“Social Studies contributes to national
development by equipping learners with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and
values needed to become effective and informed citizens” (Ofosu-Kusi, 2009
1.1 Background to the Study
A close and careful study of the history
and objectives of Social Studies around the world clearly indicates that its
introduction into the school system is to play a vital role in national
development. In tracing the development
of Social Studies education as a tool of developing a nation, Kissock (1981)
cited in Nwaledo (2012) indicates that in Germany, Social Studies was
introduced just after the Second World War into the school system as a tool of
developing a new political order and also as a knowledge base for effective
citizenship. In Britain, it was used to legitimize the teaching of Social
Sciences especially Sociology while preparing students for their role in the
society. In Japan, it was used to build a foundation for a democratic society,
while in the United States of America and Canada; it continued its primary
function of preparing students for effective citizenship in democratic society
as well as national development. In Africa the idea for Social Studies
education came out at a conference in Mombasa, Kenya in August 1968 where it
was agreed that no programmes of curriculum could be better than, those which
are closely linked with the national development and aspiration of the
countries, its people and the responsibilities of citizenship in the country,
hence the need for Social Studies education (Merryfield, 1988).
Ghana, the Social Studies curriculum has been designed to assist learners in
school to understanding the moral and cultural values that guides the interactions
of man with his physical and social environment that can contribute to national
development through citizenship education. Social Studies education emphasizes
the holistic integration of nation building with content around relevant issues
and topics that included environmental concerns, population, and attention to
values, beliefs and skills of solving personal and societal problems (Kankam,
Even though Social Studies is been
taught in all junior and senior high schools in Ghana as a compulsory subject
for the purpose of citizenship education yet there have been a number of
indiscipline acts and negative attitudes exhibited on the part of learners and
ex-students of Social Studies. People show unwillingness to contribute their
quota effectively to national development,
uncultured behaviors which do not conform to the values and norms of
Ghanaian society are also been exhibited, hence the need to explore the experiences
former students have in Social Studies especially their views and the impact
the subject have had on their daily activities, teachers assessment about the
effectiveness of Social Studies and the challenges teachers have been facing in
their delivering of the Social Studies curriculum in Ghana.
1.2 Statement of the
The inclusion of Social Studies education
in the school system in Ghana as a tool to prepare the youth to acquire the
necessary values and attitudes that can make them good citizens who can make
positive contributions towards nation building looks quite unclear whether the
subject is achieving its core purpose of promoting nation building through
citizenship education. Attitudes that seem to be purely negative are being
exhibited by most of the citizenry. The implication of this is the increasing
cases of violence, corruption, crime, robbery, nepotism, pilfering, lateness
and absenteeism at work places and other negative attitudes among the
citizenry. This makes one wonders about the effectiveness or the reason for its
introduction and if Social Studies is really accomplishing its main purpose. In
relation to the attitudes, The President of Republic of Ghana, Nana Akuffo
Addo, advised Ghanaians to put an end to negative attitudes that militate
against national development. He said, “Change that all Ghanaians wanted to see
could only become attainable with a positive change in attitude to work”
(Kwawukume, 2017), when he was speaking at the 2017 edition of the May Day at
the Black Star Square in Accra.
It is upon these reasons why the
researcher is prompted to investigate into the role of Social Studies education
in promoting national development through citizenship education and if Social Studies
teaching and learning have had any positive impact in the lives of Ghanaians
and whether there are any challenges concerning the teaching of Social Studies
that need to be looked at or addressed.
Purpose of the Study
This study will sought to examine the
role of Social Studies education in nation building through citizenship
education and the challenges teachers have been encountering in the teaching of
Social Studies curriculum. Specifically the objectives of the study are to;
the effectiveness of Social Studies education in nation building through
citizenship education in Ghana
how ex-students of Social Studies approach the importance of the concepts
learnt in Social Studies in their daily activities
whether the contents of Social Studies curriculum are adequate to meet the
purpose of the subject
the challenges teachers teaching Social Studies are facing in delivering of the
Social Studies lessons in the Ghanaian schools
1.4 Research Questions
The following sample research
questions would be posed to guide the study:
effective is Social Studies education in nation building through citizenship
education in Ghana?
is the extent of which ex-students of Social Studies approach the importance of
the concepts learnt in Social Studies in their daily activities?
what extent are the contents of Social Studies curriculum adequate to meet the
purpose of the subject?
are the challenges teachers teaching Social Studies are facing in delivering
the Social Studies lessons in the Ghanaian schools?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The research findings would benefit Ghana Education Service (GES)
and make decision makers responsible for the development and improvement of
Social Studies education. The study would also benefit Ghana Education Service
and policy makers to develop the Social Studies curriculum to meet the needed
demands of the Ghanaians. It is expected that the research would help
Principals, Social Studies teachers, students and other Teacher-learning
institutions such as the Universities and Colleges of Education to attach more importance
to Social Studies education. There would also be awareness creation to
sensitize Ghana Education Service (GES), Principals and all stakeholders about challenges
teachers teaching Social Studies are facing. Also the study would equally serve
as valuable material as a source of motivation and inspiration to others who
may be interested in researching into similar area.
