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TEACHERS EFFECTIVENESS IN THE TEACHING OF SOCIAL STUDIES AT JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS

TEACHERS EFFECTIVENESS IN THE TEACHING OF SOCIAL STUDIES AT JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

The process of evaluating the effectiveness of teachers has changed over time along with the definition of what effective teaching is, due in part to increasing state and federal attention to school-level and classroom-level accountability for student learning. (Barth, 2013).

 

In a discussion of research-based indicators of effective teaching, Cruickshank and Haefele (2011) stated that “an enormous underlying problem with teacher evaluation relates to lack of agreement about what constitutes good or effective teaching”.

 

Muijs (2006) further stated that commonly used methods of evaluating teachers’ effectiveness include classroom observations designed to measure teacher practices against some standard of effective teaching and value-added models that set out to measure the contribution of individual teachers to their students’ achievement gains.

Consequent upon the observed deterioration in the academic achievement, attitude and values of secondary school students in public secondary schools, one wonders if the high failure rates and the poor quality of the students is not a reflection of the instructional quality in the schools.

 

In other words the ineffectiveness of teachers in classroom interaction with the students could be responsible for the observed poor performance of students and the widely acclaimed fallen standard of education in Nigeria (Afe, 2012).

Teaching effectiveness has been accepted as a multidimensional construct since it measures a variety of different aspects of teaching such as; subject mastery, effective communication, lesson preparation and presentation (Onyeachu,2013).

 

TEACHERS EFFECTIVENESS IN THE TEACHING OF SOCIAL STUDIES AT JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS

The influence of teachers’ teaching effectiveness on the learning outcome of students as measured by students’ academic performance especially in social studies has been the subject of several studies (Adediwura and Tayo, 2011; AduandOlatundun, 2010; SchacterandThum, 2014; Starr, 2012).

The above studies suggest that effective teaching is a significant predictor of students’ academic achievement. Therefore effective teachers should produce students of higher academic performance.

 

Poor academic performance of students in Nigeria has been linked to poor teachers’ performance in terms of accomplishing the teaching task, negative attitude to work and poor teaching habits which have been attributed to poor motivation (Ofoegbu, 2004).

It has also been observed that conditions that would make for effective teaching such as resources available to teachers, general conditions of infrastructure as well as instructional materials in public secondary schools in Nigeria are poor (Oredein, 2000). These prevailing conditions would definitely show a negative influence on the instructional quality in public schools, which may translate to poor academic performance, attitude and values of secondary school students.

Recent examinations of the factors that influence students’ scores have identified variables associated with teachers’ effectiveness.

 

The existence of this factor is not surprising since a major function of schools is to put in place contexts in which students can learn, and the more successfully they manage these interactions, the more effective the teacher is likely to be. To this end, Blankstein (2012) had stated that students’ grades and test scores are not good indicators of the quality of teachers’ instruction.

In support of the above view, a study carried out by Joshua (2011) showed that Nigerian teachers condemn the use of student achievement scores as indicators of teachers’ competence, performance or effectiveness.

 

Since students’ academic scores are not the only predictors of teachers’ effectiveness, researchers have sought other fairer ways of evaluating teachers’ effectiveness. Students, administrators, colleagues and the teachers’ self-evaluation have been used to evaluate teachers’ effectiveness.

Students’ competence in the evaluation of the effectiveness of their teachers has been of great concern to researchers in education. However, studies have shown that students’ ratings are valuable indicators of teachers’ effectiveness (Imhanlahini and Aguele, 2006; Pozo-Munzo, 2009).

 

Despite the fact that there are research reports in support of students’ rating of their teachers’ effectiveness, Nuhfer (2004) and Pozo-munzo(2009) warned that students rating should be one of a comprehensiveevaluation system and should never be the only measure of teachers’ effectiveness. The school administrators’ evaluation has also been used to evaluate teachers’ effectiveness.

