Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

Date of this Version

2016

Citation

Background to the Study

The Federal Republic of Nigeria, in its National Policy on Education (2004), recommended the provision of functional school libraries stocked with appropriate media resources meant to promote sound and effective teaching and learning activities, boost students’ reading habits and motivate students to come up with desired academic achievement. The minimum standard, according to the policy, should consist of books, pamphlets, paper cuttings, gazettes and government publications, atlas, maps and charts, photography records, films, record players, cassette tapes/ payers, film projections, slides, pictures, photographs, realia and periodicals. The book collections, according to the policy outline, comprise reference books, non-fictions and fictions. The need for the provision of these school library resources is to provide a clear path towards the realization of curriculum goals of secondary school subjects, Social Studies inclusive. The school library should be set up to facilitate implementation of educational policy goals by providing appropriate media resources through careful selection, acquisition and processing of the resources and make both print and non-print media resources available for use of the school community, particularly, students.

School library media resources are vital to the teaching and learning of school subjects which may likely influence academic performance of students at the Junior Secondary School level. The school library media centre plays a significant role in the educational development of students. The High Level Policy Committee on Curriculum Development (HLPCCD) and Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) took the initiative, in this direction, to provide the guideline for restructuring educational curriculum to ensure continuity and flow of themes, topics and experiences from primary to Junior Secondary School levels (Olaojo, 2012). The learning resource collections of the School Library Media Centre (SLMC) are selected and acquired in order to achieve the purpose and goals of the curriculum. The only surest way of facilitating instructions is to provide a functional SLMC that is supportive to teaching-learning programmes in Nigerian Schools because the services provided by the centre touch learners’ lives and inspire their imagination, learning and creativity (Williams, Coles, Blackwell, 2002).

Osiki (2001) defined academic achievement as knowledge attaining ability or degree of competence in school tasks usually measured by standard tests and expressed in a grade or units based on pupils’ performance. Thus, academic achievement can therefore be referred to as excellence or accomplishments in all academic disciplines in class as well as co-curricular activities. This, however, excludes excellence in sporting, behaviour, confidence, communication skills, punctuality, arts, culture, and the likes which can be achieved only when an individual is well adjusted. In another vein, Good (1999) viewed academic achievements as the knowledge attained or skills developed in the school subjects usually designed by tests’ scores or marks assigned by the teachers, while Amazigo (2000) was of the opinion that academic achievements can also refer to academic performance which includes both curricular and co-curricular activities of the students. It, therefore, encompasses learning outcomes of the students.

The need to educate the child firmly on the rudiments of his culture and, thereby, utilise education as an agent of social and political change through emphasis on citizenship has necessitated the introduction of Social Studies in schools in Nigeria. In this regard, Falade (2007) observed that social studies promotes good citizenship and helps to organise the citizens towards positive and progressive participation in the socio-economic and political lives of the nation. It is a subject that involves acquisition of knowledge about the culture of a geographical location and how to enhance interpersonal relationship. It entails the development of skills and attitude required for participatory citizenship through gathering of information from varieties of disciplines, experiences, thoughts and social interaction (Edinyang and Ubi, 2012).

Agitation for the need to introduce Social Studies started in Nigeria after independence (Edinyang, 2001). Then, it was noted by scholars that Nigerian educational system was alienated from its natural and cultural environment. Awareness about Nigeria’s environment was relegated to the background by the British educational system and generally, the school curriculum focused on pupils' learning outside their environment more than within. The Mombasa Conference of 1968 of which Nigeria was among the eleven participating countries addressed this problem. The conference communiqué stressed the need to reflect African culture and environment through teaching and learning of Social Studies. Consequently, participants finally came up with Social Studies curriculum which was accepted by all for adoption to suit the local needs of the individual participating countries.

