Monday, 16 March 2009

The use of instructional materials in social studies instructions

Studies on the use of instructional materials have been carried out and reported by several investigators including those of Anyanwu (2003), Buba (2003), Adeyanju (1986, 1988 and1999), Akanbi and Imogie (1988), Agun (1986 in Adeyanju 1999) Pointed out the need for development of skills by teachers undergoing their training so that they could be able to use a wide variety of instructional materials sufficiently well. The various researchers founded that teachers who are trained and untrained, sue some form of materials to teach their lessons. However, the relevance of choice of instructional materials types that were used and the quality of the instructional materials types that teachers use have not been investigated.
Some investigators claim that whenever they taught with some of the learning aids, their students get more stimulated because the learning aids help the students to become more attentive. In addition, students positive attitude generate more interest for the lesson they teach. As a result, students participate better in activity.
Wornski (1981 in Bozimo 2002) described social studies as “a multifaceted; mosaic; patchwork quit; a collage of forms, structures and colours”. In line with the above statement, Bozimo (20002) further expressed that, “this peculiar nature makes it possible and necessary for great variety of resource materials and methodologies to be employed in social studies teaching and learning”.
Social studies is a problem solving discipline and dynamic in nature which make the use of instructional materials in its instructions to be indispensable. Gagnes (1915 in Anyanwu 2003) states that, “instead of the teachers explaining social studies concepts and how to solve problems, they should provide the students with appropriate materials and encourage them to make observations from the hypotheses guiding students to discover new ideas by asking leading question”.
According to Jimoh (1987) in his paper presentation titled “creating your own media or materials” delivered at the college of education, Maiduguri in Borno state Nigeria. In the process of his paper presentation he asked this question-when students are not listening to you or others, what are they doing? They could be looking out of the window or to bare walls or playing with one another” therefore, to get hold of the situation teachers could surround them with interesting materials. Another persisting question teachers ask is that, “won’t audio visuals such as mobile television distract the attention of the students from teachers”? Others suggested that, if they keep distraction at a minimum then student will be more attentive in class.
The term instructional materials have been conceptualized by different authorities, but the fact still remain that instructional materials aids teaching and learning situation. Esu (2004) instructional materials refer to “all the resources within the reach of the teacher and the learners which are employed to facilitate teaching and learning. It therefore follows that such materials may be both human and non-human provided they facilitate the acquisition and evaluation of knowledge, skills, attitudes, morals and values”.
Orakwue (2000:96) assert that, “materials resources are mainly objects of any type which the social studies instructor might deem very necessary or adequate in delivering his social studies lesson. They form part of what we normally call teaching aids. He further maintained that teaching aids are mere objects of help in the successful delivery of social studies lessons and other lesson generally, social studies resources are information repositories from where relevant social studies teaching information could be sourced for transfer to the learners during classroom instruction”. Hence, it can be deduced that social studies instructions will definitely remain worthless without the use of instructional materials.
“Instructional media today are very gradually finding their ways into the classrooms where modern and versatile teachers are exploring new ways of transferring learning to the younger generation. The use of prints, visuals and audios or various combination of these trios make up all we have in instructional media. instructional media therefore are the information dissemination devices made up of prints radio picture including films, movies, photographs, etc, used in the classroom for an easy transfer of learning” {chuba 2000}.
From the above description of instructional materials, one can conclude that, instructional materials are those objects, materials, and things, improvised and used by a teacher to concretize conceptual Abstraction in learning.
“Instructional materials are any media which promotes perceptions, Understand transfer of knowledge and retention of ideas” (Ivork 1971). Brunner (1956) says that, “instructional materials are what help the Students to realize their learning objective’’ instructional materials as acts of giving help normally by teachers to provide help and encouragement in students or pupils learning activities. It can also refer to all tools which can easily be used be a teacher to correct wrong impressions and to illustrate things that learners cannot forget easily (Ema & Ajayi 2004).
Instructional materials are valuable assets in learning situations, because they make lessons practical and realistic. Knowledge acquired with the use of instructional materials is retained longer than the one acquired without learning aids.
Different types and variety of Instructional materials are available to be used in teaching any subject effectively. However, it is not all topics that require the same type and quantity of instructional materials. As far as social studies instructions is concerned. These materials could be purchased, locally made or improvised, imported from other countries when necessary for the effective teaching of social Studies.
Adekeye (2008) summarized instructional materials available for instruction in social studies into four major categories: Visual aid–these include pictures, maps, chants, graphs, diagrams, chalkboard, sketches, atlas and painting; Audio visual aids–television, computer programmes, film trips, video recording and projectors; Auditory aids–audio recordings, radios, records or cassette tapes, music and Printed materials-Encyclopedias, textbooks, magazines, journals, newspapers, pamphlets novels poems , simulation games, government records and publications almanacs, biographic, editorial cartoons and case studies.
