The research investigated the effect of simulation and retention in some concepts n government at senior secondary school in Nsukka education zone. A quasi-experimental design of the pre- test post-test won equivalent research design was adopted. Four research questions and four hypotheses guided the study. A sample of 287 SSII students (140 males and 147 females) was selected from four schools using multi stage sampling technique. Test (test blue print and the test item (GAT) were face and content validated by experts in the field). Two instruments were used for data collection. They are government achievement fest (GAT) and government Retention Test (ETRT) the reliability of the interment using kuder Richardson formula 20 (KR-20) and the reliability coefficient of 0.91 was obtained. It was formed that simulation method is more superior to lecture method in terms of student achievement and retention. It terms of gender male and female students taught with simulation method achieved and retained almost equality. Finally it was recommended that simulation method should be used in classrooms and should be regular workshops and in service training for teachers on the use of simulation method and the need for adequate supervision to ensure effective implementation of government curriculum.
Background of the Study
Government has different definitions and meanings. It means different thing to different people in different situations. Some people may see it as a process, some may see it as an institution and others may see it as a subject. Government as a process implies the complex networking of system for purposes of rule making, rule implementation and rule adjudication (Obianyo, 2002). This in a simple parlance means the actual State administration. In this definition, people see Government from the point of what the body of people in administration can do for the ruled. Government as an institution connotes a series of accepted and regular procedures for the administration of the people in a State (Oriaku, 2000). Government as an institution is the most common perception of the term Government, in the sense that it falls within the common man’s daily usage of the term to describe those apparatuses or institutions of the State responsible for governance (Obianyo, 2002). Ezegbe (2006:113) defining Government as an institution states that it is “the body of persons who are engaged in the business of law making, law administration and law adjudication”. Government as an institution refers to machinery for State administration.
Government as an academic field of study can be referred to as a subject of study. That is Government as a reading course in the secondary schools’ curriculum, colleges of education and universities. It is the study of agencies, political institutions and dynamics of the State (Anyaele, 1994). According to Obianyo (2002:166), government as a subject,
Emphasizes the study of the principles governing the organization of the State, and implementation within and across States. It also studies the behaviour of individuals, groups and organization in society, especially as regards their relationship to the State power; factors that generate conflicts within and between them and how these conflicts are resolved. This specialized field also involves the generation of concepts, formulation of theories and methods of understanding, explaining and predicting political phenomena.
Government conveys different pictures depending on the context of use, the intention of the user; and the character of the socio-economic formation in which it is employed or it is supposed to describe. Nevertheless, Government as an academic field of study is the concern of this study.
Throughout the era of colonialism in Nigeria government as a subject was never taught in Nigerian schools. However it was precisely introduced in 1970 (NPE,1977) and as well approved by west African Examination Council (WAEC) as one of the subjects in secondary school curricula. Government has a pride of place among the community of subjects though there seems to be a deliberate attempt by the colonial masters to delegate it to the background with the intention of blinding the people politically. It is pertinent to note that for any political system to succeed the people within the polity must be politically enlightened. In line with the above assertion, Kwame Nkruma in one of his works Africa Must Unite did not only call for the debunking of ravaging colonial educational structure but suggest in its stead a sound political education for the people. Following this, Nkrumah made Government a compulsory school subject in Ghana during his regime. Government as an academic field of study is planned to help students understand the state and the process of government. The importance of Government as a subject of study cannot be overemphasized. Its objectives among others are to enable students to:
- Understand the concepts, principle, institutions and process of government;
- Recognise their role as informed citizens and their contributions towards the achievement of national development;
- Become active participants in democratic process of the nation and their local government and;
- Appreciate the role of Nigeria as a member of the international community
- Appreciate the challenges and dynamics of past and present government in Nigeria.
- Recognise the role of ICT in e-government and in fostering the process of government in the world. (Nigeria Educational Research and Development Council, 2007).
The importance of Government ranges from studying Government for its own sake to its practical application in day to day problem of individuals and society. The study of Government prepares the students to take active part in the government of the country as administrative officers, personnel officers, know their rights, duties and obligations as citizens; equips those interested in politics to be professional politicians; to understand the type of system of government adopted in their country and inculcates the spirit of nationalism and patriotism in the students (citizens) among others (Anyaele, 1994). Regrettably, despite these lofty objectives and importance of Government to national development, there is low performance of students in government at senior secondary schools (WAEC Chief Examiner’s report, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013). According to these WAEC chief examiners reports these poor performancey of students’ in Government may be as result of lack of knowledge of subject matter, poor communication skill and poor knowledge of current affairs on the part of students among others. The 2007 WAEC Chief examiner’s report attributes the student’s low achievement to the teaching method adopted by the teachers. From the personal observation of the researcher teachers in Nsukka education zone still predominantly use the conventional teaching method.
Teaching method in Greek language “Metahodos” means a way- Method is therefore derived from ‘metahodos’ (Esu & Inyang-Abia, 2004) and it means the right way for our purpose. From this, teaching method can be said to be a chosen systematized and ordered correct way through which the ‘act of teaching’ is performed in order to achieve the set objectives of instruction (Mezieobi,Fubara & Mezieobi, 2008). Various teaching methods are used by teachers in teaching of government aimed at bringing about meaningful learning and the realisation of Government objectives. . This includes lecture method, demonstration method, discovery method, project method, inquiry method, simulation method among others. There is no particular teaching method that is said to be the best at all times. A good teacher uses different method to teach different unit of the curriculum, bearing in mind the nature of the units. Government is made up of different units, therefore there is need to use different method that appeal to the units to teach for a better achievement in Government. NERDC (2007) recommended the use of interactive and participatory approach in teaching Government to make learning active.