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PROJECT TOPIC-TEACHING MORAL CONCEPTS IN SOCIAL STUDIES CLASSROOMS IN NIGERIAN PRIMARY SCHOOLS: SOME ESSENTIAL METHODOLOGICAL CONSIDERATION

PROJECT TOPIC-TEACHING MORAL CONCEPTS IN SOCIAL STUDIES CLASSROOMS IN NIGERIAN PRIMARY SCHOOLS: SOME ESSENTIAL METHODOLOGICAL CONSIDERATION

Introduction

Moral education is gcncrally pcrccivcd as one ofthc basic goals of cducation in Nigeria. This position is aptly demonstrated by tlie incl-casing demand for it by a widcr scgrncnt of tlic Nigerian public (Obcnicata, 2003). 7’1ic growing dcmand for moral cducation is ncccssitatcd by tlie scamming moral ADC~icca nd dctcriosating of values in contcniporasy Nigerian society. This dcvclopnicnt could bc lasgcly traced to thc  ‘ailt~sco f social institutions likc thc Sandy, rcligion (cliurchcs and niosqucs), cd~~cnt i(os~chio ols) to appropriately inculcate and strengthen Christlike moral values in tlic young ones.

Consequently, the Nigerian socicty is today ficrccly confsontcd with many nioral ills and problcms like “bribery and con-uption, stealing, dishonesty, armcd robbery, indiscipline, prostitution, ~iiatcsialism, drug abuse and addiction (Bolasin, 1997: 133- 149) To asrest or stcni this negative moral tide, Iiastily tli~.ougliout actions and psogramnics such as ctl~icalr evolution, war against intlisc~pli~iacn d corluption aniong :)tlicss Ilavc been foisted on t!le public in gcnclal and scliools in particular to manage moral cducation.,

Ever1 the National ~wl i c yo n cducation strnngly recommcndetf a ~ l l o ol l~hL~’l. l l l i r lgs the leaching of’ 11ioral cducation to tIw Nigerian child thro~~gdlii vcrsc ;lnd some specific curricular oflkrings (FRN, ,1981). Ho\Yever;)\vhilc i t is gcncr-ally ncknowlcdgc ih:n inonl education is highly dcsiradl$ t11ei-c is no~icthclcsn~o easy solution to 111c urgent but olicn prohlcmatic ti& of i-Zi&$ t~i cy oung ones to tllillk, feel and act i n ill01.illlyd ~ ~ i r i ~ b l (~Co cllrane, 11an;n; & Kazcpidcs, 1070).

Incidentally, tllc task o f acl .’r+ng (lie moral and religion~sg oals o f ‘ c t i l ~ c ~ t i o ~ througll thc various intellectual sul?jct i n Nigerian schools sccrn to Ila\cc been . steadily, ncglccrcd (Otonti and Coma, 1083). Thougli tlic Nat io~~arl~ oIic)l on education (I:I:N, 1 OS 1 ) stated Natalia moil and I .litigious education~ci an EEK ~ ~ ~ n ~ n conceit c i .

schools t l~roi i~tlliic study 01′ bioglapl~icso f’ no.. 3ie Nigerians; roic playing. [can? work, tilc dis~ii:!i~locf ‘ games. studics and practice.- religion, 11lc rcviscti vcrsioii of’ tllc sa111c ~ O C I I I I I C I I(~I ;liN, 2004) omitted conil,,i,.!cly any place l i ) ~11 1oral instruction and logically 15ilcd to outlined spccilic progi-;llnmcs Ibs its tcachi~;g cspccially at the ps i~ua~s-cy11 ooIs level.

Indccti, tile starting rcvcla~ioi; ii-om existing litcl.;~turc on iii(;i.:i! z!?d va1r:es cdllcation tc:ids 10 suggest t l ~ !W CII tile ~ciioolsa re not I’ully equipped i t > icrnls a!’ nietliodology compctencc to h:~ndle the nloral cducation of rhc young ones (NwosL~, 197s; N w q y u , 19s I ). ‘ l l ~ cI~ :~ndicaopf the school in confronti~lgt he chrillcrigcs of moral education is not solely based on the lack of quality of’ corltcnt of’ nlor-21 . cducation (as c~- so~~coupsclyrc civcd) b11t o n the cffcctivcncss of’ insr~.uctio::z+l approacllcs used: by tcacllcss in teaching it and otlicr related sul3jccts like social studies which has the capacity to promotc the goals ol’mosal cducation (Gaibsait and Jones, 1975).

Social studics is onc ol’ the core curricular ofr’ering at b ~ t l itl ic pi1lli11.ya nd Junior scco~ldarps chool levels wliicli has thc potential to bring a b o ~ ~c!tc sirablc changes in tlic Oellaviour and ~nolal so f’ young learners (Mkpa, 1989). I t conten t is rcplctc with many 111or;1l and wluc laden concepts which if well taught asc capahlc of pronioting in young Nigerian leal-ncrs, spirit of’ unity, nationalism, pa trio ti st!^, cooperation, and scsponsibility (Ogul~dare, 1997).