Akintola also defined social studies as the integrated study of man as he battles for survival in the environment both physical and social. It promotes awareness, appreciation, and understanding of the reciprocal relationship between man and the environment.

 

The nature and objectives of social studies in Nigerian secondary schools emphasizes students’ familiarity with their physical and social environment; improved social relationships and interactions, skills and ability to think relatively, critically, creatively and independently all of which are relevant to problem solving as a totality of man’s experiences in the society and a problem-approach discipline. It becomes imperatives for student’s active participation in the learning process (Akintola, 2011).

Various authorities in social studies shared similar view of what social studies is. In 2011, the board of Directors of National Council for social studies held that social studies is the integrated study of social science and humanities to promote civic competence within the school program.

 

Social studies provides coordinated and systematic study, drawing disciplines such as Economics, Geography, History, Philosophy, Law, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, Sociology as well as appreciate content from humanities and natural science.

In line with the above, Mkpa (1998), explained that social studies consist of knowledge, skills, process and values to which learners are exposed to, in order for them to successfully achieve stated educational purpose.

Furthermore, Kissock (2012), maintained that social studies content is primarily made up of facts and statements which can be proved true.Gurney (2007) held that apart from social science, other subjects like Literature, Art, Music can contribute valuable insight for children in their study of human groups. The students themselves are still another source of content for social studies.

 

Akintola, (2011) at the Nigeria Educational Research council conference held at Jos spelt out the definition of social studies as the learning of man’s interactions with his social and physical environment, that it is not only study, but the way of life, since man is influenced by his physical, social, political, economic, psychological and cultural environments.

It is important that social studies teachers understand the role social studies is expected to play in the society in order to achieve the desired result of exposing students to social studies learning and teaching. The teacher should have sense of direction; this implies that there is need for goals and objectives of social studies.

 

Also, studies have shown that gender has implication on instructional effectiveness. For example, Kissock (2012) stated that males teachers are more effective in teaching social studies than their female counterparts. This means that gender may also affect teachers’ instructional effectiveness in teaching social studies.

 

Similarly, the school location or environment may have impact on the effectiveness of teachers in teaching social studies. For example, studies have shown that teachers in urban areas are more effective than their counterparts in rural areas (Eze and Nnennaya, 2013).

Statement of the Problem

The issue of poor academic performance of students in social studies has been of much concern to all and sundry. This poor performance to some extent is attributed to students’ factors and sometimes teachers’ effectiveness in teaching the subject. The quality of education on the other hand depends on the teachers as reflected in the performance of their duties. Over time, students’ academic performance in both internal and external examinations had been used to determine excellence in teachers and teaching.

 

Result from earlier researches revealed deficiency in the effective teaching of social studies at junior secondary school. The factors responsible for such ineffectiveness include; inadequate and unqualified social studies teachers, inadequate teaching aids, poor infrastructures, and inappropriate use of methodology.

Despite the importance of social studies such as students’ familiarity with their physical and social environment; improved social relationships and interactions, skills and ability to think relatively, critically, among others, most students exhibit nonchalant attitude towards the subject which may be as a result of teachers’ ineffectiveness in teaching the subject.

 

Purpose of the Study

This study is intended to determine the effectiveness of the teachers in the teaching of social studies at junior secondary school level. Specifically, the purposes of the study is to;

  • Determine the extent to which teachers mastery of the social studies content contributes to his effectiveness
  • Determine the extent to which the use appropriate learning resources by social studies teachers contribute to their effectiveness.
  • Determine the influence of teachers’ instructional method on their effectiveness.

 

  • Determine the extent which the use of appropriate classroom management style by social studies teachers contributes to their effectiveness.
  • Determine the influence of communication skill on social studies teachers’ effectiveness.
  • Determine the extent to which gender difference among social studies teachers contributes to their effectiveness.
  • Determine the influence of location on social studies teachers’ effectiveness.
  • Determine the influence of teachers experience on their effectiveness.

 

Significance of the Study

The findings of this study will therefore add credence to the tenets of these theories.

