Newspaper: A Complementary Medium for Quality Education Concept, History & Values

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ABSTRACT

This dissertation examines the use of newspapers as teaching and learning resources in
secondary schools. Newspaper which is generally and originally regarded as a medium or an
instrument of mass communication is put into another perspective for better appreciation.
This study hence examines the educational role of newspapers as supplementary resources
and their multifarious values for both secondary school teachers and students. With thorough
analysis of relevant literature and theories which properly situates newspapers conceptually
and historically with its multifarious values and roles in the process of improving the standard
of education, the study therefore establishes the relevance of newspaper in the secondary
school learning system. Focusing on senior secondary schools in Sagamu Local Government
Area of Ogun State where needed data were collected, the data were analysed with the use of
simple percentage method and Pearson Product Moment Correlation to test the research
hypotheses. Based on the result of its findings, which shows that newspapers are valuable
teaching and learning resources for both teachers and secondary schools, the research
therefore recommends the use of newspapers teachers and students of secondary schools.
Also, school administrators, government at various levels, donor agencies as well as other
individuals are also urged by the study to support newspapers in education (NIE) project as
additional way of improving the standard of education in Nigeria.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION
Scholars in the field of education and psychology have classically described learning as a
complex process (Okoro, 2002). The scholar argues that the nature of man is itself complex
and important activity such as learning or education would automatically be complex due to
the multifarious levels of activities that are involved. This is so asserted because of the
involvement of human beings. The complex nature of learning is further proved by scholars
as it also involves lower animals which they believe requires different but unique approaches
in order to achieve a better result (Kimble, 1976). Little wonder that in the developed world,
animals are trained or animals learn and perform virtually all human tasks with extremely
little differences. Of course, it takes greater tasks for those who specialise in animal education
or learning system. The point is that learning takes place in both human and animal lives.
For a desirable result to be achieved in learning process, researches have over the years
shown that there are four basic and interwoven factors which are particularly associated with
formal learning system. These are: the students (learners), the teacher (educator), the
classroom environment and the available learning resources (Bullus, 2002). Hence, a goal
oriented educator must be aware of these factors and be able to make an appropriate
placement of them for better result.
Bullus (op cit) further notes that misplacement of these four major factors in learning system
can mar the whole process. The teacher must be well groomed so as to produce better output.
The learners as well must be better and appropriately placed and in a good frame of mind.
In addition, the learning environment typically called classroom must be made as conducive
as possible for better learning system. The classroom set up must be made in such a
facilitating manner to enhance assimilation by the learners. Relevant resources that would
bring out the reality of the learning must equally be incorporated by the teacher in order to
make the entire process wholesome and holistic.
It is important to emphasise that of all these interconnected factors, learners according to
psychologists and educationists are adjudged the most central (Fabunmi and Sheyin, 2001).
Simply put, without learners, there would be no teachers, classroom, let alone learning
sources. The personality make up of the learners would without doubt, determine the type of
teacher, the classroom set up and the choice of learning resources. Therefore, the teacher who
is a great player should painstakingly utilise learning resources effectively with a
complementary classroom set up for learners to be better moulded.
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Education is a major tool for the quick transformation of any nation. Nigeria has rightly
adopted education as instrument “per excellence”, for affecting national development (NPE,
1998), cited by Ekanmen (2007). In this regard, Ekanmen (2007) in his article titled,
“Educational Innovations” Problems and Prospects for Social Transformation in the 21st
Century”, posits that the major focus of education is the development of the individuals visà-
vis the society. To achieve this, there must be continuous improvement in ideas, knowledge,
skills and attitudes.
Therefore, it is classically sufficient to establish that the core aspect of education is the
development of individuals. This is what is professionally called LEARNING. As commonly
defined in psychology and education, learning is a process that brings together cognitive,
emotional and environmental influences and experiences for acquiring, enhancing or making changes in one’s knowledge, skills, values and world views (Illeris, 2000; Ormorod, 1995).
Learning is also seen or thought as a process by which behaviour changes as a result of
experience (Merriam and Cattarella 1991:124).
