Social Studies Curriculum at the Crossroads: Implementation of the Secondary School Social Studies Curriculum in Chingola District of Zambia
Mulenga, Innocent Mutale
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Curriculum implementation is one of the key aspects of the curriculum development process. The success of any educational policy depends on the accomplishing of the objectives of the policy. However, despite the desire to make learning more relevant to the needs of the learners by bringing into context all the skills, attitudes, values and competencies from the three subject areas (Geography, History and Civics) into one (Social Studies). The implementation of the 2013 revised junior secondary school Social Studies curriculum still remain a challenge. The purpose of this study was to analyse the implementation of the junior secondary school Social Studies curriculum in Chingola district. The researchers used a phenomenological research design. 71 participants comprising of 40 teachers of Social Studies, 20 learners of Social Studies, 10 secondary school head teachers and the District Education Standards Officer were sampled for the study. Data was collected from the District Education Standards Officer, Head teachers and teachers using interview schedules. From the learners, data was collected using focus group discussion schedules and then a document analysis schedule was also used to collect data from policy documents and school-based curriculum implementation documents. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. The findings revealed that the time allocated to the implementation of Social Studies in schools was inadequate. Further, Social Studies was being taught through specialization by teachers who were trained in subject areas like Geography, History and Civic Education a scenario which contributed to the poor performance of learners. The researchers recommended that the Ministry of General Education through the Curriculum Development Centre should consider allocating more time (periods) to the implementation of Social Studies, expedite the training and recruitment of Social Studies teachers and encourage Continuous Professional Development (CPD) meetings both at district and school levels for the purpose of capacity building.
European Journal of Education Studies