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Social Studies in Action: A Teaching Practices Library, K-12 - Annenberg  Learner


This research work is designed to investigate “The influence of visual aids on effective teaching and learning of social studies”. It is carried out to proffer solutions to the problems emanated from the research work. The research was carried out in five different schools with the target population of 100 students and 20 teachers. 20 students are to be investigated (Appendix I) while questionnaire of ten items (Appendix II) were used to investigate the teachers. The findings revealed that, the influence of visual aids on effective teaching and learning of social studies can not be over-emphasized respondents. it is clear that availability of different types of visual aids in schools and its effective use to the maximum will surely go a long way in solving the learners problems of understanding not only in learning of social studies but in other subject areas in general. However, since social studies objective is to help the learners to cultivate desirable values, intellectual virtues, attitudes and social norms, we implore the government and all other concerned departments to come to the aid of schools in providing visuals aids to them so as to make sure the objective comes to reality. 


It is well known among educators that educational experiences involving the learners actively participating in concrete examples are retained longer than abstract experiences. Instructional materials add elements of reality by providing concrete examples to learning.

Many authors have written on the use of instructional both in teaching social studies and other related subjects in order to enhance teaching for desired social and behavioural changes. These authors include World Bank (1999) Greenwood (2001) Bozimo (2002) and Adekeye (2008) more specifically, it was emphasized in the works of these authors that the use of instructional materials are sine qua non in affecting behaviour of learners of every field, especially social studies. It was equally shown by some of the authors that these materials are important catalysts of social engineering and change. It is obvious that social studies teaching and learning can not be well accomplished without the use of instructional materials.

The reason is not far-fetched advances in technology have brought instructional materials especially the projected and electronic materials of the forefront as the most radical tools of globalization and social development which has affected the classroom teaching-learning situation positively. Such technological breakthroughs as networked and non networked; projected and non-projected; visual, auditory, audio visual electronic materials are important landmarks in knowledge transfer. With them both teaching and learning become very pleasant experiences.

Instructional materials possess some inherent advantages that make them unique in social studies teaching. For one thing, they provide the teacher with interesting and compelling platforms for conveying information since they motivate learners to want to learn more and more. Also, by providing opportunities for private study and reference, the learner’s interest and curiosity are increasingly stimulated. Further, the teacher is assisted in overcoming physical difficulties that could have hindered his effective presentation of a given topic. They generally make teaching and learning easier and less stressful. They are equally indispensable catalysts of social and intellectual development of the learners.

Bolick (2003) pointed to a good relationship between the teachings of the social studies and using of instructional materials. He argued that “while some educators have been fascinated by potential of instructional materials to enhance teaching and learning, teachers lagged behind in using instructional materials during teaching and learning. Others expressed doubts that instructional materials are integral components of teaching-learning situations; it is not just to supplement learning but to complement its process. it is then shows that, if there must be an effective teaching learning activity, utilization of instructional materials will be necessary .

Ema & Ajayi (2004) assert that, “teaching equipment and materials have changed over the years, not only to facilitate teaching learning situation but also to address the instructional needs of individuals and groups” instructional materials are made up of objects such as printed, audio visual that aid in the successful delivery of social studies lesson (Chuba 2000:101) to this end, instructional materials are said to be objects or things the teacher can use in the classroom while teaching in order to ease off his teaching activities. However, instructional materials cannot address all the teaching-learning problems but it can a long way in solving them, simply because, they are additional apparatus that can influence the reality of teaching and learning activities.

Joof (1995:85) explained that, the concept of teaching aids has gone through several evolutionary stage from the simple aids, instructional technology, media to communication and educational technology. This however, tells us that instructional materials are not just objects or equipments used during teaching-learning process but there those objects improvised by the teacher to make conceptual abstraction more concrete and practical to the learners. Instructional materials are the relevant material utilized by a teacher during social studies instructional process for the purpose of making the contents of the instructions more practical and less vague.

Ema & Ajayi (2006) opined that, without the teacher who is knowledgeable, instructional materials cannot create change and progress the only time it begins to make impact is when the teacher begins to make use of it and allows it to take over its values”. The above authorities, the knowledge of the teacher, cannot be overemphasized in the use and handling on any instructional gadgets for effective learning.

