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The main purpose of this work was to Evaluate the Implementation of the Social Studies
Curriculum in Junior Secondary Schools in Enugu State. Out of the six educational zones
in Enugu State namely, Agbani, Awgu, Enugu, Nsukka, Obollo-Afor and Udi, Nsukka
educational zone was selected for the study. Using proportionate stratified random
sampling techniques, 25 social studies teachers in 20 schools in the educational zone
were selected. Structure Systematic Observation Schedule (SSOS) and Social Studies
Evaluation Questionnaire (SSEQ) were used for data collection. Data collection
comprised of 25 teachers used for observation while 200 teachers were given
questionnaires. Therefore, a total of 225 teachers formed the sample of the study. The
data were analysed using mean as standard deviation to find out the responses of social
studies teachers. Results from the study showed that level of qualification can make a
difference in the teachers who teach social studies and most importantly on the
Implementation of Social Studies Curriculum in Junior Secondary Schools. Social studies
teachers employ discussion, discovery, problem-solving, inquiry and expository method
while teaching. The teachers employed the students’ activities in the curriculum, geared
towards critical reflective thinking that is learner based while most students have many
other things to do, either in the school or outside the school which cause them to get
easily distracted from their school work. Based on the findings, recommendations were
made which include that government should organize workshops and seminars to re-train
teachers in proper implementation of the social studies curriculum in Junior Secondary
Schools and that social studies teachers should endeavour to use learner centered
strategies like students activities in teaching and learning so that students will contribute
in the process and thus make learning more concrete.



Background of the Study
Education is an aged-old concept that has existed since man inhabited the
universe. It is a process of transmitting what is worthwhile from generation to generation.
The primary purpose of education is to produce effective members of the society whose
three ‘Hs’ – head, heart and hands have been well developed to enable them live as
effective and acceptable human beings. An effective education should be one that
prepares members of the society to be able to fulfill their personal needs and to perform
their civil obligations. (Azikiwe, 2009).
Education as an instrument of change seeks to change the environment through
the thoughts of human beings and events in the environment. It is a process by which the
individual is enabled to develop his knowledge, skills, values and attitudes both for his
own benefit and for the benefit of the society. The process by which every society
attempts to preserve and upgrade the accumulated knowledge, skills and attitudes in its
cultural setting and heritage in order to foster continuously the well-being of mankind
and guarantee its survival against the unpredictable at times hostile and destructible
elements and forces of man and nature. (Okafor, 2000).
Education can be considered as a major tool for the systematic and sustainable
human and material development of nations. It is a priority sector in every well-meaning
society. It can be considered as a process of acquiring knowledge, skills, attitudes,
interests, abilities, competencies and the cultural norms of a society by transmitting it to
the coming generations so as to enhance perpetual development of the society. To
actualize the above mentioned educational benefits, curriculum is developed for every
school subjects in various educational levels. Recognizing the role of teachers in the
implementation of any educational policy, Ukeje in Ebiringa (2012) observed that
education may unlock the door to modernization but it is the teacher who holds the key. It
is the teacher who determines what happens in the classrooms especially in the social
study classroom. Successful implementation of any educational programme can only be
assured through teachers who have acquired necessary competencies in terms of
knowledge, skills, values and attitudes.


Education is generally acknowledged as a vital tool for sustainable development.
This position is clearly supported by the National Policy on Education (NPE) which
perceives education as an “instrument per excellence for effecting national development
in Nigeria. (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004). Thus, the propriety of Education as a
vital tool for development in predicated on its relevance to the needs, problems and
aspirations of human society.
Indeed, throughout history, societies both developed and under developed,
complex and non complex have used education as a relevant instrument for effecting
desirable social, economic, political and technological changes. (Obanya, 2002). This
trend no doubt has influenced the philosophy of education pf many countries of the world
including Nigeria.
Naturally, the relevance of any school subject in the educational system is
primarily based on its potentials in achieving the overall goals of education of that
society. This is largely so because both the goals of education and those of the various
school subjects are derived from the needs, problems and aspirations of the wider society.
Social Studies is one of the core school subjects at the basic education level in Nigeria
which is expected to contribute significantly to national development if effectively
taught. (FRN, 2004).
