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CHAPTER 1: Introduction

Attempts have been made by many writers to define or rather describe Social Studies. However, there is no particular agreed definition as every attempt is based on individual beliefs about the role of Social Studies in society. For example, Adaralegbe (1975) argued that Social Studies is the study of how people live, what they do and how their life is affected by various things and social practices around them. Adaralegbe (1980) stated that Social Studies is the totality of experience astudent goes through having been exposed to a course explaining the problems men and women encounter in chosen environments (historical, geographical, traditional, political, religious, economic, psychological, cultural, scientific and technological). Meanwhile, Makinde (1979) claimed that Social Studies is a subject that attempts to study human beings in all their manifestations. However, Awoyemi & Ndagunnu (2005) claimed that Social Studies embraces those studies which are concerned with how people build a better life for themselves and their fellow human beings; how people deal with the problems of living together, how people change and are changed by their environment.

The Comparative Education Study and Adaptation Centre (CESAC, 1982) defined Social Studies as a subject that is concerned with the way people live and interact with their social and physical environments and how science and technology help them to live well in those environments. CESAC went further to state the usefulness of Social Studies is enhanced when it is seen as a way of looking at society in order to understand social problems and thereby helps to seek a solution to them. In contrast, Akinlaye (1980) defined Social Studies as the study of people and their environments which has an influence on them in one way or the other



Background of the Study

There are challenges facing teachers in delivering the Social Studies curriculum appropriately, and there are both experiential and gender differences in teachers’ ability to deliver the Social Studies curriculum. It also revealed that not all the teachers are Social Studies specialists; there are some non-specialist teachers teaching Social Studies because their subject embraces disciplines that have to do with human existence (e.g. human geography)

and this was perceived by the authorities as appropriate to deliver the curriculum.This may have accounted for a diversity of teaching methods and opportunities. Teachers reported that the curriculum content in Social Studies is not adequate for addressing the social issues and problems that face Nigeria today; the importance of peace and consequences of conflicts, the importance of culture, and the need for national unity and progress. They were of the opinion that illustrated talks, visiting speakers, drawing and painting, posters, creative writing, cartoons, brainstorming, costume making, plays, puppetry and quizzes are not always suitable teaching

techniques. Additionally instructional material such as charts, relevant and current Social Studies textbooks are not readily available in schools. They also indicated that the matching or pairing of item tests and multiple choice tests is not suitable evaluation techniques.




1.1            Statement of the Problem

Social Studies provide a way of looking at society in order to understand its structure and its problems and to look for ways of solving those problems. Social Studies therefore seek to integrate knowledge from the various traditional disciplines. Although the National Policy on Education accepted social studies education as a curriculum design for inculcating norms and values of active citizenship amongst young learners in our schools, most of the studies (Lat, 1999; Akims, 2003; Shingumi, 2003 and Kazi 2004) and data available in this direction have demonstrated that we are yet to achieve the virtues and assets intrinsic in the subject area Social studies as a subject has several attractive characteristics.  Unfortunately, there are factors militating against the successful teaching of social studies in the secondary schools. Teachers need to be aware of the factors militating against the effective teaching in order to create positive learning environment for all students to learn. Therefore the problem confronting this research is to investigate the challenges of effective teaching of social studies in senior secondary school.


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