Social Studies Education Project Topics

Problems Militating Against the Effective Teaching and Learning of Social Studies. A Case Study of Selected Junior Secondary School

Problems Militating Against the Effective Teaching and Learning of Social Studies. A Case Study of Selected Junior Secondary School

Problems Militating Against the Effective Teaching and Learning of Social Studies. A Case Study of Selected Junior Secondary School

Chapter One

Purpose of the Study

Study has been undertaken with a view to identify the problems involved in the teaching and learning of Social Studies in secondary schools and Eti-Osa Local Government Area and factors responsible for these problems. Specifically, the study sought to find out if:-

  1. Insufficient numbers of qualified teachers affects students’ mass failure in Social Studies subjects.
  2. Unavailability of instructional materials for teaching of Social Studies subject affects students’ mass failure in Social Studies subjects,
  3. The previous socio-economic backgrounds of the students affect them in studying Social Studies subject.
  4. The attitude and interest of students towards the nature of Social Studies subject contribute deeply to their mass failure in SSCE.



Importance of social Studies

Social studies help the learner to fit into the society which he belongs.

  1. It creates an understanding of environment social and physical resources and the conservation of these resources for development.
  2. It develops an awareness and appreciation for the interrelatedness of human knowledge and human life.
  3. Social studies develop a capacity to learn and acquire skills for the formation of satisfactory professional life.
  4. It develops a capacity for logical thinking and sound rational judgment.

Education is the act of imparting general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and generally preparing oneself intellectually for nature life. The importance of education to human beings cannot be overemphasized. Globally, considered as a human right that should be accorded to all human beings, in facts, it was the reason, why a lot of international human right bodies consider educational as a fundamental human right. Resources mean something that one uses to achieve an objective, such as availability of qualified teachers, infrastructural such as buildings, lockers, libraries, ICT equipments e.t.c.

Quality of Teaching Staff

Competent teachers are committed to their students and student learning, possess deep subject matter knowledge, effectively manage and monitor student learning and reflective about their teaching, and are members of the broader school community (National Research Council, 2001). Social studies students learning relate with a number of teacher characteristics of which their qualities is a prime factor, the determination of how students learn is social studies classroom. Teacher quality assessment community includes review of qualifications of practice and measurement of students learning gains. This implies that teacher quality goes beyond certificate held in education such as the NCE, B.Ed, PGDE degrees qualification that seems to measure teacher’s quality.

Social Studies Teachers and Curriculum

Embedded within the language of schooling and the images and metaphors it fosters are certain assumptions about means and ends (e.g., how children learn, appropriate teacher-student relations, what knowledge is of most worth, the purposes of schools). For example, some common metaphors used to describe the work of teachers include: gardener, facilitator, guide, pilot, navigator, mapmaker, gatekeeper, change agent and activist. Each of these metaphors communicates certain assumptions about teaching and learning and the relationship between teachers and curriculum. What are our images of teachers and curriculum? How do these images shape our approaches to creating curriculum and teaching? The distinction between teaching and curriculum is founded on the belief that decisions about aims or objectives of teaching must be undertaken prior to decisions about the how to teach. This is a distinction between ends and means. For researchers, this distinction provides a way to place boundaries on their inquiry into the complex worlds of teaching and schooling. In schools, this distinction fits into a bureaucratic structure that seeks to categorize areas of concern with an emphasis on efficiency in decision-making. The means-ends distinction has produced abstract categories of research and discourse that bear little resemblance to the lived experience of teachers in the classroom, where ends and means are so thoroughly intertwined. Language use, educational practices, and social relationships contend with each other in the formation of teachers’ professional identities and the institutional culture of schools. For example, when curriculum and teaching (ends and means) are conceived as independent entities, curriculum activities become the work of one group and curriculum implementation becomes the work of another. This division of labor, in turn, affects the social relations between these groups as one group defines the goals or conceptualizes the work and the other is responsible for accomplishment of the goals. The apparent “indifference” of educational research and bureaucratic decision-making to the reality of classroom teaching creates unequal participation and power relations. The strict distinction between ends and means in curriculum work is problematic in a number of ways. First, the ends-means distinction does not accurately reflect how the enacted curriculum is created. Secondly, it justifies the separation of conception and execution in teachers’ work, which reduces teachers’ control over their work. Thirdly, it marginalizes teachers in formal curriculum decision-making. The ends-means split between curriculum and teaching narrows the professional role of teachers to the point where they have little or no function in formal curriculum creation. Many teachers have internalized the ends-means distinction between curriculum and their work, as a result, they view their professional role as instructional decision-makers not as curriculum creators. But it is clear from studies of teacher decision-making that teachers do much more tan select teaching methods to implement formally adopted curricular goals. If we conceive of social studies teaching and learning as activities that require us to pose and analyze problems in the process of understanding and transforming our world, the limitations of an ends-means approach to curriculum is clear. Social studies teaching should not be reduced to an exercise in implementing a set of activities pre-defined by policy makers or a test. Rather, teachers should be actively engaged in considering the perennial curriculum question—what knowledge is of most worth? Social studies learning should not be about passively absorbing someone else’s conception of the world, but rather it should be an exercise in creating a personally meaningful understanding of the way the world is and how one might act to transform that world. Thinking of curriculum not as disciplinary subject matter, but as something experienced in situations is an alternative to the traditional ends-means approach to curriculum. This is a conception of curriculum as experience, in which teachers and students are at the center of the curriculum