Bozimo (2002) asserts that “generally, Instructional materials available for use in social studies education can be categorized into three, namely’ reading materials, audio-visual materials and community resources? She further expressed that the materials can simply be reduced to two groups namely reading materials and non-reading materials. In the cause of this study, the researcher will like to discuss the types and kinds of instructional materials used in social studies under the following categories:
A. Projected and electronic materials.
B. Non-projected materials.
C. phenomenal and manipulative materials
(A) Projected and electronic materials
Projected and electronic materials are forms of media which could be visual, audio and audio-visual in nature that requires projection and electricity in their using process for teaching and learning situation. Emma & Ajayi (2004) categorized projected and electronic media into the following: film/film projectors, video cassette / video Disc machines, tape recorders/recordings; radio, slide projectors, overhead transparencies/overhead projectors, opaque projectors (Episcope) and computer.
(i). Films/film projectors, Ajayi (2004) describe films/film projectors are 16mm wide and are shown using a 16mm projector, some are designed to help teach facts and exact steps of procedure. Others are suitable for general orientation to a subject. Still others are effective in developing understanding of complex in societal historical problems and for influencing attitudes. Although, projecting educational films is not always the issue but the effective use of it to portray the ideas of the content of the lessons or topics in hand and the teacher process of using it might be something else that the students would not be able to comprehend the factual information of the lesson taught using the materials.
(ii). Video cassette/Video Disc machines, these are essentially a television receiver minus or without a display tube. They have facilities for recording television and other video inputs and for playing back programmes recorded on video cassette. Ema (2006) state that, many machine have the ability to “freeze” the picture at a given frame, or to “slow motion” feature that have obvious advantages in educational situation. Since the media have the ability of freezing the picture at given frame, it then shows that it can be used to teach social studies students, different concrete issues at the students’ pase While, video disc is a disc on which visual objects, with or without are electronically recorded.
(iii). Tape recorders; are medias used in an educational setting to play back pre-recorded audio lessons or activities to a class to provide illustrative audio materials in the context of ‘live’ lesson or activities. These could be either be bought or improvised by the teacher or recorded off-air. Ema and Ajayi (2004) argued that, recording have been used successfully in the teaching of languages and laboratories on the handling of equipment. They expressed further that, “As with all other aids, the effective use of the tape recorder demands careful planning. Its real value derives from its ability to augment visual with audio stimuli. Use in a casual manner its impact declines while diminishing returns set in quickly”.
(iv). Radio: this is audio kinds of media which could either uses battery or electric power in appealing to the sense of hearing. It is a media for communication and it is used in the process of delivering lesson such topic as communication in social studies as instructional materials for the pupils or students to perceive the concept in a practical manner.
Slide/Slide projector: A slide is a single positive image or transparent materials (a slide transparency) held in a mount and designed for projection (Ajayi 2006). She further expressed that, if properly designed, slides can be of great assistance to a teacher in providing visual reinforcement for what he is saying, are particularly useful for showing photographs, diagrams and other graphic materials.
Too-much information should not be included on a slide. Thus, an educational or social studies slide should be clear, simple, and capable of being seen and understood from all parts of the classroom in which it is being projected.
(v). Overhead transparencies/Overhead projectors: Ajayi & Ema (2004) the overhead projector (OHP) consists of a horizontal table (250 × 250m) on which the materials to be projected is placed. Light from the bulb below the table is condensed by a concave mirror or by a fresnellens, passes through the materials to be projected and is focused and turned through 900 by a lens system mounted on a stalk on bracket above the table. The material to be projected is usually a transparency.
An overhead transparency is a transparent sheet of material intended for use with an overhead projector as a means of showing graphic, textual and other information.
(vi). Opaque projector: this is a media that projects the image of solid objects on a screen by means of a light, which is concentrated on those objects and a mirror, which reflects the image through a lens. Solid materials or objects like models, pictures, maps charts, and graphs can bee shown through opaque projector with clarity.
(vii). Computer instructional system: Computer as an electro-mechanical machines which is used as an instructional system in the spheres of education-is an elector-mechanical media which accept data, process and give output automatically with less energy waste. Computer automatically process data once it is directed to do so. Nwoji (2002 in Ajayi 2003) however, noted that the computer is among the newer generation education technologies in developing countries such as Nigeria. Computer instructional materials is a method by which individualized instruction is under taken, it is an extention of programmed instruction the computer is used to present instructional events that are designed, developed and produced for an individualized learning situation.
The computer has now been found to be the most suitable, and versatile medium for individualized learning because of its immense capacity as a data processor, using for different games for the children. And can perform numerous mathematical and logical operations without any intervention by men.
