Anda di halaman 1dari 13

Continental J.

Education Research 2:1 - 5, 2009

©Wilolud Online Journals, 2009



James, T.O
Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Sciences, University of Science and Technology, Aleiro, Kebbi State,
Nigeria. Corresponding Author: e-mail: tolujam

This study was conducted to investigate the attitude of Post- Primary school students towards
mathematics. One hundred students were randomly selected from five Secondary schools
within Sokoto metropolis. Result showed that 40.79% of the students attribute lack of text
books as a major cause of poor attitude towards learning of Mathematics. Gender also affects
the attitudes of students towards studying of Mathematics as 57.89% of the students agreed
that only male students are supposed to offer Mathematics. Inadequate supply of well qualified
mathematics teachers, lack of commitment, general poor school funding, non availability of
teaching aids and insufficient text books in the schools may have profound effect in the
attitude of Sokoto State post-primary School students towards learning of Mathematics.

KEYWORDS: Mathematics, Attitudes, Teaching, Learning, Students

Over the years, Nigerian governments have been placing great emphasis on the study of sciences and mathematics
with the principal aim of achieving solid foundation in mathematics and other related science subjects. Mathematics
is the science of number, quantities and measurement and it is the backbone of most subjects in all levels of
educational systems. Researchers have also described mathematics as the ‘soul’ of science and technology. Bande
(2004) and Elegbede (2004) stated that mathematics is at the centre of the modern world that is, no sciences without

The poor performance and lack of interest in mathematics has been documented in some studies in some parts of
Nigeria (Akinlua & Popoola, 1999; Awodeji & Harbour, 2000; Betiku, 2002; Kajuru, 2006; Mallam, 1993;
Olowogbemi, 1984; Oyedeji, 1992; Pabor, 1986; Popoola, 2007).

The strongest factors affecting students’ enrollment and performance in Mathematics are individual differences such
as general ability, personality and environmental factors (government and society), (Olarewaju, 1976; Olowogbemi,
1984). Adeyemi (1998) and Mallam (1993), attributed lack of interest in the subject as a major reason while gender
issue may profoundly affect effective learning of mathematics (Gallacher, 1992, Mallam,1993). Teachers’
qualifications, shortage of specialists and lack of regular training to update knowledge equally contributes to
incomprehensibility of mathematics by students (Straker, 1988). Lack of manipulative and authentic learning
situations couple with ineffective teaching methods and approaches to mathematics on the part of the teachers may
also affect understanding of mathematics by students (Awodeji, 2003; Popoola, 2007). Use of appropriate and
concrete instructional materials in the classroom is another necessary factor that can also enhance students’
understanding of mathematical concepts (Awuwoloye, 1986).

There is dearth of information on the attitude of students towards learning of mathematics in Sokoto thus this study
intends to investigate some of the factors that may be responsible for this development.

This study adopted a survey research method.
Population and sampling procedure
Samples were drawn from five selected secondary schools within Sokoto using stratified random sampling
technique. A total of twenty students from each school drawn from Junior Secondary School (JSS) III and Senior
Secondary School (SSS) III classes, respectively were involved in this study.
James, T.O: Continental J. Education Research 2:1 - 5, 2009

The stratification technique considered both gender and socio-economic status of the students.

The instrument used for the study was structured questionnaire to collect relevant information from the students.

The questionnaire was validated through test-retest method. It was given to two experienced mathematics teachers
for comments. It was later administered on four students from Government Girls College Sokoto, two each from
JSSIII and SSSIII classes to assess the comprehensibility of the content.