From the definitions above, the scholars succinctly authenticate the complex nature of
learning. This proves that a goal oriented educator must also be comprehensive in his
approach in handling or selecting learning resources. Appropriate learning resources make
learning process a success. Learning resources are the educational materials or aids that are
used or applied in the learning process in order t enhance clarity and understanding of the
subject matter to the learners.
Elaturoti (1998) classifies learning resources into two main categories viz: print and non-print
media. The print media, to Elaturoti (op cit) include books, periodicals, newspapers,
pamphlets, brochures, handbills and ephemerals. The non-print materials comprise
photographs, slides, audio tapes, filmstrips, motion films, video tapes, computer diskettes and
realia (ibid). Fayose (1998) cited newspaper as a learning resource for effective learning
through high pupils and teachers can obtain information and gain knowledge. The scholar
describes newspaper as daily or weekly publication that carries information on local as well
as international matters focusing on politics, government policies, economics, social and
cultural affairs, sports, arts and music.
Fayose (1998) equally emphasises that newspapers are invaluable sources of information for
educational, social, cultural and economic purposes and they keep readers informed of what
is happening around them and the world at large. Of course, the basic fact is that newspaper is
a medium of mass communication and a central element in journalism and mass media
studies.
It has been established from the above submissions most especially by scholars in education
that; newspaper has been found valuable a resource in teaching and learning process.
It is no longer limited within the scope of journalism and mass media; its usefulness has been
extended to the field of education as scholars have continued to classify newspaper as a
valuable learning resource. Importantly, findings from mass media perspective have shown
that educational role has ever been an integral and fundamental tenet of the mass media of
communication, newspaper inclusive. Daramola (1998) further buttresses this by identifying
three basic traditional roles of mass media. These are information, education and
entertainment.
In addition, Raufu (2003:11) learns credence to the educational role of mass media of which
newspaper is among thus:
The functions of the mass media are as varied as the society
itself. The society for this discourse would be viewed from the
angles of the government and the masses of people comprising
the urban masses and the rural people. These functions are
examined here from the perspectives of each of the identified
parts of the society. These functions also known as traditional
functions are: information, education and entertainment.
In fact, a cursory look at the historical development of mass media of communication in
Nigeria shows and confirms that education has been part and parcel of mass growth and
development in Nigeria.
In the history of mass media development in Nigeria, it is undisputedly on record that the first
ever newspaper in Nigeria-“Iwe Irohin Fun Awon Egba ati Yoruba” was established in
Abeokuta by Rev. Henry Townsend in 1859. Uche (1989), cites that to a large extent, the
establishment of the first newspaper in Nigeria in December 1859 by Rev. Henry Townsend
was philosophically aimed among others, to use the newspaper to get people read and widen
their literacy level.
Rev. Townsend, Uche (op cit) “I have set on foot, a Yoruba Newspaper…my objective is to
get people to read…to beget the habit of seeking information by reading”.
This shows that newspaper in particular which pioneered other media of mass communication
in Nigeria was built on the platform of education among other objectives. Therefore, selecting
newspaper as a learning resource at any level of academic pursuit is of no surprise. Rather, it
is a right step in the right direction.
In other words, in the realisation of the ultimate goal of education, newspaper has an
inestimable role to play. By philosophy and historical analysis, newspaper has been
established a veritable learning resource at all levels of academic pursuit. However, and all
over the years, it is important to evaluate the effectiveness of this medium of mass
communication (newspaper) which has also played vital but suplementary roles in
teaching/learning process.
This exactly is what this research thesis is meant to do particularly at the most sensitive and
formative level of educational pursuit i.e secondary school level.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
It is an indisputable fact that secondary school level of education is the most important.
Oyedeji (2004) emphasises this that, the very reason for this position is that students at this
level of academic pursuit are at their tender age which psychologists refer to as formative
stage. Therefore, whatever made of them academically as well as other aspects of their lives
remain seemingly permanent with them. At this level, qualitative education and should
always be of great concern.
The attainment of this is a function of good and result oriented selection of learning resources
coupled with other fundamental factors in teaching/learning process.
Undoubtedly, the importance of newspaper as a learning resource at this level of educational
pursuit (secondary school) for qualitative result cannot be overemphasised. Aside the
traditional textbooks that both educators and students use for teaching and learning purpose,
it has recently been established that newspaper has been found very useful in educating the
mind and moulding personality (Goke, 2004).
