THE EFFECT OF LECTURE AND QUESTIONING INSTRUCTIONAL METHODS ON STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN SOCIAL STUDIES
The study is titled effect of lecture and questioning instructional methods on students’ academic achievement in social studies in Lagos state schools. The purpose of the study is to find out the relationship between the use of lecture method of instruction in social studies compared to the use of questioning method and the effect on the academic performance of students in the subject. Four research questions and four research hypotheses were set to guide the study. A researcher made questionnaire was used for data collection 15 secondary school teachers of social studies and 150 students constitute the sample of the study. The summary of findings include- there is significant relationship between the use of lecture method by teachers and the academic performance of students, there is significant relationship between the use of probing questions method by teachers and the academic performance of students, there is significant difference in the performance of students when either the lecture or probing questions method are adopted by teachers and teachers’ skill in the use of either lecture or probing questions method does significantly affect the performance of students in social studies. The study recommends that teachers should use more of learner centered instructional methods like probing questions to enhance the interest and performance of students in social studies, that students should be more active during lessons and not just take notes and school authorities should monitor the teaching methods employed by their teachers which ultimately affect the academic performance of their students.
Background to the Study
An instructional or teaching method comprises the principles and methods used for instruction. Commonly used instructional methods include class participation, demonstration, recitation, memorization, etc or combination of two or more of these methods. The choice of instructional method or methods to be used depends largely on the information or skill that is being taught and may also be influenced by the aptitude and enthusiasm of the students. (labspace.open.ac.uk/mod/resource/vi).
No one single method of instruction will work well with every learning objective or for every student in the same classroom. However, recent research in education has demonstrated that some methods are more effective than others for bringing about student learning. Good teaching method(s) bring about the desired students learning; the majority of students in a classroom will respond positively and demonstrate academic growth when instruction is appropriately designed to meet their learning needs. (Dr. Barbara J. Tewksbury and Dr. R. Heather Macdonald, 2005).
Olalekan (2002) noted that the following are expected to be taught in social studies:
a. The facts and theories i.e. basic principles
b. The doing i.e. basic skills
c. Competency, problem solving i.e. application
d. Attitudes, values and ideas.
Not all teaching methods work equally well with all students and not all students learn at the same rate or struggle with the same learning issues. When a teacher works with any group of heterogeneous learners, managing the diverse needs of the group can be challenging but also rewarding. If the teacher’s roles as producers, seekers and disseminators of knowledge are to be validated, then students have to be educated using different approaches, methods and options depending on the subject being taught.
Barth (1993) defines social studies as the interdisciplinary integration of the concepts of social science and humanities for the purpose of practicing problem solving and decision-making for developing citizenship skills on critical social issues.
Therefore, primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for public good, as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world. A teacher of social studies must carefully and purposefully select his/her instructional method(s) to achieve this primary objective in the students.
The world ‘social’ indicates that the subject deals with the ways humans act together in a social situation to solve the problems inherent in being alive, group-oriented and able to affect the environment.
Students need to learn to put social studies to use in their own lives, by developing strategies for becoming good citizens, globally aware individuals and productive adults. This is a lifelong process that requires not a knowledge of facts but also an understanding of how to find necessary information and how to process it.
Teaching is communication, and communication is dependent largely on the way the message in presented. The choice of teaching method determines the meaning and impact of the message being conveyed.
Instructional methods that:
a. isolate students from actual exercise of responsible citizenship, that lay emphasis only on reading about citizenship or future participation in the larger social and political world
b. lecture classes in which students sit passively: classes in which students of lower ability levels are deprived of the knowledge and learning opportunity that other students receive
c. methods that assume that students are ignorant or uninterested in issues raised in social studies all the above should be greatly decreased in teaching social studies (Best Practice: New standards for Teaching and Learning in America’s Schools by Steven Zemelman 1993).
Methods that emphasize the following should be increased:
a. in-depth study of topics in each social studies field which help students discover the complexities of human interaction.
b. activities that engage students in inquiry and problem solving about significant human issues.
c. participation in interactive and co-operative classroom study processes that bring together students of all ability levels (Steven Zemelman 1993).
In this study the method considered most appropriate and suitable to achieve effective learning in social studies, which should be emphasized above other methods is probing questions as against lecture method.
