THE ROLE OF SOCIAL STUDIES EDUCATION IN DEVELOPMENT OF LEADERSHIP QUALITIES IN SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
Background of the Study
Social studies are the study of man and his physical andsocial environmentsand of how man interacts with others. Oketa (2001) defined social studies as a discipline that focuses on man and his relationship or interactions with society (other men) and with his environment. Aneke (2005) stated that social studies are a program of study in which a society uses actions which it considers important, concerning the relationship human beings have with each other, their world, and themselves. Social studies is an area curriculum designed specifically for the study of man and how his problems could be solved within the immediate environment, not only concern with using timely and necessary curriculum content that students perceive as being relevant but preeminently emphasized the need for helping pupils develop the competencies and attitude essential for democratic living.
Social Studies is one of the basic education subjects in the Nigerian education system. Social Studies as a school subject deals with the study of man in a relationship with his social and physical environment (Nnamani, 2011). The environment is anything that surrounds man which influences man’s thinking and ideas positively or negatively. The environment of man could be social economics, political, cultural, and physical (Dubey in Nidan, 2011). Social environment refers to people in our society and their relationship with each other, how man interacts, provide his needs and solve his problems, while physical environment refers to physical things that surround man such as building, atmosphere, plains, mountains and among others that influence his behavior positively or negatively (Odedele & Egotanwa, 2012). However, Engle (2012) defines Social Studies as a discipline on its own right, drawing knowledge from all the social science disciplines dealing directly with social ideas and problems as they occur to the average citizen. Similarly, Jiboku (2012) observes that Social Studies are the aspect of learning which deals with how to get on with one’s environment, both physical and human which involves the development of skills, knowledge, attitude, and values that characterize responsive and responsible citizenship in a free and democratic society. It is a program of study that a society uses to inculcate in the students the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and activities that are essential in man’s survival as he interacts with his environment (Enem, 2012).
Social Studies is recommended to be taught at the upper basic education levels in Nigeria. That is, JSS 1-3 respectively (the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2012). The philosophy of social studies in Nigerian school is to make students competent in decision making, problem-solving, dealing with change, and developing attitude appropriate foreffective citizenshipin a pluralist democratic society (Okobia, 2013). This philosophy cannot be achieved without effective implementation of the designed curriculum. Social Studies junior secondary school level desires its contents from a broad range of subjects such as Economics, Anthropology, Philosophy, Geography, and History in addition to elementary or basic science as a result of the importance of science and technology in man’s day-to-day living (Bozimo & Ikwumelu, 2013). However, Okobia (2013) maintained that Social Studies at the JSS level is an important subject because it is meant to prepare citizens for active participation in society and help students acquire basic knowledge, positive attitude, values, and social skills needed for responsible citizenship and contributing member of the society. Social Studies curriculum at JSS level adopted broad field approach and covers the areas like culture, time, continuity, and change; people, individual and environments; individual development and identity; individual, groups and institutions, power, authority, and governance; science, technology, and society, global connection, social issues, civic ideas and practice (Universal Basic Education, 2015). Nevertheless, these revealed curriculum components cannot be achieved without the availability and utilization of relevant resources.
The mind of young ones needs to be exposed to critical thinking, analysis, and problem-solving strategies in a fast-changing world. In striving to achieve these goals, the Social Studies curriculum employs a multi-disciplinary approach that takes cognizance of the socioeconomic, political, religious, physical, scientific, and technological aspects of life. The contents of Social Studies at the JSS level are thematically organized in order to make teaching and learning realistic. The objectives behind this position include; to help students develop the ability to adapt to his or her changing environment; becomes responsible and disciplines individuals capable and willing to contribute to the development of the society; inculcate right type of values in learner; develop a sense of comprehension towards other people, their cultures, history and those fundamental things that could make them human; develop the capacity to recognize the many dimensions of a human being in different cultural and social contents and develop a sense of solidarity and sharing based on a sense of security in one’s own identity (UBE, 2015)
One of the problems of the less developed countries is the problem of qualitative leadership. This type of leadership is necessary to give a holistic touch to all sectors of society. Different disciples that are under human sciences have contributed different theories to improve the leadership styles of governing the communities. But it is disheartening that there has little or no development in the quality of leadership among the countries of the world. What then is this quality leadership the world lack?
