The topic of this study is ‘Factors contributing to the poor academic performance of students in social studies in junior secondary school in junior secondary school in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State. The purpose of the study was to find the factors responsible for the poor academics performance in social studies in junior secondary school with reference to Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State. The design for the this study was descriptive survey design. This descriptive research was focused on the use of interviews and questionnaires as the main instrument for data collection. The population of the study comprised of teachers and students of five (5) selected government secondary school in Nkanu-East. Four hundred (400) questionnaire were distributed and out of this figure, three hundred and forty-one (341) were returned and completed. They were selected by simple random sampling to represent equal distribution. The researcher used mean as the statistical tool for analysis. In the course of this study, the findings made were, that students pay less attention to class lesson of the subject, Also, that they fail to copy their notes and the required textbook for social studies. Moreover, they join bad companies as friends in school. Furthermore, the researcher also found out that the teacher fail to explain the subject properly and with the absence of instructional materials, and that they fail to spend time to prepare their lesson plan and lesson note.  On the other hand, it is recommended that students should try to as much as possible not to exempt social studies classes for any reason, teachers should spend time to prepare their lesson plan and lesson note carefully. On the other hand, it is recommended that with the provision of more teaching aids and writing material on the subject, the problems of teaching and learning of social studies in the area would be solved, the parents should also adopt strong measures to prevent influence of peer groups and also to control their children. The researcher also recommend: that government should motivate scholars/writers to produce more books on social studies. There should be organized seminars, workshops and conferences for social studies teachers to upgrade their knowledge in teaching and learning of the subject; that there should be more resource materials and teachings aids to be provided for the teaching and learning of the subject.


Title page ---------i

Certification - - - - - - - - - ii

Dedication - -- - - - - - - - iii

Acknowledgements - - - - - - - iv

Table of Content - - - - - - - - v

Abstract - - - - - - - - - vi


Background to the Study - - - - - - - 1

Statement of Problem- - - - - - - - 3

Purpose of the Study - - - - - - - - 5

Significance of the Study- - - - - - - 5

Scope of the Study- - - - - - - - 6

Research Questions- - - - - - - - 6


Conceptual Framework - - - - - - - 7

Concept of Social Studies - - - - - - 8

Importance of Social Studies - - - - - - 9

Problems of Teaching and Learning of Social Studies - - 12

Method of teaching Social Studies - - - - - 17

Theoretical Framework - - - - - - 30

Empirical Studies - - - - - - - - 31

Summary of Literature Review - - - - - - 33


Design of the study - - - - - - - 34

Area of the Study - - - - - - - - 34

Population of the study - - - - - - - 34

Sample and Sampling Technique - - - - - 35

Instrument for Data Collection - - - - - - 35

Validation of the Instrument - - - - - - 35

Reliability of the Instrument - - - - - - 35

Method of Data Collection - - - - - - 36

Method of Data Analysis - - - - - - 37


Presentation of Data - - - - - - - 38


Discussion of Results - - - - - - - 41

Conclusion - - - - - - - - - 44

Implication of the Study - - - - - - - 44

Recommendations - - - - - - - - 45

Limitations of the Study - - - - - - - 46

Suggestion for Studies - - - - - - - 46

Summary of the Study- - - - - - - - 47

References - - - - - - - - - 48

Appendix - - - - - - - - - 51

Questionnaire - - - - - - - - 52



Background to the study

Education is the acquisition of knowledge and skills or attitude. It can be defined as the process which individual acquired skills, attitude and competence; education is a right of every child. Whether traditional or modern it has always been a major concern of man. Every human being needs basic necessities such as food, water, clothing/ shelter, education and health care for his or her daily life. Many authors have written on the causes of student’s poor academic performance in teaching social studies in junior secondary school, a case study of  in Amagunze Nkanu East local government area of Enugu state. These authors thought social studies as catalyst for engineering desire social change. However there has been an enormous gap which continues to exist between intended changes and actual classroom practice in social studies education in Nigeria adaptation of the subject teaching to integrate from teacher centered to child centered pedagogy; form expository to inquiry teaching, yet researches shows that there is little or no change in the classroom.

According to Charles (2009) in his definitions also called attention to the sources of social studies content and made reference to needed outcomes. According to him social studies embraces materials rated to human relationships drawn from history, geography, science and the arts. They include content and activities that may be used to develop insight into human relationships in such a way that children build competence in basic social processes and skills essential in democratic living.

The special emphasis in Charles definition on the use of relevant social science to create competence on basic social processes and skills needed in democratic living is not worthy.

Winners (2008), Social studies is a study of man in his totality where he lives, his activities in the past and present, his culture, his frame of mind and how he relates to others, it focuses on developing the right values, attitudes and abilities which will help the child to get on well with others as he grows up to become a responsible citizens.