Statement of Problem
Teaching social studies in Nigeria is linked to the Philosophy of Nigeria Education which is to inculcate National Consciousness, National Unity, the right type of values and attitude for the survival of the individual and the Nigerian society; to train the minds in the understanding of the world around, to train the minds to acquire appropriate values, ethnic beliefs, skills, abilities and competences both method and physical as equipment for individual to live in and contribute to the development of the society (National Policy on Education-NPE 2004).
Teachers in secondary schools are aware of the various teaching methodologies for teaching social studies as a subject in Junior Secondary School; however, most teachers do not use the appropriate teaching methods applicable to the different contents. Teachers find it easy to use the lecture method which does not encourage active learning and is mostly unsuitable for effective teaching in social studies.
Social studies courses are regarded as relatively unimportant subject matter whether in primary or junior secondary school level. This perception leads to diminished attention paid to social studies as a serious subject area, yet in the overall development of the intellect of students, no other subject matter content holds as much promise. The consequences of poor understanding and appreciation of social studies are everywhere e.g. surveys have shown that not all registered voters actually vote in national elections, many secondary schools and tertiary institutions students continue to cheat in assignments tests and exams i.e. examination malpractices continue to increase (Bob Kizlik, 2013). Many Nigerians are not conversant with the duties of citizens stated in Section 24 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria nor the fundamental rights of citizens stated in Section 33 – 44 of the same Constitution i.e. pervasive ignorance of the citizenry. There is also a clear disconnect between intentions and outcomes of our schools curriculum in social studies e.g. the topic of Citizenship, the learning outcome is good citizenship, it is a big question whether this outcome has been/is being achieved among our pupils / students. (Bob Kizlik, A Purpose for Social Studies; ADPRIMA;org, updated December 26, 2013).
Over the years, the very unimpressive performances of students in social studies in the Junior Secondary School Certificate Examinations in Nigeria have been concern of all stakeholders in education (Ede O.S Iyamu, 2005).
Further studies have attributed poor achievement of students in social studies largely to the use of poor instructional strategies (Unachukwu, 1990), inappropriate medium of instruction (STAN, 1992: Adeyegbe, 1993); and faulty methods by teachers (Igba, 2005). Overdependence on conventional teaching method by teachers appears to be the main culprit in this preponderance of ineffective instructional strategies used in teaching social studies (Igba, 2005).
There is therefore the need to look for an effective instructional strategy to teach social studies concepts which should fbe innovative and learner based in order to combat the high failure rate of students in social studies (Dr. Usulor, Benjamin, E. 2012).
This study is aimed at finding out the relationship between the teachers’ teaching method in the classroom and the achievement of students in social studies during examinations.
Purpose/Objective of the Study
The study is designed:
1. To investigate the extent and degree of use of questioning method by teachers of social studies.
2. To ascertain the effectiveness or non-effectiveness of lecture method by teachers in relation to the performance of students.
3. To ascertain the difference in the performance of students when questioning method is emphasized by teachers.
4. To evaluate the degree of the influence of teaching method of teachers on the students’ performance.
The following questions are designed to guide the study:
i. How far does the use of lecture method by teachers affect the academic performance of students?
ii. How far does use of questioning method by teachers affect the academic performance of students?
iii. What is the degree of difference in performance of students when the two methods are emphasized respectively by teachers?
iv. What is the relationship between the emphasis on either the lecture or questioning method by teachers and students’ performance in social studies?
The following null hypotheses are tested using 0.05 level of significance as the pre-requisite for accepting or rejecting:
1. There is no significant relationship between the use of lecture method by teachers and the academic performance of students.
2. There is no significant relationship between the use of probing questions method by teachers and the academic performance of students.
3. There is no significant difference in the performance of students when either the lecture or probing questions method are adopted by teachers.
4. Teachers’ skill in the use of either lecture or probing questions method does not significantly affect the performance of students in social studies.
Significance of the Study
This study will be of immense benefit to the following:
· Teachers: Teachers will benefit from this study because it will help them to carefully adopt or apply the right instructional method(s) in teaching the different topics in social studies.
· Students: With the findings and recommendations of this study, students will be helped to develop an enquiring mind and problem solving skills which they will need in the larger society.
· School Authorities: The schools authorities will be enlightened on effective teaching method(s) to be adopted by their teachers which will eventually enhance the performance of their students in social studies and help them produce responsible young citizens of Nigeria.