Computer as an instructional material is used in many ways in social studies instructions such as mass instruction, group learning, individualized instructions, computer conferencing system among others. Nwoji (2002) acknowledge three broad ways by which computer contributed to teaching and learning situations. And these are mass instruction, individualized instruction and group learning.
- Mass instruction: this is used during the normal class lesson (conventional expository lesson), the computer is used to support mass instruction. Computer-assisted package are highly interactive as they are very effective in teaching large group to get the feel of an interactive learning programme.
- Individualized instruction: Nwoji opined that, computer constitutes the most versatile and powerful delivery system. Students should be given the opportunity to learn by doing “experimental learning” as they do, they get things wrong as well as get them right. He further gives example of individualized instruction by computer such as asking learners structured questions, responding to the choices learners made, providing expository information, testing learners, allow learners to access stored data and information in database of various sorts, allow students to contribute to computer conferencing and given students the opportunity to perform mathematical and logical analysis of data.
- Grouping learning: Students in groups benefit form feedback from each other, because computer-assisted learning system can make a highly significant contribution to a wide range of group-learning activities. Since social studies gospel is how to promote spirit of group and team work in order to achieve mind of togetherness in the learners.
(B) Non-projected materials.
Ughamadu (1992 in Anyanwu 2003) assert that, non-projected materials are these materials that do not require any form of projection before they can be used. Non-projected materials are different forms of instructional materials that required not the process of projection before its operation can take place. These could include the following, textual and non-textual, chalk-book, magnetic broad/ soft/board flip-chart, specimen, models etc.
Textual materials and non-textual materials refer respectively to all the print and non-print materials that are used by the teachers and learners for instructional process. The print materials are the textbooks, magazines, periodicals, journals, and newspapers, among others while the non-print materials includes. Charts, chalkboard, radio television, films videotapes, audiotapes, relia, festivals and games (Esu 2004) expressed that together they assist the students in acquiring clear concepts of subject matter they are also students’ best single academic friends. Moreover they can provide security for the unprepared teacher and an escape hatch for one who is instructing outside his field of specialization.
The textual print materials comprise so large a proportion of all teaching aids that selecting written materials for the teaching of a given unit poses specific problems the textual prints are the prescribed or main texts used for a given course. They are the set of books or course books specifically written for a given course or programme. There is a wide range of textual prints as well as supplementary ones as I have mentioned earlier. While non-textual print materials are the print materials that supplement the main texts and enrich the learning situation. When combined with the correct use of the main text they can provide richness in learning experiences that can be gained in no other way. All these are durable materials that social studies should endeevour to explore and use during teaching and learning processes in order to enrich the concepts of social studies in the mind of the learners.
Specimens are the real object or things a teacher can use for effective teaching of social studies concepts. It makes social studies teachers’ work easier and more participatory. These are objects like traditional wears, minerals, rocks, plants etc. all these help the learners to see, touch, small (where necessary) and handle physically which give brim real natural experiences in learning.
Textbooks are special and types of book, which is written to satisfy a special need in the school curriculum (Ajayi and Emma 2005). They further classified textbooks into four categories; reference, general, course, and children textbooks.
Adekeye (2008) identifies some criteria for selecting or writing textbooks in social studies, such as author, language age and vocabulary, content, format, does it reflect social studies objectives, are there any handful ether-religions-gender or nationals bias, durability, availability, publisher data and many other relevant criteria were listed by her.
(c) Phenomenal and manipulative materials
These instructional materials are majorly community based resources that, promote the teaching-learning of social studies. Phenomenals are instructional situations such as events, things, features, settings, festivals and other community resources that are directly apprehended by the learner at their natural setting constitute this category (Esu 2004)
They help to bring the learners in direct contact with learning experiences that far transcend volumes of recorded literature and weeks of sermonization. Despite the fact, of these positive ends, field trips and schools journeys that normally bring learners into contact with the phenomenals are underutilized because of time, finance, knowledge of the teacher, inflexibility of the school timetable and other infrastructural problems.
Esu further asserts that, phenomenals can be natural or man-made. According to him, they include the following categories; community resources such as resource persons, museums, aquaria, zoos, farms, fish ponds, beaches, caves, hot springs, volcanic eruption sites, among others. He expressed further that, another groups includes dramatization, demonstrations, games, concerts, operas, dances and festivals. He equally encouraged that, social studies teachers should explore and widely utilize the phenomenals because these can stimulate aesthetic talents, promote, tactile stimulus and enhances identification and attachment not only with nature but also with the particular learning situation that they facilitate socialization process.
This class of instructional materials deals mostly with the affective but does not preclude the psychomotor and the cognitive domains he maintained.
