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Background of the study
Social science literacy is generally recognized as a vital aspect of democratic governance by many nations of the world including Nigeria. This is because, it assists the citizens (among whom are students and youth) to identify how to exercise their civic responsibilities and duties accordingly under democratic settings. This position underscores the rationale behind the teaching of many social science and related subjects such as Government, civic, social studies, History and so on at the basicand Senior Secondary School levels in Nigeria, (National Orientation Agency, 2012). Indeed, part of the general expectation is that students should not only gain requisite functional civic or Social science knowledge accruing from the teaching and learning of these subjects but also develop corresponding civic consciousness which they require to play their role as citizens under ademocratic dispensation or process (National Council for Social Studies, 2007; Crick, 2000).
Social science literacy is perceived as tool of Social science empowerment which resonates with the broad values, beliefs and norms that exist in a given society to prepare citizens for constitutional and other related citizenship roles and responsibilities. Operationally, Social science literacy is one means of directing citizens of a country on how to identify and perform their Social science rights, duties and responsibilities. Indeed, in liberal democracies, the concept of literacy is much more inclusive.It involves Social science understanding or education in the procedure and purpose of voting. It also constitutes the basis for informed Social science opinions, participation, Social science awareness, knowledge of Social science concepts and facts, Social science interest, civic competence and so
on(Huddleston &Rowe 2001). Definitions and understanding of Social science literacy first require proper acquaintance with concepts of education, civic education and civic consciousness respectively.
Education is usually seen as a vital transformation tool, or the wheel around which the Social science growth of the individuals and that of any nation revolves; It is no doubt a major tool for national development and for personal socio-economic empowerment (Ukeje, 1991). It is in recognition of this that the federal government of Nigeria usually commits immense resources to ensure the provision of education for its citizenry (Uruakpa&Ihebereme, 2006). Education is the process by which the learner is socialized into the learning system and prepared for social participation in society, Its aim is for socializing citizens who are themselves moral agents and smaller communities into bigger communities (the state). This means that the main aim of education is to create morally sound individual, (Okorodudu, 2004). This particular aim of education shows that education is not just about making citizens literate but making them participants in the life of the state as bona-fide members who are active and not dormant citizens.
Civic education in a democracy is education for the promotion of active citizenship participation. This suggests that citizens are properly informed to be actively involved in the process of governance.Civic education simply defined is that education which assists citizens to become actively involved in their own governance (Centre for civic education, 1991). Indeed, participation which is vital to civic education is not merely for its own sake but must be based on informed critical reflection, understanding and acceptance of the roles/responsibilities of being a citizen
The word “civic” is a Greek coinage for citizens of a city or an area (Ukegbu, Mezieobi, Ajileye, Abdulrahaman and Anyaoha, 2010). By implication, civic education is a carefully taken educational decision by government of a state to promote the civic vision and virtues of different Social science communities through the inculcation of certain kinds of knowledge, values, and skills/abilities. It is therefore geared towards the production of well informed, articulate and effective citizens of the state. This aspiration is based on the fact that the production of wellinformed, responsible and well behaved citizens is the primary concern of the state all over the world.In a relatedsense, civic education has been described as the process and means of promoting an understanding of the needs of democracy and reasoned commitment to the inherent values/principles of democratic governance in a realistic manner (Douglas, 2002). This is done by making Social science literacy real and relevant to the child’s situation and environmental demands.
Social science literacy or education is all about helping people become Social sciencely aware and effective. It is also about giving people the opportunity toact responsibly in Social science issues and events.Thus, Social science education focuses on developing Social science ideas and promoting knowledge of Social science institutions among citizens of a society (Crick, 2000). Social science literacy refers to being literate enough on Social science issues in order to ensure active Social science participation. It requires from citizens knowledge of basic Social science concepts, civic rights and duties as well as the Social science right attitude and values in order to nurture and promote requisite civic consciousness. In this present work, the concept of Social science literacy covered the following content scope:National values, Citizenship, National consciousness and identity, Nigerian constitution, Human rights, Rule of law, Capitalist democracy, Social science apathy, popular participation and so on.
Civic consciousness is a form of social consciousness co-existing with the concept of citizen. It is the process of being conscious of what is happening in the Social science system. Civic consciousnessrefers to the relationship between the individual and the community, state, or nation.It could be seen as an importantaspect ofcitizen’srights/duties, and responsibilities within a Social science community. Thus, in a broad sense, modern civic consciousness consists of the following issues: the initiative knowledge of the relationship between individuals and the state or society, the rational cognition of citizenship, civic rights and duties, civic virtues; internalization and identification of the social behavioral norms and basic values (Kathleen and Knight-Abowitz 2009).
