THE PLACE OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIAL IN THE TEACHING OF SOCIAL STUDIES
This study was conducted to investigate the importance of instructional materials in the teaching of Social Studies in secondary schools in Edo State. During the study, data were collected by means of questionnaire and it was detected that the place of instructional materials is very important in the teaching of Social Studies in secondary schools. The researcher thereby stressed that instructional materials is very important and therefore should be in any school setting. Furthermore she also stressed that instructional materials will increase the interest of the students in learning, a development that will enable the child to become a useful person to the society. In conclusion, it was recommended that instructional materials should be used in every school in Edo State for effective teaching and learning process to take place
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
It is well known among educators that, the educational experiences involving the learner actively participating in -concrete examples are retained longer than abstract experiences. Instructional materials add elements of reality by providing concrete examples to learning. Many authors have written on the use of instructional materials both in teaching Social Studies and other related subjects in order to enhance teaching for desired social and behavioural change. These authors include; Mcluhan (1964), Alaka (1978), Kochar (1986), Okafor (1988), Mkpa (1989), UNDP (1998), Heeks (1999), World Bank (1999), Aguokogbuo (2000), Koert (2000), Greenwood (2001), Bozimo (2002), Nwanna-Nzewunwa (2003) and Adekeye (2008). More specially, it was emphasized in the work of these authors that the use of instructional materials is a sine qua non in affecting behaviour of learners of every field, especially social studies. It was equally shown by some of the authors that these materials are important catalysts of social re-engineering and change. It is obvious that social studies teaching and learning cannot be well accomplished without the use of instructional materials.
The reason is not far fetched. Advances in technology have brought instructional materials especially the projected and electronic materials to the forefront as the most radical tools of globalization and social development which have affected the classroom teaching learning situation positively. Such technology or technological breakthroughs as networked and non networked projected and non projected, visual, auditory, audio-visual electronic materials are important landmarks in knowledge transfer. With them both teaching and learning become very pleasant experiences.
Instructional materials possess some inherent advantages that make them unique in social studies teaching. For one thing, they provide the teacher with interesting and compelling platforms for conveying information since they motivate learners to want to learn more and more. Also, by providing opportunities for private study and references, the learners’ interest and curiosity are increasingly stimulated. Further, the teacher is assisted in over coming physical difficulties that could have hindered his effective presentation of a given topic. They generally make teaching and learning easier and less stressful. They are equally indispensable catalysts of social and intellectual development of the learners.
Bolick (2003) pointed to a good relationship between the teachings of the social studies and using of instructional materials. He argued that while some educators have been fascinated by the potential of instructional materials to enhance teaching and learning teachers’ lagged behind in using instructional materials during teaching and learning. Others expressed doubts that instructional materials will ever incite teaching reform in social studies. Instructional materials are integral components of teaching learning situation. It is not just to supplement learning but to complement its process.
Instructional materials are made up of objects such as printed materials, audio, visual that aid in the successful delivery of social studies lesson (Chuba 2000: 101). To this end, instructional materials are said to be objects or things the teacher can use in the classroom while teaching in order to ease off his teaching activities. However, instructional materials cannot address all the teaching learning problem but it can go a long way in solving them, simply because they are additional apparatus that can influence the reality of teaching and learning activities.
Joof (1995: 85) explained that, the concept of teaching aids has gone through several evolutionary stage from the simple aids, instructional technology, media to communication and educational technology. This however, tells us that instructional materials are not just objects or equipments used during teaching learning process but there those objects improvised by the teacher to make conceptual abstraction more concrete and practical to the learners. Instructional materials are the relevant materials utilized by a teacher during social studies instructional process for the purpose of making the contents of the instructions more practical and less vague. Instructional materials are indispensable factors of in any teaching learning process. Ordinary words or verbalization has been found to be inadequate for effective teaching. Instructional materials serve as a channel through which message, information, ideas and knowledge are disseminated more easily. They can therefore be manipulated, seen, heard, feet or talked about. They facilitate activities. They are anything or anybody the teacher turns to for help in his learning process (ESU & Umoren 1998).
Instructional materials group the learners’ intellect and eliminated boredom. Some of the unique qualities of instructional materials is speedy learning and accuracy. They make the work easier, more appeal, accurate, neater and boosting for clarity of social studies concept. If social studies is to be learned effectively, it must be experienced. Social studies is so close to the life of every child that no teacher needs ever be without instructional materials for teaching of social studies. One of the biggest draw backs in the use of instructional materials is inadequate supply of instructional materials.
Teaching of social studies in respect to its scope and nature, which is multidimensional, integrative and dynamic, cannot effectively take effects without the use of instructional materials, the teaching of social studies contents must focus not only on making teachers competent at using instructional materials, but at the same time, promote strategies that enables the integration of instructional materials that enhances teaching and learning of social studies goals and objectives.
Instructional materials as an act of giving help normally by teachers to provide help and encouragement in students or pupils learning activities. They further described instructional materials as a tool, which can easily be used by a teacher to correct wrong impressions and to illustrate things that learners cannot forget. The major aim of using instructional materials in social studies instructional is to achieve excellent result.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The use of instructional materials in social studies instructions has been widely researched but many questions are still remains unanswered. The need for exploring locally available materials in our schools, resourcefulness of the teacher must be in line with the learners’ curriculum and environment so that classroom teaching does have to be retarded by lack of funds. The problems are that; instructional materials not available in our schools, teachers are not improvising and reluctant in using them.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is to determine the use of instructional materials in social studies teaching. The specific objectives of the study are:
1. To identify the place of instructional materials in social studies instruction.
2. To find out how adequate the instructional materials available, types and selected suit the teaching of social studies content.
3. To identify the problems associated with the use of instructional materials.
4. To determine the teachers’ knowledge, competency, in the selection of instructional materials and reasons why they do not utilize the instructional materials.
5. To find out how often social studies teachers utilize instructional materials in the course of social studies instruction.
The following questions were asked and answered in the study;
1. How frequently do social studies teachers utilize instructional materials during social studies lesson?
2. What are the problems associated with the use of instructional materials in social studies instruction?
3. What are the reasons why the teachers do not use instructional materials?
4. What are the benefits of instructional materials to the students?
5. What are the suggested solutions to the problems?
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is obvious that, instructional materials cut across all the spheres of teaching. The findings of the study have some implications for all the processes of acquiring knowledge as it will give insight into the importance and procedures for selecting and use of instructional materials in the teaching learning process of any subject at all.
The integrity of teaching and learning would be rekindled as meaningful learning will be achieved as prospective teachers both in the field of social studies and any other discipline would also have a strong background as how to manipulate and integrate instructional materials with teaching. This will help in showing the effectiveness and the usefulness of instructional materials for teaching social studies to the teachers and all other classroom teaching and learning activities. It would help the educational supervisors on the basic instructional equipments to be provided for social studies teaching whenever inspection is carried out.
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