The Nigerian Social Studies curriculum affirmed the need to create awareness and understanding of the social environment, physical environment, cultural resources and spiritual resources; develop the capacity to learn and acquire observational and analytical skills which are essential for the formation of sound judgment; ensure acquisition of relevant knowledge that would facilitate personal contribution to the betterment of mankind; and develop a sympathetic appreciation of the diversity and interdependence of all members of the local and international community (Ogundare, 2000). Besides, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO, 2010) stated that the aims and objectives of Social Studies include development of understanding of immediate surroundings by children; education of young citizens in the areas of attitude, values and norms of the society; promotion of effective and active citizenship; understanding of social problems and finding solutions to them; creation of understanding of roles during elections and other civic responsibilities; development of the ability to think reflectively and come to independent conclusions; and creation of awareness that discipline is essential for an orderly society. The principal aim of Social Studies education is an attempt to give learners some skills, competencies and intellectual capability necessary for them to live useful life in the society. Social Studies education is, thus, a complex process of cooperation and communication between the teacher and learner. It is a clear means by which students are assisted to acquire new stills, values, attitudes, appreciations, knowledge and understanding. (Egharevba, 2006). A good Social Studies curriculum is one which helps young individuals to fully develop into human adults by relating them to their society by means of appropriate knowledge and experiences selected from the social sciences.

The topics include meaning, scope and nature of Social Studies, physical environment (types of environment, features of physical and social environment, influence of human being on the physical environment), social environment (social groups in the environment, roles of social groups and causes of conflict within social groups). Others are trafficking in children and women (factors responsible for women and children trafficking, consequences of children and women trafficking, and ways of preventing human trafficking) and peace (meaning of peace, importance of living in peace with one another and ways of promoting peace). The achievement and failure of students in Social Studies, among other variables, may depend on the availability of appropriate and adequate school library resources for the teaching and learning of Social Studies. The failure of learners in Social Studies, which does not involve any serious mathematical calculation that many students are usually scared of, therefore, inform the need for this research to find out whether lack of provision of or inadequacy of library media resources may be a factor responsible for the low academic performance.

The integration of the subject into the JSS curriculum is to make the students realize the importance of Social Studies in the development of good citizens with healthy attitude towards neighbours and government and appraise the level of students’ academic achievement particularly in the area of Social Studies as a subject. Ogunsaju (2004) attributed poor achievement in Social Studies to failure of schools to make available relevant instructional materials that would motivate students to learn. Odor (2003) confirmed that this problem of poor academic performance was due to inadequacy of funds for the procurement of standard educational resources. Equally, Adeleke (2010) observed that students' poor achievement in Social Studies was as a result of adoption of teaching-learning methods that did not carry learners along due to less interactivity and abortion of set objective.

Statement of the Problem

The focus on the provision of appropriate and relevant library resources is becoming very important realizing the need for a teaching—learning process that is resources- based in Social Studies in Junior Secondary Schools in Nigeria. Besides, Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC)(2012) recommended the use of numerous library and instructional resources for instructions in all subjects including Social Studies. However, it has been observed that the SLMC has been passive in its role as the custodian of library and information resources meant to motivate students to progress in their academic endeavor. This development may engender a situation where learning becomes passive and students become less creative, receptive to problem-solving and no longer used to critical thinking. This may likely affect the performance of students in the school subjects, particularly, Social Studies. The problem of low performance of secondary school students in Social Studies as a subject occasioned by lack of appropriate school library resources has been a serious concern to parents and education stakeholders.

The problem is getting worse due to factors like poverty, environmental variables, students’ personality factors, socio-economic factors and problems associated with students’ roles and students’ learning environment, particularly, lack of school library resources for the teaching and learning of Social Studies in Junior Secondary Schools in Nigeria In most cases, attention has been focused on students’ academic achievement relating to teachers’ roles and students’ personality problems rather than on availability and adequacy of school library media resources and satisfaction derived by students from the use of resources in the teaching-learning process in the area of Social Studies, hence, the need to investigate the relationship between availability of school library media resources and students’ academic achievement in Social Studies in Junior Secondary Schools in Ondo State.

Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to investigate availability school library media resources as a predictor of achievement in Social Studies among students of Junior Secondary Schools in Ondo State with the sole aim of encouraging government and other stakeholders to establish functional library resources center that will be useful for instructions in Social Studies teaching-learning process. The specific objectives are to:

i. identify the variety of available school library resources for the teaching of Social Studies in Junior in Secondary Schools in Ondo State

ii. find out the relationship between availability of school library resources and students’ academic achievement in Social Studies in Junior Secondary Schools in Ondo State

Research Questions

The following research questions were answered in the study:

  1. What are the varieties of school library media resources available for Social Studies instructions in Junior Secondary Schools in Ondo State?
  2. What is the level of academic achievement of Junior Secondary School students in Social Studies in Ondo State?

Hypothesis

This hypothesis was tested at 0.05 level of significance:

H01: There is no significant relationship between school library media resources availability and students’ academic achievement in Social Studies in Junior Secondary Schools in Ondo State.

Literature Review

There are many definitions of Social Studies, therefore, there is no single definition that is universally acceptable for social studies as a school subject. However, Social Studies deals with the interaction between man and his environment, how man influences the environment and how the environment, in turn, influences man. According to Fadaiye (1999) "Social Studies is a subject that studies man in his social, historical, geographical and cultural context" Makinde (2001) described Social Studies as a subject that presents knowledge as a whole in an attempt to study human beings. It is clearly seen from the two definitions that the major concern of social studies is man. The subject brings knowledge and ideas together so as to study man. It also studies all the aspects of man's reality with a particular interest in his encounter in his environment. In the contribution of Ogundare (2000), he expressed that Social Studies is a study of problem of survival in an environment and how to find solution to them. He believed that it is a multidisciplinary study of topic, a problem, an issue, a concern or an aspiration. It, in essence, deals with how human being can fit into the society and organise necessary attitudes, values, and skills. He, in addition, pointed out that Social Studies is not geography, it is neither history nor government. It is not economics. It is also not an amalgamation of the social sciences. Rather, social studies is a subject designed specifically for the study of man and how his problems are solved.

Social Studies is not only concerned about the development of the cognitive aspect, the subject also intends to inculcate in the learner those values and skills that will enable him to function effectively in his society. Social Studies integrates ideas, knowledge, information and concepts from social sciences and other school disciplines to develop the skills and values for effective citizenship, Falade (1997) corroborated the idea when he stated that Social Studies in Nigeria is to ensure good citizenship and help to organise the citizens towards positive and progressive participation in the socio-economic and political lives of the nation, Social Studies develops in the learner those civic traits that will assist him to become a responsible citizen. The traits include obedience, loyalty, honesty, fair play, and so on.

The goal of Social Studies in the United States, in the early 1900s, has changed and no longer the same at present. The current meaning of social studies in the United States is that it is a subject that involves the acquisition of essential knowledge of history and social science. It entails the development of the skills and attitude required for competent, participatory citizenship in a democratic society, and in the global community; it is a programme designed to educate for effective citizenship by organised gathering of information from a variety of disciplines, and experiences, along with thinking, decision making, communication, social interaction and civic participation (NCSS, 1991; Adaralegbe, 2000), in his earliest definition, stated that Social Studies is an interdisciplinary field in which man learns about problems of survival in his environment. He added that it is a study of how man influences and is, in turn, influenced by his physical social political, religious, economic, psychological, cultural, scientific and technological environments. The National Committee on Primary School Social Studies further upheld this conception by stating that social studies is the common learning of man's interaction with his social and physical environments. The committee concluded that Social Studies is the totality of experience and understanding a child gets having been exposed to a course of study based on man's problems in his environment, the factors that are normally responsible in human' interactions with his environment and the resulting ways of life of man.

