TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of Contents
List of Tables
List of Figures
List of Appendixes
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study
Statement of the Problem
Purpose of the Study
Scope of the Study
Operational Definition of Terms
Significance of the Study
CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
The Different Viewpoints on the Origin of Man
The philosophical Background of Social Studies in Relation to the
National Policy on Education
The General Objectives of Teaching Social Studies in the
The Concept of Integration in Social Studies
Social Studies and the Theme of Evolution
Archaeological Explanation of the Origin of Man
Origin of Man as an Integrated Theme
Review of studies in Gender, Religion and Teacher Qualification
Appraisal of the Literature Reviewed
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Population, Sample and Sampling Techniques 96
Procedure for Data Collection
Data Analysis Techniques
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS AND RESULTS
Summary of the Findings
CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Discussion on Findings
Suggestions for Further Research
This study investigated the views of secondary school teachers in Kogi
State of Nigeria on the origin of man as a theme in the Junior Secondary School
Social Studies curriculum. The three accounts of the origin of man are myths and
legends; Doctrine of Creation; and Theory of Evolution. The study compared the
views of social studies, biology, CRK, IRK and Yoruba teachers on these
accounts. Descriptive survey method, using the researcher-designed 30 items
questionnaire to identify teachers’ views on the three sub-division of the themeorigin
of man in relation to their variables of gender, religion, and subject
specializations. The samples were 660 teachers, drawn from 132 randomly
selected secondary schools, from the three senatorial districts in Kogi State. Ten
research questions were raised, and nine null hypotheses were formulated for the
study. Percentage was used to answer the only research question without a
corresponding hypothesis. t test and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to
determine whether significant differences existed in the views of teachers on the
Origin of Man based on their gender, religion and subject specialization.
The mean score analysis revealed their views as -2.18 on the account of
myths and legends; 7.15 on the doctrine of creation and -7.30 on the theory of
evolution as the origin of man. The t test and ANOVA statistical analyses revealed
that there were no significant differences on gender and religion. However,
subject specialization had influenced the teacher’s views on each account of the
origin of man. The post hoc analysis showed the difference on myths and legends
favoured Yoruba, that of creation favoured CRK and that of evolution was in
favour of biology.
Essentially, the major implication of this study is that it has revealed the
nature of social studies as an integrated discipline; having contained a
substantial degree of biological evolution in its content. It also indicated that
while social studies sometimes touch on “delicate” issues as religion, race,
political affiliation etc, a social studies teacher should be neutral and
impassionate in teaching. Another implication of this is that for the modern social
studies teacher to be effective in the present dispensation, he needs to add the
scientific knowledge of biological evolution.
Based on these findings, recommendations were made to inform education
stake-holders that: The theme of origin of man should be taught using integrated
approach so as to complement the impact of religion on the teaching of evolution
viewpoint. Also, teachers should devote proper attention to the doctrine of
creation on the origin of man without reflecting their individual religious biases.
Background to the Study
The total human knowledge is sub-divided into three major groups
of arts, social sciences and the physical sciences based on their logically
distinct forms of knowledge. Social studies happens to cut across the
boundaries of these bodies of knowledge and integrates parts of them into a
single unitary whole. Consequent upon this, many social studies
educationists viewed social studies as a broadfield encompassing the social
science, citizenship education, ethnic studies, value education and most
everything that had come down the line of social studies in recent years.
For example, (Adaralegbe, 1975) perceived social studies as:
The modern attempt at inter-disciplinary and
inter-related study of a topic, a problem, an
issue or an appreciation. Social studies is a
problem-solving approach through which man
studies and learns about problems of survival in
his environment. It is the study of how man
influences and is influenced by his physical,
social, political, religious, economic,
psychological, cultural, scientific and
technological environment… social studies is a
way of life. (p. 3)
In addition, Makinde (1979) described social studies as a subject that
attempts to study man in all ramifications. Other definitions by Jarolimech
and Walsh (1965), Armstrong (1974) and CESAC (1979) have helped us to
identify the distinguishing features of social studies. These defining
features are the study of human beings, human institutions, human
environment and human relationship. Many of these have bearing on
The question of how man came to being has always been a matter of
curious concern, which he has always tried to answer throughout the ages
of his recorded history but there has not been a single universal answer.
However, the numerous approaches made by social studies scholars are:
myths and legends, creation and evolution. These can be said to represent
the domains of philosophy, theology and positive science respectively. It
also represents the teaching of controversial aspects of social studies.
