Prospects and Challenges of Social Studies Teachers Professional Development in Nigeria

Prospects and Challenges of Social Studies Teachers Professional Development in Nigeria

Adetola Elizabeth Oyewo (University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa) and Samuel Uwem Umoh (University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1067-3.ch008
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Abstract

Social Studies as a subject was introduced in several countries to meet certain specific needs and aspirations of the people. In Britain for instance, Social Studies was introduced into the school curriculum after the first and second world wars, as a panacea for social problems (Edinyang & Ubi, 2013). While in America, Social Studies was introduced with the intent of social competency and citizenship education (Adeshina, 2013, 2010). Social Studies is called different names in different countries, such as cultural studies, oriental studies, environmental education/studies, citizenship education or social science (Amos, 2014). In this chapter Social Studies in Nigeria is discussed with a focus on teacher education and professional development.
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Introduction

Social Studies concepts were introduced into the educational systems in several countries to meet certain specific needs and aspirations of the people. In Britain for instance, Social Studies was introduced into the school curriculum after World War I and II, as a panacea for social problems (Edinyang &Ubi, 2013).While in America, Social Studies was introduced with the intent of social competency and citizenship education (Adeshina, 2010, 2013). Social Studies is referred to as multiple names in different countries, such as cultural studies, oriental studies, environmental education/studies, citizenship education or social science (Amos, 2014) This is due to the ways people perceive the concept, which is as a result of variations in countries objectives depending on the needs, aspirations and desires of the people (Bertrand, 2004).

Mezieobi (2008) elucidates that that the goal and emphasis differs from country to country and from one level of the educational system to the other. Education is a potent instrument that facilitates the attainment of national development goals through the production of responsible citizens that are contributing maximally to the growth of the society (Edinyang & Ubi, 2013; Edinyang, 2015). The school is considered by the Nigerian government as an instrument par excellence for effecting national development (National Policy on Education, 2004). The goals of the National Policy on Education (2004) amongst others include the development of the individual into a sound and effective citizen; and the full integration of the individual into the community. Social Studies is one of the subjects to achieve these lofty goals.

The basic education in Nigeria comprises 9 year program, comprising 6 years of primary education and 3 years of Junior Secondary School education. In Nigeria, Social Studies is taught at primary and secondary schools. Social Studies is taught as a core subject in primary and Junior Secondary School; while it is offered as a single –major and double major course in most colleges of education and tertiary institutions . The importance of to Social Studies is recognized by the Nigeria Policy on Education (1977, 1981, 2004) as a compulsory subject in the Junior Secondary School (JSS) and elective at the Senior Secondary School (SSS). The National Policy on Education (2004) underscores the importance of Social Studies Education as an effective platform for inculcating the norms of active citizenship.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Professional Learning Community: A group of teachers who meet to examine learners’ needs, plan instruction, and participate in ongoing learning experiences.

Policy: An enforced guideline or regulation.

Social Studies: The set of concepts related, but not limited to history, geography, economics, and the study of cultures.

Curriculum: The set of standards, objectives, and concepts required to be taught and learned in a given course or school year.

Professional Development: Programs and experiences for current teachers to develop knowledge and skills related to teaching.

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