1.1 Background of the Study
It is an unquestionable educational fact that involving learners actively in their learning experiences ensures that real experiences are retained longer than conceptual experiences. Instruction resources add elements of reality by providing actual examples to learning. Advances in technology have brought instruction projected and resources, especially the projected and electronic materials to the forefront as very radical tools of social development which have influenced classroom teaching and learning situation positively. Such technological breakthrough as networked, projected, visual electronic materials are important landmarks in knowledge transfer. Therefore, teaching and learning become very pleasant experiences.
Instructional resources possess some inherent advantages that make them unique in Social Studies teaching. Especially, they provide the teacher with interesting and compelling platforms for conveying information since they motivate learners to want to learn more and to retain better what they been taught, they also promotes and sustains students interest , However, by providing opportunities for private study and reference, the learners’ interest and curiosity are increasingly stimulated . This make the teacher achieve the objectives and makes learning cleaner and easier for students by stimulating them and making the environment very conductive. Furthermore, the teacher is assisted in overcoming physical difficulties that could have hindered his effective presentation of a given topic. They generally make teaching and teaching easier and less stressful.
They are equally indispensable catalysts of social and intellectual development of the learners.
The interactive nature of instructional resources makes the learner an active part of the learning process. This is due when the instructional materials are properly utilized to teaching, learning outcomes are enhanced. Instructional resources are essential and vital factors in any teaching –learning process. Verbalisation has been found to be inadequate for effective teaching. Hence instructional resources serve as a channel through which messages. Information, ideas and knowledge are disseminated easily. Instructional resources facilitating teaching/learning activities. They are anything or anybody the teacher turns to help in his learning process (Esu & Umoren 1998).
Effective utilization of instructional resources requires a lot of creativity as well as sound knowledge of the content. Bozimo (2002), observed that “there are ever increasing numbers of audio and visual materials available to schools , that teachers should take advantage of the opportunities to procure excellent film and recordings covering a wide range of subject matters in Social Studies curriculum“. Social Studies aims at enabling every school child to understand peoples’ interaction with their culture, and physical environment , appreciate home and heritage , develop skills and attitudes expected of citizens and learn to express ideas in many ways (Jotia & Matlale 2011). To achieve the stated purposes, the content of Social Studies must focus not only on making teacher competent at the utilisation of instructional resources but must focus on integration of concepts and orientation of all social science subjects and humanities in the contents of the subject , and also promote strategies that will enable the child to be centre of the education process. Moreover, emphasis should be laid on the development of skills and attitudes, focusing on the environment so as to connect the child with their communities and countries. In order to make Social Studies teaching and learning by achieve set goals, be meaningful and interesting, teachers need to employ a variety of instructional resources and teaching methods. Furthermore, the child-centered approach should be used so as to enable learners to redefine themselves as well as their own world.
One issue in the Social Studies teaching in Bayelsa in Sagbama Local Government Area in particular is the level of utilization of instructional resources in teaching and learning process . Active learning in Social Studies involves providing opportunities for students to participate meaningfully by talking, listening , writing , an reading , reflecting , dramatizing , and drawing on the content, ideas, issues and concerns of the subject , Unfortunately, many Social Studies classrooms are dominated by a single medium and this is usually the printed textbooks (Jimoh,2009). This forces teachers to cater for only those who have textbooks at the expense of those who do not have.
Instructional resources help the teacher to communicate particular kinds of learning. The materials and resources include; audiotape; recorder, video tape recorders, slide projectors, opaque projectors, overhead projectors, still pictures, programmed instruction , filmstrips, chart, graphs and many others which offer a variety of learning experiences. According, to Onyejemez (1991), there are other types of instruction resources which include games, role-playing, demonstrations, experiments, real life situation, real objects and specimens, symbolic and pictorial representation. There are five senses used for learning, these include; sense of smell, touch, sight , hearing and taste. These senses are very important in the learning process. The more the numbers of senses are used in learning the more learning takes place hence the importance of instructional resources cannot be overemphasized.
Teaching to be effective, the teacher must be adequately skilled in planning, design, production, selection, and utilization of relevant instructional resources. Therefore, efforts should be directed towards finding effective methods for teaching the subject. There is no best approach to instruction. However, some goals are better suited to teachers while others clearly need students-centered approaches (Nsa, 2007). Teacher-centered approach is an instructional approach where all the talking and the activity is done by the teacher while student-centered approach is an instructional approach where the teacher facilitates the learners to discover things for themselves.
Onweh (2000), maintains that there might be no one method of teaching that could be used to achieve the desired goal of education , Hence, utilization of instructional resources becomes imperative as it contributes to the quality of students learning . According to Effong (1999), to be an effective teacher, one should not focus on only one strategy of teaching during instructional delivery. A number of instructional resources should be utilized to assist students to learn. Students learn both passively and actively, but benefit more and quickly when different resources are utilized. However, research has also proved the facilitative potentials of instructional resources in enhancing students’ academic achievement and also enriching classroom instruction (Afuwape, 2004).
According to Olaitan & Ali (1997) a competent teacher is the one who has the knowledge, skills, attitudes and judgment required for successful performance of teaching which in return brings about students’ achievement and satisfaction. Effective teaching demands that the teacher must possess some basic ability to organise , co-ordinate and utilise personal qualities and competency in lesson preparation, selection, utilistion , presentation and evaluation . In addition, he must be able to motivate the learners, use appropriate materials in and around the class to promote and enhance efficiency and effectiveness in instructions. It also call for a better teaching strategy that will provide the learner with actual and real life experiences to exemplify and clarify more meaningfully some of the basic principles and concepts . Hence , competent teachers are needed to teach Social Studies . In view of the problem of selection and utlisation of instructional resources for effectively teaching Social Studies , this study was untaken to fill the existing gap by determining utlization of instructional resources and students’ performance in Social Studies in Sagbama Local Government Area, Bayalsa State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The primary aim of teaching Social Studies is to assists the learners to develop the ability to make reasonable decisions for the ability to make good decisions for the enhancement of good citizenship behavior. Importantly as, Social Studies is, students of Sagbama Local Government Area in Bayeslsa State tend to continuously perform poorly in the subject as evidenced by Junior School Certificate in the year 2008 , 2009. To confirm this, the Statistics Department , Bayelsa State Ministry of Education in 2009 show that , a total of 1000 candidates from 4 secondary schools sat for Social Studies in JSCE : only 32 students had credit and above while others bad pass and failed.
Therefore, this poor performance can be attributed to a number of factors, which include students’ interest, capabilities and attitude towards the subject, the nature of subject matter, poor learning environment.
It is therefore, possible for students poor performance in Social Studies to be associated with how teachers utlilize instructional resources in Social Studies classrooms. However, this assertion needs empirical evidence hence the conduct of this study.