Another view of social studies is that it is a study of people. It goes on to say that people live in specific places, that is Geography. They live at a specific time; which is History. They earn a living, which is Economics. They live in various groups: families, tribes, friendship groups, committees and interest groups, which is of Sociology/Anthropology. They organize themselves, or are organized into political units of many kinds; this is the study of Government.

Another definition, which should be considered, is that which defines Social Studies as those portions of the Social Sciences that are selected for use for teaching school subjects (Perkings, 2004) It can therefore be explained that the subjects drawn from i.e. History, Geography, Economics, Government, Anthropology, and Sociology, are not taught as separate subjects but are frequently drawn upon by exponents of Social Studies.

All these views may be likened to the experience of a group of blind men and an elephant (Aina 2008). The blind men were asked to describe the elephant: one touched its body and described it as a thick wall, another touched the ears and said it was a big fan and the third touched the leg and said it was a great pillar. While each of these blind men's statements might be taken as partially true, they are not the whole truth. So is each of the various definitions of Social Studies representing some aspects of the whole truth.

Generally, Falade (2007) classified social studies' objectives into (3) main areas which are the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains. According to him, the cognitive is, otherwise, referred to as knowledge objective which emphasizes intellectual ability-knowing and understanding, the affective is connected with the development of values, ideas and appreciation in the citizen, while the psycho - motor domain deals with the development of skills and potentialities in the learners. The objectives are as follows:

i. the need for children to develop an understanding of their immediate surroundings;

ii. since there is a world-wide trend towards a technological and scientific approach, Social Studies aims at developing the children to deal with and manage the forces of the world in which they live in a society where many different groups co-exist

iii. Social Studies should play a unique role in educating the young citizens in harmonious living and in an understanding of the different peoples who make up the society.

iv. the creation of an awareness on the learners about their surroundings;

v. the development of specific fundamentals such as the attitudes, values and norms of the society.

vi. the promotion of effective and active citizenship

vii. the promotion of an understanding of the social problems of their locality and finding possible solutions to them;

  1. the ability to relate favourably to the products and peoples of the nation;

ix. helping the learners to develop the right altitudes towards the leaders of the government;

x. the creation of an understanding of their role during elections, especially, on how to discharge their duties effectively;

xi. the development of the ability to think reflectively and come to independent conclusions;

xii. the development of an understanding of how the lives of people who lived in the past affect our present day lives and how we can improve the present for the future;

  1. the demonstration of flexibility and a willingness to accept necessary changes within a system, i.e. education, government or law, for the good of all;
  2. the appreciation of the rules and regulations that guide behaviour of mutual respect as very important regardless of our differences; and

xv. the creation of an awareness that discipline is essential for an orderly society.

After independence, well-meaning Nigerians more importantly those from the academic began to express the needs and aspirations of the Nigerian people and the type of education provided by the British in Nigeria. The education system was described as trendy and irrelevant to the goals of a newly independent Nigeria. Fafunwa (1989) gave this succinct description "the educational system in Nigeria; instead of developing positive knowledge, attitudes, values and skills on the society in which the African child lives, tends to alienate human from his cultural environment".

Fafunwa further illustrated this situation by citing some examples, thus - in geography, pupils were directed to learn the names of rivers, mountains, valleys, food crops, and events in Europe. Similarly, the same applied to History, Arithmetic, Literature, English Language, Religious and Nature Study. In these subjects, African environment were relegated and unknown and generally, the school curriculum focused pupils' learning outside their environment more than within.

This growing concern for educational reform in Africa culminated in the organisation of various workshops, seminars and conferences. The most relevant of these conferences that relates to the teaching of Social Studies was the Mombassa conference of 1968. Among other things, the conference stressed the urgent need to reflect African culture and environment through the teaching and learning of Social Studies. Participants at that conference finally came up with a Social Studies curriculum, which was accepted by all for adoption to suit the local needs of the individual participating countries. Nigeria was among the eleven countries that participated in the conference, and it was at this conference that a revolution for a new approach to the teaching of Social Studies on Africa was adopted.