The one hundred students completed and returned the questionnaires. The questionnaire was a five scale Lickert
type of Strongly Agree (SA), Agree (A), Disagree (D), Averagely Disagree (AD) and Strongly Disagree (SD)
written in positive and negative statement. By assigning 1-5 to the five responses, the positive statements were
scored 5,4,3,2 and 1for SA, A, AD, D, and SD, respectively. The reverse was adopted for scoring the negative
responses. The means of each of the causes were computed and the attitude of students towards mathematics was
determined by the value of the mean as follows: mean less than 2.55(1≤X≤2.54); Disagree means between 2.55 and
3.55(2.54≤X≤3.54); Averagely disagree means greater or equal to 3.55(3.55≤X≤5.55); Agree or Strongly Agree

All the questionnaires administered to the test students were returned duly completed.
From all the responses, 40% students agreed that the supply of text books on mathematics are grossly inadequate in
their schools 59.23% students attributed poor performance and nonchalant attitude of students to inadequate usage
of mathematics teaching aids by their teachers. Non mathematics graduate teachers constituted the highest number
of teachers teaching mathematics in the schools surveyed. Majority of the respondents believe that mathematics is
exclusively for male.

Table1: Percentage responses to attitude towards mathematics in some schools in Sokoto

Factors No of Response Percentage (%)

Lack of Textbooks 53 40.77
Lack of use of teaching aids 77 59.23

NCE 23 24.47
HND 19 20.21 12 12.77
Others 40 42.55

Male Only 55 57.89
Female Only 30 31.58
Both 10 10.53

NCE- National Certificate of Education
HND- Higher National Diploma of Science degree in Education
Other – Non- mathematics graduates

James, T.O: Continental J. Education Research 2:1 - 5, 2009

Table 2: Frequency, mean and standard deviation of responses to factors responsible for some attitude of students
towards mathematics in some schools in Sokoto
Factor Responses
SD(1) D(2) AD(3) A(4) SA(5) Freq Total Mean Std. Inference
Score Score Dev.
Availability 22 16(32) 7(21) 19(76) 34(170) 98 321 3.27 2.76 AD
Insufficient 21 32(64) 9(27) 21(84) 26(130) 109 326 3.0 3.31 D
Lack of 5 8(16) 7(21) 23(92) 54(270) 97 404 4.16 5.82 SA
Students 10 4(8) 9(27) 31(124) 44(220) 98 389 3.97 5.39 SA
fear & hate
Lack of 23 18(36) 10(30) 23(92) 44(220) 118 401 3.40 4.92 A
Inadequate 6 3(6) 5(15) 42(168) 42(210) 98 405 4.13 5.88 SA
& library
Maths is 33 20(40) 10(30) 19(96) 14(70) 101 269 2.66 2.34 AD
not suitable
for females

Note: In parentheses are figures representing lickert scoring multiply by average responses.
SD= Strongly disagreed, D= Disagreed, AD= Averagely disagreed, A= Agreed, SA= Strongly agreed
According to the findings in this study, it could be deduced that the attitudes of students towards mathematics as a
result of lack of textbooks, inadequate teaching aids and unqualified teachers may negatively affect them at both
junior and senior secondary schools surveyed. Though the mean response was averagely disagreed (Table 2), books
are fundamental to learning, understanding and easy comprehension of any subject matter. Books always explain in
detail what the instructors cannot pass effectively across to the students. Likewise, teaching of a subject without
adequate teaching aids makes the subject to be abstract and boring. Instructional materials make the subject to be
explicit and also transmit information, ideas and notes to the students (Awuwoloye, 1986). Instructional materials
also compliment oral explanation or description to make the lesson real. The mean students’ response on the lack of
use of instructional materials by mathematics teachers is ‘strongly agreed’ (Table 2) and this corroborated the other
findings as stated above. The teachers’ attitude and methods of approach to the teaching of mathematics may have
profound influence on the students’ learning ability. Jonison and Rising (1972) stated that the mathematics teacher
must motivate their students and should be able to communicate with them effectively in other to stimulate
generation of ideas in the students. Motivation of students at all level to develop their interest is equally required
from the teachers (Gimba, 2005) Another aspect of the problem is that of qualified teachers, the respondents agreed
that most of their mathematics teachers are not qualified to teach the subject. A qualified teacher is the one that is
trained in all the areas of his field and is expected to impact knowledge of such effectively. A non-mathematics
trained teacher will not know the rudiments of the subject thus teaching haphazardly. Knowledge about the non
competency of the untrained teacher may psychologically affect the students in understanding of the subject (Obi,
1991). Inadequate welfare packages, lack of further training through postgraduate studies, seminar, workshops and

