TECHNIQUES USED IN TEACHING ECONOMICS IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS
Background to the Study
Educationat any level is to bring out an essential change inthe learner’sbehaviour and a good teaching method increases learner’s knowledge and understanding. Teachers are to apply appropriate teaching methods that best suit specific objective at any given time. Many teaching practitioners applied teacher-centered method to impact knowledge to the students compared to student-centered methods or techniques. The importance of adequate teaching techniques in teaching and learning of economics cannot be over emphasized because it brings positive change in the learners. Effectiveness of teaching techniques indicates that the quality of teaching is often reflected on the achievement of learners. Teaching is a process that involves bringing about desirable changes in learners to achieve specific outcomes. Adunola (2011), maintains that teachers need to be conversant with numerous teaching techniques that take recognition of the magnitude of complexity of the concepts to be covered, if teaching is to be effective.
The challenges that educators face in the 21st century are so diverse that using better teaching techniques in teaching economics is more crucial now than ever before. Demonstration techniques of teaching is one of the many teaching style under the investigation or activity based. Demonstration method involves showing by reason or proof, explaining or making clear by use of examples or experiments, it means “to clearly show”. It is a techniques which is capable of improving learning through its diversity effect activity. Demonstration techniques often occur when students have a hard time connecting theories to actual practice or when students are unable to understand application of theories. This techniques enables concepts and processes to be observed directly, which in turn makes learning easier.
Demonstration as a teaching method is a valuable alternative to getting students to “learn by doing” and often accompanied by explanations. Here, the teacher engages students to learn, students are encouraged to ask questions. The student is viewed as an inquirer, a seeker of information. There is now a growing concern for the use of demonstration techniques of teaching economics, as an innovative instructional practice, which can only be effectively implemented if teachers possess the appropriate knowledge, skills, and abilities related to its use in the classroom situation. The topic “the technique adopted in teaching economics in senior secondary school in Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State” attempts to assess the level of impacts played by these techniques and its effectiveness on students’ achievement in secondary school. One of the most widely used method is the discussion teaching method; “it is a thinking together process”, or “a type of “co-operation in learning”. It is highly recommended by some educators as a good method or techniques of teaching economics in secondary schools in Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State.(Egbezor,2002) states thatdiscussion method is organized on the principle that the knowledge and ideas of several people pooled together have merit than those of a single person. During discussion session students participate in the learning process, developing possible solutions to problems, placing the solution into action, and evaluating the results of the solution. As stated by Gokhale (2002), the professional success of a teacher is directly related to an ability to transfer knowledge gained in theacademic environmentto real-world situation.
Questioning teaching technique is largely used, and thus widely researched teaching method. Research by Maduka (2013), indicates that asking questions is second only to lecturing. Teachers typically spend from 35 to 50 percent of their instructional time asking questions. In general, research by Maduka (2013), shows that instruction involving questioning is more effective than instruction without questioning. Questioning teaching technique enable teachers to increase motivation or interest; to evaluate students’ preparation; to check on completion of work; to develop critical thinking skills; to review previous lessons; to nurture insights; to assess achievement or mastery of goals and objectives; to stimulate independent learning (Maduka, 2013).
One important findings is that questions that focus students’ attention on important elements of a lesson result in better comprehension than those that focus on unusual or interesting elements. Questions should be structured for more elicit correct responses
Questioning teaching technique is highly vital because of its positive effect towards quality teaching of economics insenior secondary schooland it is highly recommendable in the sense that it helps to bring out the best in the learning processes, it encourages students to do more and brings out the best zeal in them toward learning for when there is teaching, there is learning.
Adejumobi, (2002), states “without effective teaching technique, a clear set of goals and carefully arranged content are likely to fail to produce satisfactory result on the part of the students. This tend to be so, since teaching techniques are the means by which the students are kept inspired in the teaching activities which result in learning.Teaching method serves as a communication link between the teacher, the student and the subject matter (Obaje, 2008). This study attempts to analyze the techniques adopted in teaching Economics in Secondary Schools in Enugu east local government area.
As we have different economists, so also do views on economics differs in their various ways. They view the nature of economics based on their individual understanding of the subject. Economics is about the choice people and societies have to make. A person might have to choose between buying a compact disc and buying a book. Economics by nature, meets those end by its study on price, costs, interest rate, unemployment, inflation, profit, budget deficit, trade deficit, exchange rates and so on. But economists sometimes turn their attention to other areas such as crimes, family relationship, war, politics, anthropology and the law.
David (2003), is of the view that economics study how society decides what, how and for whom to produce; goods are physical commodities such as steel and strawberries, service are activities such as messages, life concerts, consumed or enjoyed only at the instant they are produced. In a rare cases, some of the questions about what, how and for whom to produce have not been answered, until the arrival of a man. Friday, Robinson Crusoe can ignore the “for whom” question. In general, however, society must answer all these questions.
By emphasizing the role of society the nature of economics places economics within the social sciences, the science that study and explain human behaviour. The subject matter of economics is human behaviour in the production, exchange and use of goods and services. Economics in nature studies central economic problem of the society and how to reconcile the conflict between people’s virtually limitless desires for goods and services and the scarcity of resources (labour, machinery and raw materials) with which these goods and services can be produced. Awoke (2000), sees economics as the study of how man allocates their scarce resources to provide for their various wants or needs. As a science which studies human behaviour in the disposal of scarce goods. Robbins concluded by postulating that human beings exhibit four fundamental characteristics which are all embodies in the above definitions.