Manipulative materials are instructional materials that, the learners actually handle skillfully, deal with, and manage expertly to bring about the desired behavioural changes. They are important for the development of skill in professional training (Esu 2004). They promote complete mastery of the content materials and the specific objectives. They also form part of both the instructional and performance evaluation. The greatest significant of these materials is that, without them (or their upraised) neither the required leaning nor objectives evaluation can be adhered. Manipulative expresses the channel through which the required learning takes place. They cut across all aspects of skills development and mastery learning. These materials are vital for social studies because such skills as communication, tolerance, patience, and assertiveness are easily demonstrated, leant and observed through instructional games. Teaching of social studies can encourage some card and board games that have specific instructional values in order to enhance basic and logic reasoning amongst learners.
Many researcher and authority have comment immensely in the use of instructional materials in social studies instructions and any other educational processes, that the use can not be over-emphasized. Abujaber (1987) assert that, the importance of instructional materials for both teacher and students cannot be over emphasized. In social studies, the use of instructional materials is essential to support learning because social studies are concerned about natural and social phenomenal which cannot be easily expressed without the support of graphics maps, video, pictures etc.
Cursor (1997) points out that using instructional materials in social studies classroom widens the channels of communication between teachers and their students. He further maintain that the instructional materials allow the growth of specific learning abilities and enhance intellectual skills and major skills-the use of charts and models enables the teacher to present and illustrate many physical phenomena and issues easily and at the same time, allows them to focus attention on the characteristic of objects.
Adeyanju (1997) Learning can be reinforced with learning aids of different variety because they stimulate, motivate, as well as arrest learners’ attention for a while during the instructional process. In a research conducted by Adeyanju in university of winneba Ghana, a surrey sample of teachers with several years of teaching experiences of between (03) and treaty-five (25) years, claim that teaching aids improve methodology. They also claim that learning aids reduce-their talk and chalk method while some of the teachers claim that whenever they taught with some of the instructional materials, their student get more stimulated because the learning aid help them (students) to become more attentive. In addition, students positive attitude generate more interest for the lesson they teach as a result students participate better in class activity
Bozimo (2002) “the importance of instructional materials lies on the fact that abstract ideas, data or information expressed in printed pages become tangible and concrete when they are translated or reflected in forms of instructional materials and resource. she further maintain that, the inter disciplinary or integrated nature of social studies demands that well thought-out materials be used in the classroom instructional to enable the learners comprehend the interrelatedness of knowledge and unity of various disciplines making up the social sciences and humanities. The materials will also be such that can unambiguously reveal the dynamic nature of man, his activities, decisions and problems”.
We need to realize that, the application of instructional in the social studies classroom and any other instructional setting improves teaching-learning and allows the teachers and students to interact as human beings in the environment they find themselves, for their own purpose. More specifically, instructional materials is use to concretize conceptual abstraction in social studies since the focal point of social studies is to instill in students practical skills that they will use to explore solution to their situational problems within the environment they live in.
Form the foregoing, the importance and the usefulness of instructional materials in social studies instructions can be best explain on the following points:
(1) stimulation of interest
(2) concretize abstract issues or topics in social studies
(3) Creating effective communication.
(4) Use for mass instruction and taking care of wide audience.
(5) Providing meaning and useful sources of information to teachers and learners.
(6) They help in developing a continuity of reasoning and coherence of thought
(7) They save time and reduce verbalism or repetition of word
(8) They are use to perfect teaching methods and promote chores relations between the community and school.
(1). stimulation of interest.
In teaching-learning process, there is the need to generate, arouse, motivate and maintain students’ interest. If the learners’ interest is build properly, learning can take place effectively. As instructional materials have the potentials if effectively used for regulating the pace of information flow among different class of learners under the same classroom. It addresses individual differences and preserve-infact, Students are arouse with the nature and the beautiful appearance of the materials which will make them to Settle down and learn what the teacher had prepared to teach.
Nnyejmesi (1981) sited by Anyawu (2003) agreed and based on investigations that pictures-i stimulates and help further study, helps children to take active interest in the topic presented, ii-Manning admitted that they find pictures interesting and that pictures gave them clear ideas of the topic. This resulted in further activities and comprehension of the verbal materials.
(2). concretize abstract issues or topics in social studies.
The use of instructional materials in social studies makes learning real, practical and more permanents to the learners. It makes conceptual abstraction in social studies more meaningful.
Esu (2004) sates that; instructional materials are valuable assets in learning situations because they make lesions practical and realistic. They area the pivots on which the wheels of the teaching-learning process rotate. Since its concretize issues, it then facilitate revision (recall) activities and provider very unique opportunities for self and group evaluation for the teacher and the students alike. It captures the student intellect and eliminates boredom; make the work easier, neater, boosting for clarity and more appeal.