James, T.O: Continental J. Education Research 2:1 - 5, 2009

conference attendance may also contribute to non-competence of mathematics teachers. Adewumi (1982) pointed
out that one of the problems which teachers face is that of long stay on job without adequate in-service training,
hence even the good teachers tends to fade away in terms of knowledge which is not refreshed and not abreast with
new developments in his field. They will not know the right way to impact the knowledge. Periodic updating of
knowledge is important and training should focus on capacity building in the different areas of mathematics
(Popoola, (2007). Gimba (2005) stated that those who know the subject does not know the best method of teaching
it and make it interesting to the students and those who know the best method do not have devotion and commitment
to their work. He further stated that only very few teachers use teaching aids apart from the usual blackboard
instruments. Teachers of mathematics should be able to use concrete materials to establish concepts in mathematics
due to its abstract nature (Gimba, 2005).

Another discouraging factor is the use of vulgar words on students that was unable to answer mathematics questions
well by some teachers, this tends to demoralize and confuse the student concerned, creating phobia for mathematics.
Mathematics is considered as a tough subject and only those that are naturally endowed with toughness can weather
its storm. Female are seen as a weaker sex and more fragile both physically and socially (Anyanwu, 1995) when
compared with their male counterparts thus the concession that mathematics is meant only for male gender.

Based on the findings of this investigation the conclusion could be drawn in respect of the attitudes of students
towards mathematics as negative in Sokoto state. Students should remove the impression that mathematics is a
difficult subject and they should develop positive attitude and interest to its learning. This will in no small measure
contribute to the development of science and technology in Nigeria.

There should also be improved welfare package for mathematics and other science subject teachers to motivate
them. Establishment of science and mathematics club in schools, provision of adequate and up to date teaching aids
and conducive atmosphere for learning shall equally go a long way in ameliorating the situation.

Adeyemi, T.O (1998) “School and teachers variables associated with the performance of students in the senior
secondary certificate examinations in Ondo State, Nigeria” Benin Journal of Educational Studies 17 (3&4) 184-192.

Adewumi, D.O(1982). The effect of lack of qualified teachers on the teaching of mathematics in Niger. Journal of
the Science Teachers Asssiociation of Nigeria.2 (2). 85-89.

Akinlua, A. A and Popoola, A. A (1999): Evaluation of Difficult Topics among Secondary School Students
Mathematics. Journal of Mathematical Association of Nigeria. (MAN), 1(1):27-34

Anyanwu, S.O (1995): The girl-child: Problems and survival in the Nigeria context. Scandinavian Journal of
Development Alternatives, Vol.14(112): 85 - 105

Awodeji, A. F (2003): Over-hauling the mathematics programme of Science Education Department for Effective
Education ABACUS: Journal of Mathematical Association of Nigeria, 28(1):27-34.

Awodeji, A. F and Harbor-Peters, V. F. A (2000): The relationship between some teachers, classroom variables and
secondary school students’ achievement in mathematics, International Journal of Education Development (IJED),

Awuwoloye, E.O (1986): The role of instructional materials in teaching and learning of sciences (1st Edition),
Proceeding of West African Examination Council Seminar Paper, Vol. 3, No. 14.

Bande, T. (2004) Mathematicians to cooperate with stake holders” Vanguard Newspaper Thursday, September 2;

James, T.O: Continental J. Education Research 2:1 - 5, 2009

Betiku, O. F. (2002). Factors Responsible for Poor Performance of Students in School Mathematics: suggested
remedies. In proceeding of the 43rd Annual Conference CASTME ,Africa. 342-349

Bolarin, T.A (1980) Primary school pupils liked and disliked teaching Subjects. Journal of Research in Curriculum.
6, (1) 103-109.

