Teaching Methods And Acquization of Social Skills Among Primary Schools
1.1 Background of the Study
Education is defined as the wise, hopeful and respectful cultivation of learning undertaken in the belief that all should have the chance to share in life. Education is an indispensable tool in nations building. It is a process of systematic training and instruction designed to transmit knowledge and acquisition of skills, potentials and abilities which will enable an individuals to contribute efficiently to the growth and development of his society and nations. It involves all around development of an individually physically, socially, morally, intellectually and mentally (Osakwe, 2006). Education of an individual is in stages, the first and very important stage is the early childhood stage.
Early childhood is a time of bridge building. It is a time in a child’s life when bridges are built between the shelter of home and the demands of the school; between play with a few neighbourhood friends and relationship with many children. It is that period of human development which falls between births to eight years (birth-8 years). The time from birth to eight years is a critical period in the development of many foundational skills in all areas of development. This is the time when environmental enrichment or deprivation makes its greatest impact. Since development is proceeding at a very fast rate, unfavourable experiences such as lack of adequate food, health care, nurturance or stimulation, unhealthy living conditions and exploitative working conditions hinder development to a considerable extent. In the same way, favourable conditions foster development. The effect is long-lasting since the foundation of development in later years is laid at this age. It must be appreciated that development is not simply the result of mechanical acts of feeding and physical care, but rather of a feeling of total well-being that arises from growing up in a healthy atmosphere with love, warmth and opportunities for learning. Psychologists and educationists recognize this fact and made early childhood education an important subject of study since the rest of education system is built upon it. Any defect or impairment at this stage could go a long way in affecting the later intellectual ability and adjustment of the child (Barnett, 2002).
Early childhood is a period marked with significant changes and reorganizations in the child’s behaviour. At this period a lot of changes and progress are made in terms of learning, reasoning and in the child’s social relationship with others. It is indeed the period the child gains a sense of self- worth, or lack of it, and confidence, or lack of confidence, as he experiences success or failure in everyday contacts.The early childhood education is the education given in an educational institution to children prior to their entry into primary school. This type of education is a response to a change in the society. It has been observed by the researcher and stake holders in education that modern parents seem not to have adequate time to cater for their children at home because of the migration of working class women to urban towns. Also, these happen because most of the parents especially women have taken up paid jobs or are engaged in their own businesses, a situation which drastically reduces available time to cater for children at home. In the traditional settings in Nigeria, young children below school age were usually left in the care of grand-parents but this has changed. The government took cognizance of this development and formulated a policy on early childhood education.
Social skills are critical to successful functioning in life. These skills enable individuals to know what to say, to make good choices, and how to behave appropriately in different situations. Social skills are components of behaviour that help an individual understand and adapt across a variety of social settings.Children’s social skills are constantly developing at different ages and stages. Skills build upon earlier skills, are often inter-related and affect other areas of development such as language, thinking, planning and decision making. Children’s development of social skills is also dependent upon development in these other areas associated brain growth. Babies and toddlers engage in more concrete thinking based on what they can see. Preschoolers begin to have more conscious control and use abstract thinking, such as understanding of the past and the future to guide their thoughts, feelings and actions. However, it is useful to remember that these skills are just beginning in preschoolers and that they may find it difficult to make responsible decisions and ‘do the right thing’ on their own.
The term “social skills” is generic and refers to a very heterogeneous set of interpersonal behaviours. Simply stated, social skills are specific, identifiable skills that result in socially competent behaviour (Hops, 2003) and effective social interactions with other people (Gresham and Elliott, 2004). Many definitions describe social skills in terms of an interaction between the individual and his/her environment. For example, Argyris (2001) views social skills as those behaviors that enhance a person’s ability to contribute to the larger social network to which he/she belongs. Within these networks, such skills not only enable an individual to adjust and respond appropriately to environmental cues but can also provide the person with a means of coping in stress-inducing situations as well as avoiding interpersonal conflict (Matson, 2004).