Hence, the statement of the problem of this study centres on the evaluation of newspaper as a
learning resource in secondary school in order to determine its effectiveness or otherwise.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of this study will be into two folds viz: general and specific.
General: Generally, this study would explore newspaper as a means of mass communication,
its historical evolution worldwide and Nigerian context, its basic features and the
overwhelming benefits it owes to the society as a whole.
Specific: Specifically however, this study would do a critical but scientific evaluation of
newspapers as a learning resource in secondary schools in order to determine its
effectiveness. In other words, it is to specifically determine whether or not newspaper is a
learning resource and complementary in the quest for educational standard.
RESEARCH QUESTIONS
This research work would at the end of the day seek answers to the following questions.
i. What is the relationship between education and newspaper?
ii. Is newspaper appropriate as a learning resource for secondary school students?
iii. What are the impacts of newspaper in the lifestyle of secondary school students?
iv. Do secondary school teachers make use of newspaper for learning resource?
v. Do secondary school libraries stock newspapers as a learning resource for the purpose
of teaching/learning process?
vi. Is newspaper really effective as a learning resource for secondary school students?
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
As a matter of fact, the significance of this study cannot be overemphasised particularly in the
process of achieving standard in our educational system. Specifically however, the findings
of this study would eventually be more significant in the following ways.
1. Educators at secondary schools level would acknowledge newspaper as a veritable
learning resource in teaching-learning process.
2. Educators at secondary schools would put newspaper at its best as a complementary
resource.
3. Students at secondary schools would also acknowledge the usefulness of newspaper in
their learning process and put it in the best use.
4. Secondary schools administrators might appreciate the usefulness of newspaper as a
learning resource hence; facilitate its timely availability in their libraries.
5. With thorough research, findings and scientific analysis, the result of the findings
might contribute immensely to the attainment of educational standard.
HYPOTHESES OF THE STUDY
This study will test the following hypothetical propositions in an attempt to evaluate the
effectiveness of newspaper as a learning resource for secondary school students.
H0 Newspaper as a learning resource has no significant contribution on the academic
performance of secondary teachers in their subject areas.
H1 Newspaper as a learning resource contributes significantly to the academic performance of
secondary school teachers in their subject areas
H0 Newspaper as a learning resource has no significant contribution on the academic
performance of secondary school students
H1 Newspaper as a learning resource contributes significantly to the academic performance
of secondary school students
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this research work would definitely cover secondary schools in Sagamu Local
Government Area of Ogun State. With thirteen (13) public secondary schools it is believed
that the scope i.e secondary schools in Sagamu Local Government Area would generate a
desirable result to reflect the goal of the study.
A cross section of teachers in secondary schools particularly in senior classes in Sagamu
Local Government Area will make their candid opinions on the focus of this study through
the use of questionnaire.
OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
i. EDUCATION: This is the process of imparting and acquiring knowledge through
teaching and learning, especially in a school or similar institution.
I. LEARNING: A process that brings together cognitive, emotional and environmental
influences and experiences for acquiring, enhancing or making changes in one’s
knowledge, skills, values and world view.
II. LEARNING RESOURCES: These are the relevant essential materials and aids used
in transferring knowledge or skill from the abstract to more concrete level in the
process of learning.
III. EVALUATION: The act of considering or examining something in order to judge its
value, quality, importance, extent or condition
IV. EFFECTIVENESS: Producing desired or intended result
V. NEWSPAPER: A daily, weekly, monthly, annual etc publication and medium of mass
communication containing news, features, comment on current events and other
areas of human endeavours for the purpose of informing, educating and
entertaining.
VI. TEACHER: A human figure that teaches especially in any formal set up or
educational set up.
VII. SECONDARY SCHOOL: A high school for students who have completed their
primary education usually at their formative stage.
VIII. SAGAMU LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA: One of the seven hundred and
seventy four (774) local government areas in Nigeria. It is located at the Eastern
part of Ogun State and comprises about eight towns, Sagamu being the
headquarters. It is highly ranked among the twenty (20) Local Government Areas
in Ogun State and it comprises 13 public secondary schools.

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