The main purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of the teachers in the teaching of social studies at junior secondary school level in Kogi state. Specifically, the study was guided by eight purposes, eight research questions and eight null hypotheses. The design of the study wasa descriptive survey research design. The study was carried out in Kogi State, Nigeria. The population of the study wascomprised of 11,657 JSSII students in Kogi. The sample for the study was 370 respondents. The instrument for data collection was a questionnaire developed by the researcher titled; “Teacher Effectiveness Scale (TES)”. The TES was made up of two parts – A and B. Part A was concerned with demographic data of the respondents which comprised of location (Urban or Rural), Gender (male or female) and Experience. Part B consisted of five (5) clusters. In order to ascertain the validity of instrument (TES), it was validated by three experts: two from Department of Arts Education and one in Measurement and Evaluation, science education department, all from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The experts were requested to ascertain the adequacy and appropriateness of the instrument in eliciting responses from the respondents in answering the research questions and in testing the hypotheses. Their comments and suggestions were used to modify and restructure the instrument. The reliability of the instrument was ascertained through trial- testing to determine the internal consistency of the items and anoverall reliability coefficient of 0.85 was obtained using Cronbach’s Alpha. This shows that the instrument was reliable and was used for the study. The researcher adopted the direct approach in administering the questionnaire to the respondents. This face-to-face and on the spot administration and collection of the instrument was adopted inorder to avoid wastage or loss of the instrument as much as possible. Data collected from the respondents was analyzed using Mean and standard deviation to answer the research questions while the null hypotheses were tested using t-test statistic. All the hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. The finding of the study among others showed that to a high extent, social studies teachers’ master social studies content. It was also found that to a high extent, use of appropriate learning resources by social studies teachers contribute to their effectiveness in the teaching of social studies. Result also showed that to a high extent, teachers’ instructional method influenced their effectiveness in the teaching of social studies at junior secondary schools. The implications of the above findings were examined and it was recommended among other things that teachers should try to understand better the factors that influenced their effectiveness as this will make them better teachers of the subject and will inturn influence students’ performance in the subject. The assumption is that greater effectiveness will have concomitant positive influence on students’ achievement in social studies.The limitations of this study were highlighted and suggestions were made for further studies.
Background of the Study
The future growth of any nation, even the most advanced nations of the world depends quite considerably on the quality of education it provides for its citizens. The quality of education depends upon inspired, satisfied and truly dedicated teachers. This in turn can only be achieved through an effective teacher. Education is the gateway to national development in Nigeria. If it is to be developed to meet her social, political, economic and technological needs, there must exist effective social studies teachers to teach their respective subjects. Therefore, the quest for an effective teacher in teaching social studies is borne out of the desired need to attain the laudable goals of high educational standards coupled with the much needed moral rectitude in our society today (Korve, 2008).
The attainment of the Education Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Education for All Goals (EFA) which is geared towards ensuring that by the year 2015 all children particularly girls, children in difficult circumstances and those belonging to ethnic minorities have access to, and complete, free and compulsory primary education of good quality depend to a large extent on teachers’ effectiveness and other students or learners related factors. Education is an instrument for national development but if it is to achieve that objective, emphasis must be placed on the quality of educational programmes undertaken as well as the quality of teachers who implement them. This is because a quality or effective social studies teacher produces qualitative education which in turn leads to rapid national development (Barth, 2013).
The process of evaluating the effectiveness of teachers has changed over time along with the definition of what effective teaching is, due in part to increasing state and federal attention to school-level and classroom-level accountability for student learning. Effective teaching has been defined in many ways throughout the years (Muijs, 2006; Cruickshank andHaefele, 2011; Cheng andTsui, 2012), and methods for measuring teachers’ effectiveness have changed as definitions and beliefs about what is important to measure have evolved. Although there is a general consensus that good teaching matters and that it may be the single most important school-based factor in improving student achievement (Darling-Hammond, 2012; Wright, Horn, and Sanders, 2010), measuring teacher effectiveness has remained elusive in part because of ongoing debate about what an effective teacher is and does. In a discussion of research-based indicators of effective teaching, Cruickshank and Haefele (2011) stated that “an enormous underlying problem with teacher evaluation relates to lack of agreement about what constitutes good or effective teaching”.Besides a lack of clear consensus on what an effective teacher is and does—or perhaps because of it—there is not a generally agreed-upon method for evaluating teacher effectiveness. Muijs (2006) further stated that commonly used methods of evaluating teachers’ effectiveness include classroom observations designed to measure teacher practices against some standard of effective teaching and value-added models that set out to measure the contribution of individual teachers to their students’ achievement gains.
