- Background of the Study
Geography as a discipline enables us to understand the Earth we are living in from a spatial perspective. It offers a systematic framework for enquiry into questions about the world that surrounds us. Geography provides a bridge between the social sciences and the physical sciences, through the provision of an understanding of the dynamics of cultures, societies and economies on the one hand, and those of physical landscapes and environmental processes on the other. Geography as a secondary school subject enables students to explore and understand the relationship between the Earth and its peoples through the study of space, place and environment. These three elements (or macro-concepts) form the core of geography in secondary education. In pursuit of such an understanding, the questions “What”, “Where”, “How”, “Why” and “What if” are central and are the basic constructs for developing a geographical framework for enquiry. The study of Geography at senior secondary level is built on the knowledge and skills students will have acquired in the junior secondary curriculum.
These include the concepts and knowledge embedded in the various strands of the PSHE Curriculum, in particular Strand 4 ‘Place and Environment’. Students completing the junior secondary geography curriculum will also have acquired basic enquiry and generic skills, and have had experience of making values judgements through investigating issues from a geographical perspective. The Nigerian policy on education has made provisions to make education of the citizenry both functional and relevant with a view to ensuring all round development. Specific provisions have also been made for different levels of education system so as to ensure effective curriculum delivery in schools.
For the benefits of all citizens, the country‘s educational goals shall be clearly set out in terms of their relevance to the needs of the individual and those of the society, in consonance with the realities of the environment and the modern world (Federal Republic of Nigeria, (FRN, 2004). Orji and Uka (2012), argued that in order to actualize this in any society, there is the need of attending to certain unavoidable variables such as teaching materials, methods adopted, curriculum, teacher as well as students‘ interest. With particular reference to secondary education in Nigeria, various subjects have been included in the curriculum to enable pupils acquire knowledge and skills. Certain subjects are categorized as core while others are either vocational electives or nonvocational electives. Geography is found under both core and non-vocational electives categories. This shows the importance of Geography in achieving the national educational goals whose significance cannot be overemphasized.
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