Apparently, effective civic or Social science education has remaineda major concern of all democracies in recent times including Nigeria. This is because from the earliest times, education has remained an effective tool for creating Social science awareness and civic consciousness among citizens (Ayeni, 2009). This position is influenced by the overall emphasis which governments have placed on individual rights and responsibilities in the affairs of society. In Nigeria, education has been seen as an important factor or veritable tool for Social science literacy or training (Ezekwesili, 2006). This explains why education is seen as the basis for the integration of individual, into the society (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004).
The basic assumption in most recent Social science education literature is that civic and other related subjects such as Social studies, Government, and History could enhance thepromotion of Social science awareness and civic consciousness of Nigerian citizens (Falade, 2007). This assumption is underscored by the fact that effectively socialized individuals should be able to develop values, attitudes, skills and so onwhich are required for proper understanding of Social science issues and concepts as well as decision making and participation within a democratic setting (Iyamu, 2003).Udoh cited in Ogundare (2000; 19) argues that “no nation can develop in state of moral, social and Social science vacuum”. This implies that any system of education that fails to promote Social science enlightenment and literacy as well as awareness of citizens is detrimental to justice, national stability, unity and survival of such country or nation. It was perhaps in recognition of this position that certain subjects were introduced into senior secondary schools to promote Social science literacy and civic consciousness of Nigerian youths (Faruk, 2008; NERDC, 2007).
Indeed, certain negative issues in Nigeria have not only necessitated in the above needs, but also seem to have brought to light the relevance of education to national development. These include corruption, electoral mal-practices, violence, drug abuse, cultism, child trafficking, Social science apathy etc(Federal Republic of Nigeria2000). Similarly, other negative acts youths engaged in such as prostitution, riotous behaviour in public places, recklessness in driving, lack of respect for law and order, intolerance, fraud, cheating, kidnapping constitute vices which negate civic responsibilities of youths (Onah, 2005). These vices have no doubt affected Social science literacy and civic consciousness level of youths in Nigeria. This trend does not in any way augur well for sustainable democratic culture or popular participation of citizens in governance especially the youths in Nigeria’s current Social science dispensation.
In recent times, there has been compelling evidence to show that youths need to participate in Social science life of the nation (O’Toole, 2003).This situation among others things inform the presidential directives in 2006 that civic should be introduced into the educational system. According to Falade (2011), the introduction of civic education was based on the resolve of Federal Government of Nigeria to strengthen democracy in Nigeria. Similarly, Faruk(2008) asserts that re-introduction of civic education by federal government will help in the inculcation of right ways of doing things in the society.Indeed, the basis of democracy is the people or citizens who through civic education are provided with values, skills and principles for informed decision making in the process of national development. Therefore, civic education is very vital in Nigerian educational system, especially at the basic and senior secondary school levels respectively.
It is therefore strongly believed that a well articulated civic education or Social science education programme is one of the ways of promoting both Social science literacy and civic consciousness especially among the Nigerian youths. However, it is one thing to introduce certain curricula offerings, it is yet another altogether to find out the extent the expected outcomes have been achieved. Based on the foregoing, it is expected that young people in Nigeria especially those at the senior secondary school level acquire values which they require for effective citizenship participation in Contemporary Social science settings in Nigeria.Against this background, this study seek, to find out if there is a relationship between senior secondary school students’ Social science literacy and civic consciousness level bearing in mind the teaching of civic education and other Social science education related subjects at senior secondary school level in Enugu North education zone, Enugu state.
Presently, extant literature on Social science literacy and civic consciousness level of senior secondary school students’ underscores the importance of some differences probably due to influence of gender, location and parental occupation and their level of education.(Uko, 2002; Udoh 2000). They further argued that Social science knowledge, values and attitudes of students could be influenced by some inherent traits in gender, location or even parental occupation and level of education
Gender is an important factor in Social science literacy and civic consciousness level of students. Gender according to Polland and Morgan (2002) is the socially constructed expectations for male and female behaviors which prescribe a division of labor and responsibilities between males and females. while some research studies showed evidence of male superiority over females in responsibilities performance (Uko, 2002), some others shown that females perform better in society (Daresh& Male, 2000). Following these disagreements over which gender performs better, this work seeks to contribute in resolving this controversy on gender as it affects student’s performance in the society.
