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Background to the Study

        The benefits of Economics to the individual and to the society in general are numerous. According to the National Policy on Education, FRN (2004) one of the main goals of Nigeria is to build a great and dynamic economy. The study of Economics enables both leaders and citizens to understand basic Economics concepts, principles as well as to understand, appreciate and seek to improve the economic situation for their own social good.

Economics as a subject has been defined in different ways by different people and it is why people often have certain misconceptions as regard the true meaning of the subject. These definitions range from the earliest to the most modern period. According to Uju (2003) Economics is defined as “an enquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations”. For him, Economics is primary concerned with the production and distribution of wealth and the disparity in wealth between nations.

Mashall in Anyaele (2003) defines Economics as a “study of mankind in the ordinary business of life”. He sees Economics from the angle of man’s welfare and how to improve the welfare of man. Robbins in Onukwe (2011), Economics is defined as “a science which studies human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses”. This definition is the most popularly used definition of Economics in modern time because it embodies the basic concepts of Economics and the main fundamental problems of man’s wants, scarcity, choice, exchange and opportunity cost.

However, Agu (2009) states that Economics is not just a science as defined by Robbins but a social science when its subject matter is human behavior which cannot be captured for experimentation. He goes ahead to defined Economics as a social science concerned with the way the society chooses to employ its limited resources, which have alternative uses to produce goods and services for the present and future consumption.

In line with this, Onwe in Onwukwe (2011) opines that Economics is a social science that studies man’s behavior in an attempt to reconcile his unlimited wants with his limited means which entails his efforts in identifying his problems and finding solutions to them by subdividing his physical, biological, socio-political and economic environment to attain a higher standard of living.

Robson (2007) defined Economics as a body of knowledge that centered on the study of human behavior in terms of Economic activities in the society. He was of the view that Economics focuses on the behavior and interaction of economic agents and economy works. Adu (2004) posits that the study of Economics serves a useful purpose in modern life. It gives facts and shows what may be expected to be the outcome of certain line of conducts. It charges its recipient to make wise choice which will satisfy need in the presence of unlimited want and resources.

The objectives of Economics as a subject in the Senior Secondary School Curriculum have been stated among others; to enable students respond to a turbulent world economic reality, sensitize students to sound economic principles and concepts and situate those principles within the frame work of Nigeria’s own economic challenges (national Educational Research and Development Council, NERDE, 2012). According to Obemeata (1980), the principal objective of teaching Economics is to provide economic understanding necessary for responsible citizenship. Being a responsible citizen involves the ability to take rational decision on important economic issues with a good basis for doing so. The teaching of Economics helps the learner to decide on the optimal allocation of limited resources and also help improve the standard of living and make society a better place.

Despite the important of Economics to personal and national development, there appeared to be public notary on the rate of students’ academic achievement in the subject in senior secondary school external examinations. The West Africa Examination Council’s Chief Examiner’s Annual Report (2004) revealed that there was no significant improvement in the student’s achievement in Economics in West Africa School Certificate Examination. This has posed a serious question whether students’ achievement in the subject has direct relationship with the school environment as well as the teaching methods used by the teachers.

Teaching had contributed seriously towards the overall benefit of the generality of the globe. The word teaching is very common to individuals especially when one talks about learning. Akinpelu (1981) defined teaching as a deliberate effort by a mature or experienced person to impact information, knowledge, skillet to an immature or less experienced person through a process that is morally and pedagogically accepted. Adeson (2004) viewed teaching as a system of interactions involving the teaching. The teacher is seen as someone who understands the needs and aspiration of the learner and the society. He/she therefore teaches the learners those things that will make him/her fit into his or her society or environment.

The teaching of Economics has made all the economists to know that they study in order to understand the economic problems. Prevailing in our society, it serves as useful purpose in modern life, it helps to decide which of several alternatives to choose, it charges its recipient to make wise choice that will satisfy needs in the presence of unlimited want and resources.

It is important at this juncture to highlight that teaching both in the pre-contemporary and contemporary have in no small measure contributed in the re-sharpening and total upbringing of a child and also the elevation of the child’s standard of living. Teaching has generally been a profession that is sin-qua-non, a where withal for any given society be it traditional or modernity.

