A study of instructional strategies and utilization of resources in social studies (GHC) in primary teacher college in Kenya
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In the advent of the 8.4.4. Education system in Kenya, Geography, History and Civics, which were earlier taught as separate disciplines, were integrated to form GHC in both primary and teachers training colleges. This implied that the content, resources and the methods of teaching the subjects had to undergo some changes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the methods, techniques and utilization of learning resources in the teaching of social studies in the primary teachers colleges in Kenya. The emphasis of the study was to establish which methods/ techniques were frequently used by tutors in the teaching of social studies, learning resources by the teaching of social studies, learning resources available in colleges and how they were acquired, the problems encountered in the acquisition of these resources by the department, purpose for which they were used, and reasons for using the resources. In the process, they were asked to make suggestions for improving the learning and the teaching of the subject. The study was conducted in all five primary teachers colleges in Eastern Province. A sample from using proportional calculations was used, so that students selected from each college were proportional to the total number of students in that college. All the heads of social studies department and the tutors participated in the study. Data were obtained by means of questionnaires, interview schedules and lesson observation. These data were then analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results of data analysis revealed that tutors rarely used techniques such as dramatization, guest-speakers, and fieldwork in the teaching of integrated social studies. It was found that, student teachers felt confident in using question and answer technique, lecture method and project work during teaching practice. The data obtained also revealed that the colleges lacked the social studies combined textbooks. The study also revealed that the tutors lacked funds to purchase most of the social studies learning materials. It was revealed that the colleges acquired most of the learning materials through donations. Further findings revealed that the tutors played an important role in the selection of learning resources. Lesson objectives, syllabus topic and class size were the main criteria in the selection of learning resources. In the actual teaching of the subject, it was found that majority of the tutors used the old Geography and History textbooks, maps and chalkboard. Very few of the tutors used audio-visual and community resources. The tutors used these resources for the purpose of introducing and summarizing the lessons. The tutors found it difficult to use the available resources in the actual teaching of the subject. They complained that the syllabus was too wide and the classes had large numbers of students. Further findings indicated that, lack of learning resources lead to use of lecture method on the side of the tutors and low creativity on the side of students. On the basis of the findings, conclusions and recommendations the study is expected to assist policy-makers, curriculum planners and educators. To minimize problems of teaching social studies, college based in-service courses and other courses organized by KIE should be encouraged. There is also need to conduct a study find out the relationship between utilization of the environment in the teaching of social studies and performance of college student teachers during teaching practice.