Full Project – RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CLASS SIZE AND EFFECTIVE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF SOCIAL STUDIES IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN AGEGE LGA
The study examines relationship between class size and effective teaching and learning of Social Studies in junior secondary schools in Agege LGA. Four objectives of the study were used, which are: to investigate the impact of class size on the effectiveness of teaching and learning of Social Studies; to examine the perceptions of teachers and students about the ideal class size for effective teaching and learning of Social Studies; to explore the strategies that teachers employ to manage large class sizes in the teaching and learning of Social Studies; and to find out the solutions to effective teaching and learning of Social Studies in junior secondary schools. The target population consists of teachers of Social Studies, Agege, Lagos. Simple random sampling method was adopted for the study. The study recommends that educational policymakers and school administrators should consider reducing class sizes in junior secondary schools. The study concluded that smaller class sizes have been found to be more conducive to effective teaching and learning, as they allow for more individualized attention, better classroom management, and increased student participation.
1.1. Background to the Study
The relationship between class size and effective teaching and learning of Social Studies in Nigeria has been a subject of considerable debate among educators and researchers. A study by Aina (2013) found that class size significantly impacts the quality of teaching and learning in Nigerian schools. The study revealed that large class sizes often lead to less individual attention from teachers, which can negatively affect students’ understanding and absorption of Social Studies content.
Similarly, research conducted by Oyelekan (2015) in Osun State, Nigeria, found that smaller class sizes are more conducive to effective teaching and learning. The study, which involved 200 Social Studies teachers, found that teachers were able to give more personalized attention to students in smaller classes, leading to better student engagement and understanding of the subject matter.
However, not all studies agree with these findings. A study by Ogunyinka (2016) found no significant relationship between class size and the effectiveness of teaching and learning Social Studies in Nigeria. The study argued that other factors, such as teacher quality and teaching methods, play a more significant role in effective teaching and learning.
Despite the conflicting findings, there is a general consensus among researchers that class size is an important factor in effective teaching and learning. A study by Ajayi (2017) suggested that while class size may not be the most significant factor, it does play a role in the overall effectiveness of teaching and learning. The study recommended that the Nigerian government should consider reducing class sizes to improve the quality of education.
Again, while there is no definitive answer to the relationship between class size and effective teaching and learning of Social Studies in Nigeria, most studies suggest that smaller class sizes are more conducive to effective teaching and learning. However, more research is needed to fully understand the impact of class size on teaching and learning in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The problem of large class sizes in Nigeria has been a significant issue in the education sector. According to Aina (2013), large class sizes have been identified as a major hindrance to effective teaching and learning, particularly in Social Studies. The author argues that the teacher-student ratio in many Nigerian schools is disproportionate, making it difficult for teachers to give individual attention to students, thus affecting the quality of education.
Omoogun and Akanbi (2011) further highlight the problem by stating that overcrowded classrooms create a chaotic and distracting environment, which is not conducive for learning. This is particularly problematic for Social Studies, a subject that requires active participation and interaction between students and teachers. The authors argue that the effectiveness of teaching Social Studies is significantly reduced in large classes.
Another issue is the lack of resources and facilities to accommodate large class sizes. As per the study by Ojediran, Ojewola, and Olojede (2015), many schools in Nigeria lack the necessary infrastructure and resources to manage large classes effectively. This leads to a decrease in the quality of education, particularly in Social Studies, where resources such as textbooks, maps, and other teaching aids are essential.
The problem is further compounded by the lack of trained teachers to handle large classes. According to Afolabi and Babalola (2012), there is a shortage of qualified Social Studies teachers in Nigeria. This, coupled with large class sizes, further exacerbates the problem, as untrained teachers are unable to employ effective teaching strategies to manage large classes.
The impact of large class sizes on the academic performance of students is another area of concern. A study by Owoeye and Yara (2011) found a negative correlation between class size and students’ academic performance in Social Studies. The authors argue that students in smaller classes perform better than those in larger classes.
The problem of large class sizes in Nigeria is a multifaceted issue that affects the effective teaching and learning of Social Studies. It is a problem that requires urgent attention from all stakeholders in the education sector. As the studies cited above have shown, reducing class sizes could significantly improve the quality of Social Studies education in Nigeria.
1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study
The study examines relationship between class size and effective teaching and learning of Social Studies in junior secondary schools in Agege LGA. The specific objectives of the Study are:
- To investigate the impact of class size on the effectiveness of teaching and learning of Social Studies.