In this new approach, Social Studies was to be taught as an integration of the traditional subjects such as, History, Geography, including elements of Anthropology, Economics, and Sociology. The Mombassa Social Studies Conference of 1968 selected four general objectives to give support and guide to the growth of Social Studies in Africa. These objectives are :

  1. to create an awareness and understanding of the evolving social and physical environment as a whole, its natural, man - made, cultural and spiritual resources together, with this rationale, were needed for development.
  2. to develop a capacity to learn and acquire skills including not only the basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, and of calculating, but also those skills of observation, analysis, and interference which are essential to the forming of sound judgment.
  3. to ensure acquisition of the relevant knowledge which is an essential pre-requisite to personal contribution to the betterment of mankind.
  4. to develop a sympathetic appreciation of the diversity and interdependence of all members of the local and international community.

Prior to Mombassa Conference of 1968, the Ayetoro experiment sponsored by USA1D and the Ford Foundation marked the early beginning of a truly indigenous Social Studies programme in Nigeria, Therefore, as early as 1963, schools in the Western region of Nigeria had started to incorporate the Integrated Social Studies into their curricula based on the Ayetoro experiment. As reported by Osakwe and Itedgere (1993), the 1965 conference of principals, in the then Western Nigeria, formed a very useful forum for propagating the message of the "new Social Studies". This is because the conference adopted the proposed outline of Social Studies syllabus for the Junior classes of the Secondary Schools. The Ayetoro project also came out with some books on Social Studies which were displayed during another conference of the principals. The Ford Foundation later on sponsored the re-writing and mass production of the books so as to make them useable nationwide.

Other major organisations that were much involved in the development of Social Studies curriculum included the former Comparative Education Study (CESAC) which was based in the University of Lagos, and the former Nigeria Educational Research Council (NERC) now NERDC. These two organisations were involved in organising the teaching and ‘learning of Social Studies in schools. In addition, the Social Studies Association of Nigeria (SOSAN), which was formed around this period, also played a very vital role in entrenching the curriculum of Social Studies as a distinct field of study in Nigeria schools. Therefore, the 1969 curriculum conference finally adopted Social Studies as one of the core subjects that could lead to the "inculcation of the right of the individuals and the society". Today, Social Studies is firmly rooted as one of the compulsory subjects at the primary and junior secondary levels of Nigerian education. Presently, efforts are on to make the subject one of the elective subjects at the Senior Secondary School level. In Nigerian tertiary institutions, Social Studies is becoming a prominent field of study and one that enjoys high patronage.

Library resources are vital tools in education, in general, and the teaching and learning of Social Studies, in particular. The resources encompass all persons and thing that are capable, in one way or the other, of conveying information, values, processes, experiences and techniques that can be used to actively engage 'learners’ in the learning process (Akpochafo, 2003). The teaching and learning of Social Studies, particularly, at the secondary school level, require diverse human and material resources. Elaturoti (2010) made reference to sections e and f of the National Policy on Education reporting the provision of school library services in schools.

The sections state as follows:

“The library is at the heart of education enterprise. The virtual library as a platform for sharing knowledge is aimed at rejuvenating Nigerian schools through the provision of current books, journals and other information resources using technology. Since library constitutes one of the most important educational services, proprietors of schools shall also provide functional libraries in all their educational institutions in accordance with the established standards. They should also provide for training of librarian and library assistants for their service (National Policy on Education, 2004)”.

Elaturoti (2010) further stated that school library media centre resources are meant to provide services that are;

(i) supporting and enhancing educational goals as outlined in the schools mission and curriculum

(ii) developing and sustaining in children the habit and enjoyment of reading and learning and the user of libraries throughout their lives.

(iii) Offering opportunities for experience in creating and using information for knowledge, understanding, imagination and enjoyment.

