The training of social studies teachers in the pre-service primary colleges in Zambia : an investigation into the use of the inquiry method

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Mulenga, Jackson Chikonde
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The purpose of the study 1. To determine the conceptions of inquiry method held by social studies college lecturers, and tudents in selected pre-service primary teachers'colleges and among serving teachers. 2. To establish the extent to which inquiry method is utilized in the training of social studies primary teachers in selected colleges• 3. To make recommendations for the improvement in the utilization of the inquiry method in social studies curriculum in the primary teachers1 colleges baaed on findings in (1) and (2) above. To provide data that will form a basis for further research in this area. Methodology Eight social studies lecturers, one hundred and fifty second year students from the three selected primary teachers' colleges and tv/enty-five in-service teachers taking the Advanced Primary Course, constituted the subjects for the study, Questionnaires, participant observation and taping of lessons, and analysis of documents from the three selected pre-service primary colleges were used to collect data. Data collected were analysed within the theoretical framework of Beyer's conception of the inquiry method. Findings 1. it was found that lack of knowledge and understanding of inquiry method is making it difficult for lecturers to use it in the training of social studies teachers* There is, further, a misconception of what constitutes an inquiry lesson, 2. Lack of teaching and learning resources, inadequate time allocated to the subject per week and the nature of the pre-service social studies syllabus, are among the factors making the successful utilization of the inquiry method difficult to achieve. 3* The present evaluation of social studies teacher education concentrates on the recall of previously learned facts, concepts, generalisations and patterns. Recommendations 1. Social studies departments should be adequately stocked with books and journals on the methodology of social studies education. 2. In order to acquaint lecturers with the developments in social studies methodology, regular seminars should be organized at which experts would give lectures and demonstration lessons on inquiry method. 3. In order to help lecturers, students and practising teachers, a detailed supplement to the social studies teachers' handbooks should be prepared. This should include the theoretical and practical aspects of the inquiry method. A revision of the pre-service social studies syllabus should be undertaken, taking into account the requirements of inquiry method. 5» The examination should shift emphasis from recall to inquiry teaching skills and processes. Teaching practice should be assessed by social studies lecturers. Conclusion This study concludes that inquiry method is not used in the training of social studies teachers in the pre-service primary colleges in Zambia. Further more, the concept is a misnomer in the literature of social studies teacher education in Zambia. The expository method is still dominant* However, a number of causes for the failure to use inquiry method have been identified and measures to remedy the situation proposed. It is assumed that the study will be of great help to all those particularly interested in social studies teacher education methodology
Teachers -- Training of -- Zambia , Social sciences teachers -- Zambia