Practically, the parents, students, teachers, researchers and policy makers would benefit from the findings of the study. The joy of parents is to see their children excelling in academics. This wish has eluded most parents. However the finding of this study if implemented would help the parent to enroll their wards into the right school where only effective teachers are employed to teach social studies.

The finding of this study would also be of benefit to the students. This is because the students are functional members of the society. The outcome or product of effective teaching is consumed by the society. The values inculcated by an effective social studies teacher would help to build the society socially, economically and politically.

 

Social studies curriculum among other things emphasized honesty, leadership, followership, nationhood, etc. these values if translated into the students will go along way to building a healthy society.

The finding of this study would help the teachers to understand better the factors that influenced their effectiveness, thus making them better teachers of the subject. These will inturn influence students’ performance in the subject. The assumption is that greater effectiveness would have concomitant positive influence on students’ achievement in social studies.

The outcome of this study would also help school administrators to identify what to emphasize in the course of supervising teaching and learning in the school system.Supervision is an integral part of the school system which ensures proper curriculum implementation.

 

This study is particularly important because it will help school administrators to quickly identify those factors such as punctuality, mastery of content, the issue of appropriate learning resources or teaching aids, the use of appropriate class management style that contribute to teachers effectiveness.

The findings of this study will provide additional literature for subsequent researchers to draw from the course of conducting researches, and also reveal problems which could be the basis for further research, thus contributing to the existing knowledge of teacher effectiveness in the teaching of social studies in junior secondary schools. The finding of the study will also help researchers to identify the various ways of measuring teacher effectiveness.

 

Conclusions

From the foregoing discussions based on the results of the study, the following conclusions were made.

  • Social studies teachers master social studies content to a high extent.
  • The use of appropriate learning resources by social studies teachers contribute to their effectiveness in the teaching of social studies to a high extent.
  • To a high extent, teachers’ instructional method influence their effectiveness in the teaching of social studies at junior secondary schools.
  • The use of appropriate classroom management style by social studies teachers contribute to their effectiveness in teaching of social studies at junior secondary schools.

 

  • Teacher’s communication skill influence his effectiveness in teaching social studies at junior secondary schools.
  • To a high extent, gender influence teachers’ effectiveness in teaching social studies at junior secondary schools.
  • School location influence teachers’ effectiveness in teaching social studies at junior secondary schools.
  • Result showed that to a high extent, years of teaching experience influence teachers’ effectiveness in teaching social studies at junior secondary schools.
  • Respondents from public and private schools had the same opinion on how teachers’ mastery of social studies content contributes to their effectiveness in the teaching of social studies at junior secondary schools.
  • Respondents from public and private schools had the same opinion on how appropriate learning resources contribute to teachers’ effectiveness in the teaching of social studies.

 

  • Respondents from public and private schools had the same opinion on how the use of appropriate instructional method by teachers contribute to their effectiveness in the teaching of social studies at junior secondary schools.
  • Respondents from public and private schools had the same opinion on how the use of appropriate classroom management style by social studies teachers contribute to their effectiveness in the teaching of social studies at junior secondary schools.
  • There was no significant difference between the mean rating of students in public and private secondary schools on the influence of teachers’ communication skills on their effectiveness in the teaching of social studies at junior secondary schools.

 

  • There was no significant difference between the mean rating of male and female students on teachers’ effectiveness in teaching of social studies at junior secondary schools.
  • There was no significant difference between the mean rating of students from rural and urban areas on teachers’ effectiveness in teaching of social studies at junior secondary schools.
  • There was no significant difference between the mean ratings of respondents on teachers’ effectiveness in teaching of social studies at junior secondary schools based on experience.

 

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Joselyn Nya

My Name is Joselyn Nya A Publisher in Project Boss Team. I'm a Nigerian I'm a graduate/Educational Researcher. Project Boss Team. We are the best for Project materials and project writing services. Email: admin@projectboss.com.ng

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