Daniel, I.Y (2001): Improvisation and use of instructional materials in science teaching. A paper presented at
NCE/UNESCO Workshop for Train the Trainers, Kontagora, Niger State.

Elegbede, A. (2004) “students’ attitudes to mathematics worries government” Lagos: The Punch Newspaper,
17(19043), Monday, March 22; 10.

Gallacher, W.(1992) ”Single-sex and mixed-sex computing class in further education: “A study of experience,
attitude and achievements” Unpublished M.Ed Dissertation University of Stirling, Scotland, UK; Abstracts No 42-

Gimba, A.B (2005) Numerical and mathematics and the pupils. International Journal of Numerical Mathematics 1
(1): 48 – 57.

Jonison and Rising (1972) Guidance for Teaching Mathematics (2ed) Wadsworth Published company, Inc. Belmont,

Kajuru, Y. K. (2006) A systematic attempt to establish the fear and poor performance of senior secondary school
students in geometry and trigonometry concepts. A case study of WAEC candidates: Paper presented at the 43rd
Annual Conference of Mathematical Association of Nigeria held at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University; Bauchi,
Bauchi State.

Mallam, W.A.(1993)”Impact of school type and sex of the teacher on female student’s attitudes towards
mathematics in Nigeria secondary schools” Educational Studies in Mathematics 24(2); 227-228

Olarewaju, J.O.(1976). The attitude of secondary students to study mathematics in Nigeria. Journal of the Science
Teachers Association of Nigeria. 14(3) 80-84

Olowogbemi, S.A. (1984) Individual Difference in the Learning of Mathematics, Journal of the Schools of Pure
Sciences 1,(2), 48.

Oyedeji, O.A.(1992). Areas of difficulties in primary Mathematics as perceived by in-service mathematics teachers.
Journal of the Science Teachers Association of Nigeria. 27(2), 66-70.

Pabor, D. S. (1986)”Mathematics avoidance in secondary schools. An exploratory study of selected factors in

Bendel state of Nigeria” unpublished E.Ed Thesis, Syracuse University USA. Dissertation Abstracts on CD ROM
order No AAC8701274

Popoola, A. (2007): Students seemingly difficult areas in Mathematics in Nigerian secondary schools, International
Journal of Research in Education vol. 4 (1/2): 319 - 325

Sraker, N. (1988) “ Coping with shortage’ Mathematics Teaching 124

Continental J. Education Research 2: 6 - 12, 2009
©Wilolud Online Journals, 2009



Olu Orungbemi
Department of Social Science Education, Faculty of Arts and Education, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-

This study attempts to examine the perceptions of Primary School heads on teaching-learning
problems in Social Studies. This study also attempts to catch the interpretation of Social
Studies curriculum by classroom teachers and to examine the effect of administrative and
professional problems in the subject. The total of 109 Primary School heads and 58 classroom
teachers were involved in the study. A four section questionnaire was used to solicit
information and the data were analyzed using simple percentages. The findings of the study
show that school heads concur with most of the teacher identified problems. In addition, the
school heads provided information on the magnitude of the problems; some necessary
behaviour towards functionality on the school heads was suggested.

KEYWORDS: Primary School, heads, perception, functionality, learning problem, Social

Studies curriculum

The new curriculum package of the social studies at the primary school level is expected to provide young pupils
with some insight into the use of various knowledge structures and processes that have relevance to modern
civilization NERC (1931). Because the social studies is intended to offer a curriculum which is both relevant and
meaningful to a young learners personal life, it is largely organized according to the needs and problems of young
pupils that demand personal and social understanding.

At the primary school level, social studies may not so much be concerned with the production and propagation of
knowledge for its own sake as with the utilization of knowledge derived from a variety of disciplines including
social sciences for the purpose of solving problems through the various thought-processes associated with decision-
making. Consequently, the divisions of subject matter that are characteristics of the subject curriculum are dissolved
since these problems are not confined to singular disciplines or subject fields that constitute to separate bodies of
organized knowledge.