According to Okoli (2015) qualitative leadership that fundamental leadership that seems to improve the standard of living of the people in all ramifications. This definition implies that qualitative education touches the following aspect of human life. Social, Economy, Cultural, Educational, Religious, Moral, etc. This qualitative education is among the disciples that are interested in the development of society through purposeful leadership and the inculcation of fundamental principles of life among the people.
According to Uche (2014), qualitative leadership is a kind of leadership that has meaningful direction, nature which is meant to bearing positive development in society.
According to Chukwu (2015), social studies education has the following functions which when emulated by the leaders is capable of transforming human society into a better society. Inculcation of positive vision, motivation, service to humanity, thoroughness, management ability, Team building spirit, taking a risk, and all-around human improvement.
The above mentioned social studies education functions are an equally fundamental function of a qualitative leader whose vision and mission are expected to bring sustainable development to the people. There is a correlation between social studies education and qualitative leadership in society.
According to Nigeria’s National Youths development policy (2001), the student comprises all the young people who are under eighteen years and who are a citizen of Nigeria within the recent year increasing attention by the government, organizations, responsible parents and professionals as well as education has been paid for the development of the discipline of social studies with social educational principles and practical skill that will enable them to develop leadership qualifies saying thus “catch them young students have an innate talent that needs to be exploited and developed. The school is always seen as a powerful dynamic instrument for the social, political science, and technological development of nations. The development of leadership qualities through social studies has generally been the cornerstone of educational policies. In Nigeria past police including the National Policy on Education 1998 have been pursed with the sole objective of improving the teaching the social studies through developing the students and their qualities despite all efforts put in place, most students have not benefited from the programs, previous committed half based or both, such that no serious impact has made on the student. Adegun (2015) Education is a form of investment of human capital that yields benefits for national transformation. He also stressed that producing a more effective leader is essential to build a better society and a better world. Good leaders develop through a never-ending process of self-study, education training, and experience.
Statement of the Problem
There is a long age battle for purposeful leadership among the people of Afikpo South Local Government Area Ebonyi State which has caused some degree of underdevelopment to the society. This tussle among the community has brought enmity, hatred, jealousy, infrastructural delay, and inter-communal crises among the people.
This lack of purposeful leadership has brought poor representation of the people in government or political position. It has lead to poor accessibility of educational facilities among the people. The disadvantage of purposeful leadership in Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State can only be imaging in seen in other to find purposeful leadership in this community. There had to be an examination of cases of purposeful leadership and the effect of purposeful leadership in this society. Among the human sciences, we can say that the idea of purposeful leadership is embedded in social studies education because it is a disciple that deal with human societies and activities of human beings in society.
It is against these backdrops that the researcher wants to carry out research on the roles of social studies education in the development of leadership qualities among secondary school students in Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is to find out the roles of social studies education in the development of leadership qualities among secondary school students in Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
Specifically, the researcher intended to determine:
i. to what extent has social studies impact significantly on the leadership qualities of the students in Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State
ii. to what extent has social studies education provided qualitative leadership training in society.
iii. what are the constraints confronting the success of leadership qualities of students in Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State
iv. what are the remedies for improving leadership qualities.
Significance of the Study
The research work would be beneficial to the following people and institution, ministry of education, parents, leaders, researchers, and members of academic communities.
The ministry of education will benefit from the finding of the research which would enable them to strengthen their curriculum on social studies education so that it can become more useful in the search for qualitative leadership. The parent will find the findings of this research meaningful as they will advise their children to study social studies education at all levels of education in order to become a good leader.
The leaders will find this research relevant to increase their sense of leadership in society.
The researchers on meaningful or purposeful leadership will find this research beneficial in the act of theorizing qualitative leadership.
The members of the academic community will find this work beneficial because it will increase their sense of leadership and carry out research on leadership.
Scope of the Study
The study is delimited to the role of social studies education in the development of leadership qualities among secondary school students. It covers some communities in Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
The following research question raised to guide the study
1. To what extent has social studies significantly impacted the leadership qualities of the students in Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State?
2. To what extent has social studies education provided qualitative leadership training in society?
3. What are the constraints confronting the success of leadership qualities of students in Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State?
4. What are the remedies for improving leadership qualities?.