Attitudes of Parents, Primary School Teachers and Pupils in Kenya Towards the Social Studies Curriculum in Relation to pupils Achievement
Ogula, A. Paul
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A review of related literature and research revealed that only a few studies have been conducted in Kenya to examine the attitudes of teachers and pupils towards the social studies curriculum and no study has attempted to establish the relationship between parents' teachers' and pupils' attitudes towards the social studies curriculum and pupils' achievement in social studies. The problem of this study was to investigate the attitudes of standard seven pupils, their parents and teachers towards the social studies achievement. The study sought to find out whether there was any significant difference among different categories of parents, teachers and pupils with respect to attitudes towards the social studies curriculum. Answers were sought to ten research questions. In addition, seventeen null hypotheses were tested. The purpose of this study was to determine the attitudes of parents, primary school teachers and pupils towards the traditional and interdisciplinary social studies curriculum. Another purpose of this study was to examine the attitude and achievement among primary school pupils following the traditional and interdisciplinary social studies curricula. In addition, there was an attempt to establish if there were any significant differences and relationships between parents', teachers' and pupils' attitudes towards the social studies curriculum. The sample consisted of ninety eight (98) primary schools drawn from all primary schools in Kenya. Forty nine of the schools were those implementing the Primary Education Project interdisciplinary social studies curriculum (PEP Pilot schools) and an equal number were those teaching geography, history and civics as separate subjects. The respondents were five hundred and eighty eight (588) parents who had children in standard seven in the sample schools, one hundred and twenty five (125) 1985 standard seven social studies teachers and two thousand five hundred and sixty eight (2,568) standard seven pupils. Four instruments were used to collect data. These were standards seven social studies achievement test, pupils' social studies curriculum attitudes scale, teachers' social studies curriculum attitude scale and parents' interview schedule/questionnaire. Data were analysed manually by research assistants and by computer. Hypotheses were tested using one-way analysis of variance, "t" test, and Pearson Product Moment Correlation. Results indicated that the parents, the teachers and the pupils had positive attitudes towards the social studies curriculum. The results also showed that pupils' attitudes towards the social studies curriculum influence their social studies achievement. In view of this finding, the development of positive attitudes towards the social studies curriculum should be considered an important goal of social studies education. The study's conclusions generated several recommendations. It was recommended that social studies should be taught as an interdisciplinary subject at the primary school level. It was also recommended that the teachers' load should be reduced from forty (40) to thirty (30) periods a week. It was recommended further that in-service courses be conducted to acquaint primary teachers and inspectors of schools with the techniques of teaching social studies as an interdisciplinary subject. Finally, it was recommended that more intensive studies be conducted to determine factors that influence pupils' attitudes and achievement in other school subjects.