3. creating effective communication
Instructional materials if properly used allow for a flow and transmission of ideal from the teacher to the students and likewise from the students to the teacher or from one group to other.
The learners will be able to see, touch, spell what is been talked about by the teacher and be curious to ask questions that would be very helpful for effective evaluation (formative) of the teacher and instructions in social studies.
(4). use for mass instructional and taking care of a wide audience.
With the use of projected and electronic materials such as television, overhead transparencies and computer especially, instructions are packaged in a very broad manners and which take care of wide range of learner in a classroom with less stress and time. Many students will be able to learn faster as the package takes care of various learners’ interest at the same time. Teacher can handle a very large class conveniently as the teacher is guiding and displaying the instructional materials on the wall with the use of projector.
(5). providing meaning and useful sources of information to teachers and learners:
Teachers are up to date and able to provide for reliable and useful information for the learners with the use of instructional materials, it can effectively be used to ultimate, shorten information from various sources for the purpose of comparison and contrasting ideas. It helps in perception and retention of information or knowledge in social studies learners.
(6). they help in developing a continuity of reasoning and coherence of thought
Social studies discipline been an integrate course of study that incorporate ideas from different disciplines, the use of instructional materials helps the learners on providing integrated experiences, which may vary from, disciplines which make the end product of education more productive. Since students are expose to the real nature of those concept or body of knowledge they tend to analyses and synthesis those body of knowledge for the proper application in their daily lives.
(7). the save time and reduce verbalism or repletion of words:
Emma & Ajayi (2004) asserts that “figurative speaking instructional materials enable the teacher to be in more than one place at a time and to address several issues at a time. For example, a video material could be on while the teacher moves around to explain to individuals students the subject contents in response to requests based on individual differences on problems. While the video material continues, providing details of the assignment the teacher also becomes part of the listening audience.
It reduces verbalism or repetition of world by the teacher without knowing their meaning and also adds Varity in reinforcing verbal messages by providing a multi-media approach. Esu (2004) asserts that instructional materials are indispensable factor in a teaching learning process. This is because or clearly words or verbalization has been found to be inadequate for effective teaching. Instructional materials, frankly speaking reduce the level at which the teacher should strives himself in the process of talking rather he guide the process of the instructions. And as a result save his time in process of teaching.
(8). they are use to perfect teaching methods and promote closer relations between the community and school:
The teachers of social studies perfect not only their methods of teaching but also perfect contents and situations (activities) to be taught. With the use of instructional materials, the teacher is able to edit, try and retry, alter and delete his activities to fit the standard of the students and also to effectively address the curriculum objectives. Instructional materials if properly utilize helps in giving direct contact with the realities of the learners both social and physical environments.
The purpose of using instructional materials in social studies is for the students to internalize the situational issues happening around his totality, the students will be able to identify crucial issues and address these issues if properly inculcated with the use of instructional materials. Walsh (1967 in chuba 2000) posited three importances of teaching aids in social studies class, as;
1. Easing off teachers’ teaching task,
2. Satisfying different children’s learning patterns and
3. In-building of special child’s/ learner’s appeal by teaching aid manufactures, which help to motivate or captivate interests of the learner.
Almost in a similar note, Ikwumelu (1992; 29 in cluba. 200; 102) outlined the following points as the reasons why teachers must apply teaching aids in the social studies classrooms:
1. teaching aids helps to concretize abstract issues and topics;
2. they motivate pupils’ interests in topic being discuses,
3. they develop continuity of reasoning and coherence of thought which augurs well with the inter-interdisciplinary nature of social studies,
4. Teaching aids save time and as things presented are almost self explanatory, energy is saved in too much talking and writing and
5. They help to appeal to pupil interests and this is because, they tend to appeal to children’s difficulties as well as take care of children’s differences.
The preceding discussion had shown that there are many instructional materials available and from various sources equally. It is therefore very important, of a social studies teachers to note and bear in mind that every instructional materials has its definite unique strength in teaching-learning situation that properly cannot be replicated by the use mother. It is necessary to note that through effective communication, better teaching and faster learning can only be facilitated or guaranteed by careful selection and skillful utilization of appropriate instructional materials by the users.
However, availability, of the instructional materials, teacher’s experience, terms of preference and the volume of instructions should constitute intrinsic consideration in their selection decision. Despite of that fact, the following five principles should guide social studies teachers in the selection of instructional materials:
Principle 1 instructional tasks; The behavioral objectors, contents, learning activities, evaluation instruments and techniques as element of instructional tasks, should be taking into cognizance by social studies teacher in the selection of instructional materials.
Principle 2 target audience attributes; These consists the learners’ factures and their level of understanding, their developmental stages such as age, sex, physical skills, attitude towards self and others, the learners experiences, social-economic background should be considered.