(iv) supporting all students in learning and practicing skills for evaluating and using information regardless of forms, formats or medium

(v) providing access to local, regional, national and global resources and opportunities that expose learners to divers ideas, experience and opinions

(vi) organizing activities that encourages cultural and social awareness and sensitivity

(vii) working with students, teachers, administrators and parents to achieve the mission of the school

(viii) proclaiming the concept that intellectual freedom and access to information are essential to effective and responsible citizenship and participation in democracy; and

(ix) promoting reading and resources and services of the school library to the whole school community and beyond.

According to Odusanya and Amusa (2004), library provides an atmosphere for self-education and self-development of individual student and public in general. It is expected to bring its services within the reach of every adult member of the public and every child in the school irrespective of their social and mental status; and also to provide resources of all types on all subjects for students at various levels and classes.

Obayemi (2002), while trying to create awareness about important roles library plays in secondary education in Nigeria, before deplore the neglect of library and its resources development in some government owned secondary schools in Lagos State. The library, according to him, were crossly underfunded, understaffed, understocked and unorganized. These findings also confirmed the observation of the Nigerian School Library Association at its annual conference held in Nsukka in October, 2002. The conference observed that the absence policy on school library development has been stalling the growth and development of school library in Nigeria. The availability of such policy, according to the association, would have set the minimum standard for funding, staffing, stocking and management of school library.

Dike (2004) also opined that the modern school library stands at the very centre of educational programme of the school, it is often referred to as the heart of the school or as the laboratory of laboratories. This is because modern education is resources based; the resources for teaching and learning are to be found in the school resource centre which is the other name for the school library whose central mission is supporting the curriculum, furthering the teaching and learning programme of the school.

The demand for resources-driven knowledge is expanding exponentially and this increase can be attributed to the global challenges for educational development triggered by advocacy for the provision of appropriate and modern innovative information communication technological devices that are regarded as the basis for the acquisition of higher levels of skills and qualifications for future development (Katz, 2001).

Developed countries of the world, realizing the need for resource-driven learning and to meet the changing world- wide demand for education, have adopted electronic learning to overcome the barriers to educational opportunities available for teeming population of students. There is, therefore, the need to appraise the extent of availability of library resources for social studies education in Nigerian Secondary Schools with a special focus on Junior Secondary Schools in Ondo State. Library media resources for teaching and learning can be categorised into two forms. These are:

  1. Those that are primarily employed for communication between people (human to human interaction) otherwise known as communication technologies. This form allows communication between teachers and students and examples are fax, radio, teleconferencing, videoconferencing and the internet.
  2. Those resources that are primarily used by individuals on their own (human to computer interaction) called learning resources technologies. The types are used as instructional resources for conveying subject contents such as print materials, video tapes, audio tapes, television, computer based course wares or software and CD-ROM (Compact Disk – Read Only Memory). The provision of these important resources will definitely motivate the school teachers to help students to learn more about Social Studies, acquire problem solving skills in the subject

Abstract

The poor performance of Junior Secondary school students in Social Studies has been a source of concern for government and other stakeholders in education in Nigeria. This is occasioned partly by lack of relevant media resources needed for teaching and learning in Social Studies. This is why this study intended to investigate the extent of availability of school library media resources in the school library media centre and how that has contributed to students’ achievement in Social Studies in JSS in Ondo State. A questionnaire titled “School Library Media Resources Questionnaire” was used to gather information on availability of school library media resources and students’ achievement in Social Studies. A descriptive survey method was employed to analyse the results. The findings indicate that availability of school library media resources was above grand mean of 2.50 taken together for students, teachers and media specialists respectively (availability = 2.64) while there was a correlation between students media resources availability and students’ achievement in Social Studies (r=.87*,df=1259, p<.01). It was, therefore, concluded that school library media resources availability correlated significantly with students’ achievement in Social Studies. It was recommended that establishment of school media centre with relevant media resources be established by government to improve teaching and learning activities.

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