1. Man has various ends or wants to serve
2. His means of satisfying these ends such as times and money at his disposal are limited resources.
3. Those limited means are capable of being paid to alternative uses
4. Man, therefore, exercise choice in distributing these limited means (resource) between the competitive ends on the basis of relative importance.
Economics is about human behavior, yet we describe it as a science rather than a subject within the arts or humanities. This reflects the way economist analyzed problem not the subject matter of economics. Some definitions by some scholars were not good enough and did not embrace all aspects of economics. This made scholars and some students to wonder about the natures of economics over the years. However theses definitions were accepted to some extent. Marshall (2006) defines economics as a study of man’s action in the ordinary business of life, He considers how people receive money (incomes) they earn, how they spend it rationally due to the knowledge of economics. Agu (2004) sees economics as the organization and distribution of goods and service. He further states that economics is concerned with the scarcity and the activities of man that is pertaining to making or earning a living. In support of this, Alan (2011) view economics as “as social sciences” concerned with how people either individual or groups, attempt to accommodate scare resource of their wants through production substitution and exchange process.
Economics is an important subject that is why Paul (2009), believes that economics is the study of allocation of scarce resources among alternative and competing ends. Pigou (2008), states that economics is worthy of study because it makes it easier to institute practical measures to promote welfare. Some scholars in this field sees it as a social subject while others in another dimension came up with different ideas about the concept. For example Adam Smith came up with the first publication “An Inquiry into the nature” helps us to observe that economist views on this subject of wealth creation as a means of enduring increase in materials to improve the standard of living. However, conceptual framework of economics limits this study to micro economics that deals with small units of the economy (output of a product, individual demand, etc).
As this result the need to teaching economics to Senior Secondary Schools. As the techniques of teaching Economics have been highlighted earlier to be treated in full, the students comprehend the art teaching through these techniques. There also cannot be learning without teaching and vice versa.
Major concepts embodied in this research work are:
- Economics: this is the study of human behavior in relation to ends and scarce means which have alternative uses.
- Teaching: this implies the inculcation into a receptor or student using any working method the information that brings about the student’s intellectual development.
- Learning: as there is no teaching without a learner, this is the process by which the student assimilates the knowledge inculcated in him by the teacher using any of the appropriate methods.
- Classroom: the teaching and learning process of Economics all take place in a classroom. A classroom is therefore a place where teaching and learning takes place and this is usually a designated and conducive environment.
In conclusion,teaching Economics in Senior Secondary Schools is paramount to the techniques used which bring forth effective learning in students.However, to know the significances of economics as a school subject or a teaching subject, it is imperative to know the role economics plays in the senior secondary school that made it a teaching subject. Educational Encyclopedia (2007), states that the goals for economics education at the senior secondary school level may be placed in three broad categories:
Ø Helping students develop an awareness of their place in the economic decisions.
Ø Helping students develop the ability to apply economics in their responsibilities as consumers, producers or citizens, and
Ø Contributing to develop knowledge and skills for their general education, which can be achieved by drawing selective from a broad based content, by using diverse teaching and learning methods, and by capitalizing on multiple opportunities of economics understanding.
Statement of the Problem
Recent times, questions about the teaching methods on students’ learning effectiveness have consistently raised considerable interest in the field of educational research. Teachers have the greatest potential to influence the students’ education, while a student achievement is related to teachers’ competence in using different methods of teaching. Thus, students achieve more when teachers employ systematic teaching procedures that make teaching and learning processes easier.
Excellent academic performance by the students is not only attainable but could also be sustained through teacher’s method of teaching.However, the incidence of ineffective teaching technique of Economics in senior secondary school have resulted to poor achievement in both internal and external examinations. Most teachers while teaching do not involve learner centered approach like questioning techniques, demonstration techniques and discussion techniques that facilitate effective teaching and learning. This study therefore examined the effectiveness of some selected methods or techniques of teaching towards students learning.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study was to investigate into the techniques used in teaching economics in senior secondary schools in Enugu East L.G.A. and;
1. To find out the discussion techniques adopted in teaching Economics in senior secondary schools.
2. To find out the demonstration techniques adopted in teaching Economics in senior secondary school.
3. To find out the questioning techniques adopted in teaching Economics in senior secondary school.
Significance of the Study
It is expected that the findings of this study will be of immense benefit not only to the researchers but also to numerous people in the society and in the educational sector. The findings will be of great importance to students, in that; they will be well informed about various teaching techniques, and the effects will be on their academic performance.
Findings will be of great importance to educationist both private and public stakeholders, teachers. It will help increase awareness and understanding the use of the most of the teaching methods and provide feedback on the teaching competences in most commonly used teaching methods as a basis for improvement in instructional practice to enhance performance.
Curriculum designers, educational planners’ policy makers as well as government need empirical data on the overall teaching techniques and activity teaching competence of government teachers in senior secondary schools to facilitate proper curriculum policies and programmes for effective teaching.
Findings of his study will be of great benefit to school counsellors for proper guidance on effective teaching techniques to be adopted according to the needs of the students that could positively influence teaching.
Scope of the Study
The study aimed to cover the techniques used in teaching economics in senior secondary schools in Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State.
The study used the following research questions;
1. What are the discussion methods use in teaching Economics in senior secondary school?
2. What are the demonstration methods use in teaching Economics in senior secondary school?
3. What are the questioning methods use in teaching Economics in senior secondary school?.