Teachers have been shown to have an important influence on students’ academic achievement and they also play a crucial role in educational attainment because the teacher is ultimately responsible for translating policy into action and principles based on practice during interaction with the students (Afe, 2012). Both teaching and learning of social studies depends on teachers: no wonder an effective teacher has been conceptualized as one who produces desired results in the course of his duty as a teacher (Uchefuna, 2012). Considering governments’ huge investment in public education, its output in terms of quality of students have been observed to be unequal with government expenditure. Consequent upon the observed deterioration in the academic achievement, attitude and values of secondary school students in public secondary schools, one wonders if the high failure rates and the poor quality of the students is not a reflection of the instructional quality in the schools. In other words the ineffectiveness of teachers in classroom interaction with the students could be responsible for the observed poor performance of students and the widely acclaimed fallen standard of education in Nigeria (Afe, 2012).
Teaching effectiveness has been accepted as a multidimensional construct since it measures a variety of different aspects of teaching such as; subject mastery, effective communication, lesson preparation and presentation (Onyeachu,2013). The influence of teachers’ teaching effectiveness on the learning outcome of students as measured by students’ academic performance especially in social studies has been the subject of several studies (AdediwuraandTayo, 2011; AduandOlatundun, 2010; SchacterandThum, 2014; Starr, 2012). The above studies suggest that effective teaching is a significant predictor of students’ academic achievement. Therefore effective teachers should produce students of higher academic performance. Poor academic performance of students in Nigeria has been linked to poor teachers’ performance in terms of accomplishing the teaching task, negative attitude to work and poor teaching habits which have been attributed to poor motivation (Ofoegbu, 2004). It has also been observed that conditions that would make for effective teaching such as resources available to teachers, general conditions of infrastructure as well as instructional materials in public secondary schools in Nigeria are poor (Oredein, 2000). These prevailing conditions would definitely show a negative influence on the instructional quality in public schools, which may translate to poor academic performance, attitude and values of secondary school students.
Although social studies teachers’ instructional effectiveness would significantly influence students’ academic achievement, other factors such as socio-economic background, family support, intellectual aptitude of student, personality of student, self-confidence, and previous instructional quality have been found to also influence students’ examination score either positively or negatively (Starr, 2012). Recent examinations of the factors that influence students’ scores have identified variables associated with teachers’ effectiveness. The existence of this factor is not surprising since a major function of schools is to put in place contexts in which students can learn, and the more successfully they manage these interactions, the more effective the teacher is likely to be. To this end, Blankstein (2012) had stated that students’ grades and test scores are not good indicators of the quality of teachers’ instruction.
In support of the above view, a study carried out by Joshua (2011) showed that Nigerian teachers condemn the use of student achievement scores as indicators of teachers’ competence, performance or effectiveness. Since students’ academic scores are not the only predictors of teachers’ effectiveness, researchers have sought other fairer ways of evaluating teachers’ effectiveness. Students, administrators, colleagues and the teachers’ self-evaluation have been used to evaluate teachers’ effectiveness. Students’ competence in the evaluation of the effectiveness of their teachers has been of great concern to researchers in education. However, studies have shown that students’ ratings are valuable indicators of teachers’ effectiveness (ImhanlahiniandAguele, 2006; Pozo-Munzo, 2009). Despite the fact that there are research reports in support of students’ rating of their teachers’ effectiveness, Nuhfer (2004) and Pozo-munzo(2009) warned that students rating should be one of a comprehensiveevaluation system and should never be the only measure of teachers’ effectiveness. The school administrators’ evaluation has also been used to evaluate teachers’ effectiveness.
The teaching of social studies has been accepted in many societies as one of the most critical pivot of educational practices which is essentially charged with the responsibility of aiding thechild in his interpretation of the social frameworks including the associated problems in which he operates as a human individual, (Akintola, 2011). Akintola also defined social studies as the integrated study of man as he battles for survival in the environment both physical and social. It promotes awareness, appreciation, and understanding of the reciprocal relationship between man and the environment. The nature and objectives of social studies in Nigerian secondary schools emphasizes students’ familiarity with their physical and social environment; improved social relationships and interactions, skills and ability to think relatively, critically, creatively and independently all of which are relevant to problem solving as a totality of man’s experiences in the society and a problem-approach discipline. It becomes imperatives for student’s active participation in the learning process (Akintola, 2011). Various authorities in social studies shared similar view of what social studies is. In 2011, the board of Directors of National Council for social studies held that social studies is the integrated study of social science and humanities to promote civic competence within the school program. Social studies provides coordinated and systematic study, drawing disciplines such as Economics, Geography, History, Philosophy, Law, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, Sociology as well as appreciate content from humanities and natural science.