Its teaching is aimed at incorporating integratively knowledge and inspirations from man realms of learning. The
curriculum associated with this development is aimed, among others, at creating a universe of inquiry, discourse and
understanding among youngsters of different backgrounds and aspirations who, as citizens of a free society, are
obliged to share certain responsibilities and problems (Tanner and Tanner, 1980).

Experience and observation show that quality instruction and learning depend on quality leadership provided by the
school administrator as the chief executive of the school-Musasi (1983). Good teachers need to be encouraged to
continue to excel in their teaching roles. Poor and inexperience ones will improve performance if provided
professional leadership. In order to provide the needed leadership in the teaching-leaning of Social Studies, a
dynamic/school head needs to monitor the progress, problems and propects of teaching the subject matter in his
school. In the light of the issues highlighted above, this study was undertaken to identify the perceptions of school
heads on teacher identified teaching/learning problems in Social Studies.


Kosemani (1980) investigated the factors affecting the operating efficiency of primary education in the River State,
Nigeria. The major findings were that the primary system of education was forced with serious problems, chief of
which were acute shortage of manpower in the teachers, administrative and supervisory sectors. In a report of
Olu Orungbemi: Continental J. Education Research 2: 6 - 12, 2009

implementation of Social Studies project in Mauritius, Vankatasamy (1977) stated that the failure of teachers to
understand the idea of integration and changes in the method of teaching as laid down in the Social Studies
document were among the problems curriculum implementation in Mauritius.

Ogundare (1985) demonstrated that although the acceptance of Social Studies as a medium for citizenship
transmission has gained ground in Nigeria, the following curriculum process which intrinsic to the teaching of
Social Studies have largely been relegated to the background in many classrooms, namely: methodology of inquiry
and adoption of investigative-oriented approaches, critical thinking and problem solving.

Funtun (1980) confirmed that many Social Studies classrooms teachers were yet to come at grips with the
epistemological are ontological demands of the subject.

On a general note, the findings showed in the Studies recounted above underscore the unsatisfactory status of Social
Studies education at the primary school level. The studies are unanimous in demonstrating that the teaching of
Social Studies at primary school level is not functioning adequately.


The purpose of the study is three fold viz to ascertain school heads’ perceptions in terms of:
(i) Agreeing with teacher identified teaching/learning problems in Social Studies.
(ii) Their view point on the seriousness of these problems
(iii) Their perceptions on any association between the variables
(a) Teaching experience and teaching-learning problems in Social Studies. The information thus obtained was
needed to pinpoint the managerial challenged involved and suggest leadership behaviours school heads should adopt
in handling them.

Two groups of participants were involved in the study.
i. Fifty-Eight (58) 1988/89 third year sandwich students the Institute Of Education, Adekunle Ajasin University,
Akungba-Akoko. (they are primary school teachers) who identified problems associated with the teaching and
learning of Social Studies as part of a class assignment given to their class by the writer. Other students i.e. their
classmates wrote on other subjects other than Mathematics

ii. One hundred and nine (109) primary schools heads (assistant school heads inclusive) who had attended a series
of workshops organized for them by the Ondo State Ministry of Education on the teaching of Social Studies.

Out of one hundred and fifty (150) copies of the questionnaire distributed to all, only 109 were returned successfully

A four section (I-IV) questionnaire designed to solicit information on the issues raised under purpose of the study
using the fourteen items identified by the primary school heads was developed.

School heads agreed on 10 out of the 4 problems the teachers identified as real except items 1,2,4 and 5 i.e. that

(a) Teach other subjects during Social Studies lesson (item 1-92%)
(b) Believe Social Studies is difficult to define for pupils (item 2: -92%)
(c) Don’t know how to use instructional aids (item 4: - 68%)
(d) Don’t prepare lesson plans for the subject (item 5: 68.8%)

The disagreement on items ‘2’ seem to contradict the agreement on item ‘6’ which states that teachers teach without
relating Social Studies to real life experience of children. If the latter is true as agreed by school heads, by

Olu Orungbemi: Continental J. Education Research 2: 6 - 12, 2009

implication Social Studies be abstract and difficult for pupils. The researcher finds it contradictory that school heads
claim otherwise.