PROJECT TOPIC-TEACHING MORAL CONCEPTS IN SOCIAL STUDIES CLASSROOMS IN NIGERIAN PRIMARY SCHOOLS: SOME ESSENTIAL METHODOLOGICAL CONSIDERATION

Social stuclics is generally delincd in Nigeria as tlic study of’ man’s interaction with Iiis cnvil-onmcnt-physical and social (NEltDC, I98 1 ) . It is conccrncd \\:it11 rllc reciprocal I-elationship bctwccn man and his crnlironnlcnt in ~ u p e c t of’ Ilo\xr he is inllt~cnced by the environment and IIOW he in turn exert considcrablc influcncc on his cn\!ircnmcnt (Adaralcgbc. 198 1 : Obcbc, 2005).\ In Nigeria, I!I(: tc:!(:l~i!l.g trl’social studies starts ;it the psimasy scliool It:\.cl, wllcsc the sul~jcctis designed to llclp the young Nigcrians Icar11ci.s to:

  1. cic\dop the ability to adapt to his clmging environment
  2. inculcate national coilsciousncss and unity.
  3. lie help the Icancr to bcconlc a good citizcn capable of’ and willi~xg to contribute to the ovelopn ent ol’tlic society
  4. inculcate tllc right type of values and attitudes (I:ccic~-a1 Ministr.3- of Education. 1987: 15).

Therefore, to properly articulate and climactic tlic above objcctivcs of social s l ~ ~ t f i , cspccially the nioral and valuc aspects, the tcacllcr needs to cnsurc that pupils understood both tlic content and processes ~f ‘ \~nluinsgoc ial studics classroonls.

The general thinking of some cxpcl-1s is that primary school pupils ca adequately grasp rational concept sincc tllcy asc not mature coupling to take n decisions (Windmillcr, Madunc, 1980). ‘l’his assertion has liowcvcr been cl-ti, reviewed in the light of c~singing~ CSC;II~CII fi~idi~igwsl iicli rcvcalcd Illat prit schools pupils can understand&d valuc or moral issues if appropriate instruct strategics are scud (Nicl~olls& Nelson 1902: Sc~rink& Ksogli 1982).

In Nigcria, tca~:licss of social studies, i t has been amply demonstrate aware of tlic moral ad value-laden of the subject (Osundc, 1989). I cowl\w, \vlia porcelain a recurring psoblcnl is tlic i~istsuctional approacllcs adoptcd by tcacllc achieving the nioral and value objcctivcs of’social studies (Nwaubani, 1996, : and 2002). Indced, social statics as a subject has some I’nr scaclling moral valuc students dcpcnding on ho\v its content is pscscntcct sincc tcachcss do not I ~ I ( teach to inc11Ica1c kno\vIcdgc but ills() ;1sc c~pc c t cdto Iiclp ~~~~~~~~~s intcnlalizc – vnluc or nioral implications oft!^ knowlctlgc they kivc acquired (Carolinian, 10’ Incidentally, the i~Saiph syntactic i n tllc imvcr icveIs of ~ l i ce educational s j is tlic tendcncy for most tcachcrs to indoctsinatc pupils when teaching rational

value rclatcd issucs in social studics (Ogundasc, 1997) indoctrination, Zilch ck tlic rigid and routine imposition 01′ “bags of virtues” or valucs (hen’ responsibility, laird\vork ctc) on Corsican (\vllo arc cxpcctcd to intcsnalizc I unqucstionablc) by tcaclicss or any colic~. a ~ ~ t c n o ~ ii oor~al~ sag ent prcsumal)l adult mcnibcr of the society through li,~-mnol r i~~fornicator~slt~ uctionala approaches

I-However. tlicsc scc~iit o bc somc g c~i c~x!~l csc~it~iicangta inst tlic 1~s indoctri~xhon and otllcr rclatcd tcacllcr dominated instn~ctional strategic teaching valucs a d ~iioral conccpts i l l social studies (Ogunyc~iii, 1994). Gene speaking, it is widely believed that indoctrination o!fi.nds the development ofch self-concept, creativity, inticpcntfc~lcc and moral ~iiatusity by c~icousaging l i i ~ adhcrc rigidly to moral psinciplcs or rulcs 11c has little or 110 firm ~handcraft (Kohl berg, 1973) logically, pupils wllosc nioral bcliaviour ~.csults 1 indoctrination can hardly bc propcrly and collectively challenged to probc, cl< and possibly dcfcnd tlicir nioral or valuc positio~lsc onsistently (Ajala, 2002).

The above situation monk the vicar of thc methodological approachable issues in primary school social studies imperative. This is so because social st^ teachers as rightly obscured by Bobcat (1983). pay so n i ~ ~ Catt mention to the tcacliing of facts, concepts and infi)~.damnation t tlic ensconce o f valucs and desirably attitude ?’he mGor cause of this clopping-~aitn o doubt could bc attributed to noneffective ~~~ct l methodology~ ~l t inferior rn lack of specific knowledge of values or moral conccpts wliicli asc popular with cliometric primarily~ys cool age. Inced, litchi-amuse dealing Witt tile \Lucas/rational development of younger children tend to rcvcnl cc stain concepts cowlick arc assumed to be important to tllcm.

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PROJECT TOPIC-TEACHING MORAL CONCEPTS IN SOCIAL STUDIES CLASSROOMS IN NIGERIAN PRIMARY SCHOOLS: SOME ESSENTIAL METHODOLOGICAL CONSIDERATION

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