REPOSITIONING ELEMENTARY SOCIAL STUDIES IN NIGERIA SCHOOLS: THE CHILDREN THEATRE APPROACH
The general purpose of this study was to carry out an experiment on how play which is generally regarded as children theater approach could be used as instructional tool to reposition the teaching of social studies in elementary schools. The role of play in providing opportunities for the expression of creativity imagination, self-confidence, self-efficacy and for the development of physical, social, cognitive and emotional strength and self-skills conforms with the objectives of social studies education in Nigeria schools. In fact an objective of social studies education at the elementary school level is for children to explore and experience the world around them, experiment with new ideas, roles and experiences and in so doing learn to better understand and construct their own social position within the world and thus become responsible citizens in the future. The right of every child today in Nigeria is challenged by forces including unconducive environment, violence, insecurity, limited resources, child labour and exploitation practices which stand at variant with what social studies stand for. It is believed that this study would be of benefit to all the stakeholders, teachers and pupils in Nigeria social study classroom. Attempt was made to refill the place of play for the overall development of the child with a view to suggesting ways of improving the quality for teaching and learning of social studies. Quasi experimental design with pre and posttest, non randomized and non equivalent test was adopted for data collection. Few schools were purposely sample. The samples was categorized into one experimental and one control in different schools of forty correspondents each. Data collected were analyzed using the percentage, mean, standard deviation and analysis of co variant (ANCOVA) to test the three formulated hypothesis of 0.05 level of significant. Findings revealed that the academic performances in social studies was low before treatment (28.79) but higher after treatment (71.74) irrespective of gender. The paper recommends that teachers of social studies at the elementary schools should be complaint with the modern trend recognizing the pupil’s factors at the starting point for teaching and curriculum implementations. Teachers should modify their methodology to accommodate the role of play which despite the proved benefit derived from engaging in it has been remarkably reduced for some citizens. Recommendation is made on how play should be infused in children’s lives by creating the optimal developmental matress.
Children Theatre Approach, Social Studies Education, Methodology Play and Outdoor Activities