Item Agreed F (%) Disagree F (%) No Response F

1. Teachers teach other subject during Social 15 (13.8) 92 (84.4) 2 (1.08)
Studies lesson
2. Teachers believe that Social Studies is 10 (9.3) 92 (84.4) 7 (3.7)
difficult to define for pupils
3. Teachers don’t know how to use 51(46.8) 54 (49.5) 4 (6.4)
instructional aids
4. Teachers don’t know how to use 34 (31.2) 69 (68.3) 6 (5.5)
instructional aid
5. Teachers do not prepare lesson plans for 31 (28.4) 75 (68.8) 3 (2.8)
Social Studies
6. Teachers teach without relating Social 72 (66.1) 30 (27.5) 7 (11.4)
Studies to real life experiences of the
7. Teachers do not teach simple concepts 61 (56.0) 40 (36.7) 9 (7.3)
before teaching complex ones
8. Too much is covered in a lesson period so 67 (61.5) 35 (32.5) 6 (6.4)
pupils don’t learn much
9. Teachers cane pupils when they fail to 61 (56) 42 (38.5) 6 (5.5)
solve problems in Social Studies
10 Teachers rush over difficult concepts and 94 (86.2) 15 (13.8) 0 (0.0)
provide cheap examples for practice
11. Pupils perceive Social Studies as 98 (89.9) 11 (10.1) 0 (0.0)
meaningless, difficult and develop no
interest for it.
12. Pupils do not see the relevance of Social 67 (61.5) 36 (33.9) 6 (5.5)
Studies to their life experience.
13. Pupils don’t spend time solving Social 92 (84.4) 14 (12.8) 3 (2.8)
Studies problems.
14. Pupils do not homework assignment given 65 (59.6) 40 (36.7) 4 (3.7)
to them

Olu Orungbemi: Continental J. Education Research 2: 6 - 12, 2009


Item Not Serious F (%) Serious F (%) No Response F

1. Teacher teach other subject during Social 59 (54.1) 49 (44.9) 1 (1.0)
Studies lesson
2. Teacher believe that Social Studies is 43 (39.4) 62 (56.() 4 (3.7)
difficult to define for pupils
3. Teachers don’t have instructional aids 12 (11.0) 91 (83.5) 6 (6.5)
4. Teachers don’t know how to use 43 (39.4) 59 (54.1) 7 (6.5)
instructional aids
5 Teachers do not prepare lesson plans for 52 (47.7) 49 (44.9) 8 (7.4)
Social Studies
6. Teachers teach without relating Social 30 (27.3) 74 (67.9) 5 (4.6)
Studies to real life experiences of the
7. Teachers do not teach simple concepts 29 (26.6) 73 (65.0) 7 (6.4)
before teaching complex ones.
8. Too much is covered in a lesson period so 32 (28.4) 71 (65.1) 5 (4.4)
pupils don’t learn much
9 Teachers cane pupils when they fail to 49 (45.0) 52 (47.7) 8 (7.3)
solve problems in Social Studies
10. Teachers rush over difficult concepts and 21 (19.3) 81 (74.3) 7 (6.4)
provide cheap examples for practice.
11. Pupils perceive Social Studies as 12 (11.9) 91 83.4) 5 $.7)
meaningless, difficult and develop no
interest for it.
12. Pupils do not see the relevance of Social 37 (33.9) 65 (59.6) 7 (6.5)
Studies to their life experience
13. Pupils don’t spend time solving Social 21 (19.3) 83 (76.2) 5 (4.5)
Studies problems.
14. Pupils do not do home work assignment 35 (32.1) 68 (32.1) 6 (5.5)
given to them

The school heads perceive most of these problems as serious but disagree on the issues of teacher teaching other
subjects during Social Studies lesson (item 1) and teachers not preparing lesson plans for Social Studies (item 5).

