to the study
          Social studies is a subject which is
taught at various levels of education in Nigeria, It is taught at the junior secondary
school, senior secondary schools and teacher training colleges as core
subjects. Even at the lower basic level of education, that is, the primary
school, social studies is taught under environmental studies, now known as
citizenship education. All these point to the importance attached to the study
of social studies in our schools.
          The National Council for Social
Studies divides social studies objectives into four categories: knowledge,
skills, values, and participation (Barr, 1977). These four categories of the
learning of social studies are also addressed in the objectives declared by the
Nigeria Education Service for both elementary schools and senior secondary schools
(Nigeria Education Service, 2007). Each of these categories provide the basis
of curriculum development for senior secondary schools in Nigeria. Nigeria’s
Ministry of Education state that “social studies at the senior secondary school
level is concerned with equipping the students with an integrated body of
knowledge, skills and attitudes that will help the student develop a broader
perspective of Nigeria and the world” (Social studies syllabus for senior
secondary schools in Nigeria, 2007, p.7). The subject probes the past and
provides knowledge for the students to understand his or her society and be
able to solve personal and societal problems. The subject has been divided into
three sections each of which focus on the environment, government and
stability, social and economic development (Ministry of Education, 2007).
          Social studies curriculum is based on
key concepts such as democracy, justice, rights and responsibilities, identity
and diversity. Teachers use topical, political and social issues to bring
social studies content to life. These content areas develop in students key
citizenship skills needed for research, discussion as well as debate sessions
(Bining & Bining, 1952). The social studies curriculum used in senior
secondary schools aims at developing in students the ability to participate in their
communities meaningfully and wider societies as informed citizens (Ministry of
Education 2007).The purpose of active citizens is to teach students to work
together and take practical actions using their knowledge and understanding in
social studies to contribute to the better society locally, nationally and
globally(Bath, 1983). For example, after learning about human rights, diversity
and inequality, students might decide to set up a project to address racism in
their school or local community.
          Among the many agencies available for
social studies education are the family, peer group, mass media, the church and
the school (Cleary, 1971). Of all these, the school appears to be the most
potent force in the Nigeria an society driving the course of social studies.
For instance, because of the newness of democratic living in the Nigeria an
system, one cannot guarantee that the various family units can efficiently
inset the ideas of our form of democracy in the youth. Similarly, one cannot
dispute the fact that most of the youth do not have access to the mass media.
The same may apply to the church. On the contrary, almost every youth is
expected by law to acquire at least basic education (Constitution of Nigeria,
1992). It is for this reason why Cleary, (1971) suggest that schools (senior
secondary schools) are powerful weapon used to ensure that majority of the
youth have a taste of social studies education in Nigeria.
          The past 50 years have witnessed a
number of studies that have attempted to understand why students either like or
dislike social studies. These studies have tried to identify and measure
student’s attitude about social studies and predict what influence their
attitudes related to this area of the school curriculum (Corbin, 1994; Curry
& Hughes, 1965; Fraser, 1981; Inskeep & Rowland, 1963; McTear &
Blaton, 1975; McTear, 1978, 1979).
          Through the years, on-going changes in
curriculum design, teaching methodology, and administrative practices may have
helped to improve students’ perception of social studies (Shaughnessy &
Haladyna, 1985).   However, most students
still perceive social studies classes as dull, boring, and irrelevant to their
lives. If the Social Studies curriculum is to continue to have support from
school administrators, politicians, and the general public, it is desirable to
have positive student attitudes towards the subject matter. This is important
because it is quite possible that negative attitudes toward social studies
could ultimately result in a sharp decline in the allocation of resources for
this subject area.
          Unfortunately, previous research
indicates that young students are not positive about social studies and find it
irrelevant for future careers (Schug, Todd, & Beery, 1982). Historically,
when elementary and secondary school students were surveyed, the most dominant
negative perception was that social studies was boring and had little relevance
to their lives. Femandez, Massey, and Dombush (1975; 1976) conducted one of the
earliest surveys regarding student attitudes towards social studies in the San
Francisco Public Schools. They found that students in grades 9 through 12
ranked social studies last in importance when compared to other core subjects
such as English and mathematics. The participants described social studies as
confusing and having little relationship to their future.
