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INSTRUCTIONAL RESOURCES UTILIZATION AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN SOCIAL STUDIES IN AKWA IBOM SOUTH SENATORIAL DISTRICT
1.1 Background of the Study
The aim of education is to inculcate in the learner the spirit of inquiry and creativity through the exploration of nature. To achieve the aims for the society as spelt out in the National Policy on Education schools should be properly and uniformly be equipped to promote sound and effective teaching (Federal Republic of Nigeria, FRN, 2013). One of the necessary inputs that could facilitate sound and effective teaching and learning is proper utilization of instructional resources. Instructional resources are the essential tools needed to aid teaching and learning effectively and efficiently. They are vital to the teaching of any subject in the school curriculum. They play a very important role in the teaching-learning process. In fact, teaching–learning process as intended may not come by its goal when instructional resources are not considered. The use of instructional resources can encourage teachers and students to work collaboratively and will result in more cooperative learning activities among the students. One of the reasons for using instructional resources is to promote efficiency of education by improving the quality of teaching and learning. Okunloye (2011) asserted that instructional resources are people, events, places or materials that are used to enhance learning, usually by simplifying a difficult situation or making uninteresting learning attractive for learning. The request for instructional resource use in the teaching and learning of social studies is more urgent in an effort to help learners develop their educational, personal and social aspirations. Instructional resources provide a base upon which teachers can guide students in the learning process. Teachers select, develop and reorganize teaching–learning resources for effective teaching. Teachers are therefore the most important teaching–learning resources (Seraphine, Jacob and Joash, 2018). According to Charles (2016), the availability and utilization of instructional resources during lessons positively influence the students’ attitudes towards the subject. In other words, it is one thing to have instructional resources and a different thing to use the resources during lesson to achieve result as intended. He emphasized the need to use learning resources for the teaching of any subject. According to Butt (2011), teaching and learning resources support teachers in making decisions on what and how to teach. This implies that learning resources make education successful if employed during teaching in order to attain the academic objectives.
Social Studies as an integrated discipline is dedicated to transmitting and developing the values of citizens of any nation. It is one of the Nigerian school subjects which is geared towards the development and education of young people. Social studies provides opportunities towards the nurturing of different kinds of virtue in the life of our young citizens such as self-realization, better human relationships, national unity, social and political advancement, scientific and technological development. Social Studies in several nations of the world is essentially introduced to meet certain specific needs and aspirations of the people. Social Studies has been given a pride of place at all levels of Nigerian education industry because it believed among sages that corruption free, humane, moral and integrated society which Nigeria is craving for cannot be achieved without a sound foundation as well as instructions in Social Studies (Opoh, Edinyang and Ogbaji, 2014). It is a field of study that reflects and explores the dynamic situation of our society and also works towards the changing nature of knowledge among the citizens. Social studies fosters new and integrated approach which aimed at resolving societal and environmental issues (Akpochato, 2013).
Social Studies is given a core status and made compulsory subject for all students in Junior secondary schools in Nigeria due to its relevance in enabling citizens acquire skills, knowledge, attitude and values with which they can use to explore their environment and to have a comfortable and fulfilled life (Olayinka, 2016).
There are varieties of instructional resources that are used in school by different teachers; these instructional resources bring life to learning by stimulating students to learn. They are different in types, shapes and colour. Some are expensive such as the audio-visual aids including kits, realia, textbooks, magazines, newspaper, flip chart, audio cassette, picture, recording slides, video discs, and electronic media, such as projectors, radio, television, hardware and software. For instance, a realia or real-life object is one of the resources. Realia are real-life objects that enable learners to make connections to their own lives as they try to make sense of new concepts and ideas. This strategy brings the perspectives central text to life for students by using everyday objects during the read aloud. Objects from real life used in classroom instruction by educators could improve students' understanding of other cultures and real life situations. In other word, real life objects are resources in which teachers can have direct contact with and at the same time direct the focus of students toward the objects.
Another instructional resource is pictorial materials. This involves the use of photographs, images, pictures and other related resources in teaching–learning process. For example, in teaching social studies, the teacher could use pictures of past leaders when treating a topic such as nationalism, representative democracy and patriotism. Pictorial materials may be used to capture the attention of students in classroom situation by directing the mind of the students toward the study through the picture.
Another is the use of textbook. The textbook is one of the most used instructional resources ever adopted in teaching-learning process. The use of textbook in the teaching- learning process is as old the school itself. It is observable that note of lesson and other instruction assisted guides are products of textbook in that particular subject.
Audio-visual is now permeating the educational system as a tool for effective teaching and learning. With audio-visual, the communication of information can be done in a more effective manner and it can be an effective instructional medium for delivering information. Audio-visual access to knowledge is one of the possibilities of information and communication technology that has tremendous impact on learning. The instructional media have emerged in a variety of resources, and equipment, which can be used to supplement or complement the teachers’ efforts in ensuring effective learning by students. It is recognized that conventional media technologies can no longer meet the needs of our teaching and learning processes; as a result they are being replaced by audio-visual technology. This technology provides a learning environment that is self- paced, learner-controlled and individualized (Idris, Shamsuddin, Arome and Aminu, 2018)
Charts are yet another aspect of instructional resource that needs to be utilized in schools. Charts are type of media that do not require projection for viewing. They are extensively used in the classroom, especially in developing country, like Nigeria where supply of electricity is low. Charts are used in teaching and learning process for explanation, illustration, clarification, and reinforcement of certain points in specific lessons. Charts could be used to instruct the learner because charts are capable of converting information intended by the teachers to the students. Hence, the central focus of this study is to investigate the influence of instructional resources utilization on the performance of secondary school students in social studies in Akwa Ibom South senatorial district