Principle 3 the economy; The available resources, financial factors technological advancement, economic climate of society where the materials should be operated, the socio-cultural level of the materials users, degree of urbanization, feasibility and acceptability of the selected instructional materials are equally considered in the selection decision.
Principle 4 dynamic variables; These variables constitute the concentration and size of the target audience, the desired level of learners response and participation, the classroom social climate, sitting, viewing and listening arrangement, available time, space, teacher competence among others are to be seriously considered in the selection decision.
Principle 5 the environmental factors; These consists the educational community and the available educational infrastructure. Such as people facilities, equipped library, workshops, laboratories, electricity, water supply and personnel should equally be considered in the selection.
Bozimo (2002) posited the following criteria in the selection of instructional materials;-
(i) Appropriateness of the materials to instructional objectives;
(ii) Freedom of the content from bias,
(iii) Degree of the quality variety of the materials,
(iv) Quality of the format, print, sound or photography,
(v) Availability of the materials to clarify objectives of and how to operate the materials,
(vi) How reasonable the time, effort and expenses are for both the students and the teachers
These considerations are extremely necessary in selecting instructional materials
for social studies. Kissock (1981:86-87 in Bozimo 2002:39-40) poses some questions that will assist a social studies teacher in selecting and applying instructional materials. These questions are as follows;
(i) Do the materials fit within the planned rationale and scope of the programme?
(ii) Will there use help ensure alignment of objectives created for this programme?
(iii) Are they compatible within the teaching strategies selected?
(iv) Do they offer the content which is important for achieving the objectives?
(v) Are they languages and vocabularies appropriate for the studies’ reading abilities?
(vi) Are there any harmful ethnic, religious, social, sexual or racial biases in the materials?
(vii) Are they well made?
(viii) Is the cost appropriate and affordable?
(ix) Will they be useful for the length of time desired?
(x) Will teachers find the materials easy to use?
(xi) Will students be interested in making use of them?
(xii) Are they factually correct?
Hence, Iyewarun (1989:60 in Bozimo 2002) added that, in order to select and use resources materials appropriately, the social studies teacher must be able to respond satisfactory to the following questions:
(i) Can the resource materials serve intended purpose?
(ii) Are the resource materials appropriate for intended learners?
(iii) Are the resource materials readily available?
(iv) Can the resource materials serve as adequate supplements?
(v) Are the resource materials careful and systematically organized for effective use?
Emma & Ajayi (2004) identify five criteria for the selection as follows:
(i) behavioral objectives and the structure of subject Mather
(ii) learning style
(iii) practicability
(iv) availability
(v) teacher’s capability
Use and utilization judges the value of instructional materials, process or personnel by the degree they singly or collectively satisfy the derived instructional needs. The foresight instructional behavior controls, to a large extent, the means for achieving them. Instructional materials are not ends in themselves but means of attaining specific instructional functions. Teachers ability to effectively utilize the available media and this optimize the attainments of instructional situation varies with their level of utilization. However, once materials have been selected, careful preparation comes first by the user and other subsequent preparation. Anyanwu (2003) identify three ways by which the teacher should prepare for the use of instructional materials in social studies, these are as follows:-
(i). By previewing:- before any instructional materials are brought to the class, the teacher has to have a first knowledge by using it her self before the class,
(2). first knowledge:- the teacher should have a full knowledge of the parts, names operational level of the intended instructional materials,
(3). Actual presentation- this is the period the teacher operates and uses these materials in instructing the children.
The following are the basic six guidelines and requirement for utilization and use of instructional materials in social studies:
1st Guideline: specification-of objectives clear objectives which are behaviorally stated are user ring guides in instructional materials using process they direct the sequence, methods, content and techniques of instructional in social studies. They provide scientific basis of valid evaluation instruments construction and administration.
2nd Guideline: maximal, fit with instructional tasks Instructional materials must be appropriate to situation ally determined and individually responsive
3rd Guideline: preparation and preview for effectives and successful use of instructional materials for proper teaching –learning situation, the teacher must in advance prepare himself, the learners and the environment, the materials as a matter of must should be previewed by the teacher in order to follow its process of presentation sequentially.
4th Guideline: multi-dimensional presentation proper and creative use of a variety of instructional materials at different level of lesson planning can be adequate in achieving various instructional objectives, reason because it will enrich variety of learners mind as they attain better goals more easily than with the use of a single medium
5th Guideline: environmental situation the environmental variables such as physical cultural and social in which the instructional materials are utilized for learning have significant effect on their effectiveness. Sound-motion films for instance with their attention-complexly properties can be successfully presented in less quiet environment.
6th Guideline: measure for outcomes instructional materials should be evaluated in terms of their suitability, practicability to the instructional objectives, appeal to the cost effectiveness, learner achievement level, consistency with content call for improvement in utilization techniques etc.