The development of social skills lays a critical foundation for later academic achievement as well as work-related skills (McClelland and Morrison, 2003). Social development is such a key issue with young children that a number of teaching methods such as drama and playway and so on to address social skills have been advocated. Some of the causes of deficit in social skills in the world, Nigeria and specifically Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area include inability to set up classrooms to enhance social development, providing play opportunities to promote social functioning, and teaching social skills directly.The following examples represent some of the fundamental principles of relating well to others.
Problem-solving, problems and conflict are often a part of social interactions. Someone may not agree with you, get angry at something you say, insult you or become aggressive toward you. How you react to these conflicts depends on how good your problem solving skills are. Children who are not good social problem solvers have trouble settling conflicts and disagreements. They get mad easily and may not speak to someone because they are mad at them. It has to be “their way or the highway”. They always want to win no matter what the cost, even if that means losing a friend. It often also means making an enemy, which creates additional social problems. Conflicts cannot be avoided and are often necessary to “clear the air”. Turning a conflict from a “win-lose” situation to a “win-win” situation is the best way to resolve conflict. This requires negotiation and compromise, give and take, but results in a situation that all parties can live with and helps maintain friendships.
Friendliness refers to the ability to put up a warm personality that makes you approachable, easy to relate with and without any hostility. Aside from being warm and devoid of hostility, a friendly person is someone who has a great level of respect for others. To be friendly is being able to show patience and care as well as spending time with people. Friendliness is a skill that is of great importance in the life of a individual especially children. It reduces fight and strife. Friendly people are good to be around, they are sociable, pleasant companions who always knows how to say things the right way. There are natural facilitators in groups, making the social round move more smoothly.
Cooperative skill is an essential part of workplace success. Like a basketball team working together to set up the perfect shot, every team member has a specific role to play in accomplishing tasks on the job. Although it may seem as if one player scored the basket, that basket was made possible by many people’s planning, coordination, and cooperation to get that player the ball. Employers look for people who not only know how to work well with others, but who understand that not every player on the team can or will be the one who gets the ball. When everyone in the workplace works together to accomplish goals, everyone achieves more. The ability to work as part of a team is of the most important skills in today’s job market. Employers are looking for workers who can contribute their own ideas, but also want people who can work with others to create and develop projects and plans. Cooperative skill involves building relationships and working with other people using a number of important skills and habits:
Contributing to groups with ideas, suggestions, and effort
Communication (both giving and receiving)
Sense of responsibility
Healthy respect for different opinions, customs, and individual preferences
Ability to participate in group decision-making
Cooperative skill promotes individual and team success through group interaction. They are fun to play and include all pupils, regardless of age, size, or ability level. Games programmes offer enjoyable ways to learn many life skills. Some of the most important skills to be learned are the value of participation, the joy of effort, cooperation, communication, sharing, and teamwork. Cooperative games and activities provide unique opportunities for pupils to learn many of these skills through positive interaction, as well as to learn to communicate effectively and to develop an appreciation of fair play. In addition, teachers have the opportunity to ensure that their programme is fun and inclusive regardless of age, size, or ability level. Too often children are put into the win/lose situation where it becomes easy to lose sight of the value that the activity has to offer, and especially the joy of participation.The four basic components of cooperative skills includes, cooperation, acceptance, involvement andfun.
Communication skills are important to everyone – they are how we give and receive information and convey our ideas and opinions with those around us. Communication comes in many forms:
verbal (sounds, language, and tone of voice)
aural (listening and hearing)
non-verbal (facial expressions, body language, and posture)
written (journals, emails, blogs, and text messages)
visual (signs, symbols, and pictures)
It is important to develop a variety of skills for both communicating to others and learning how to interpret the information received from others. Knowing our audience and understanding how they need to receive information is equally important as knowing ourselves. Communication skills are necessary for the development of self-advocacy and self-determination, important skills for lifelong success.