American philosopher John Dewey argued that teachers must be students of both subject matter and “mind activity” if they are to foster student growth. The teaching profession requires teachers who have learned to apply critical thought to their work. To do this, they must have a full knowledge of their subject matter as well as observe and reflect on their practice. Dewey’s notion of the classroom laboratory placed the teacher squarely in the center of efforts to understand educational practice and develop educational theory. Problems of teaching and curriculum are resolved not by discovery of new knowledge, but by formulating and acting upon practical judgment. This aim presents problems in that sometimes teachers may not be conscious of the reasons for their actions or may simply be implementing curriculum conceived by others. This means that reflective practice must focus on both the explicit and the tacit cultural environment of teaching—the language, manners, standards, and values that unconsciously influence the classroom and school environment and the ways in which teachers respond to it. Social studies teaching and learning should be about uncovering the taken-forgranted elements in our everyday experience and making them the target of inquiry. In this mode, teaching and curriculum making become problematic situations. Critical examination of the intersection of language, social relations, and practice can provide insights into our work as teachers and uncover constraints that affect our approaches to and goals for social studies education. The teacher and curriculum are inextricably linked. Our efforts to improve and transform the social studies education hinge on developing practices among teachers and their collaborators (colleagues, students, research workers, teacher educators, parents) that emerge from critical analyses of the contexts teaching and schooling as well as self-reflection.






In this chapter, we described the research procedure for this study. A research methodology is a research process adopted or employed to systematically and scientifically present the results of a study to the research audience viz. a vis, the study beneficiaries.


Research designs are perceived to be an overall strategy adopted by the researcher whereby different components of the study are integrated in a logical manner to effectively address a research problem. In this study, the researcher employed the survey research design. This is due to the nature of the study whereby the opinion and views of people are sampled. According to Singleton & Straits, (2009), Survey research can use quantitative research strategies (e.g., using questionnaires with numerically rated items), qualitative research strategies (e.g., using open-ended questions), or both strategies (i.e., mixed methods). As it is often used to describe and explore human behaviour, surveys are therefore frequently used in social and psychological research.


According to Udoyen (2019), a study population is a group of elements or individuals as the case may be, who share similar characteristics. These similar features can include location, gender, age, sex or specific interest. The emphasis on study population is that it constitutes of individuals or elements that are homogeneous in description.

This study was carried to examine Problems Militating against the effective teaching and learning of social studies. Selected secondary schools in Eti-Osa Local Government Area, Lagos form the population of the study.




This chapter presents the analysis of data derived through the questionnaire and key informant interview administered on the respondents in the study area. The analysis and interpretation were derived from the findings of the study. The data analysis depicts the simple frequency and percentage of the respondents as well as interpretation of the information gathered. A total of eighty (80) questionnaires were administered to respondents of which only seventy-seven (77) were returned and validated. This was due to irregular, incomplete and inappropriate responses to some questionnaire. For this study a total of 77 was validated for the analysis.




It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain Problems Militating against the effective teaching and learning of social studies. In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing Problems Militating against the effective teaching and learning of social studies


This study was on Problems Militating against the effective teaching and learning of social studies. Three objectives were raised which included:  Insufficient numbers of qualified teachers affects students’ mass failure in Social Studies subjects, Unavailability of instructional materials for teaching of Social Studies subject affects students’ mass failure in Social Studies subjects, the previous socio-economic backgrounds of the students affect them in studying Social Studies subject and the attitude and interest of students towards the nature of Social Studies subject contribute deeply to their mass failure in SSCE. A total of 77 responses were received and validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents were drawn from Eti-Osa Local Government Area, Lagos. Hypothesis was tested using Chi-Square statistical tool (SPSS).


In conclusion, several problems militate against the effective teaching and learning of Social Studies. Throughout this discussion, we have identified and examined some of the key challenges that hinder the optimal delivery and reception of Social Studies education. These problems include: Inadequate instructional materials: The lack of up-to-date and comprehensive instructional materials, such as textbooks, visual aids, and supplementary resources, hampers teachers’ ability to deliver engaging and effective lessons. Insufficient access to instructional materials limits students’ exposure to diverse perspectives, real-world examples, and interactive learning experiences. Teacher competence and training: The effectiveness of teaching Social Studies heavily relies on the competence and training of teachers. Inadequate teacher preparation, limited professional development opportunities, and a lack of subject-matter expertise can hinder teachers’ ability to deliver high-quality instruction and engage students effectively. Overloaded curriculum: The Social Studies curriculum is often overloaded with a vast range of content, making it challenging for teachers to cover all the necessary topics in sufficient depth. This overload may lead to superficial understanding, rote memorization, and a lack of critical thinking skills among students. Lack of relevance and connection: Students may struggle to see the relevance and connection of Social Studies to their lives and future aspirations. This perception can lead to a disinterest in the subject, resulting in low motivation, limited engagement, and decreased academic performance. Limited active learning opportunities: Social Studies education should involve active learning experiences, such as field trips, simulations, and hands-on projects. However, the limited availability of resources, time constraints, and a focus on traditional didactic teaching methods often restrict the opportunities for students to actively engage with the subject matter.


Based on the problems identified in the effective teaching and learning of Social Studies, the following recommendations are proposed to address these challenges and improve the overall quality of Social Studies education:

  1. Enhance access to instructional materials: Efforts should be made to ensure an adequate supply of up-to-date and comprehensive instructional materials. This includes textbooks, visual aids, multimedia resources, and supplementary materials that align with the curriculum. Schools and educational authorities should allocate sufficient resources and funding to provide teachers and students with the necessary materials to support effective teaching and learning.
  2. Invest in teacher professional development: Teachers should receive ongoing professional development opportunities focused on enhancing their subject-matter knowledge, pedagogical skills, and use of innovative teaching strategies in Social Studies. Training programs, workshops, and collaborative learning communities should be established to foster continuous improvement among educators. Additionally, mentoring and support systems can be implemented to provide guidance and feedback to teachers, helping them improve their instructional practices.


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