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IMPACT OF TEACHER QUALITY ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN SOCIAL STUDIES IN KATSINA STATE
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
Teaching is made up of several components of different dimensions such as the teacher, the students, the curriculum, the teaching method and instructional materials. Therefore, teacher qualities are the different components involved in the teaching and learning of social studies; importance of learning social studies.
With the above definition therefore, this study intends to investigate the impact of teacher qualities on the academic performance of junior secondary school students in Social Studies using two instruments: the teachers‟ questionnaire and a paper and pencil test for the students.
The major development associated with the National Policy on Education NPE (2008) is the pride of place it has given to Social Studies. The policy regards this subject as a compulsory core subject area which all students at Junior Secondary Schools cannot dispense with in their learning activities. Very importantly the policy endorsed that, the teaching of Social Studies in our Junior Secondary Schools must be seen as one of those avenues of establishing strong basis for the production of effective citizens and of foregoing a cohesive society that will support the notion of the nation building.
The above statement implies not only a perception of the Social Studies education in terms of understanding on human relationship, but also in terms of its aims at producing citizens with skills, competencies, moral values and reasoned judgment to effectively live,
interact, interrelate and contribute positively to the economic, social and political development of Nigerian Society.
According to Okobiah (1999) to achieve these objectives in Social Studies education, the teachers involved in this task must implore qualified, well experienced and well attended workshop, seminars and conferences organized for social studies teachers. However for the current practice in Social Studies education to be vital and valid within classroom context, it must be made operational by the teacher through qualification and teaching experience, aims and objectives, curriculum context, methodology, instructional materials, resources and evaluation procedure/processes.
For the diversified curriculum structures of social studies to be delivered by the professional teachers successfully, Social studies as a discipline must integrate the divergent and contemporary issues in Nigerian school curriculum. However it is generally accepted fact that Social Studies education stresses societal goals with man and his socio-economic and political environment as the focal point. Social Studies is an integrated discipline aimed at solving the complex and diversified problems of man in totality.
Dubey et al (1980) stresses that it is the hope of Social Studies that knowledge, attitude and skills obtained in the process of studying will have transfer value to the lives of children so that the decision they make as mature citizens would be useful to themselves and to the whole society. Social Studies education was therefore recommended for implementation nationally in 1969 at National Curriculum Conference.
For the reorganization and reshaping of the core curricula to achieve its desirable social as well as economic goals it has naturally become the primary concern of African
countries to reflect the self needs of their societies and this is where social studies came in. At the time it was introduced, concerted efforts were made by some associations, such as Social Studies Association of Nigeria (SOSAN) and governmental bodies such as the Nigerian Educational Research Development Council (NERDC) to get it well established along with other traditional subjects in the school curriculum. Also seminars, workshops and conferences were convened where papers were presented and discussed. As such, the teaching and learning of Social Studies was made compulsory at the school levels of education system. This was the attempt to achieve the national goals and objectives.
Ogunsanya (1984) also indicated that “the experience of many countries of the world where Social Studies has been introduced into the school curriculum has shown that such countries were initially motivated to do so by the felt need to get rid of certain social vices plugging their countries and which they believed social studies contributed in eliminating”.
Okam (2002) explained that Social Studies is not only concerned with the controls imposed on our lives by political institutions, but also the fostering and improvement of human relations through better understanding of others both at home and abroad. It is also devoted to the basic Social institutions and the relationships of the Nigerian polity to those organized bodies that shaped our behaviour in so many ways. The discipline of Social Studies has assumed a major dimension in the sphere of curriculum development in Nigeria.
Joof (1991) pointed out that the inability of Geography and History to prepare the citizens for their effective living in an increasingly complex world has been one of the circumstances that induced the introduction of Social Studies in the school curriculum. Ogundare 1984, Agbole 1985, Adeyoyin and Okam 1988) which agreed that an effective
classroom dispensation of Social Studies can create a strong basis for inculcating attitudes favorable for sound social development of youths. Also there is a consensus in these findings associated with these studies that, the teaching and learning of social studies can contribute to an acquisition and sustenance of desirable attributes characteristic of effective citizenry with a given democratic framework such as Nigeria.
As a Social Studies teacher and scholar, the researcher observed through experiences for many years that teachers teaching Social Studies are not well qualified in employing and exploring the method of teaching Social Studies instruction which has resulted to student‟s negative perceptions and poor performance. As such it is against this background, therefore that the researcher was motivated to carry out an investigation in order to find out the impact of teacher quality on the academic performance of junior secondary school students in social studies. There is the need for teachers to use various teaching methods aimed at enhancing effective classroom management and control instead of using one single method which will lead to monotony and loss of interest from the learners.
1.2. Statement of the Problem
With the introduction of Social Studies education in the Nigerian educational system in 1969 at National Curriculum Conference which made social studies to be a core course or subject at the primary and Junior Secondary Schools level, Dubey and Barth (1977) conceptualized Social Studies as a process of education which utilizes the study of human life for the purposes of given children and adult the opportunity to practice and solve individual and societal problems. Therefore Social Studies as a subject should enable young people to understand their own complex industrial world. Social Studies is a subject that deals with the comprehensive study of man in relation to his social and physical
environments and he deliberately applied science and technology in order to make the society a better place to live. It is observed that, there are multidimensional or multi-various teaching qualities such as, qualification, in-service training and experiences in teaching Social Studies affect the student‟s academic performance in Junior Secondary Schools in Katsina State. .
The problem of teaching and learning of Social Studies in Junior Secondary Schools is of colossal magnitude which this study attempts to analyze, because the National Policy on Education (NPE, 2004) identified Social Studies as an integrated subject which students must undergo at Junior Secondary School level to prepare them for social science based courses at Senior Secondary Schools (S.S.S.). However, for the subject to be fully appreciated by the students and to have higher performance in the subject the researcher feels that there is a need for using teacher quality, experience and teachers attendance of workshops, seminars and conferences to measure the performance of junior secondary school students in Social Studies.