- To examine the perceptions of teachers and students about the ideal class size for effective teaching and learning of Social Studies.
- To explore the strategies that teachers employ to manage large class sizes in the teaching and learning of Social Studies.
- To find out the solutions to effective teaching and learning of Social Studies in junior secondary schools.
The following research questions were stated for the study:
- How does class size impact the effectiveness of teaching and learning of Social Studies in junior secondary schools?
- What are the perceptions of teachers and students about the ideal class size for effective teaching and learning of Social Studies in junior secondary schools?
- What strategies do teachers employ to manage large class sizes in the teaching and learning of Social Studies in junior secondary schools?
- What are the potential solutions to improve the effectiveness of teaching and learning of Social Studies in junior secondary schools?
1.4. Research Hypothesis
The hypothetical statement for the study is buttressed below:
HO: Class size has no significant effect on the teaching and learning of Social Studies
H1: Class size has significant effect on the teaching and learning of Social Studies
1.5. Significance of the Study
The significance of studying the relationship between class size and effective teaching and learning of Social Studies in Nigeria is multifaceted. Firstly, it provides an empirical basis for understanding the impact of class size on the quality of education. In Nigeria, as in many developing countries, classrooms are often overcrowded, which can potentially hinder effective teaching and learning. By studying this relationship, we can gain insights into how class size affects the learning outcomes of students, particularly in the context of Social Studies, a subject that is crucial for understanding societal issues and fostering civic responsibility.
Secondly, this study can inform educational policy and practice in Nigeria. If a strong correlation is found between smaller class sizes and improved learning outcomes, it could prompt policymakers to reconsider the current norms regarding class size. This could lead to the implementation of policies aimed at reducing class sizes, thereby potentially improving the quality of education. Moreover, it could also influence teacher training programs, emphasizing strategies for managing large classes effectively.
Thirdly, the study can contribute to the broader discourse on education quality in developing countries. The issue of class size is not unique to Nigeria; it is a common challenge in many developing countries. Therefore, findings from this study could be relevant to other similar contexts, providing valuable insights that could inform international educational development efforts.
Fourthly, the study can also have implications for resource allocation within the education sector. If smaller class sizes are found to be more effective, it could justify the allocation of resources towards infrastructure development, such as building more classrooms and schools. This could also lead to the creation of more teaching positions, which could help address the issue of unemployment among qualified teachers.
Fifthly, the study can help to identify potential strategies for improving the teaching and learning of Social Studies. If it is found that certain teaching methods are more effective in smaller classes, these methods could be promoted and incorporated into the curriculum. This could enhance the teaching and learning of Social Studies, making it more engaging and relevant for students.
Lastly, the study can also have a psychological impact on students and teachers. If smaller class sizes are found to be more conducive to learning, it could lead to improved student motivation and engagement, as well as increased job satisfaction among teachers. This could create a more positive learning environment, which could further enhance the quality of education.
1.6. Scope of the Study
The study examines the relationship between class size and effective teaching and learning of Social Studies in junior secondary schools in Agege LGA. The study is restricted to secondary schools in Agege LGA, Lagos
1.7. Operational Definition of Terms
- Class size: This refers to the number of students in a classroom at a given time. It is a crucial factor in the educational system as it directly impacts the teaching and learning process. In the context of this study, it refers to the number of students in a Social Studies class in Nigerian secondary schools.
- Effective: This term refers to the ability to successfully produce a desired or intended result. In the context of teaching and learning, effectiveness would mean the extent to which the teaching methods are successful in imparting knowledge and skills to the students.
- Teaching: This is the act of imparting knowledge or instructing someone on how to do something. It involves strategies, methods, and activities that a teacher uses to facilitate learning among students.
- Learning: This is the process of acquiring new understanding, knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, attitudes, and preferences. It involves processing and understanding information received, either by studying, experience, or being taught.
- Social Studies: This is a field of study that includes various aspects of human society, including history, geography, economics, civics, and sociology. In Nigerian secondary schools, Social Studies is a core subject that aims to prepare students to be responsible citizens.
- Secondary Schools: These are educational institutions where students receive secondary education after completing primary education. In Nigeria, secondary schools are divided into Junior Secondary School (JSS) and Senior Secondary School (SSS), catering to students typically between the ages of 12 and 18.
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