It has been identified that, using instructional materials to facilitate learning in social studies instructions is not always the issue but how to use it and it availability to use. Basing our discussion on foreign experience, instructional materials are available in large quantity “ the increased quality and quantity of instructional materials, are producing a slit form the traditional audio visual aids approach to the more comprehensive and efficient learning resource concepts” (jarolinek & Walsh 1969) “most teacher will agree that during the last decades the quality of instructional resource, including text-books has greatly improved, but with qualitative changes and a rapidly multiplying supply of available materials, the teachers problem of selection has grown increasingly acute” (Arudorf 1969:278) “ instructional materials in great qualities are being placed in school at an ever increasing rate. The teachers problem today, than, is not the lack of materials, but how to make the best instructional use of those available to him”. (Jarolinek 1971)
Unfortunately, instructional materials especially the modern innovation, are grossly lacking in this country (Nigeria) let alone its circulation to the secondary schools in kabba/bunu local government area of kogi-state in Nigeria and others across the nation. A lot of problems are confronting the use of instructional materials in this country’s (Nigeria), secondary schools some of the revealing in the foregoing includes:
(a) Lack of founds:
This factor seems to be the handicap why most educational institutions are unable to acquire relevant teaching equipments and materials. It has also adversely affected the quantity of tinning and these products (student-teachers) will lack the opportunity to learn and use new techniques in the field. It was revealed by Adeyanju in his investigation in university of winneba, Ghana “teacher perception of the effects and use of learning aids in teaching”, that the essence of involving the students teachers in teaching exercise called on-campus teaching practice (OCAP) and schools attachment programme (SAP) is to sufficiently help develop require teaching skills and to expose them on how to handle instructional materials.
There are sophisticated instructional materials that can make learning easier and faster such as computer-aided programme but lack of funds has effects on its importation and use in our schools.
(b) Teachers knowledge and technical know how:
Since educational communication and technology is a fairly new area of importance in education especially in developing communities like Nigeria. It is a lightly technical field, and to understand how it can affect the teaching and learning situation in social studies, one first has to understand the operational functionality of the materials. As much as materials differ in terms of technical components, design and set-up, they also differ in terms of functionality. Same are multi-dimensional; capable of various functions such as giving logical out comes, manipulating information etc.
In developing comities today, the whole idea and its implementation is still strange to a larger percentage of the population, even those who know about it know very little of its capabilities and operational functionalities. However, this is light at the end of the tunnel with more people becoming aware of the contributions and methods of applying instructional materials has come to mean so much to social studies classroom and other educational context. Without, the teacher who is knowledgeable enough, instructional materials cannot create change and progress. Teachers knowledge have a great impact on the effective application of instructional materials, this is because the teacher uses to understand the sequential presentation of the instructional gadgets so as to suit the interests of the learners and it appropriateness with the instructional tasks.
For instance, a teacher who is not computer literate would find it difficult to apply its operation even when and where found necessary, or even if the teacher has a partial knowledge of the operational function of the materials. The materials might be wrongly used thereby creating a wrong impression for the audience or the students.
(c) Unavailability of the materials:
Another pressed issue about instructional materials for use is that, the materials are grossly lacking in the schools. This is true if the few researches conducted in this country are anything to go by, for a reference, a study conducted by Adewoye (1987) of the department of education, Ahmadu Bello university Zaria, revealed that teaching materials are grossly lacking in this country she reported that on the type of resources materials teachers had in schools 89% of the respondents claimed that they had to improvise while 57% indicated that they had no access to resource materials at all. This indicates lack of teaching materials in our schools. Similar study conducted by M.ED students of the university of Jos, pointed to the same direction of lack of resources materials in our schools in reference to Ismailia (1986:136) reported that, out of 144 subjects involved in the study, 124 (86:1%) indicated that their schools were in short supply of teaching materials only 8 (5.6%) of the respondents indicated that their schools were adequately supplied with instructional materials.
Akafa (1986:129 in Buba 2003:25-26) undertook a study of social studies teaching materials in taraba state and reported thus; the findings from this study revealed there was scarcity of both printed and audio-visual materials in most of the instructional neither printed nor audio-visual materials were available in sufficient quantity or quality. The few institutions which indicated the availability of these materials (indicated also that materials) were rather in poor condition. However, creativity and improvisation are the watchwords in any successful application of instructional materials. Reading out is different from subject content and quality and the latter is more important in any teaching and learning situation, so some teachers still fail in improvising for materials that are not available.
(d) Environmental factors
Part of the application of instructional materials process is the target population for whom the materials are to be used and the setting or vicinity where the learning should take place, the degree of satisfaction derived by children in respect to comfortability of environment of that learning situation is a great deal. For instance teaching social studies content in a very remote area where there is no availability of electricity and the content requires projected materials, it will be very difficult learning to accomplish.
