The main focus of this study is to attitude of students towards the learning of social studies in junior secondary schools using Ifelodun Government Area Kwara State as case study. Survey design was employed for the study with the aid of convenience sampling method, eighty (80) participant who are secondary school teachers were selected as the participant of the study. Well structure questionnaire was issued to the enrolled participants of which 77 of the instrument were retrieved and validated for the study. Data was analyzed in simple percentage, mean ad standard deviation presented in frequencies and tables. From the data collected, the analysis showed that problems confronting teaching of social studies in our school system includes: Poor teaching methods, inadequate utilization of instructional materials, low interest of learners towards the subject, poor teachers attitude and laxity as well societal and cultural perception toward subject. More so, the attitude of student towards the learning of social studies is positive even even as students and the motivation received from his teachers affect the learning of social studies . The study therefore recommends that the teacher should use the method of teaching that is suitable for any topic he/she wants to teach. There should be a sufficient and qualified social studies teachers with good attitude and the students should work hard to develop a positive attitude towards social studies.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Man’s capacity to learn, to organize learning, to communicate this learning as knowledge, to other members of the species, and to act on the basis of learning and knowledge constitute the subject matter of education (Golsin, 1965). According to develop his mental capacity in such a way as to arm him to play a specific role in a developing programme. It also sets value on the human factor in development which makes man capable of shaping his history. Malue (1968) had strongly argued that a country will never be developed unless education is developed because it is through better education that maximum use can be made of human resources.
Social studies is one of the subject taught in primary and secondary schools today because of its usefulness to everyday life. According to Adeyoyin (1982) social studies is the study of man and his totality (the study covers) where he lives, his activities in the past and present his culture, frame of mind and how he relates to others in the society.
According to Wronki (1981) social studies are those common learning of man’s interaction with his social and physical environment, a way of life of how man influences his environment and in turn how environment influences man.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Nigerian education system is in shambles because of lack of reasoning in the curriculum and this has destabilized the nation’s economic and social progress. The learner centred method, if applied will help to remedy the drastic situation encountered in social studies education. There are two main phases to the problems of Nigerian education system. These are: Problem of what to teach and How to teach.
Although social studies is one of the subject that teaches man his environment, a lot of difficulties is been faced by teachers and student in learning this subject. This study therefore seeks to investigate into the factors affecting the teaching and learning of social studies in secondary schools.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The primary purpose of this study, therefore, is to examine the attitude of students towards the learning of social studies in junior secondary schools. Also, this study will look into the basic problems confronting teaching of social studies in our school system, and how motivation help the teacher and the learner in social studies class.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study is important in that it will enlighten Nigerians on how to think critically, creatively, caringly and collaboratively in all ramifications of life. The importance of this study is that the outcome of the inquiry will be useful in:
1.Addressing the Issue of academic backwardness of students in social studies class.
2. It will address the problems of lack of motivation for the teachers and the taught in social studies class.
3.It will address the problem of placing much emphasis on rote learning and memorization which does not elicit thinking in the learner.
4.The study is like a roadmap showing/directing our course objectives in social studies class.
5.The study will provide a format for redesigning the social studies curriculum.
6. The study will help the teacher’s educators in the colleges of education to see the importance of giving adequate training to the student teachers that is in line with modern methods of education.
7. It will help the student teachers to embrace this innovative method of performance/achievement through the teaching of thinking skills in a community of inquiry format.
8.It will help the education curriculum designers in formulating better curriculum for our schools.
9.It will help to solve the problems of cultism and examination malpractices in our schools and education system.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions will guide this study
1. What are the basic problems confronting teaching of social studies in our school system?
2. What is the attitude of students towards the learning of social studies?
3. Whose duty is to prepare the teachers for effective teaching of social studies?
4. How has misplacement of priority affected Nigeria’s education system?
5. How does motivation help the teacher and the learner in social studies class?
6.What are the effective methods for managing the education system In Nigeria?
1.6 SCOPE (OR DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY)
This study is limited in examining the attitude of students towards the learning of social studies in junior secondary schools.
1.7 TARGET AUDIENCE
This study is directed to the following group of people in Nigerian education system:
1. Student teachers in the colleges of education
2. Classroom teachers both in pre-service and in-service, education administrators and managers of our various institution of learning
3. Education curriculum designers
4. Policy makers and various governments at both local, state and federal levels
5. Parents and guardians of the pupils/ students