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AVAILABILITY OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS FOR THE TEACHING OF BUSINESS STUDIES IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   Background of the Study

A teacher is effective only if the students learn more and learn with greater ease more particularly, when such learning positively impact on their permanence. To know how to teach, it is necessary to know how students learn. Many psychologists have carried out experiments on how students learn and came up with theories which have greatly influenced teaching and learning. You need to be familiar with major theories of learning which would enable you understand your students, their interest, mental attitude, individual differences, their readiness level, those things that motivate them to learn as well as a variety of learning experiences which the students could be exposed to and made to participate actively in. Teaching involves many activities, behaviours and processes. There are various definitions of teaching.

According to Russon and Wanous (2003), teaching is the process of directing or guiding learning. It is the art of causing another to learn. Teaching can also be seen as the arrangement of situations which will lead to desirable and satisfying ends Ifeagwu (2000) defined teaching as a two – way traffic system involving exchange of ideas between the teacher and the students. He further defined teaching as a series of activities geared towards helping students “learn how to learn”. From the above definitions, it can be seen that teaching involves a teacher, learner (s), learning/ teaching materials, learning activities and effective communication between teacher and learner. The goal of teaching is to bring about desired learning in the students. This study will like to emphasize here that your success at teaching is measured by the achievement of your students. If they learn what they are supposed to learn under your direction, then you have successfully taught. If not, then you have failed.

According to Canning (2006), the most important aspect of good teaching lies in discovering and applying the best ways of learning. We shall at this stage consider the concept of learning, how students learn and hindrances to effective learning. There is one kind of learning; it is therefore not easy to define it. Many scholars and educationists have made several attempts to define learning. Generally, learning can be defined as a relatively permanent change in behaviour that comes from reinforced practice. It must be mentioned at this point that reinforcement plays a vital role in a learning process. Reinforcement may be defined as any condition that exists to promote learning. In a classroom setting, reinforcement could be seen as immediate knowledge of the results of student’s efforts which encourage them (students) to continue.

Knowledge of scores, words of encouragement or praise or monetary rewards are all examples of reinforcement that work. According to Ifeagwu (2000) learning can be defined as the behavioural change that take place at the end of a teacher – student’s interaction in a classroom setting. In other words, learning is the experience gained from interaction in a classroom setting. In other words, learning is the experience gained from interactions. As Daugherty (2004) puts it, learning is a change in an individual through some form of experience. This is sometimes referred to as a desirable change in the behaviour of the human being. Learning is therefore a modification of behaviour. It is a process which involves changes in perception and behavior.

Farrant (2003) says learning is the process by which we acquire and retain attitudes, knowledge, understanding, skills and capabilities that cannot be attributed to inherited behavioural patterns or physical growth. From the above definitions, it can be observed that learning involves the acquisition of knowledge, habits, skill, attitudes and patterns of behaviour that are desirable through some form of experience of interactions. It must be emphasized here that the concept of change is inherent in the concept of learning. If there is any change in behavior it means that learning is taking place or has taken place. The two major characteristics inherent in human learning are the active and continuous nature of behavioral changes. Learning is an active process in the sense that the learner has to be involved in the learning activities.

Learning is continuous in the sense that it takes place from cradle to the grave, before school, in school, outside of school and all through life what is therefore expected of you as teacher is to understand how you can influence the student to change his behaviour through various educational experiences. Your objective should be of guide to your students through appropriate learning experiences that would bring about desirable changes in them.

1.2   Statement of the Problem

It has been identified that using instructional material to facilitate learning or instructions is not always the issue but how to use it and its availability. Basing our discussion on foreign experience, instructional material is available in large quantity “the increased quality and quantity of instructional material, are producing a split from the traditional audio visual aids approach to the more comprehensive and efficient learning resource concepts.” “Most teacher will agree that during the last decades the quality of instructional resource, including textbooks had greatly improved, but with quantitative changes and a rapidly multiplying supply of available materials, the teachers problem of selection has grown increasingly acute” (Asudorf 2009:278). “Instructional material in great qualities is being placed in school at an ever increasing rate. The teacher’s problem today, then, is not the lack of materials, but how to make the best instructional use of those available to him” (Jarolinek 2001).

Unfortunately, instructional materials especially with the modern innovations are grossly lacking and faced with a lot of problems in it’s used by teachers. Not only have business studies been taught in schools since formal western type education was first introduced into the country, after the attainment of political independence in 1960, the wisdom of giving a vocational course so much importance in government and education also began gradually to be questioned. Thus, some people fully and openly canvassed in house of assembly to replace this vocational course with a science that would allow students to read science courses (Bamgbose 2006: 12-13).

Others who were particularly worried by the problem most people in the country actually have in understanding business studies and practicing well in it, advised that more effort should be put into the teaching of major science course to enable them serve as an alternative to business studies (Osaji 2009: 159; quoting the white paper on Udoji Report) The overall effect of suggestions and pressures of this kind was to bring about an important shift in the attitude of the government particularly, at the federal level to the teaching of business studies. The shift too to begin with the form of an admission by government to scrap out the vocational language outrightly. The implication of this which government came to see and appreciate is that if suspicion from the masses, it has to decline any funds for instructional material. The government also came to see other science course as an alternative to business studies more clearly. Before the formal introduction of business into schools, certain subjects were doing the job of social education. Such subjects, according to Regan and Macaulay (2007) include history, geography, civics and sociology.

History by that time was much emphasized because it was believed to perform certain functions like inspiring nationalism, strengthening the mind, fostering citizenship training (social education), and encouraging role learning. It is also evidence that the non – availability of senior secondary business studies syllabus seems to suggest that the Nigerian educational system is still paying lip – service on citizenship education with its confined utilitarian value. Although the junior secondary business studies towards preparing the learners to be human rational, skillful in decision making, participating and responsible citizens in a world that is becoming complex and interdependent. It is with these in mind that the following research questions are formulated in other to aid the research work.

1.3   Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to find out whether instructional materials for the teaching and learning of business studies in secondary school are available if available, are they functioning? Are they adequate? If sufficient, do we have qualified teachers using them for the teaching and learning of business studies?

1.4   Research Questions

1.  Are instructional materials for the teaching and learning of business studies available in our secondary schools?

2.   If available, are they functioning and adequate for the teaching and learning of business studies in our schools?

3.  Do we have qualified teachers using the available instructional materials for the teaching and learning of business studies?

1.5   Significance of the Study

This research work will benefit students in secondary and tertiary institutions because they will fully understand the impact that instructional materials have on how they learn. Teachers will also benefit from this research work in ways that they will understand how instructional materials can aid in their teaching of the subject. Parents will benefit from this study because it will serve as a baseline to what should be expected from teachers and students alike. And also policy makers will benefit from this study because they understand how the policies will affect teachers and students and how these policies can be improved on. Government will also be the greatest beneficiary because this study will allow students to be ready for the outside world at the end of their training or schooling and this will serve as a nation building catalyst.

1.6   Scope of the Study

The scope of the study is some selected secondary schools offering business studies as a vocational subject in Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State.

1.7   Limitation of the Study

The study is limited by finance which is one of the major set back in compiling and sourcing for materials. Another limitation encountered is the time and there are no enough checklists to cover the whole of Esan West Local Government so therefore, only some schools were selected.

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