          From the above description of social
studies education in both Nigeria and the world at large, one could attest to
the fact that, an exploration into student’s attitudes towards the teaching and
learning of social studies will be of great relevance to the development of
active citizens. It is against this background that this study sought to
examine students’ attitudes towards the teaching and learning of social studies
in senior secondary schools.
of the Problem
          The advancement of “liberty and
justice for all” as envisioned by our country’s founders requires that,
citizens have to acquire knowledge, attitudes and values to guard and endorse
the principles of constitutional democracy (constitution of Nigeria, 1992). The
success of Nigeria’s growth and stability relies strongly on its educational
system. Social studies is a major part of the school’s curriculum because it
explores morals, values and provides students with the ability to understand
the values associated with being a good citizen ( Ministry of Education ,
          The marginalization of social studies
education in schools has been documented repeatedly. For instance, in the
United States, Lawson, (2003) surveyed hundred tenth grade students and hundred
twelfth grade students in order to determine their attitudes towards the
various subject areas. In the study, English, mathematics and reading were
ranked ahead of social studies. Participants described social studies as boring
and far from anything they could relate to in their life. This situation may
result in the poor performance of students in social studies. The researchers
suspect that this apparent drift may be the result of ineffective teaching and
learning of Social Studies content. This study therefore investigates the
attitudes students in senior secondary School have towards the teaching and
learning of Social Studies.
of Study
          The purpose of the study was to
investigate the attitudes of senior secondary school students towards the
teaching and learning of Social Studies in the Ekiti State. Specifically, the
study was guided by the following objectives:
Perception of senior secondary school students towards the teaching and
learning of Social Studies.
Attitudes of senior secondary schools students towards the methods used in
teaching and learning of Social Studies.
Senior secondary school students perception of social studies as a subject as
compared to other core subjects.
following research questions were formulated to guide the study.
How do students in Senior secondary Schools perceive the teaching and learning
of social studies?
What are the attitudes of senior secondary school students toward the methods used
by teachers in the teaching and learning of Social Studies?
How do students rate social studies as compared to other core subjects?
of the Study
          The findings of the study will
contribute effectively to impart knowledge in the area of teaching and learning
social studies in senior secondary Schools in the Ekiti State and Nigeria as a
whole, It will help Social Studies teachers to be able to effectively and
appropriately impart knowledge to their students because teachers get to know
and understand the perception of their students about the subject which
provides the opportunity for new knowledge and perceptions. The study will also
serve as a basic reference for both teacher and educational stakeholders and
other related institutions such that they will be able to solve challenges they
may encounter in dealing with issues related to the attitudes of students
towards social studies. The findings of this work will not only aid players in
education to take informed decisions but it will also make them understand the
challenges and processes in research.
of the Study
          The study was conducted in the Ekiti
State. Specifically, it covered the teaching and learning of Social Studies in
Senior secondary Schools. The study was limited to the attitudes of students
towards the teaching and learning of
studies. The choice of the study location was based on the fact that, the
researchers are familiar with some schools in the Ekiti State and this will
help them obtain reliable information about the research.
of the Study
          Lack of accurate and adequate
information from respondents, school authorities unwillingness to allow
research to be carried out in their school as well as time constraints are
challenges that hinder the smooth execution of the research process in the
senior secondary schools in the Ekiti State.
of Terms
Social studies is an integration of
social science subjects such as Sociology, History, Geography, Economics and
Psychology for the purpose of instruction in citizenship education. The main
purpose is to train students to become useful citizens in the society and the
country as a whole.
Attitude is how individuals behave or
respond to a situation or a thing. Due to individual differences, people
exhibit different behaviours towards events and circumstances. Attitudes can
exert strong influence on behaviour, many powerful forces such social norms and
values and specific circumstances can pressure people can act in particular
and learning:
it is the interaction between
teachers and learners whereby knowledge is transferred from the teacher to the
learners with the aim of changing student’s behaviour towards the set goals.
of the Study
study is organized into five chapters, Chapter one deals with the background to
the study, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, research questions,
the significance of the study, delimitation, limitation and definition of
terms. Chapter two deals with the review of related literature, it takes into
consideration the historical overview of Social Studies, the concept of
Teaching and learning, the concept attitude and perception, the concept
teaching Social Studies, the methods employed by teachers to enhance effective
teaching and learning of social studies, materials for teaching and learning of
Social Studies and the varied characteristics of teachers and students. Chapter
three presents the research method used by the researchers for the study, these
includes research design, population sample and sampling technique,
instruments, data collection procedure and presentation and data analysis
procedure. Chapter four is concerned with results and discussion of data.
Chapter five caters for the summary, conclusion recommendations based on the
findings of the study as well as suggestions for further studies.
          The review of related literature to
this work is carried out under the following sub-headings: theoretical review
and review of empirical studies.
theoretical review on the study entails;
Ø Meaning
of social studies
Ø  historical overview of social studies
Ø the
concept attitude
Ø the
concept perception
Ø methods
used in teaching and learning of social studies
Ø Instructional
resources used in teaching and learning of social studies
empirical review on the study includes;
Ø The
perception of senior secondary school students towards the teaching and
learning social studies.
Ø The
attitudes of senior secondary school students towards the methods used in
teaching and learning of social studies.
Ø The
senior secondary school student’s perception of social studies as a subject as
compared to other core subjects.

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