THE EFFECTIVENESS OF DISCUSSION METHOD IN TEACHING AND LEARNING SOCIAL STUDIES IN SOME SELECTED JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NIGERIA (A CASE STUDY OF GWAGWALADA AREA COUNCIL)
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The basic objective or goal of teaching at any level of education is to bring a fundamental change on the learner (Tebabal & Kahssay, 2011). To enhance the process of knowledge transmission, teachers are advised to apply appropriate teaching methods that best suit specific goals and purposes. In the traditional epoch, many teaching practitioners widely applied teacher-centered methods to impart knowledge to learners as against student-centered methods. Until today, questions about the effectiveness of teaching methods on student learning ability have consistently raised considerable interest in the thematic field of educational research (Hightower, 2011). Moreover, research on teaching and learning constantly endeavour to examine the extent to which different teaching methods especially the discussion method of teaching enhance growth in student learning. Quite remarkably, regular poor academic performance by the majority students is fundamentally linked to application of ineffective teaching methods by teachers to impact knowledge to learners (Adunola, 2011). Substantial research on the effectiveness of teaching methods indicates that the quality of teaching is often reflected by the academic achievements of learners. According to Ayeni (2011), teaching is a process that involves bringing about desirable changes in learners so as to achieve specific outcomes. In order for the method used for teaching to be effective, Adunola (2011) maintains that teachers need to be conversant with numerous teaching strategies especially the discussion method of teaching that take recognition of the magnitude of complexity of the concepts to be covered.
There have been debates over time to establish whether teaching is a skill or an art. Some students believe in their teacher's performance as quite brilliant, others get motivated and excited with the presentation and teaching. For some others, their teachers bore them making the lesson dry hard and leaving them more confused. All of these enthusiasms and opinions are eventually translated into students' learning ability. However, what is pertinent in teaching and learning is the ability to apply skills to the art of teaching with sole objective of enhancing learning. A blend of skills and art in teaching is also manifested in clearly structure lessons and manner of presentation. A teacher who can effectively do this is an active constructor of learning, who can, and should transmit knowledge, but should allow students voices to be heard as contributing members of class. This is typical in a discussion class. The teacher teaches, asks questions, and in doing so, he hears his voice. But he does not stop at that. In hearing his own voice, he begins to appreciate the need to hear the voices of those he teaches. This elicits a more participatory teaching, which can stimulate imaginative and conceptual thinking amongst students.
STATEMENT OF THE GENERAL PROBLEM
The poor performance of secondary school students in both internal and external examinations has been a cause for serious concerns with many questioning the teaching method adopted in teaching which in most cases are not students friendly which at the end of the day results to poor or average performances as a result of difficulty in learning as regards the teaching methods adopted in secondary schools. These continuous poor performances have resulted to the poor development of secondary schools in Nigeria.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine the effectiveness of discussion method in teaching and learning of social studies in selected junior secondary schools in Nigeria. Other specific objectives of the study include;
H0: Discussion method of teaching social studies does not have an effect on students learning ability and academic performance.
H1: Discussion method of teaching social studies has an effect on students learning ability and academic performance.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study would be of immense importance to the development of secondary schools and also in enhancing students learning ability as it would reveal the effectiveness of discussion method in teaching and learning social studies in Nigeria. The research would also be beneficial to students, researchers and scholars who are interested in developing further research on the subject matter.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The work is restricted to the effectiveness of discussion method in teaching and learning of social studies in some selected junior secondary schools in gwagwalada area council in Abuja.THE EFFECTIVENESS OF DISCUSSION METHOD IN TEACHING AND LEARNING SOCIAL STUDIES IN SOME SELECTED JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NIGERIA