The interactive nature of some of the materials makes the learners part of the learning process of the learning experiences – reason because of what good, is materials when they are not properly utilized for the teaching of social studies. Instructional materials are indispensable factors of in any teaching-learning process ordinary words or verbalization has been found to be adequate for effective teaching. Instructional materials serve as a channel through which message, information, ideas, and knowledge are disseminated more easily. They can therefore, be manipulated, seen, heard, felt or talked about. They facilitate activities. They are anything or anybody the teacher turns to for help in his learning process (Esu & Umoren, 1998).

Instructional materials grasp the learners’ intellect and eliminate boredom. Some of the unique qualities of instructional materials is speedy learning and accuracy. They make the work easier, more appeal, accurate, neater and boosting for clarity of social studies concepts. Effective use of instructional material requires a lot of creativity as well as sound knowledge of social studies in their operation. Bozimo (1992) advised that, “there are ever increasing numbers of audio and visual materials available to schools, that teachers should take advantage of the opportunities to procure excellent films and recordings covering a wide range of subject matters in social studies curriculum”.  

One recurring, issue in the sphere of social studies teaching in Oluyole Local Government Area of Oyo State, is the non use of instructional materials in aiding the teaching and learning of the subject in a way that will enable the students learn from those practical experiences which the subjects is meant to convey to the learners. Socials studies is a cane and integrated curriculum, and without the use of instructional materials in its teaching process, its goals and objectives will not be achieved.   


The use of instructional materials in social studies instructions has been widely researched but many questions are still remains unanswered. The needs for exploring locally available materials as an alternative for the grossly unavailable materials in our schools, resourcefulness of the teacher must be in line with the learners’ curriculum and environment so that classroom teaching does not have to be retarded by lack of funds.

Hence, government must strive to develop her local technology in all its ramifications, since social studies is interested in providing solutions to man’s problems holistically. Many writers in social studies shave pointed out the grossly unavailability of instructional materials coupled with teachers attitude towards the utilization during classroom teaching-learning situations.

The problems are that, instructional materials not available in our schools, teachers are not improvising and reluctant in using them.


The purpose of this study is to determine the use of instructional materials in social studies teaching.

The specific objectives of the study are:

1.            To identify the place of instructional materials in social studies instruction.

2.            To find out how adequate the instructional materials available, types and selected suit the teaching of social studies contents.

3.            To identify the problems associated with the use of instructional materials.

4.            To determine the teacher’s knowledge, competency in the selection of instructional materials and reasons why they do not utilize the materials.

5.            To find out how often do social studies teacher utilize instructional materials in the cause of social studies instruction.

6.            To find out the extent to which instructional materials influence students’ performance in social studies.

7.            To identify if there are principles and guidelines for the selection and uses.


The following research question were asked and answered in the study.

1.            How frequently do social teachers utilize instructional materials during social studies lesson?

2.                  What are the problems associated with the use of instructional materials in social studies instruction?

3.                  What are the reasons why the teachers do not use instructional materials?

4.                  What are the benefits of instructional materials to the students?


It is obvious that, instructional materials cut across all the spheres of teaching. The findings of the study have some implications for all the processes of acquiring knowledge as it will give insight into the importance and procedures for selecting and use of instructional materials in the teaching-learning process of any subject at all.

The integrity of teaching and learning would be rekindled as meaningful learning will be achieved as prospective teachers both in the field of social studies and any other discipline would also have a strong background as how to manipulate and integrate instructional materials with teaching.

This will help in showing the effectiveness and the usefulness of instructional materials for teaching social studies to the teachers and all other classroom teaching and learning activities.

It would help student teachers under training develop required skills, knowledge and rudiments about how instructional materials can help teacher to make the delivery of their instructions successfully to the learners.

It would equally aid the teachers about the principles, guidance and procedures for the manufacturing, maintenance, selection and uses of instructional materials.

It would help the educational supervisors on the basic instructional designers to emphasize the use instructional materials in social studies teaching in secondary schools particularly in Oluyole Local Government Area of Oyo State.   


The study is set out to determine the use of instructional materials in social studies.

Therefore, the study is restricted to only social studies students and teachers in some selected schools in Oluyole.


Instructional Materials: These are objects utilized by the teacher to complement teaching and learning process.

Facilitate: process of promoting or improving teaching and learning.

Utilize: making use of instructional materials.

Apparatus: These are basic equipments use for the purpose learning activities.

Audios: These are teaching aids which appeal to the sense of hearing.

Audio-visual: These are instructional materials that can be used to aid teaching and learning via the sense of sight and of hearing at the same time.

Visual: These are instructional materials which appeal to the sense of sight.



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