(e) Time constraints or factor:
Time, is also a serious problem or factor that impede the effective use of instructional materials in social studies instructions because some time the time that is allotted for a subject on the timetable might not be enough for the teachers to present his contents alongside with effective use of the materials which will affect the wholesome delivery of the content.
(f) Poor maintenance culture
Materials available for the teaching of social studies are poorly manhandled by both the teachers and school authority. Social studies especially, is affected by non available of resource room for the proper keep of both the locally manufactured and the commercially purchased ones thereby limiting it use as the time needed. Very many of the teachers use materials occasionally without the proper upkeep of the materials after used for the future reference.
It is no doubt that Nigerian lack maintenance culture, references have been made to some empirical studies the work of Adewoye (1987) and Akafa (1987) established the fact that, the few instructional materials available in our schools are poorly managed and maintained. It is clear that, change is constant and inevitable in all aspects of human Endeavour we see new things being develop mainly for positive purpose, though the negative aspect cannot be ruled out. Production or manufacturing of instructional materials are broadly done in two major ways in our community, they could be imported foreign or manufactured locally (improvisation).
In a highly developed country, instructional materials are available from commercial sources. In a developing community on the other hand like Nigeria, the materials may not be readily available for educational organizations to purchase for teaching their instructions since this is the case, developing countries may now resort to importation the materials or manufacture them locally.
Local production or manufacturing of instructional material also known as in improvisation of instructional materials is the provision of alternatives to actual. This process can also review as substituting, replacing or altering the materials for a particular use in teaching. Improvisation of instructional materials for classroom in social studies instructions should be a matter of concern to all well meaningful social studies teachers and educators. Since, we cannot buy all the required hardware and software materials for social studies instructions and educational development.
Instructional materials can be improvised by the teachers for his students if and when imported or commercial ready-mades are not available or not within the reach of the school or teacher. A resourceful teacher is one who when faced with a problems, considers different solutions and decides on the most suitable one. In dosing this, he also considers and uses all possible resource materials necessary for solving the problem.
Local manufacturing of instructional materials involves the teacher and learners in realistic, problem-solving activities, which stimulate effective learning. It is believed that local production of materials help to develop the visual literacy of the learners as they participate in the production with the teacher. Its also develops the students’ imaginative thinking as they participate in the collection and production of the materials.
Another important issue after manufacturing instructional materials is the maintenance culture by both the teacher and the school. The study by Adewoye (1987) also revealed that the few instructional materials available in school were not talking proper care of, 53% of the respondents in his study indicated that, materials were not properly maintained while only 47% of the population felt that the maintained. This study was equally conducted in Kogi, Anambra, Kaduna, Oyo, Lagos, Taraba, Kwara, and Niger and was reported at the conference of the Curriculum Organization of Nigeria (CON) in Zaria, 23rd September 1987.
We do not need to undertake scientific inquiry in order to realize the serious lack of good management and maintenance of instructional materials in our schools. However, social studies teachers should abide by the spirit of preservation, conservation and rationing as some of concepts of social studies education. We need to recalled when America was at war in the early 1940’s, they realized the need for preservation and conservation and also these were incorporated and taught in social studies curriculum. With our present economic crunch and social realities, there is every need for us to develop the attitudes of rationalization, preservation and conservation not only towards materials we use at home but also toward the searce teaching materials available to use in school. Both social studies teachers and school should Endeavour to develop a very reliable social studies resource room so as to facilitate proper and save keeping of the available resources for teaching.
The analysis of the review related literature on the use of instructional materials in social studies instructions contained in this literature review, show that instructional materials when properly used makes instructional process real, more permanent and more appealing. It draws the learners into practical contact with those abstracts concepts in teaching-learning, they became meaningful. The review indicated that there are three broad types of instructional materials used in teaching and learning process–projected such as (slide, films television) non-projected materials such as (textual and non-textual) and phenomenal materials.
It was also review that, there are principles a social studies teachers need to observe in selecting and using instructional materials such principles like instructional tasks, target audience attributes, the economy, specification and guideline maximal fit guideline, preparation and preview guideline etc.
The review further observed some problems associated with the use of instructional materials such as funds, environment and time factors teachers’ knowledge and technical know how. The management and maintained culture over the materials available was also addressed. Concussively teachers, being professionals in the field of education, especially social studies must be aware of the directions which the design of production and use of instructional materials should take. Obviously, the efficiency of any instructional materials depends to a large extent on their relevance to the physical environment and cultural background of the learner. We should therefore, embark upon local production


  1. what is the name of the writer/researcher
    Mr Jimoh

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