INFLUENCE OF DISCOVERY AND DISCUSSION TEACHING TECHNIQUES ON LEARNERS’ PERFORMANCE IN SOCIAL STUDIES IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NASARAWA STATE, NIGERIA

0
67

INFLUENCE OF DISCOVERY AND DISCUSSION TEACHING TECHNIQUES ON LEARNERS’ PERFORMANCE IN SOCIAL STUDIES IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NASARAWA STATE, NIGERIA  

ABSTRACT

The study was carried out to determine the effects of discovery and discussion methods on students’ performance in Social studies in junior secondary schools in Nasarawa State, Nigeria. The study sought to; determine the difference between the performance of students taught social studies using discovery method and those taught using conventional lecture method in junior secondary schools in Nasarawa State; examine the difference between the performance of students taught social studies using discussion method and those taught using conventional lecture method in junior secondary schools in Nasarawa State; and compare the performance of students taught social studies using discovery and discussion  methods in junior secondary schools in Nasarawa State, among others. It adopted quasi-experimental, pre-test, post-test, control group design. The population of the study consisted of 17,310 JSII students from 174 public junior secondary schools (JSS) in Nasarawa State. A sample size of 280, Social studies students were used in the study. This sample size was arrived at using purposive sampling technique. A teacher made test tagged ―Social Studies Performance Test (SSPT)‖ was used for data collection. The instrument was validated by experts. The reliability index is 0.91. Data were collected through the administration of pre-test and post-test. Mean and standard deviation were used to answer the research questions.  Independent sample t-test statistics was used to test hypotheses 1, 2 and 3 while hypotheses 4 and 5, was tested using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). Findings of the study among others revealed that the performance of students taught social studies using discovery method was better than those taught using conventional lecture method in junior secondary schools in Nasarawa State (.000 <0.005). Students taught social studies using discussion method performed significantly better than those taught using conventional lecture method in junior secondary schools in Nasarawa State (.002 <0.005). And that the performance of students taught social studies using discovery method was better than those taught using discussion method in junior secondary schools in Nasarawa State (.001 <0.005). Based on the findings, it was recommended that discovery and discussion methods should be used as alternative methods to improve the teaching and learning of Social Studies in Junior Secondary Schools.  Teachers should be encouraged and motivated to use discovery and discussion methods through supervision and provision of enabling environment to teach Social Studies in Junior Secondary Schools.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

      1.1       Background to the Study

Education had been recognized as an instrument that can bring about desirable development both in the individual and the society at large. This could be why the Federal Government of Nigeria through its National Policy on Education (FGN 2013), had emphasized that education is a dynamic instrument for social change that can bring about the development of a nation. As a result, the need for a constant evaluation of the entire educational system is necessary so as to ensure its adequacy and relevance to national needs and objectives. Education in Nigeria is expected to play the role of building a free democratic society, a just and egalitarian society, a united, strong and selfreliance nation, a great and dynamic economy and a land of bright and full opportunity for all citizens (FGN,2013). Ubah (2001) in Tsaku (2009), posited that this might have been informed by the serious national issues such as social and cultural integration and unity, discipline, patriotism and ethnicity which Nigeria confronted as the colonial masters left. It is in line with these roles that social studies was introduced and given prime importance by the Federal Government as a tool for implementing the national goals and objectives.

The focus on social studies for the achievement of Nigeria’s educational objectives is informed by the fact that the ever riding purpose of social studies is citizenship education, through acquisition of knowledge, attitudes and skills  necessary to process information, values, beliefs and social participation (Ossai, 2014). The nature and objectives of social studies in Nigeria schools emphasized students’ familiarity with their physical and social environments, improved social relationship and interactive skills as well as abilities to think reflectively, critically and independently. All these are relevant to problem-solving (Iyamu & Otete, 2006). Social studies is vital in helping to create individuals who are active and dynamic participants in Nigerian society. This view of social studies, therefore, raises the challenge of the organization of its inter-related component and how to make students become conscious of the underlying forces that make up its elements.  There is therefore, the need to select appropriate instructional methods that will facilitate all round development in the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains of the students.