Location is another factor that is suspected in Social science literacy level and civic consciousness of senior secondary school students. Location is the locality or the setting within which an event takes place; it is a specific position or point in physical space (Merriam- Webster, 2000).it is used to identify a point, School location is classified into Urban and Rural. There could be variations in educational opportunities in schools due to location. Some places may have enough schools with good facilities, professional teachers while others do not.
Location related with Social science literacy level and civic consciousness of senior secondary school students, students whose schools were located in urban areas were more effective in performing their civic responsibilities and this could be attributed to student’s performance in the society. Ikediugwu (1999) in a study found that location was a strong factor in secondary school student’s performance.Edho (2009) stated that student’s inability to perform their civic duties in the society is one of the constraints that affect the success rate of introduction of civic education in Nigeria. Similarly, Adiodogun (2006) stated that rural areas experience greater challenges in educational development than urban centers, due to the peculiar socio-economic and institutional structure of the rural areas; these probably may have a correlating effect on Social science literacy and civic consciousness level of the students under study.
The issue of parental occupation has always been a controversial issue in Social science literacy and civic consciousness level of secondary school students in Enugu North education zone. Parental occupation according to Ogunshola&Adewale, (2012) refers to the main work undertaken by the parents or guardians. It is the job parents do as parental characteristics that can predict the educational achievement, health, occupational success, and status attainment etc. of children of those parents. Both are of the view that the parents occupation are associated with students performance, that children whose parents work as an instructors have, on average the best results and perform well. The gap in performance between the children of professionals and other students to be narrow in reading, they involve their children in home assignment instead of allowing physical/electronics facilities like television, computer, and internet and cable to distract them.
Oladele cited in Hassan (2005) stated, that parental occupation plays a crucially important role in the dissemination of education, the status is based on the family income, parents with high socio-economic status often are more successful in preparing their young children for future because of the access they enjoy to harness resources responsible to promote and support young children’s developments, while families with low socio-economic status often lack the financial, social and educational supports that characterize families with high socioeconomic status. Poor families also may have inadequate or limited access to community resources that promote and support children’s school readiness.Parental occupation plays a significant role in the Social science literacy level of secondary school students, (Odoh, 2000) stated that students whose parents belong to professional occupations generally perform better than students whose parents do not belong to professional occupations tend to underachieve compared to their peers.
The consequence of this anomaly is that most students grope illiterately around in the society, this gives rise to low morale and poor Social science literacy that affect the society. There is empirical evidence of the likely connection between these variables and students Social science literacy and civic consciousness, such as some students in secondary whose parents are politicians tend to study Social science science in higher institution in order to be succeeding their parents in their Social science position. The relationship may differ depending on the task areas of literacy level of senior secondary students. Therefore, there is need to examine the relationship of these variables with the students in the task areas of Social science literacy and civic consciousness level of senior secondary school students in Enugu North education zone, Enugu state, and the extent to which variables have become factors to the Social science literacy and civic consciousness in the society.
Statement of the problem
Poor Social science literacy in Nigeria has manifested in different ways namely voter or Social apathy, low level of Social awareness, poor Social literacy, Social thuggery; electoral malpractices, poor socialization and so on. Indeed, most of these could be attributed to low Social literacy or low civic consciousness among the youths. This situation compelled both past and present governments in Nigeria to establish certain Social mobilization strategies for citizens such as Mass mobilization agency, war against indiscipline and corruption, National Orientation Agency, Teaching of Civic, Government and Social as school subjects, etc.In spite of the awareness being created by Nigerian governments through the above Social strategies, the situation still remain uncertain due to some noticeable signs of low Social literacy usually manifested in such actions as Social thuggery, ballot box snatchingsand cultism among the youths, most of whom are senior secondary school students. This trend no doubt necessitated the recent re-introduction of the teaching of civic as a separate school subject from Social and Government in a bid to improve the Social science literacy and civic consciousness level of students in Nigeria. Although these subjects are taught in schools but the possible impact they may have had on Social science literacy and civic consciousness level of senior secondary school students are yet to be empirically verified. This study therefore, seeks to ascertain the possible correlationor relationship between the teaching of Social science literacy and civic consciousness level of Nigerian senior secondary school students in Enugu North Education zone, Enugu State, Nigeria.
