The study investigated the impact of Social Studies education on the political awareness and political orientations of JSS III students for citizenship development in Nigeria. Six research hypotheses were raised to guide the study. The Test Instrument which provided the basis for data collection in the research was titled, “Political Awareness Test in Social Studies Education for JSS III students”. This Test Instrument comprised of three main sections, namely: “Political Awareness Cognitive Test in Social Studies Education”; “Political Awareness Affective Test in Social Studies Education”; “Political Awareness Psychomotor Test in Social Studies Education”. The data which accrued from these various components of the Test Instrument revealed significant difference in the average performance of these JSS III students from the six geo-political zones of the country. Also, the scores which accrued from the totality of this “Social Studies Test Instrument” bore significant relationship with the scores which were respectively derived from the three components (Cognitive Test Scores, Affective Test Scores, and Psychomotor Test Scores) of the “Test Instrument” employed in the study. It was only in connection with the scores derived for hypothesis 5 that significant difference in the average performance of male and female students in the regard to Social Studies Achievement Test” was not observed. The result of the finding which emanated from this study prompted the following recommendations from the investigator, namely: a provision of better learning facilities in all public schools so that students’ performance in Social Studies education could be improved; a provision of in-service courses, workshop, conferences, seminars and induction courses for teachers of Social Studies education as a basis for their increased and improved performance in their subject; and a recognition of the need for inviting Nigerian legislators and other resource persons to talk to students on political issues from time to time.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
2.1 POLITICAL CULTURE
2.4 FUNCTIONS OF POLITICAL SOCIALISATION
2.8 ROLE OF EDUCATION IN CITIZENSHIP DEVELOPMENT
2.9. POLITICAL PARTICIPATION
2.10 CLASSIFICATION OF POLITICAL ACTIVITIES
2.11 CONCEPT OF DEMOCRACY
2.14 OBJECTIVES OF SOCIAL STUDIES
3.1 RESEARCH METHOD AND DESIGN
3.3 SAMPLE AND SAMPLING PROCEDURE
3.5 VALIDATION OF INSTRUMENTS
3.5.1 CONTENT VALIDITY
3.5.2 FACE VALIDITY
3.5.3 THE PILOT STUDY
3.5.4 TEST FOR RELIABILITY
3.5.5 ITEM ANALYSIS
3.6 ADMINISTRATION OF INSTRUMENTS
3.7 DATA ANALYSIS
4.3 PERFORMANCE ON SOCIAL STUDIES TEST
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
5.2 THE HYPOTHESES
5.3.1 IMPLICATIONS FOR SOCIAL STUDIES
5.6 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
It is often assumed that the school serves as a potential agent of political socialization, which helps in influencing the formation of political norms, values and attitudes in children. On a purely theoretical level, it has been claimed that education is related to politics, because it promotes the creation of a sense of common citizenship. (Roach, 1976) It is believed that education is an effective instrument for socializing the young children through the promotion of desirable socio-cultural values, creation of political awareness which prepares the youth to perform their functions to the nation effectively as they grow up as adults. DuBey (1972) emphasized that educational institutions in Nigeria are recognized as playing a very important role in socialization of the Nigerian school children. Jaros (1973) too claimed that schools are specifically designed to communicate political values to the children. It is emphasized that education serves as a potent force in finding solution to social problems and for the development of the potentialities and aspirations of a nation. Briggs (1930:143) in Ukeje (1966) stressed that education is an investment by the society to make itself a better place in which to live and a better place in which to make a living.
Dewey (1916, 1938, 1952) and Conant (1959) in Okam (2004) endorsed that schools in a socio-political system must enable learners develop a philosophy of life and a social outlook through genuine educative participation. Dewey (1916) in Okam (2004) irrevocably linked democracy and education. He forged the link between democracy, as a social process, and education as a democratic way to prepare citizens to make intelligent decisions about social change. Dewey (1916) saw democracy and education as part of the same process of growth. His reflection was that the new responsibility of education for democracy, particularly in such a social system as the United States of America, fell heavily on the school. He noticed that the basic problem of educators largely impinges on how schools would be geared at providing a distinct curriculum for each individual that would meet both personal and social goals. He endorsed that subjects should be included in the curriculum only if they had immediate value for the present needs and growth of a student.
