Challenges faced in the teaching and learning of social studies in selected primary schools in Lusaka district of Zambia

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Hangoma, Annie N'gandu
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The University of Zambia
Social studies is aimed and intended at developing good and ideal citizens, who have an understanding of the society they live in. It has also been identified as a subject within the school curriculum that is used as a vehicle for equipping learners with the requisite knowledge, skills, values, attitudes and dispositions relevant for producing functional and effective citizens. The purpose of this study was to investigate the challenges faced in teaching and learning of Social Studies in selected primary schools in Lusaka District of Zambia. The objectives of the study were; to explore the challenges faced in the teaching and learning of Social Studies, to establish the methods used in the teaching and learning of Social Studies, to ascertain the benefits of teaching and learning of Social Studies in primary schools and to suggest solutions to the challenges faced in the teaching and learning of social studies in primary schools. This study used a descriptive research design which employed a qualitative strategy in order to effectively address the issues raised by the research questions. The target population was the CDC Social Studies Specialists, Head Teachers, Teachers and Learners. The total sample size was 39 which comprised of 3 CDC Social Studies specialists, 3 Head Teachers, 12 Teachers and 21 Learners. Purposive sampling technique; in particular, homogenous sampling was used to select respondents. The data collection instruments used were semi structured interview guide, observation checklist and document analysis whose findings were analyzed thematically. The findings revealed that there were enormous challenges faced in the teaching and learning of social studies including; multi discipline and diverse in nature, limited training, shortage of highly skilled human resource, radical transformation in the field, increasing social inequalities, diversification of the economy, teacher qualification, teachers using wrong teaching methods, access and quality, cultural differences, wastage and stagnation, absenteeism, poor teacher to pupil ratio, teachers not being involved in curriculum development, negative attitude by both the teachers and the learners, teachers not understand the aims, purpose and goals of social studies, less time allocation on the timetable and learners not having access to educational tours. Social Studies also do not receive vigorous support as a vital part of the school curriculum and that schools lacked teaching and learning materials. Although, there were recommended methods for teaching and learning social studies, teachers still used wrong methods and did not democratize these methods during lesson presentation. However, if taught well, social studies have a lot of benefits to the learners. It was therefore recommended that both teachers and learners are sensitized, motivated and supported on the importance of Social Studies. Teachers as implementers should be involved in the process of curriculum development. Educational tours and site visits should be made a must for particular topics. Primary schools should be provided with adequate materials (infrastructure, text books etc.) to ease some of the challenges they face in teaching and learning of social studies. Key words: Challenges, Teaching, Learning, Primary Schools, Social Studies
Social Studies--Study and teaching--Zambia