Branner Etal (2009), who wrote a year earlier had placed an equal stress on knowledge, skill, attitudes and actions in his definitions. According to him social studies is a programme of study which a society uses to instill in students the knowledge, skills, attitudes and actions considers important concerning the relationships human beings have with each other, their world and themselves.

Social studies is the study of how man lives in the society, Nulls (2007) expressed this definition in a more academic form, noted that social studies is an inter disciplinary field in which man learns about problems and survival in his environment. He added that it is a study of how man influences and he is in turn influenced by his physical, social, political, religious, economic, psychological, cultural, scientific and technological environments.

Statements of Problem

The problem of this study is the causes of student’s poor academic performance in teaching of socials studies in junior secondary school certificate examination a case study of Nkanu East local government area of Enugu state. It also includes factors which might hinder the effective discrimination of social studies knowledge such as irregular workshop and conference in service training inadequate instructional material in teaching lack incentive apathy among educational leaders and policy makers as well as the learning’s attitude towards learning and finally the learning environment. The role of in a developing nation like Nigeria cannot be over emphasized. Suffice it to say that a good knowledge and application of principles of by the citizens of this country will be a great benefit to the nation as a whole. It is a known fact that have not been given a due recognition as a core subject in the past but only now. As a result of recent inclusion in the curriculum as a core subject, there is bound to be factors associated with the teaching and learning. This investigator wants to look into, such problems militating against the effective teaching and learning of the subject is the acute shortage of the professionally qualified teachers. The number of unqualified teachers our schools is alarming and there is no denying fact that effort effective teaching of any subject is predicated on the caliber of people charged with the responsibility of teaching the subject. Apart from the fact that these set of teachers are not professionally qualified, they care less about teaching personal business at the expense of the children in Nkanu East Local government Area. Teacher in secondary schools is a factor responsible for student’s poor performance.

According to Daily Times opinion, the survey carried out by the National Teacher Institute in November, 2010 showed that out of 300, 000 teachers in the country, 200, 000 a clear two third were unqualified. A student trained by quack teacher under bamboo tree or a shade without the barest facilities, we believe is likely to be denied the self-fulfillment and confidence that an adequate education give. In schools where there are enough qualified teachers to handle the various subjects, the performance of the student’s differs from those schools with less qualified teachers.

According to Akor (2010), he said that the important of well-qualified and experienced teachers cannot be overemphasized. They are the essential ingredients needed by students to learn effectively.

Dr. Titus Olikhens, one time Bendel state commissioner for education, in his article stated that ‘shortage of qualified teachers, insufficient provision of instructional materials and teaching methods and lack of incentives for the study were problems militating against the achievement of the objectives of social studies. Norman, A. pebble argued that one of the things affecting the effective teaching of teachers to provide better explanation which is traceable to their lack of adequate concept and research method’. M. B. Oguniyi et al write that ‘many teachers of are not trained. The few trained and qualified ones hardly stay as classroom teachers as they find other forms of employment or to higher institution of learning. Combei and Keeves reported qualification and previous experience, perception of professional role; responsibility goal and interest affect the teaching of social studies. In this context, schools with N.C.E. graduates teachers tend to have better primary six certificate and junior secondary school results than schools with grade II teachers.

Purpose the Study

The general objective of this study is to find out the factors responsible for the poor performance of students in Social studies in Junior Secondary school in Nkanu East Local Government Area. 

      The specific objectives of this study include;  

1. to find out the student related factors contributing to poor performance of student in Social studies.

2. to examine teachers related factors contributing to the poor performance of students in social studies.

3. to find out parents related factors contributing to the poor performance of students in social studies.

Significance of the Study 

This study will help to make our educational administrators see the need to have qualified social studies teachers and also available to handle the subject effectively for the benefits of the students and society at large. It will also help to sensitize the educational administrators to appreciate the need to make available the necessary materials, examples chalkboard, graph, audio-visual materials, etc. that will enhance effective learning of social studies. This will be useful for learners to identify the factors affecting the teaching method and learning of social studies. It will help to identify the factors affecting the teaching and learning of social studies. It will help to produce sound social studies students that will function well in the society. This work will serve as a source of encouragement to students and teachers that will come across it. It is hope that the findings of this study would also from the basis for further research work by future researchers on this issues. This work adds great knowledge to already existing literature in social studies education and education in large. 

Scope of the Study

This study aimed at finding out the factors that cause poor academic performance among students in Social studies in Junior Secondary Schools. It examined various factors which include; student related factors, teachers related factors, and parents related factors that affect student poor performance in Social studies.  This study is limited to government owned secondary school in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu.

Research questions

To ensure meaningful research work the following research question include;

1) What are the student related factors contributing to poor academic performance of students in social studies?

2) What are the teacher related factors contributing  to the poor academic performance of student in social studies?

3) What are the parent related factors contributing to the poor academic performance of student’s in social studies?





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