Purpose of the study
The general purpose of the study is to determine the possible relationship between Social science literacy and civic consciousness level of senior secondary school students in Enugu North education zone, Enugu state. Specifically the study sought to:
1. ascertain the Social science literacy level of senior secondary school students in Enugu North education zone.
2. find out the civic consciousness level of senior secondary school students in Enugu North education zone.
3. determine the relationship between Social science literacy and civic consciousness of senior secondary school students in Enugu North education zone.
4. determine how gender could predict Social science literacy of senior secondary school students in Enugu North education zone.
5. determine how gender could predict civic consciousness level of senior secondary students in Enugu North education zone.
6. determine the relationship between location and Social science literacy of senior secondary school students in Enugu North education zone.
7. determine the relationship between location and civic consciousness level of senior secondary school students in Enugu North education zone.
8. determine how parental occupations can predict Social science literacy of senior secondary school students in Enugu North education zone.
9. determine how parental occupations can predict civic consciousness level of senior secondary school students in Enugu North education zone
Significance of the study
This study has both theoretical and practical significance. Theoretically, the study hinges on the socialization agents’ theory. The theory emphasizes that Social science interest and exposure indicate a separate Social science involvement construct. The importance of socialization agents’ theory is that it narrows down knowledge of basic Social science concepts and facts in senior secondary schools.Student’scivic consciousness level will be predicted and will also be significantly influenced by Social science literacy alignment with socialization agents’ theory.
The benefits that shall accrue from this study are many;especiallystudents, teachers, government and non-governmental organization will all benefit from this study.
Students will benefit from the findings of this study because the teaching pf Social science literacy content in schools will help to increase their civic consciousness level in school and in society at large.
Teachers will benefit from this study when their employers are abreast with the knowledge of these findings of study, by being more responsible in providing instructional materials for teaching Social science literacy contents and other benefit which will strengthen their civic consciousness.
Government will be well informed with understanding that being the employers of the teachers, they need to provide the necessary things that are needed by teachers, organize seminars and workshops for teachers that will support their already appropriate teaching methods in teaching Social science literacy content. It will also help the government to achieve the objectives of introduction of civic education as stated on civic education curriculum.
Non-governmental will benefit in that of development, greater output will come from students because of the knowledge inculcated in them to the growth of society.
Scope of the study
The study was carried out in senior secondary schools in Enugu North education zone, Enugu state. It focusedprimarily on Social science literacy and civic consciousness levelof senior secondary school students. The scope contents therefore focused on Social science literacy and civic consciousness which resonate with some of the common themes in subjects such as social studies, civic education and Government respectively. These themes include national values, citizenship, national consciousness and identity, Nigerian constitution, human rights, rule of law, capitalist democracy, Nigerian constitution, duties and obligations of citizens, popular participation, Social science apathy, peace and conflicts respectively (Nigerian Educational Research Development Council, 2008) p. vi-vii. These themes are vital to effective acquisition of Social science literacy skills and corresponding development of civic consciousness among senior secondary school students.
The following research questions guided the study:
1. What is the Social science literacy level of senior secondary school students in Enugu North education zone?
2. What is the civic consciousness level of senior secondary school students in Enugu North education zone?
3. What is the relationship between Social science literacy and civic consciousnesses of senior secondary school students in Enugu North education zone?
4. What is the influence of gender on Social science literacy of senior secondary school students in Enugu North education zone?
5. What is the influence of gender on civic consciousness level of senior secondary school students in Enugu North education zone?
6. What is the influence of location on Social science literacyof senior secondary school students in Enugu North education zone?
7. What is the influence of location civic consciousness level of senior secondary school students in Enugu North education zone?
8. What is the influence of parental occupation on Social science literacy levelof senior secondary school students in Enugu North education zone?
9. What is the influence of parental occupation oncivic consciousness level of senior secondary school students in Enugu North education zone?
The following hypotheseswere testedat 0.05 level of significance:
Hoi: There is no statistically significant relationship between Social science literacy and civic consciousness level of senior secondary school students.
HOii: There is no statistically significant difference between Social science literacy of senior secondary school students in urban and rural areas of Enugu North education zone.
HOiii: There is no statistically significant difference between civic consciousness level of senior secondary school students in urban and rural areas of Enugu North education zone.
HOiv:There is no statistically significant difference between Social science literacyof male and female senior secondary school students in Enugu North education zone.
HOv: There is no statistically significant difference between civic consciousness level of male and female senior secondary school students in Enugu North education zone.
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