Although a teacher may not subscribe to a particular approach, he or she
has to teach all the approaches.
The focus of this study is analysis of the views of Social Studies,
teachers on the origin of man as conceptualized in the Nigerian Secondary
school social studies curriculum. Social studies qualifies to deal with the
theme because of its nature which puts man at the centre of focus. One of
the distinctive myths and legends is that of the Yoruba people of Southwestern
Nigeria which came from Ile Ife. Stride and Ifeka (1971)
commented on this as follows:
One tradition of Origin is a mythical creation legend
which intimates that the Yoruba were the original
inhabitants of the Ife area. At the dawn of time, the
world was a watery waste. On the order of his
father – the supreme god, Olorun – Oduduwa
climbed down a chain from the sky. He brought
with him a handful of earth, a cockerel and a palm
nut. He scattered the earth upon the water and it
formed the land at Ile-Ife. The cockerel dug a hole
in which Oduduwa planted the palm nut, and up
sprang a mighty (palm) tree with sixteen branches
which formed the sixteen rulling houses in Ife. To
this day, Oduduwa’s chain is preserved among the
sacred relics of the Yoruba (pp. 288 & 290).
Till date, the conservative Yoruba man firmly believes in this
mythical legends and would not hear of any other account of human origin;
consequent upon which he preserves the relic as being sacred as mentioned
above. Another sub-theme of the origin of man is creation. The doctrine of
creation recorded in the scriptures states that God created the earth and all
life forms in it. This exists in the first book of Moses called Genesis (Gen.
1:1-27) of the Holy Bible and is supported by Surat Barka (2:39-40) of the
Holy Qur’an. Both Christians and Muslims believe that God created the
first man and woman in the precious garden of Eden and no contrary
account would be acceptable to them.
In order to lend credibility to the above claim, Leakey and Lewin
(1977) stated thus:
On hearing one afternoon in June 1860, the
suggestion that mankind was descendant from
apes, the wife of the Bishop of Worcester was
said to have exclaimed: My dear, descended
from apes! Let us hope it is not true, but if it is,
let us pray that it will not become generally
known (p. 21).
Meanwhile, the Bishop of Worcester himself was not said to have
raised any objection to enshrouding the information, which suggests that he
consented. This indicates that religious leaders are prepared to go into any
length in order to preserve the doctrine of creation which states that: the
earth and all that existed there-in were created by God, (Olorode, Fatunla &
The third sub-theme is evolution. In the nineteenth century, the
great innovators of evolutionism are, the French naturalist: Jean Baptiste de
Lamarck (1744 – 1829) and the English naturalist: Charles Robert Darwin
(1809 – 1882) who made important theoretical contributions. The theory
states that: all living organisms arose as reproductions of pre-existing
organisms. That all living things are historically related through a common
ancestry, and that higher forms of life have evolved by modification of
simpler forms (Funk & Wagnals, n.d).
In any case, Dobzhansky, Ayala, Stebbins and Valentine (1977)
defined organic evolution as:
a series of partial or complete and irreversible
transformation of genetic composition of
populations, based principally upon altered
interactions with their environment. It consists
chiefly of adjustments to environmental changes
that take place in a particular habitat, and the
Origin of new ways for exploiting existing
habitats. These adaptive changes occasionally
give rise to greater complexity of development
pattern, or psychological reactions and interactions
between populations and their environment. (p. 8).
Like the adherents of the two previous sub-themes, the proponents of
evolution equally demonstrate ardent belief in the theory. An instance of
such an obsessed commitment by scholars is that of Dobzhansky, (1973)
who categorically stated that: “nothing in biology makes sense except in the
light of evolution” (p. 125). What is more? This is a pointer to the fact that
each sub-theme of the Origin of man has its own committed adherents
across time and space who would not be prepared to concede their notion in
favour of the other. The present issue is whether social studies teachers also
differ in their orientation to the origin of man.
A number of studies have established that variables like gender,
religion and subject specializations often influence respondents’ views on a
problem, an issue, or a topic; with these they are also likely to influence the
teachers’ views on the theme of origin of man.
Gender is generally defined as the social and cultural conditions of
being a male or female (Riley, 1977:2). It refers to the different roles men
and women play in society. Gender shapes the lives of all people in lives;
the education we receive, the social roles we play and the power and
authority we command. While gender is expressed differently in different
societies, in no society do men and women perform equal roles or hold
equal positions of power.
What is clear from this definition is that gender, as different from
sex, is socially constructed and is therefore acquired rather than ascribed.