Teaching method is the overall plan for the orderly presentation of content or learning materials. Adamu (2016), saw method of teaching as a procedure by which a goal is reached, a purpose accomplished or a result achieved. Teaching or instructional method is summarized as a practical application of teaching principles based on the nature of learner, the nature of subject and the learning needs of the students. Kazi (2012) stated that there is no best method of teaching social studies but a combination of the various teaching methods would help in achieving the desired instructional objectives. The National Teachers Institute (NTI, 2009: p.4), also stated that ―there is no single method which can be applied in the teaching of concepts and principles of social studies. Hence, the use of multiple methods in the teaching of particular concepts and principles should be adopted‖. As a result of the important role social studies education plays in teaching education curriculum, the need to teach it using the most effective methods such as discovery and discussion methods cannot be over emphasized.

Discovery as a way of teaching and learning is one of the contemporary methods which help the learner to learn by doing. According to Awaisu, (2016), discovery method is an inquiry based learning method whereby learners use their prior knowledge and experiences to discover new information that is used in learning. Yusuf (2012), stated that ―discovery  method of teaching is a process where the classroom teacher provides the learner necessary opportunities to discover new facts, methods, rules or techniques of solving problems  as well as new values for themselves‖. The method is also seen as the method of teaching and learning in which learners try to find out something unknown to them earlier with little help from the teacher. The teacher is not simply an initiator of discovery learning but provides continues support to students till they become self learners. This method therefore challenges the learners to find out information for themselves instead of spoon feeding the students as the case with conventional lecture method.

Discussion method in teaching is generally seen as a method in which the teacher guides the students in expressing their opinion and ideas with a view to identifying and solving problems collectively (Ogundare 2010). In this case, a problem or topic of the lesson is presented for discussion while the teacher helps to direct the student’s views towards the objectives of the lesson. This method encourages students’ active participation in the class.  According to Ogundekun (2011), discussion is a type of activity which involves breaking the class into small groups for effective talking on a topic, a problem or issues. It is a thinking together process in which student’s talk freely to the teacher or one another. For a successful implementation of discussion method, every student should have the background knowledge of what is to be discussed.

Discussion method develops leadership and followership skills and stimulates critical thinking. The method can be effective if it is deliberately planned and systematically used with the teacher moderating the process. This makes teaching and learning studentcentred.

Conventional lecture method allows a great deal of information to be passed to the learner and favours handling of large classes. In spite of the advantages, the lecture method does not stimulate students’ innovation, inquiry and scientific attitudes. It encourages students to cram facts which are easily forgotten and inappropriate for achieving the high objectives of social studies programme.

Okam (1998) and Oyeyimi (2014), opined that many of the methods of conveying knowledge have been shown to be relatively ineffective on the students’ ability to master and retain important concepts. They also criticized a classroom trend in social studies which emphasized achievement and acquisition established in the cognitive domain, while attainments that impinge on the affective and psychomotor domains are either neglected or relegated to the background. Ololobou (2009), also reported the seriousness of deplorable performance of students in social studies and identified persistent use of traditional mode of instruction as one of the major shortcomings affecting the learning and higher achievement in social studies. Orimogunje (2008), emphasized the need for using an innovative strategy such as discovery and discussion to correct the mismatch of post primary social studies with the traditional lecture method. In support of the idea, Abdu- Raheem (2012), confirmed that the health of classroom interaction is dictated by the quality of instruction given during the actual periods.

Sotonwa (2003) and Bandele (2003), explained that good teaching matters in raising the standard of education and achievement of students. Ekanola (2007), concluded that discovery and discussion methods are designed to facilitate both knowledge acquisition and utilization.

Social studies education seeks solution to societal problems and hence needs to be taught with solutions finding methods such as discovery, inquiry and discussion methods instead of conventional lecture method of teaching and learning which has little or no effect on students’ performance. Dods, (2007) and Egitimbilim (2009), warned that social studies teachers should move away from the traditional teaching style to creative teaching styles which will make students move from the traditional learning goals of subject assimilation to becoming critical and creative individuals.

In the same vein, Onuola and Okam (2011), demonstrated that inspite of the popularity of social studies in Nigeria schools, the following curriculum processes and practices which are in-built into instruction in the subject area have been relegated to the

background in many classrooms, namely; ―methodology of problem-solving, employment of decision-making devices and principles, including the use of critical thinking and problem-solving procedures‖. Therefore, social studies educators must accept their responsibility for involving learners in classroom activities if they are to achieve learning and behavioural objectives designated as being relevant to the acquisition of citizen norms.