The target area for the study would be Kumasi Metropolitan
Assembly in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. This is because the researcher is very
conversant with the Metropolis. According to the Statistical Service Division,
Ghana, on population and housing census 2010, Kumasi is about 24,389 square
kilometers with the population estimated to be 2.0 million which represents
32.4% of the Ashanti Region’s total population.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
In this chapter, an attempt will be made
to review existing knowledge which involves locating, reading and summarizing
of materials written by other authors that have some bearing on research topic.
The researcher has therefore chosen to be reviewing relevant literature on the
Historical Overview of the Social Studies Education
Obebe (1990) cited in Ogundare (2000),
points out that the United States of America appeared to be the “mother” of
Social Studies and that Social Studies first appeared as a curriculum of the
educational system of United States of America within the first two decades of
the 20th century. In Ghana, the study of Social Studies was
introduced into the school curriculum of three selected Training Colleges now
Colleges of Education as far back as the early 1940’s on experimental basis
(Tamakloe, 1988; Kankam, 2016).
Nature and Purposes (Objectives and Goals) of Social Studies Education
In order to have effective understanding
of the role of Social Studies education in national development, it must call
for complete appreciation and understanding of the nature, definition, scope,
purpose and objectives of Social Studies education. The nature of a subject is
derived from the definition of the subject and that the nature of Social
Studies must be derived from the most accepted definition of citizenship
education (Quartey, 2000).
Social Studies and Education for Citizenship in National Development
The basic purpose of Social Studies
education is to prepare learners through effective instruction for them to make
positive contribution towards national development. Social Studies as a subject
aims at introducing learners in school to the political, economic and social
which they will enter after the school (Aggarwal, 2006).
Challenges Teachers Face in the Delivering of Social Studies Curriculum
A study conducted by Nworgu (2007)
established that most teachers teaching Social Studies are not adequately
informed about the demands, implications, objectives and other challenges
associated with Social Studies teaching.
2.6 Teacher’s Academic
and Professional Qualifications in Social Studies
Teacher qualification is usually made up
of relevant educational degrees as well as certificates. Social Studies more
than any other subject demands “well prepared conscientious men and women of
sound knowledge and training whose personalities rank higher among men”
Teacher’s Knowledge of the Subject-Matter in Social Studies
Quartey (1984) estimates that knowledge
for the teaching of Social Studies is made up of different domains of content
knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge and studies have shown that the
knowledge for teaching Social Studies is a predictor of student’s achievement
in Social Studies.
Techniques and Methods of Teaching Social Studies
As indicated by Amadi, Mezieobi &
Joef (1994) cited in Adedayo (2012), teaching techniques are embedded in
methods and are thus narrower in scope than methods and if the technique is
appropriately utilized by the professional Social Studies teacher, it will give
meaning to the teaching.
Teaching-Learning Materials and Resources in Social Studies
The planning of instructional programme
for the Social Studies calls for the inclusion of many and different resources.
Teaching-learning resource is any form of material which teacher prepares or
uses to make learning easier than it would have been without it (Tamakloe,
Amedahe & Atta, 2005).
Evaluation in Social Studies Education
In order to assess the effectiveness of
Social Studies education in national development, examination and evaluation in
Social Studies must play a vital role. This is done so that actual facts of
Social Studies may be ascertained and remedial action can be taken where
necessary (Aggarwal, 2006).
Class Size in Social Studies
Class size is an educational tool that
can be used to describe the average number of students per class in a school. Research
conducted by Adeyemi (2008) on class size in Nigeria indicated that class size
is a critical factor determining the quality of output from secondary schools
in Ekiti State, Nigeria.