The fact is that any one (male or female), irrespective of sex, can be
socialized into any given gender (Nwosu, 2004). Men and women are
biologically different from one another and this biological difference
accounts for the differences in their behavior and roles. Supporting this,
Tiger and Fox (1974), argued that “human biogrammar”, is a genetically
based programme which predisposes mankind to behave in certain ways.
The biogrammar exists as a result of the differences in hormones between
males and females. This accounts for why females are positive and males
aggressive and dominant.
The biological determinists claimed that sexual inequality is rooted
in biological differences and that unlike economic classes, sex class sprang
directly from a biological reality; men and women were created differently
and so not equally privileged. Because of their elegant physical attributes
women are perceived to be predisposed to being more passive and nurturant
Men on the other hand, are seen to be heavier, with studier skeletal
structure and differently developed musculature. It was based on these
biological differences that biological determinists argue that these physical
differences means that men, the stronger sex, must take care of women and
children and therefore be dominant over them. This difference contributes
to keeping women in dependent positions (McNall and McNall, 1992).
On the contrary, however, feminists such as Ann Oakley has taken a
radical stand on the side of culture as a determinant of gender roles.
According to her, “human cultures are diverse and endlessly varied, they
once traced their creation to human inventiveness rather than invincible
biological forces” (P. 373).
The word feminism is the advocacy for social equality for men and
women; in opposition to patriarchy and sexism. It stands for reforms for
equal status. It is used to highlight women’s struggles against all the known
aspects of patriarchy, including male dominance in the home and family,
the unequal men-women relationship, women’s double burden in
production at work and reproduction of the species at home, male control of
women’s sexuality, women’s unpaid domestic labour and women’s
subordinate status in the culture of the country (Ohachenu, 1997:168).
The feminists advocate women’s control of their sexuality and
reproduction, they emphasize freedom and question established beliefs of
what they see as oppression and exploitation. Women should be given
equal access to education with men and no inhibition whatsoever should be
placed on them. Women should be able to venture into all spheres of life,
compete with men and if possible excel over them. They coined the saying
“what a man can do, a woman can do even better” and counteracted the
age-long saying: “behind every successful man there is a woman” with the
Maxim: besides every successful man there is a woman”. They concluded
that to truly improve the situation of women, patriarchy must first be
abolished. But then, Olabisi (1998:23) cautioned that: feminism should
not stop at mere access to economic independence and social benefits,
rather it should also focus on the psychological development of the total
self, whereby women should see themselves just as capable as men of
changing the world in which they live.
However, both sexes are inseparable in practice since they are both
created to live together, work together, plan to together, share thoughts and
responsibilities together, procreate and complement each other’s efforts in
all the human endeavours. Apart from mutually satisfying their sexual urge,
the duty of creation belongs to both male and female. It is in the light of
this that Makinde (2007) submitted that the concept of “gender conflict
should disappear and be replaced with gender co-operation” (2007:286).
Religion is an attempt by man to satisfy God through worship
(Olabode, 2002). Examples of religion are Christianity; and Islam as
Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Taoism, Confurniasm and
African traditional religion religion. However, religion in this study is being
limited to Christianity and Islam (as indicated by the respondents).
Religion tends to sacralize beliefs, morals, rituals, organizations and
priestly personnels (Berger, 1973). In the early 16th century, copermicus
struck a blow at human pride and ecclesiastical authority by declaring the
sun to be the centre of the universe. A century later, Newton laid the
foundations of modern physics by his discovery of the laws of motion
which he expressed in such mechanistic terms that human freedom and
responsibility were called into question. In the mid 19th century, human
dignity appeared to receive a near-fatal wound when Darwin published his
theory of biological evolution by natural selection, or the survival of the
fittest (Davis, 1978). The concept of evolution was applied not only to
nature, but to the society as well and gradually, a historical consciousness
developed, tracing the evolution of religious beliefs, rites and organizations
through diverse cultures and historical epochs. An entire generation of
anthropologists expended themselves in the search for the origin of man
and the origin of religion (Daris, 1978).
At each state in the modern development of science and historical
studies, religion appeared at first to be the loser. However, after the smoke
of the battle began to clear and the initial excesses of new discoveries were
corrected, we learned that science and history had actually purified,
enriched and enlarged religious perspective (Berger, & Luckmann, 1967).