Olu Orungbemi: Continental J. Education Research 2: 6 - 12, 2009


Item Old Teachers F (%) New Teachers F (%) Both F (%)
1. Teachers teach other subjects during 17 (15.6) 78 (71.6) 14 (12.8)
Social Studies lesson
2. Teachers believe that Social Studies 32 (29.4) 69 (63.3) 8 (7.3)
difficult to define for pupils
3. Teachers don’t have instructional aids. 38 (34.9) 68 (62.4) 3 (2.7)
4. Teachers don’t know how to use 43 (39.4) 59 (54.1) 7 (6.5)
instructional aids.
5. Teachers do not prepare lesson plans 20 (18.3) 84 (77.1) 5 (4.6)
for Social Studies
6. Teachers teach without relating Social 26 (23.9) 77 (70.6) 6 (5.5)
Studies to real life experiences of the
7. Teachers do not teach simple concepts 26 (23.0) 75 (688) 8 (7.3)
before teaching complex ones.
8. Too much is covered in a lesson 34 (31.2) 69 (63.3) 6 (5.5)
period so pupils don’t learn much.
9. Teachers cane pupils when they fail to 44 (40.4) 59 (54.1) 6 (5.5)
solve problems in Social Studies
10. Teachers rush over difficult concepts 27 (24.8) 80 (73.40) 2 (1.8)
and provide cheap example for

The above data indicate that new and inexperienced teachers have more of these problems than old (in terms of
service) and experienced ones.

The high agreement on the fact that these problems are real according to Table 1 is evident that Teachers don’t use
instructional aids well; relate Social Studies lesson to life experiences of pupils; present concepts before moving to
more complex ones; cover too much in a lesson and use corporal punishment during the teaching and learning of the
subject. Pupils on the hand have developed care free attitudes for social studies (which Tuchman (1975) warns
against), don’t discipline themselves to study it privately , and have not seen its relevance in their life.

The data on Table 2 suggest that these problems are serious according to the perceptions of both teachers and then
school heads. Another issue of concern here is that the teachers actually prepare their lesson plans according to items
but evidently such plans do not adequately articulate the content with the experiences of pupils to make learning

These issues indeed create an urgent need for a serious look at Social Studies at the primary school level. Certainly
school heads face the challenge of starting the ball to roll in Social Studies instruction by organizing and loading

According to Table 3, inexperienced teachers have more of these problems and this observation is under stable.
These teachers are new on job, and are just beginning to shift from a predominantly theoretical focus on what
teaching/learning is all about to a more real life touch I teaching. They need to get fully integrated with time.
In summary the findings of the study are as follows:

1. School heads generally agree with most of Social Studies teaching/learning problems identified by teachers.
2. Most of these problems are serious
3. The new inexperienced teachers have more of these problems.

Olu Orungbemi: Continental J. Education Research 2: 6 - 12, 2009

These findings constitute sufficient base for identifying appropriate leadership behaviour on the part of school heads
to respond to these managerial challenges.


The suggested leadership strategies for school heads to respond to the teaching/learning problems of Social Studies
Needed Professional Equipment, Supervisory Role Behaviour and Staff Development Programmes.

I. Needed Professional Equipment

a. School heads need to be knowledgeable in both administrative theory and pedagogy through professional
b. They need t be versatile in professional reading so as to be up to date in their knowledge base and be able to use
the information thus obtained to help themselves as well as their teachers.
c. They must be capable of interpreting and utilizing research finding (Chukwuma 1989).