chapter presents the methods that will be employed by the researcher to guide
the study in the data collection. The researcher discusses the research design that
will be employed for the study, the study area, the target populations,
sampling procedures, the sample sizes, instruments used for the collection of
data, pre-test of the instruments, data analysis and ethical issues governing
3.2 Research Design
research design is seen as a plan and the procedures for research which span
the decisions from the broad assumptions to detailed methods of data
collection, analysis and interpretation (Creswell, 2014). According to Kerlinger (1986) cited in Kumar
(2011) a research design is seen as “a plan, structure and strategy with the
aim of obtaining answers to research questions or problems and is a complete
scheme of a research work” (p.74). He adds that, selection of an appropriate
research plan is very important to the researcher because it aids in answering
research questions objectively, accurately and above all, it is very economical
for the researcher (p. 75). Selecting an appropriate research design should be
based on philosophical assumptions, strategies of inquiry and specific research
methods as well as the research problem, the researcher’s personal experiences
and the readers for whom the research study is written (Creswell, 2014). After a perfect consideration of the various
strategies of inquiry, exploratory sequential mixed approach which has been
described by Creswell (2014) as the approach in which the researcher first
begins by exploring with a qualitative data and analysis and then uses the
findings of the qualitative in a second quantitative phase. This strategy will
help the researcher in making an in-depth study of a phenomenon especially when
this study involves a way of understanding the kind of live experience of
people who have studied social studies and the quantitative approach cannot be
used to access people’s emotional behaviour, the way they feel and think but
rather qualitative strategy of inquiry is seen as more appropriate. This design
will be employed in to order to provide simple summaries about the sample and
to depict the participants in an accurate way. Based on these advantages, the researcher therefore finds it
expedient to choose this design in order to form a general opinion about the
population in this survey, either the whole population or the sample (Karasar,
2005). This will lead to the drawing of conclusions that will be useful or
meaningful to the study.
target population for the study will comprise of students (ie. students from
both senior high schools and tertiary institutions), teachers teaching Social
Studies and people who are out of school and have studied social studies up to
the senior high school level in the Kumasi Metropolis.
3.4 Sample and Sampling Procedure
value or worth of any educational research findings depends largely on the
extent to which the sample reflects or represents the entire target population
for the study (Kumepkpor, 2000; Kwabia , 2006). For the purpose of the first study the
judgmental or purposive sampling technique will be employed since the
researcher is of the view that people who have gone through social studies
education up to senior high school level can furnish or provide the needed or
the required information and will also be willing to participate and share
their experiences for the study. As indicates by Creswell (2012), in
qualitative inquiry, the rational is not to generalize to a population, but
rather to develop an in-depth exploration of a central phenomenon. In addition,
the researcher will intentionally select individuals who have rich information.
Typically, in qualitative study it is advisable to study a few individuals
because the overall ability of a researcher is to provide an in-depth picture
and that the number may be several, ranging from 1(one) to two (2) to thirty
(30) to forty (40), larger numbers can become unwieldy and the results in
superficial perspectives (Creswell, 2012). For these reasons, eighteen (18)
participants will be selected for the first part of the study (qualitatively). In
the second part of the study, two hundred (200) teachers out of the two hundred
and seventy-two (272) teachers will be selected from the fifty-two senior high
schools using simple random sampling technique; specifically the lottery method
will be employed. The selection of this sample size out of the total population
will be based on Krejcie and Morgan’s (1970) table for determining sample size
for a finite population for easy reference.
3.5 Research Instruments for Data
the study will employ the mixed approach which involves the use of the
qualitative and quantitative approach, the researcher will sought to make use
of semi-structured interviews to elicit information from the respondents on the
effectiveness of social studies education in nation building through
citizenship education and the experiences of ex-students of social studies have
been going through. The second part of this study will focus on the teachers
view or assessment of the social studies content and the challenges teachers
teaching social studies are facing. A questionnaire will be used to collect
data from teachers teaching Social Studies in the senior high schools in the
3.6 Procedure for Data Collection
introductory letter will be obtained from the Head of Department of Social
Studies Education, University of Education, Winneba. A copy of the letter will
be attached to the semi structured interview and the questionnire to seek for
official permission from the heads of the selected senior high schools and the
Deans of Students’ Affairs of the selected tertiary institutions to enable the
researcher have permission to interact with the students and the teachers. An
official date will be fixed the interview and the administration of the
questionnaire. The other respondents who are neither in senior high school nor
tertiary institutions (those working) will be contacted at their work places to
fix dates and times for the interview. A period will be fixed for the interview
and after analysis of it the questionnaire will be designed and administer to
participants of the study.
3.7 Data Analysis
to the exploratory nature f the study and also because the researcher will be
interacting with the respondents to be able to interpret their views
effectively, the qualitative phase of the collected data will be
analyzed based on themes. Each of the recorded interviews from the respondents
with a special digital voice recorder will first be transcribed and coded. To
be able to verify their opinions, the transcribed interviews will be read back
to each participant. For the purpose of confidentiality, fake names will be
used to represent each participant interview. Because of the nature of the study,
the transcribed interviews will be read over and over again in order to get and
group the main ideas and similar concepts from the participants before the
final analysis. The quantitative aspect of the study will be analysed with one-way
analysis of variance (ANOVA).
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