never had training and education centred on Social Studies which could have helped them use the right terminologies when teaching and relate what is being taught to real life situation very well. This means that they are not specialized in the field of Social Studies. The failure of most of the Social Studies teachers may be due to lack of or absence of the relevant competencies.This shows that the instructional competencies of teachers in implementing Social Studies curriculum in Obollo education zone have not been properly assessed.Without any doubt there is need to ascertain the competency possessed by Social Studies teachers and the competency needed by them for effective implementation of Social Studies curriculum in junior secondary school. It is however, not known the extent to which all these constraints jeopardize effective Social Studies curriculum in the study area.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to assess instructionalcompetencies of Social Studies teachersfor effective implementation of junior secondary school Social Studies curriculum in Obollo education zone.Specifically, the study sought to:
- Find out the content /subject matter knowledge of Social Studies teachers for effective implementation of Social Studies curriculum.
- Determine the classroom management competencies of Social Studies teachers for effective implementation of Social Studies curriculum.
- Determine the students’ perceptions of Social Studies teachers’ management of classroom for effective implementing of Social Studies curriculum.
- Find out if gender influence teachers competencies foreffective implementation of
Social Studies curriculum.
- Find out the evaluation competencies of Social Studies teachers for effective implementation Social Studies curriculum.
- Find out the students’ perceptions of Social Studies teachers’ evaluation competence for effective implementation of Social Studies curriculum.
- Identify the qualifications of teachers in junior secondary school for effective implementation of Social Studies curriculum.
Significance of the Study
This study has both practical and theoretical significance. Theoretically, the present study is in support of social learning theory by Albert Bandura. He stated that a teacher needs to know that people learn from one another, including such concepts as observational learning, imitation, and modelling. He also emphasizes the importance of observing and modelling the behaviour, attitudes, and emotional reaction of others. The present study strengthens this theory as it posits that Social Studies teachers who understand and follows these processes have instructional competency in delivering the curriculum.Practically, the findings of the study will be beneficial to Social Studies teachers, students of Social Studies, curriculum planners at secondary school level, government and future researchers.
The study will provide information for teachers in Social Studies in Obollo education zone in that they would be aware of the content/subject matter competencies expected of them for effective implementation of junior secondary school Social Studies curriculum, this will encourage them to improve on the areas they are not knowledgeable through further studies. The information teachers of Social Studies seek for effective methods of planning and delivering instruction. The information will also help the teachers of Social Studies to improve their method of instruction through attending workshop and so on.
Well diagnosed instructional competencies of Social Studies teacher will be of immense benefit to the learner in the teaching process. Students’ performance in Social Studies in junior secondaryschoolObollo education zone will improve.
The study will provide information to the curriculum planners and institutions that develop and train teachers. The finding will help them in identifying areas of weakness in the curriculum content as well as methods of delivering lessons; thereby helping them to repackage the curriculum for greater efficiency in the production of professional teachers of Social Studies in the system.
Scope of the Study
The content scope of this study is on assessment of instructional competencies of Social Studies teachers for effective implementation of Social Studies curriculum in junior secondary school inObollo education zone. This study will cover three (3) local Government Areas in Obollo education zone in Enugu state. The study reflects the determination of Social Studies teachers’ competencies in terms of qualifications, knowledge of content, classroom management, gender and evaluation competencies.
The following research question guided the study.
1. What is the content/subject matter knowledge of teachers for effective implementation of Social Studies curriculum?
2. What are the competencies Social Studies teachers possessed in managing classroom for effective implementation of Social Studies curriculum as perceived by teachers?
3. What are students’ perceptions of Social Studies teachers’ management of classroom for effective implementing of Social Studies curriculum?
4. How does gender influence teacher’s competencies in the implementation of junior secondary school curriculum?
5. What are the evaluation competencies of Social Studies teachers for effective implementation of Social Studies curriculum?
6. What are students’ perceptions of social studies teachers’ evaluation competence for effective implementation of social studies curriculum?
7. How does teachers’ level of qualifications influence teacher competencies inthe junior secondary school for effective implementation of Social Studies curriculum?
The following hypotheses were stated to guide this study and was tested at 0.05 level of significance
Ho1: There is no significance difference in the mean ratings of male and female students on theteacher’s classroom management competencies for implementation of Social Studies curriculum in junior secondary school.
Ho2: There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of male and female students on teachers’ evaluation competencies for effective implementation of social studies curriculum
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