In the same way in which historical consciousness penetrates and informs
all the disciplines in the study of religion, it is believed that if religion is
viewed in the right perspective it will like wise enrich the teaching of both
the controversial theme origin of man and social studies in general. It is
therefore very important for both teachers and students to possess an
appreciable knowledge of both the creation and evolution so as not to
demonstrate poor attitude towards myths and legends and evolution nor
confuse them with any of their religious beliefs.
With respect to subject specialization, Coleman (1966) had asserted
that teachers’ qualification and experience determined the scholastic
achievement of pupils. Musgrave (1965) and Adaralegbe (1972) added
another dimension to the issue of the training of teachers when they said
that the duration of the teacher training course should be sufficiently long to
enable the students to complete the course at normal pace. When the
duration is rather short, there is tendency to rush the students and the result
is that their education is restricted and limited and not broad based to
enable them lay a good foundation for their prospective pupils. It was
recommended that teachers should be provided with sufficient and adequate
intellectual and professional background for their assignment.
Fafunwa (1974) emphasized that of all the educational problems
besetting African countries, none is as persistent and as agonizing as the
one relating to the competent teachers. He further supported the use of
highly trained teachers when he opined that with rigid educational
expansion programme on the way, the adequate supply of good teachers
becomes the core of our educational problems because there is a direct link
or relationship between the quality of education, and the quality of teachers
and that the real value of a sound educational principle lies in its effective
implementation, and it is the teacher in the last analysis who transfers
theory into practice. Ukeje (1976) made it clear that the successes of the
process of education depends on the quality of teaching. He stressed that
the aim is to produce teachers who are intellectually, emotionally and
professionally equipped for effective and relevant teaching at all levels of
education. So the training of teachers is a way of imparting skills and
competence into them and plough them back into the system to train others.
Musgrave (1965) agreed with Wilson (1962), on the role teachers play and
the importance they attach to the sympathetic understanding of children in
the establishment of a happy and harmonious relationship with the pupils
inside and outside the classroom. And to achieve this, the teacher needs to
Similarly, Jones and Blackenship (1970) noted that teachers’
opinions, attitudes and ideologies have bearings on the general teaching
techniques they employed to teach students. What a child is able to learn is
determined to a large extent by his teachers’ attitude and view about the
topic. This explains why the present study is devoted to teachers’ views on
these three sub-themes (accounts) so as to positively shape the students’
attitude in turn.
Statement of the Problem
There are two major problems relating to this study: The first
problem is in the students not seeing the relationship among the three subthemes
of Origin of man and as such, tending to forget everything that
might have been learnt about myths and legends after leaving the Yoruba
class or forgetting everything that has been learnt about creation
immediately they get into the science class. Due to the inability to see the
relationship among these sub-themes, more especially between creation and
evolution; both teachers and students often demonstrate poor attitude
towards the theory of evolution and genuinely confuse it with their
religious beliefs (Cornelius, 1968).
The second problem is that of divided views on the varying subthemes
of Origin of man by the subject teachers. There is the possibility of
reluctance on the side of the teacher to co-operate or tolerate another
account of human origin apart from his own. These two problems need
solution and Social Studies is a problem solving technique.
Purpose of the Study:
The general purpose of the study was a comparative analysis of
teachers’ views on the Origin of man as a social studies theme in Kogi
State, Nigeria. Specifically, this research has attempted to do the
1. compare the views of teachers of Social studies, Yoruba, CRK, IRK
and Biology on myths and legends, creation and evolution subthemes
on the origin of man in the social studies curriculum.
2. determine the influence of the teachers’ gender on their view on
myths and legends as the explanation of origin of man.
3. determine the influence of the teachers’ gender on their view of
creation as the explanation of the origin of man.
4. determine the influence of the teachers’ gender on evolution as the
view point of the origin of man.
5. determine the influence of the teachers’ religion on myths and
legends as the view point of the origin of man.
6. determine the influence of teachers’ religion on creation as the view
point of the origin of man.
7. determine the influence of teachers’ religion on evolution as the
view point of the origin of man.
8. determine the influence of the teachers’ specialties on myths and
legends as the view point of the origin of man.
9. determine the influence of the teachers’ specialties on creation as the
view point of the origin of man.
10. determine the influence of the teachers’ specialties on evolution as
the view point of the origin of man.
In as much as the purpose of this study was to investigate the
comparative analysis of the various subject-teachers’ views on the Origin of
man in their subjects’ curricula, the study therefore sought answers to the
following research questions:
1. How are the views of teachers of Social Studies, Yoruba, CRK, and
Biology compared on each sub-themes of Origin of man in the social
2. Does sex influence the teachers’ views on myths and legends as the
origin of man?