One of the key factors in learning social studies is the students’ attitudes. The development of positive attitudes towards social studies can motivate students’ interest in the subject. Adesoji, (2008) and Nmom (2005), defined attitudes as the tendency to behave in a certain way. It can be positive or negative. Attitudes are very important in social studies. This is because positive attitudes if developed promote good citizenship. Aliyu (2015) observed that little impact has been made in terms of shaping or changing the behaviour of the students, instead, societal ills are on the increase. This shows the need to give realistic education to those who will help to form the society of the future. Omirin and Oladosu (2010), opined that the attitude of the teacher and his teaching method can influence students’ attitudes to the subject. They stated that students’ positive attitudes to social studies correlate highly with social studies achievement.

In order for social studies to perform its statutory functions properly, instructional strategies must be centred on methods of seeking to resolve life reality issues, which include those of problem-solving and learning by experimenting.  Also, a competent teacher of social studies must acquaint himself/herself with social studies methodology and be well groomed in the application of the various methods of teaching social studies (Akinleye 2010). It is against this background that the researcher intends to investigate the effects of discovery and discussion methods on students’ performance in social studies in Junior Secondary Schools in Nasarawa State.

      1.2       Statement of the Problem

The success or failure of students in social studies aside other variables lies in the various methods and techniques used in teaching the subject. Hence, there is the need for the evaluation of the programme, to see how successful it has been in terms of objectives and delivery. This will enhance the innovation and sustainability of the social studies curriculum and guide its redesigning for optimum achievement.  Also, with the increase in societal ills such as corruption, visual killing, kidnapping, terrorism, indiscipline, ethnicity and massive failure of students in both internal and external (BECE) examinations in social studies, it is believed that the subject has not been achieving much of its goals (Ololobou, 2009). This was attested to in the report of Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) results of 2016/2017 from the three (3) sampled schools in Nasarawa State which showed 32.5%, 25% and 35% respectively. These results strongly revealed the poor performances of students in the subject.

More so, Akims (2003), Shingummi (2002) and Ololobou (2009), in Aliyu (2015) have demonstrated that students’ performances in the three domains of social studies are deplorable and below standard. They further stated that the students are partially rich in knowledge of social studies concepts but deficient in some expected social studies values, attitudes and behaviours that characterize socially responsible citizens. Some of the teaching methods that are used in Nigerian junior secondary schools are didactic and the students become very passive in the process. It is the teacher who asks questions, rarely the students are allowed to ask questions or discover problems (Edinyang, 2010). These factors have contributed in no small measure towards poor performance of students in social studies education.

Based on the afore-mentioned issues, it is pertinent to seek innovative methods such as problem-solving, inquiry, discovery and discussion, which are activity based and student-centred that could ensure and enhance better performance in both internal and external examinations. This study therefore, attempts to determine the extent to which two different teaching methods (discovery and discussion) can influence students’ academic performance in social studies. This will also provide necessary information on the methods (discovery and discussion) and how social studies teachers can take advantage in respect of attainment of social studies objectives and delivery.

 

      1.3       Objectives of the Study

This study sought to achieve the following objectives:

  1. determine the difference between the performance mean score of Js II students taught social studies using discovery method and those taught using conventional lecture method in junior secondary schools in Nasarawa State;
  2. examine the difference between the performance mean score of Js II students taught social studies using discussion method and those taught using conventional lecture method in junior secondary schools in Nasarawa State;
  3. compare the performance mean score of Js II students taught social studies using discovery and discussion methods in junior secondary schools in Nasarawa State;
  4. ascertain the performance mean score of Js II students taught family and culture using discovery, discussion and conventional lecture methods in Junior Secondary Schools in Nasarawa State; and
  5. find out the performance mean score of Js II students taught transportation and communication using discovery, discussion and conventional lecture  methods in Junior Secondary Schools in Nasarawa State.

      1.4        Research Questions

This study was guided by the following research questions:

  1. What is the difference between the performance mean score of Js II students taught social studies using discovery method and those taught using conventional lecture method in junior secondary schools in Nasarawa State?
  2. What is the difference between the performance mean score of Js II students taught social studies using discussion method and those taught using conventional lecture method in junior secondary schools in Nasarawa State?
  3. What is the difference between the performance mean score of Js II students taught social studies using discovery and discussion methods in junior secondary schools in Nasarawa State?
  4. What is the performance mean score of Js II students taught family and culture using discovery, discussion and conventional lecture methods in Junior Secondary Schools in Nasarawa State?
  5. What is the performance mean score of Js II students taught transportation and communication using discovery, discussion and conventional lecture methods in Junior Secondary Schools in Nasarawa State?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
  The following null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study:
H01: There is no significant difference between the performance mean score of Js II students taught social studies using discovery method and those taught using conventional lecture method in junior secondary schools in Nasarawa State.
H02: There is no significant difference between the performance mean score of Js II students taught social studies using discussion method and those taught using conventional lecture method in junior secondary schools in Nasarawa State.
H03: There is no significant difference between the performance mean score of Js II

students taught social studies using discovery and discussion methods in junior secondary schools in Nasarawa State.