Modern ways of teaching are the act of teaching or imparting knowledge to a set of people with the help of modern things like chalk board, books as well as the encouragement or interpersonal communication and the addressing of a heterogeneous audience by a teacher who is knowledgeable in that field that is being discussed (Eya 1999); while according to Odo (2001) conventional has been variously defined as a process whereby knowledge is transferred from a person to another with little, crude or no teaching aids and materials.

Having examined the concepts of Economics and teaching, it is very important at this point to discuss the environment as a concept is derived from the French word “environs” which means surroundings. Environment is the sum total of all surrounding of living organism, including natural forces and other living things, which provide conditions for development and growth as well as of danger and damage it is the condition that surround someone or something; the conditions and influences that affect the growth, health, progress, etc of someone or something. The environmental influences of teaching of Economics in Senior Secondary Schools are as follows: social environment, physical environment, political environment, demographic environment.

According to Igba and Nweke (2004), Social environment is the network of man’s social relationship. It is concerned with the general social life of man and his interconnectivities with all the social institutions. These social institutions have to do with his political and socio-cultural behavior, his educational, economic, legal, health and religious activities. They were also of the view that in man’s unavoidable social relationship, he exercise control over his environment on the other hand, his environment exercise in turn control over him. For a more professional classification, Alumode (2002) explained the various social environment of the school that influence teaching generally. These include the socio-cultural, demographic, political economic and religious environment. All these environments in one way or the other influences teaching of Economics in our secondary schools.

Ezema (2002), was of the view that social environment refers to a geographical area or milieu which has the potential of influencing the perception, attitudes and psychological disposition of individuals that are associated with it. It is essentially concerned in given society, their culture and way of life. Also the particular are where the school is located should be idealistically reflected in the curriculum of the school under the school extra-curriculum activities. Where the culture, traditional belief system, religion, value, aspirations and general ideologies of the geographic location of the school are not reflected, students would be learning in obstruction, which further hinder the Nigeria educational philosophy of functionalism as enshrine in the National policy on education (2009).


The economic viability or vulnerability of the environment is also important as air, where the economic components (what can be produced within the social environment and community) are not recognized and developed, it jeopardizes entirely of work done, According to Okoro (2005), for student to achieve the educational goal at out, they are expected to excel in the academic work, experience comfortable academic environment, and provision of infrastructural facilities. This view is in line with assertion of Westwood (2003) who stated that general learning difficulties can occur as a result of poor classroom environment, inadequate or inappropriate teaching method, irrelevant and unsuitable curriculum, poor relationship between students and teachers.

Mgboro and Omebe (2001) were of the view that the questions on whether nature (heredity) or nurture (environment or experience) determines more of human development had an old debate in our society, that the moral, social academic, economic development of individual and the society entirely can be hampered is of no doubt. Consequently, the researcher felt motivated by carrying out study at identifying the influence of environment in the teaching of Economics in secondary schools in Igbo Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu state.

Statement of the Problem

There is no doubt that Economics as a subject of the study occupies a very important place in the field of education. However, this all important subject is more often neglected and as much is not given due attention it requires, this poses a problem in that the main reason of introducing the subject, which is to understand the economic problems, prevailing in our society and physical measures of promoting human welfare is defeated.

Environment plays a very important role in the field of education. However, given the poor environment condition faced by students and teachers in the course of teaching and learning enterprises, which makes learning boring; most of the time, the objectives of the introduction of Economics into the schools system are far from being achieved. This becomes a problem because students lose interest and consequently half backed graduates are churned out of the schools on yearly basis.

More so, the non-challant attitude of the government in providing basic facilities both at home and schools, coupled with the attitude of some parents worsen the already bad situation. The result is that many students lack facilities as well as stimulating environment, which make learning interesting.

Therefore, the problem of this study is influence of the environment in teaching Economics in Igbo Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu state.

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of the study is to examine the influence of the environment on the teaching of Economics in secondary schools in Igbo Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu State. The study is specifically designed to:

  1. Examine the environmental factors influencing the teaching of Economics in secondary schools in Igbo Etiti Local Government Area.
  2. Examine the extent to which the home affects the teaching of Economics in secondary schools in Igbo Etiti Local Government Area.
  3. Find out the possible ways of improving the environment for effective teaching of Economics in Igbo Etiti Local Government Area.
  4. Investigating the role of the parent in providing stimulating environment for effective teaching of Economics in Igbo Etiti Local Government Area.

Significance of the Study


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