II. Supervisory Role Behaviour

Based on the professional knowledge referred to above the school heads should be ale to handle their teachers in the
following manner.
a. Relate well with them so they will easily submit to their leadership.
b. Guide teachers to articulate between their Social Studies lesson plans and the pupils’ real life experience so the
latter can easily understand and with regards to the pupils they should
(a) Monitor pupils’ progress and
(b) Help pupils discipline themselves to engage in private or self practice towards enhancing their
performance in Social Studies (Mallam 1988).
(c) They should also “... persuade parents to make time available for their children to do assignments and
their private reading at home” (Abenga 1988 p.104.).

III Staff Development Programme

I. Internally
(a) The school heads should organize periodic meeting with his staff to discuss issues of pedagogy so as to refresh
their minds on what they should be doing in their instructional activity.
(b) They should organize for special individual orientation meetings with new and inexperienced staff to help them
gain confidence and integrate soon for quality performance.
(c) School heads should request members of staff who are high performers in teaching of Social Studies to present
papers to their colleagues or undertake teaching demonstration in the subject for their colleagues.

II. Externally
(a) Scholl heads can invite external resource persons to come and address their staff in a kind of workshop setting
for improvement in handling the subject
(b) Encourage staff to go for in-service programmes in institutional settings and or those organized by the local
education authority.

He above strategies if successfully implemented will certainly reduce the problems of Social Studies teaching and
learning in our primary schools. However experience show that most of the current school heads in our primary
schools don’t have the background to successfully implement these strategies because they are not formally trained
as school administrators.

Therefore as a final note, the researcher recommends the following as steps towards building up a proficient stock of
school administrators to man our primary schools.
1. The government should formally introduce Administrative Education in our Educational System as it did with
teacher education
2. School heads should be recruited only when they have undergone professional training in school administration.
Olu Orungbemi: Continental J. Education Research 2: 6 - 12, 2009

3. Incumbents should be exposed to in-service programme in administration to help them acquire the necessary

Abenga, F.M. (1988), “The Instructional Role of the Principal in the Implementation of 3-3-secondary school
programme in Nigeria

Akpa G.A and S.U. Udo, in Towards implementing the 6-3-3-4 system of Education in Nigeria, Jos: Techsource
Electronic Press

Chukwuma F.C. 1988 ‘Developing a Home–Based Curriculum Guide in Mathematics” Journal of the Curriculum
Organization of Nigeria special No3. pp 158-168.

Fadun, P.O (2005) An Evaluation study of the Reinforcement, Repetition self monitory on academic achievement

Federal Republic of Nigeria (1981) National Policy on Education (revised) Lagos: Government Printers.

Funtua, L. I. (1980) “Lack of Trained Personal to teach Social Studies especially at Teacher’s Colleges” in NERC
Social Studies Teaching issues and Problems. Benin City: Ethiope Publishing Corporation.

Kosemani (1980) Factors affecting the operation efficiency in primary education in River State, Nigeria.
Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, University of Wales, Cardiff.

Mallam W.A. (1988) “Improving the standard of performance in Mathematics in the New National Policy on
Education” in G.A. Akpa and S.U. Udos Implementing the 6-3-3-4 system of Education in Nigeria, Jos: Techsource
Electronic Press. Musasi

Ogundare, S.P (1985)”Investigation oriented Instructional approaches in the Nigerian Primary school social
studies”. Nigerian Journal of Curriculum studies Vol. II No.2.

Orungbemi Olu (1987) Problems of teaching social studies in the Primary schools in Ondo State of Nigeria.
Unpublished Ph.D Thesis, University of Wales, Cardiff. U.K.

Smith, G.S (1981),”Wjat Mathematics Teacher Education should have learned from learned from the New
Mathematics Revolution” in Abacus Vol.13 No.10.

Tuckman,B.W.(1977) Measuring Education Outcomes: Fundamentals of Testing, New York; Harcourt, Brace

Vankatasamyi D. (1977) An evaluation of the implementation of the social studies curriculum project in Mauritius.
Unpublished ph.D Thesis, University of Liverpool, U.K.

Received for Publication: 14/08/2009

Accepted for Publication: 07/10/2009