In line with the above, Mkpa (1998), explained that social studies consist of knowledge, skills, process and values to which learners are exposed to, in order for them to successfully achieve stated educational purpose. Furthermore, Kissock (2012), maintained that social studies content is primarily made up of facts and statements which can be proved true.Gurney (2007) held that apart from social science, other subjects like Literature, Art, Music can contribute valuable insight for children in their study of human groups. The students themselves are still another source of content for social studies.Akintola, (2011) at the Nigeria Educational Research council conference held at Jos spelt out the definition of social studies as the learning of man’s interactions with his social and physical environment, that it is not only study, but the way of life, since man is influenced by his physical, social, political, economic, psychological and cultural environments.
It is important that social studies teachers understand the role social studies is expected to play in the society in order to achieve the desired result of exposing students to social studies learning and teaching. The teacher should have sense of direction; this implies that there is need for goals and objectives of social studies.The most important thing is that, social studies is a ready tool used to sharpen the society. Social studies was found to be very effective means of bringing together all the diverse and heterogeneous groups that made up Nigeria. Teachers’ effectiveness in the teaching of this subject therefore cannot be overemphasized.Also, studies have shown that gender has implication on instructional effectiveness. For example, Kissock (2012)stated that males teachers are more effective in teaching social studies than their female counterparts. This means that gender may also affect teachers’ instructional effectiveness in teaching social studies. Similarly, the school location or environment may have impact on the effectiveness of teachers in teaching social studies. For example, studies have shown that teachers in urban areas are more effective than their counterparts in rural areas (Eze and Nnennaya, 2013). It is therefore important that this study is carried out in Kogi state where the performance of students in social studies has been very poor which in part may be caused by teachers’ ineffectiveness in teaching the subject. It is against this background that the researcher is interested in finding out how effective the secondary school teachers are in the teaching of social studies at the junior secondary schools in Kogi State, Nigeria.
Statement of the Problem
The issue of poor academic performance of students in social studies has been of much concern to all and sundry. This poor performance to some extent is attributed to students’ factors and sometimes teachers’ effectiveness in teaching the subject. The quality of education on the other hand depends on the teachers as reflected in the performance of their duties. Over time,students’ academic performance in both internal and external examinations had been used to determine excellence in teachers and teaching. Result from earlier researches revealed deficiency in the effective teaching of social studies at junior secondary school in Kogi State. The factors responsible for such ineffectiveness include; inadequate and unqualified social studies teachers, inadequate teaching aids, poor infrastructures, and inappropriate use of methodology.Despite the importance of social studies such as students’ familiarity with their physical and social environment; improved social relationships and interactions, skills and ability to think relatively, critically, among others, most students exhibit nonchalant attitude towards the subject which may be as a result of teachers’ ineffectiveness in teaching the subject. It is based on the above problems that the researcher is interested in carrying out this study to determine the effectiveness of social studies teachers in teaching of the subject in junior secondary school in Kogi State.
Purpose of the Study
This study is intended to determinethe effectiveness of the teachers in the teaching of social studies at junior secondary school level in Kogi state. Specifically, the purposes of the study is to;
- Determine the extent to which teachers mastery of the social studies content contributes to his effectiveness
- Determine the extent to which the use appropriate learning resources by social studies teachers contribute to their effectiveness.
- Determine the influence of teachers’ instructional method on their effectiveness.
- Determine the extent which the use of appropriate classroom management style by social studies teachers contributes to their effectiveness.
- Determine the influence of communication skill on social studies teachers’ effectiveness.
- Determine the extent to which gender difference among social studies teachers contributes to their effectiveness.
- Determine the influence of location on social studies teachers’ effectiveness.
- Determine the influence of teachers experience on their effectiveness.