H04: There is no significant difference between the performance mean score of Js II students taught family and culture using discovery, discussion and conventional lecture methods in junior secondary schools in Nasarawa State.

H05: There is no significant difference between the performance mean score of  Js II students taught transportation and communication using discovery, discussion and conventional lecture methods in junior secondary schools in Nasarawa State.

      1.6       Basic Assumptions

The following assumptions are made with respect to the research work:

  1. The schools to be used for this study are representation of junior secondary schools in Nasarawa State where the study was carried out.
  2. Discovery and discussion methods of instruction are appropriate for teaching the selected topics.
  3. The selected topics are appropriate for the class (JS II) used in the study as stated in the school curriculum.
  4. Effective classroom delivery of lesson by the teacher greatly influences students’ performance in social studies.
  5. Students taught social studies using discovery and discussion methods of teaching are likely to achieve higher than those taught using traditional teaching methods such as conventional lecture method.
  6. Social studies teachers can use discovery and discussion methods of teaching to develop and promote self-confidence of their students who might be passive in terms of participation in classroom activities, thereby promoting students’ academic performance.

      1.7       Significance of the Study

This study titled, effects of discovery and discussion methods on students’ performance in social studies in Junior Secondary Schools in Nasarawa State, will be of enormous benefits to an array of stakeholders in education. The findings of this study will be helpful to social studies teachers, students, school administrators, curriculum planners and developers, textbook writers and publishers, professional associations, researchers, as well as the ministry of education officials.

The result from this study will help social studies teachers in selecting and adopting suitable instructional methods that will be a possible means towards reducing failure in the teaching and learning of social studies. It will also motivate teachers to develop interest in utilizing modern instructional methods (students centred) that will enhance better performance and develop positive attitudes of the students. The result of the findings of this study will also sensitize, and provide the teachers with a feedback on their discovery and discussion teaching competencies as a basis for improvement in their instructional practice in order to enhance performance in social studies education.

The findings of this study will be of a great importance to the social studies students because the use of discovery and discussion methods in teaching and learning of social studies will boost their achievement and help to increase their retention of social studies concepts. It will also help them to develop more interest in social studies and acquire and develop scientific skills which will help them in their career choice, particularly those careers geared towards social studies.

For curriculum planners and developers, the findings from this study will provide them with insights into the effectiveness of discovery and discussion methods in achieving maximum result with limited resources and therefore consolidate it in their future policy efforts.

The finding can be used to enlighten the parents on the students performance using conventional lecture, discussion and discovery methods and finally decides on the best among them. Similarly, it will enable them contribute when they are called for curriculum review or any interactive session that has to do with the teaching methods.

Also, professional associations such as social studies and civic education association of Nigeria (SOSCEAN) will equally benefit from the findings of the study in setting out standards of teaching methods which will be circulated to quality assurance officers and teachers alike. The findings of the study will equally provide book writers and publishers with the knowledge of modern methods of teaching. This will help to enrich their books with effective methods of teaching and learning.

The ministry of education officials can equally benefit by using the findings of this study to engage teachers and administrators in training programmes that can model this new educational methods. In conclusion, the findings of this study could serve as a useful reference point to subsequent research works and contribute to the existing literature on social studies teaching methods.

      1.8       Scope of the Study

This study investigated the effects of discovery and discussion teaching methods on students’ performance in Social Studies in Junior Secondary Schools in Nasarawa State, Nigeria. The study was delimited to a School in each of the three Senatorial Zones (Nasarawa South, North and West) in the State. The researcher used Junior Secondary two (JS II) Students as subjects for the study. The reason was that they were more exposed to the teaching of Social Studies and they were not preparing for any external examination. The study focused on using discovery and discussion methods in the teaching of selected Social Studies topics. The curriculum concepts for the study are:

Family, Culture, transportation and communication.

INFLUENCE OF DISCOVERY AND DISCUSSION TEACHING TECHNIQUES ON LEARNERS’ PERFORMANCE IN SOCIAL STUDIES IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NASARAWA STATE, NIGERIA  

Leave a Reply