The origin of the teaching of social studies in form of three traditional subjects
Economic, Geography and History separately could be said to be dated back to the early
history of education in Nigeria. The knowledge being passed to Nigerian pupils under
these three subjects was foreign and British oriented. The Nigerian child was being
educated out of his immediate environment, out of his society and culture. The
knowledge being gathered was totally irrelevant to the child in the Nigerian society.
Social studies of those days could not inculcate in the Nigerian child an awareness of his
local environment, national consciousness, national pride among others, all of which are
the basic objectives of the present day social studies. (Mezieobi, 2002).
The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS, 1994) an apex professional
Body for the Social Studies education in United States of America (USA) defines Social
Studies as the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic
competence. Okeke (2003) describes social studies as the study of an organized group of people living together in an area with developed ways of getting along with one another
and the ways of serving as a group.
Social studies is one of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) core school subject
which can contribute to nation building efforts in Nigeria (Ezudu and Ezegbe 2005).
They agued that social studies ensures acquisition of relevant body of knowledge which
can develop in students positive values, attitude and skills. Supporting this assertion,
Ezegbe and Nwaubani (2009), observed that social studies objectives are meant to
achieve the national objectives in Nigeria. As an integrated holistic approach to learning,
social studies offers effective citizenship training needed for national cohesion.
According to the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN), (2004:10), the following
objectives and goals are to be achieved for the nation through the study of social studies:
* The development of an understanding of the relationship between human beings
and their environment in past and present.
* The development of an understanding of the interrelationships and effects of
beliefs, values and behavioural patterns and the application of this knowledge to new
* The development of the ability to examine one’s own beliefs, values and behaviours
and the relationship between them.
* The development of human relations, skills and attitudes that enable one to act in
the interest of self and others.
* The development of positive self concept.
* The development of the competencies to acquire, organic, assess and present
information of the purposes of problem solving and issue classification.
Global objectives of social studies includes:
* The development of an understanding of their social, physical, economic, scientific
and technological environment.
* The development of an awareness and appreciation of their cultural heritage beliefs,
values, behavioural patterns, skills for their role in the society and to enable them
apply such knowledge, to new situations.
* The development of an understanding of innovations in social political and
economic spheres as well as in science and technology to enable them function
effectively in a global world.
* The development of independent, self reliant and democratic living in the school
and society.
* The development of honest and morally upright citizens.
Akubue (1994), identified problems encountered in the implementation of Junior
Secondary Schools (JSS) social studies curriculum like non availability and use of
instructional materials, inadequate qualification of teachers, non-use of appropriate
methods among others as factors militating against the effective teaching of social studies
at this level. The major problems remain as how the teacher could be groomed not only to
teach the content but also to use appropriate behaviour of reinforcement to put his subject
matter across to the students. Other problems affecting the effective teaching and learning
of social studies include: poor attitude of the public towards the subject, restriction of the
subject at the basic education level, threat of disarticulation, lack of career prospect of the
subject, poor evaluation of the implementation of the social studies curriculum.
In summary, one may be right to conclude from the above that the rationale for
introducing social studies in schools is to have a single and robust subject discipline
whose content is concerned with development of social competence for profitable living.
With the current introduction and implementation of the Universal Basic Education by
former president Olusegun Obasanjo on 30th September, 1999, social studies have been
made compulsory for primary and Junior Secondary Schools in the country.
Statement of the Problem
Social studies deals with the realities of life, the society is dynamic, this means
that the society is ever changing. One of the major problems facing social studies today is
the inadequacy of the implementation of the social studies curriculum in junior secondary
schools. This has led to incessant demand for textbooks by both social studies teachers
and students, excessive dependence on textbooks for social studies instruction and fear as
to whether the objectives of the social studies would be attained. In terms of the teaching
methods and instructional materials, teachers often use lecture method in the classroom, thereby neglecting other methods of teaching like dramatization, role-playing,
construction, creative activity, inquiry, discovery, simulation, expository, questioning
method. Creative activities and learning experience develop not only the creative abilities
of the learner but also their intellectual skills. It also arouses the interest of students,
sustains their attention and motivation to learn. The lecture method is often in cognitive
domain, thereby neglecting the other two domains which are very important in the
implementation of social studies curriculum in junior secondary schools. Poor
implementation of social studies curriculum has led to poor performance of students, with
specific reference to the output of social studies both internal and external examinations.