Significance of the Study
The findings of the study have both theoretical and practical significance. Theoretically, several suppositions and suggestions have been made on how teachers’ effectiveness in teaching his subject influenced students’ academic achievement. For the purpose of this study therefore, Expectancy theory by Victor Vroom, theory of social learning by Albert Bandura and Extrinsic theory of motivation by Abraham Maslow are significant, because the theories provided insight on how cognitive motivation increases ones effectiveness. The findings of this study will therefore add credence to the tenets of these theories.
Practically, the parents, students, teachers, researchers and policy makerswould benefit from the findings of the study. The joy of parents is to see their children excelling in academics. This wish has eluded most parents. However the finding of this study if implemented would help the parent to enroll their wards into the right school where only effective teachers are employed to teach social studies.
The finding of this study would also be of benefit to the students. This is because the students are functional members of the society. The outcome or product of effective teaching is consumed by the society. The values inculcated by an effective social studies teacher would help to build the society socially, economically and politically. Social studies curriculum among other things emphasized honesty, leadership, followership, nationhood, etc. these values if translated into the students will go along way to building a healthy society.
The finding of this study would help the teachers to understand better the factors that influenced their effectiveness, thus making them better teachers of the subject. These will inturn influence students’ performance in the subject. The assumption is that greater effectiveness would have concomitant positive influence on students’ achievement in social studies.
The outcome of this study would also help school administrators to identify what to emphasize in the course of supervising teaching and learning in the school system.Supervision is an integral part of the school system which ensures proper curriculum implementation. This study is particularly important because it will help school administrators to quickly identify those factors such as punctuality, mastery of content, the issue of appropriate learning resources or teaching aids, the use of appropriate class management style that contribute to teachers effectiveness.
The findings of this study will provide additional literature for subsequent researchers to draw from the course of conducting researches, and also reveal problems which could be the basis for further research, thus contributing to the existing knowledge of teacher effectiveness in the teaching of social studies in junior secondary schools. The finding of the study will also help researchers to identify the various ways of measuring teacher effectiveness.
Scope of the Study
This study focused on teachers’ effectiveness in the teaching of social studies at junior secondary schools in Kogi State. The study was limited to junior secondary school students of both public and private secondary schools Kogi State. The indices of teacher effectiveness that were investigated include; teachers’ instructional method, the use appropriate learning resources, the use of appropriate classroom management style, teachers’ mastery of the social studies content, qualification, gender and teachers’ experience.
The following research questions guided the study
- To what extent do social studies teachers master social studies content?
- To what extent does the use of appropriate learning resources by social studies teachers contribute to their effectiveness in the teaching of social studies at junior secondary schools?
- To what extent do teachers’ instructional method influence their effectiveness in the teaching of social studies at junior secondary schools?
- To what extent do the use of appropriate classroom management style by social studies teachers contributes to their effectiveness in teaching of social studies at junior secondary schools?
- To what extent does teachers’Communication Skillinfluence his effectiveness in teaching social studies at junior secondary schools?
- To what extent does gender influence teachers’ effectiveness in teaching social studies at junior secondary schools?
- To what extent does location influence teachers’ effectiveness in teaching social studies at junior secondary schools?
- To what extent does teachers’ experience influence effectiveness in teaching social studies at junior secondary schools?
The following null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study and were tested at 0.05 level of significance.
H01: There is no significant difference between the mean rating of students in public and private secondary schools on how teachers mastery of social studies content contributes to their effectivenessin the teaching of social studies at junior secondary schools.
H02: There is no significant difference between the mean rating of students in public and private secondary schools on how appropriate learning resources contribute to teachers’ effectiveness in the teaching of social studies at junior secondary schools.
H03: There is no significant difference between the mean rating of students in public and private secondary schools on how the use of appropriate instructional method by teachers contribute to their effectiveness in the teaching of social studies at junior secondary schools.
H04: There is no significant difference between the mean rating of students in public and private secondary schools on how the use of appropriate classroom management style by social studies teachers contribute to their effectiveness in the teaching of social studies at junior secondary schools.
H05:There is no significant difference between the mean rating of students in public and private secondary schools on the influence of teachers’ communication skills on their effectiveness in the teaching of social studies at junior secondary schools.
H06: There is no significant difference between the mean rating of male and female students on teachers’ effectiveness in teaching of social studies at junior secondary schools.
H07: There is no significant difference between the mean rating of students from rural and urban areas on teachers’ effectiveness in teaching of social studies at junior secondary schools.
H08: There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of respondents on teachers’ effectiveness in teaching of social studies at junior secondary schools based on experience.