3. Does sex influence the teachers’ views on creation as the origin of
4. Does sex influence the teachers’ views on evolution as the origin of
5. Does religion influence the teachers’ views on myths and legends as
the origin of man?
6. What is the influence of religion on teachers’ views on creation as
the origin of man?
7. What is the influence of religion on the teachers’ views on evolution
as the origin of man?
8. Does subject specialization influence the teachers’ views on myths
and legends as the origin of man?
9. What is the influence of subject specialization on the teachers’ views
on creation as the origin of man?
10. What is the influence of subject specialization on teachers’ views on
evolution as the origin of man?
The following hypotheses were tested:
Ho1: There is no significant difference in the views of the teachers on
myths and legends sub-theme of the origin of man on the basis of
Ho2: There is no significant difference in the views of teachers on the
creation sub-theme of the origin of man on the basis of gender.
Ho3: There is no significant difference in the views of teachers on the
evolution sub-theme of the origin of man on the basis of gender.
Ho4: There is no significant difference in the views of the subject teachers
on myths and legends on the basis of religion.
Ho5: There is no significant difference in the views of the subject teachers
on creation on the basis of religion.
Ho6: There is no significant difference in the views of the subject teachers
on evolution on the basis of religion
Ho7: There is no significant difference in the views of the subject teachers
on myths and legends on the basis of subject specialization.
Ho8: There is no significant difference in the views of the subject teachers
on creation on the basis of subject specialization.
Ho9: There is no significant difference in the views of the subject teachers
on evolution on the basis of subject specializations.
Scope of the Study:
The study involved six hundred and sixty (660) practising secondary
school teachers in the five school subjects relating to the teaching of “origin
of man” through the stratified cluster sampling procedure as follows:
Christian religious knowledge 145
Islamic religious knowledge 103
Social Studies 174
Furthermore the study sample was evenly distributed throughout the
three senatorial districts of Kogi State as follows: Kogi West; 220; Kogi
Central, 220; and Kogi East, 220; making a total of 660 number of cases
The scope of the study also included all the variables mentioned
earlier, these are: gender, religion and subject specialization.
Operational Definition of Terms
The following terms used in the study are hereby operationally
defined as follows:
Origin of man: different accounts of how human kinds came into existence
in the social studies curriculum involving myths and legends, the doctrine
of creation and the theory of organic evolution.
Views: same with opinions. Here it refers to the views of the different
subject teachers on origin of man.
Religion: is used in the study to denote Christianity or Islam.
Myths and legends: tribal ancient stories handed down from older
generations to offer explanations of the world and human existence.
Doctrine of Creation: the creation account recorded in the scriptures, i.e
Bible and Qur’an; traceable to Adam as the first man to be created by God.
Theory of Evolution: Darwinian view point about human origin as the
development of higher and complex organism from lower and simpler
forms over a period of time in response to some environmental changes.
Subject Specialization: Any of the school subjects including: social
studies, Yoruba, CRK, IRK and Biology which are directly related to the
three sub-divisions of origin of man in the social studies curriculum, same
as subject qualification.
Significance of the Study
Essentially, the finding of this study are significant in four
dimensions: to teaching-learning situation, teacher education, curriculum
developers and educational researchers. Besides being a social science
discipline, social studies attempts to study man in all ramifications. This
necessitates the need to present a balanced view of concepts and themes as
to fulfil a certain fundamental objective of social studies, which is to
socialize the learners.
Identification of teachers’ opinions about the theme of Origin of man
in the social studies curriculum becomes significant since a teacher’s
effectiveness and his opinion concerning the course of instruction he
transmits are somewhat inter related. Consequently, the findings of this
study would be of valuable use to the practising teachers in the sense that it
serves as a guideline for self-improvement of opinions, views, perceptions
and dispositions towards origin of man as an inter-disciplinary theme in the
social studies curriculum. Equally important, the study would also enable
curriculum developers to identify instructional materials that are still
current in social studies and those that need to be updated more especially,
on themes and sub-themes relating to the origin of man.
More over, the findings of this study also serve as a source of
information to the professional educationists and educational researchers
alike in the process of literature review and determining the form and
content of instrumentation. It also serves as a reference material for future
researchers thereby complementing their knowledge of research methods
and statistical analysis. Finally, it is believed that the outcome of this study
would inspire future research in social studies, thereby expanding the
frontiers of knowledge and pushing backward the frontiers of ignorance.