The need for full participation of students in the national political life of Nigeria, being a democratic nation, is a desirable goal. Social Studies, as a curriculum instrument, is assigned a key role in the successful implementation of the nation’s political goals. Adaralegbe (1980) and Mafuyai (1980) maintained that Social Studies can provide students with the necessary skills for articulate citizenship, preparation for future participation in democracy, political literacy and responsibility. DuBey and Barth (1989) and Okam (1998) contended that the basic goal of Social Studies is the preparation of the pupil for full responsible citizenship. Okam (1998) pointed out that Social Studies has to be seen as a modern attempt at an interdisciplinary study of a topic, a problem, an issue, a concern or an aspiration. In this function, it is a problem
approach discipline through which man studies and learns about problems of survival in his social environment. It is geared at fostering better understanding of the movements, events and personalities that have influenced the history of a given social setting. The ultimate objective of Social Studies programmes is the development and improvement of social living generally, not merely in the classroom, but in the community, and in the world as a whole. These programmes have to be seen in terms of the grooming and production of intelligent, responsible and self directing citizens. (Joof and Okam, 1998; Okam, 1998). The essence of Social Studies programmes, therefore, is expected to provide young learners with insight into the use of various knowledge structures and procedures that have relevance in modern civilization. (Okam, 2002). The relevance of education to the social, economic, political and technological development of Nigeria is recognized by educators in this country. The National Policy on Education (1998) identifies education as a dynamic instrument of change and has expressed great faith in the ability of education to transform the society and lead it to quick transformation in the area of economic, political, social and human development. It is, therefore, the Government’s desire that Nigeria should be a just, free and democratic society, one with full opportunities for its citizens, and one that is able to generate a dynamic economy. Nigeria is to be a society, strong, united and self-reliant. Education is the greatest force, according to Government, that can be used to realize these dreams of unity in Nigeria. To this end, Nigeria’s philosophy of
education hinges on the integration of the individual into a sound and effective citizen, the provision of equal educational opportunities for all citizens. For this philosophy to be in harmony with Nigeria’s national objectives, it has to be geared toward self-realization, better human relations, effective citizenship, national consciousness, national unity, as well as cultural, economic, political, scientific and technological progress.
The national educational aims and objectives to which the philosophy is
linked are reflected as follows:
i- the inculcation of national consciousness and national unity;
ii- the inculcation of the right type of values and attitudes for the survival of the individual and the Nigerian society;
iii- the training of the mind in understanding of the world around; and
iv- the acquisition of appropriate skills, ability and competences, both mental and physical as equipment for the individual to live in and contribute to the development of his society.
In order to achieve these aims and objectives, the government emphasized that a conscious effort, should be made to teach the tenets of good citizenship at all levels of education. To this end, therefore, in section 3(14c), the National Policy on Education emphasizes the importance of citizenship education as a basis for an individual’s effective participation in and contribution to the life of the society. In section 4(18e) and 4(18f), the Policy stressed that education should raise a generation of people who can think for themselves, respect the views and feelings of others, respect the dignity of labour and appreciate those values specified under our broad national aims and live as good citizens, foster Nigerian unity with emphasis on the common ties that unite us in our diversity. Thus the teaching and learning of Social Studies is pivotal to an understanding of the need for a cultivation of effective human relations. This perspective is geared at producing effective citizens and of forging a cohesive society that will support the notion of nation-building through the teaching and learning of Social Studies programmes in our colleges and schools. (Okam, 2002). Okam (1998) also stressed that an acquisition of the tenets of political socialization by learners or students in our various school setting should not be a chance affair. He emphasized that it has to be learnt and cultivated by way of the relevant educational processes associated with classroom instructions in Social Studies.
Social Studies educators such as Adaralegbe (1980), Okobiah (1984) and Udoh (1992) are of the opinion that Social Studies, if effectively taught, can be used as a tool for political awareness and for creating citizenry in children. Adaralegbe (1980) asserted that the teaching and learning of Social Studies should be concerned with preparing the learners for goals and purposes of responsible and effective citizenship. Okobiah (1984) noticed that Social Studies in Nigeria is aimed at organizing the youths, students and young learners for the purpose of helping them to cultivate an awareness and understanding that would transform them into citizens with skills, attitudes, competences and reasoned judgements to effectively interact and contribute positively to the economic, Social, political and cultural development of the Nigerian society. Uche (1980) expressed that Social Studies is primarily concerned with the development of good citizens. Adeyoyin (1979) in Okam (1998) posited that the teaching and learning of Social Studies in our schools should produce Nigerians who are loyal to the central unit rather than the tribal groups. This implies that Social Studies should be used to develop the sense of patriotism in children.
Studies (Easton and Dennis, 1964; Stracey, 1978) which have bearing on the political awareness of children like those of educators also revealed that the school system is vital to the formation of useful citizens, particularly at the elementary school stage when habits are formed and attitudes are developed which invariably have far-reaching effects on the future physical, intellectual, emotional and moral life of the individual. Social and political attitudes are formed early in life and this is based on the orientations given to the child at home and at school. Stacey (1978) claimed that what children learned in their formative years cannot be easily disturbed later in life. He also emphasized an early exposure of children to political education during their training in school. This development is designed to engender their basic commitment to the nation, particularly for the majority of the children. Easton and Dennis (1964) reported that political awareness easily occurs relatively in a child’s life and that it varies with factors such as age, gender, intelligence and socio-economic status. Almond and Verba (1965) stressed that manifest political education increases an individual’s sense of political competences. They explained that the content the content of political education and how it is taught must be culturally relevant to the children. Tapper (1976) emphasized that schools inculcate formal and appropriate forms of political behaviour in the children. Ukeje (1966) contended that the first role of education must be oriented to foster in the young a deep and enlightened love for the nation and it must generate in them a deep sense of public responsibility and a willingness to serve with honour and integrity. This implies that students should have a sense of patriotism derivable from citizenship education in order to be able to develop their sense of political awareness which will motivate them towards nation-building.