Results from junior secondary schools examination released by Enugu State Ministry of
Education 2010, revealed that students performed below average in social studies.
Questions from current affairs and geography were found difficult by student leading to a
very poor performance.
In a view of the importance or the roles that social studies play in Nigerian
educational system and society, its curriculum deserves to be adequately implemented in
terms of methods and instructional materials. Again, the performance of students in social
studies examination is not encouraging, thus warranting the central problem, which this
study seeks to address. What are the reasons for this? Could it be poor attitude to the
subject, poor teaching methods, inadequacy of instructional materials and defective
evaluation/ assessment?
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study is to evaluate the implementation of the social
studies curriculum in junior secondary schools in Enugu State. Specifically this study
seeks to determine;
1. Teachers’ qualification.
2. Teaching methods effectiveness.
3. Availability of the instructional materials
4. Extent of utilizing students activities.
5. Extent of teachers’ coverage of syllabus.
Significance of the Study
The finding of this study will benefit teachers, students, other researchers,
educational administrators, curriculum planners and the society. Theoretically, this study
will be a vehicle for more knowledge since implementation which it promotes is the
moving force of any plan without which a plan is only good intention.
The findings of this study will establish the need if any, for retraining of teachers’
through workshops and seminar to improve their knowledge of social studies, the
strategies to use, the procedures and the skill need for good academic performance in
social studies. It will help the teachers to make use of inquiry, discovery, problemsolving,
individualized instructional method as methods of teaching while in the
classrooms. When teachers become aware of these methods, their work will become
easier since the student will take part in the teaching and learning process, also the
teacher will take less time to teach concepts and allows the student to find out the rest
with teachers support.
The student will benefit from the findings of this study if only the teacher uses the
methods. Teachers’ use of the methods will improve student-student interaction, self
esteem, academic performance , group affiliation, accommodation among students since
they have to work in groups, tolerating each other’s mistakes so that success is achieved.
Also the teachers’ use of this method on student will make student become responsible
for their own learning and this will motivate them to learn more for better performance
both intellectually, socially, physically and emotionally since they have to work with
student of different ability, level, behaviour pattern and different background.
The findings of this study will encourage curriculum planners, to emphasis on
proper implementation of the social studies curriculum in junior secondary schools. By so
doing, the student will take major responsibility in their accomplishment of curriculum
learning task. This will also make the curriculum task easier to accomplish since the
students and the teacher will be involved.
The society could also benefit from the findings of this study. The essence of
schooling is to make or build up students that will be functional and contributors to
nation building. One of the importance of social studies learning is that it brings students
to real life situation and enabling them to articulate and find ways of solving their problems in collaborating with others. The much desired peace and unity in the country
may be restored through this. Finally, findings could provide empirical research
information for researchers that are interested in the area.
Scope of the Study
This study was restricted to evaluation of the implementation of social studies
curriculum in junior secondary schools in Enugu State. The study focused on teachers’
qualification, teaching methods effectiveness, availability of the instructional materials,
extent of utilizing students’ activities, extent of teachers’ coverage of syllabus and
problems of teaching social studies. The study will be carried out in Nsukka Education
Research Questions
The following research questions guided the study:
1. What are the qualifications of teachers that teach social studies in secondary
2. What are the methods used by teachers to implement the social studies
3. To what extent do teachers’ qualification and subject of specialization
determine their choice of instructional materials as stipulated in the
4. To what extent do teachers utilize the students’ activities as stipulated in the
5. To what extent do teachers’ qualifications influence the coverage of the social
studies syllabus?
The following Null hypotheses were formulated to guide this study and were
tested at 0.05 level of significance.
HO1: Teachers’ qualification is not significant factor in the implementation of
social studies curriculum.
HO2: Teachers’ qualification is not a significant factor in the usage of
instructional materials.
HO3: Teachers’ qualification is not a significant factor in the coverage of the
social studies syllabus.

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