THE EFFECT OF INTEGRATED GROUP BASED MASTERY LEARNING MODEL ON SOCIAL STUDIES STUDENT’S ACHIEVEMENT.
Background of the study
The recent socio-political and economic changes in the whole global world have also sought about changes in our educational aims, objectives and goals and greater challenges for social studies. The schools are called not only to equip the individual with the basic knowledge in social studies contents but also with higher cognitive skills such as problem solving and reflective skills that allow for self-development and self-reliance. To meet up with these challenges, there is a movement away from the behaviourist method of direct teaching such as in the lecture method, note taking and dictations, where the learner is given content to memorize.
In order to implement the National Policy on Education (2013), the government at all levels became more interested in the schooling process in terms of educational outcomes, learning activities, instructional resources, instructional strategies and evaluation procedures. In view of this emphasis has been on the need to:
- Make educational activities centre on the learner for maximum self-development and self-fulfillment.
- Structure the educational system to develop the practice of self-learning (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2013). The implications of these for class teachers is that, they should develop a teaching approach which encourages the learners full participate in the learning processes.
Despite the efforts of government in restructuring the educational system to develop the practice of self-learning, the dominant approach to instruction in schools has been the expository type especially since the inception of Western Education in 1983. For instance, since 1960, curriculum planners have emphasized the inquiry approach by claiming that carrying out investigations is the most promising method by which students will master inquiry skills and become literate in social studies (Yager, 2004).
Quite a number of studies have been conducted to investigate the causes of students under achievement in junior secondary school social studies (Onasanya, 2005). The most reoccurring factor in all is the inadequate teaching method used by social studies teachers. Consequently, learners’ individual needs, preferences and interest cannot be met by most strategies utilized in the traditional, expository method of teaching. This is one of the reasons the researcher is interested in trying out other method such as mastery learning strategy. If the objectives of social studies education are to be met, then the need to look for an alternative teaching paradigm in the form of an improved and effective teaching strategy that is result oriented becomes necessary. The teaching of social studies is therefore an activity that involves both the teacher and the learners in other to ensure that learning takes place. While learning involves a behavioural change in the learner, social studies teaching involve the transmission of the relevant body of knowledge, attitudes, manner, dispositions, skills and values that enable the individual to survive in a growing and dynamic society. On this premise, the need for mastery learning as an instructional strategy becomes indispensable.
According to Lynn, Douglas and Gerald (2009), mastery learning is an instructional process that provides students with multiple opportunities to demonstrate content mastery. Initial instruction is presented at a fast pace to engage all learners. Students who do not demonstrate mastery are given additional instruction specifically designed to correct their misunderstandings. Re-teaching should involve strategies that are different from the original instructional methods. For example, if the original material was presented in a lecture format with visuals, the re-teaching process might involve hands-on activities and cooperative learning strategies. A retest is later given to these students to allow them to demonstrate content mastery. The teacher must be an effective facilitator who thoroughly processes his information of social studies content and present it in an orderly and comprehensive manner. There must be an established feedback mechanism, so as to enable correction of lapses in instructional methods which can thus bring about improvement in the teaching and learning of social studies.
Summarily, to instruct for mastery, the following guidelines are to be followed:
ü Clearly state the objectives representing the purpose of the subject matter without any ambiguities.
ü The curriculum should be divided into smaller learning group, each with modeling, practice, formative evaluation, re-teaching, reinforcement, and summative evaluate strategy inclusive.
ü The results of the formative tests are used to provide supplementary instruction, or corrective activities to help the learner overcome problems.
Statement of the Problem
The problems of students’ poor performance and underachievement in social studies have been major issues of concern and interest in the Nigerian educational sector. The need for intervention is not only recognized but also acknowledged by all stakeholders. Quite a number of studies earlier cited provide enough evidence on the poor performance of students in social studies teaching. This problem has been acknowledged to be a major factor in students’ achievement. In spite of the need for innovation approach to social studies teaching the expository instructional approach continues to dominate the teaching of social studies in Nigerian schools. This method to a large extent neglects human, cultural, social and effective dimensions of social studies. This has continued to attract criticisms and as a result, researchers have continued to stress the need for learner-centred methods, one of which is the mastery learning models. This instructional approach is not likely to enhance students’ achievement in social studies.
The following research questions were raised to guide the study:
- Will there be a difference in the achievement of social studies students taught using the integrated group based mastery learning models and those taught using the traditional model?
- Will there be a difference in the learning achievement of male and female students taught using the integrated group based mastery models?
The following null hypotheses were formulated to give the study a direction:
- There is no significant difference in the achievement of social studies students taught using the integrated group based mastery learning models and those taught using the traditional method.
- There is no significant difference in the achievement between social studies male and female students taught using the integrated group based mastery learning model.
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