The success of teaching is determined by effective and efficient teaching process. An effective and efficient teaching can only be actualized based on the teacher’s knowledgeability of the subject and the use of appropriate method(s) in the teaching –learning process. Vin-Mbah, (2012) cited Oyekan (1994), viewed teaching methods as what method technique or approach, an individual or group of teachers choose and use in actual classroom situation. Some methods of teaching employed by teachers in the early childhood education are viz: play way method, supervised activity method, demonstration, excursion method, assignment method, pictorial method, storytelling method, drama method (Shotoyeke, 2015). Methods that may be useful in this regard are drama method and play-way method of instruction.This is because there involve active participation of the learner in the teaching and learning process.These methods may also arouse the interest of learners. Although the use of drama method and play-way method of instructions have been tried in the teaching of Christian Religious Studies, English Language, and Mathematics, and found to be effective.
Drama has been transferred into the field of education through the principles of “being pupil-centred”, “activity-based” and self-expressive” (Bolton, 1985). Inclusion of drama in education and thus re-creation of topics by integrating them secures permanent learning and encourages pupils to learn (Andersen, 2004). Drama method in education is very important in that it facilitates learning by doing and experiencing, it is based on experiences, it enables activelearning, makes abstract concepts concrete and it is based on game-like processes (Yaman, 2005). The aim is to make pupils conscious of interpersonal differences, differences stemming from the self, their own prejudices and their responses they make in situations they role-play. Besides, pupils can understand interactions with individuals different from themselves, the prejudice, stereotypes and languages; and thus they can empathize and become aware of their thoughts (Tromski and Doston, 2003).
The word drama is taken from the Greek word ‘dran’ which means do or act.
Drama in real life involves action, which is one of the most important methods of seeing life (Ibitola, 2009). According to Durusel (2007) in Duban and Duzgun (2013) drama provides a presentation and interpretation of a physical or mental activity and is a way to transform students’ mental and physical potentials into creative acts. According to Littledyke (2001), drama as an educational method allows students to reflect, discuss, make connections with real life, and look at the events from different angles. In his own view, Iwuala (2012) asserts that topics in all subject areas can be recognized and dramatized by the students in order to make them clear and easier to understand and make learning a pleasurable venture. In other words, the use of drama method of instruction in the teaching of social skills will help in making the pupils develop social skills.
Moreover, play is the main factor for mental development of child and is one of the factors influenced on the nurture of forces and talents of child. The main core of children plays forms seeking for his surrounding world and of course in his mind, any experience, even throwing the objects surrounding him is valuable. In types of plays, child shows its imagination and finds an opportunity for indicating his feelings and in all cases dealing with creativeness and experiences the joy of creation. Joyful, movable and attractive plays considerably reduce the stress and even exercise, if conducted by a cheerful style will promote the feeling of progress.
Children love to play and it is their natural instinct. The play-way method was conceived by Froebel (1837). According to Froebel, play is the work of the children. Play way method of learning is a child centric method where the method of teaching is informal and natural to suit the child’s interests. Schools who are using play way method believe that learning is best through play activities (Waite 2000). It rejuvenates the children in their leaning. It enhances their learning abilities. Play-way method of teaching give free reign to a child’s curiosity and helps a child to grow and bloom.
A child understands his needs and goals while playing. So play can be an effective way of teaching children. It has been proved (Opuni 2006) that maximum amount of learning results while playing games. While playing games the environment is very relaxed, this makes learning interesting and fun. This is the most desirable method of learning for children. The informal and free atmosphere gives the children a chance to learn concepts and ideas. Play way methods can be incorporated in the school curriculum for teaching languages, mathematics, social skills through a series of activities like songs, free play, gardening, construction activities, mathematical games, checkers, magic squares, puzzles and building blocks. It makes teaching and learning a memorable experience for both the learners as well as teachers. Through play way method teaching and learning becomes more lively and interesting. Role plays, projects, theme based learning, field trips, puppetry are a few techniques included in play way method.
Play-way method consists of the activities that include a sort of fun or play and give joy to the pupils. The learning is not just limited to cognitive development, but also for the overall development of the child.
The development of social skills lays a critical foundation for later academic achievement as well as work-related skills (McClelland and Morrison, 2003). Social development is such a key issue with young children that a number of methods to address social skills have been advocated. Some of the causes of deficit in social skills in the world, Nigeria and specifically Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area include inability to set up classrooms to enhance social development, providing play opportunities to promote social functioning, and teaching social skills directly. To Cohen, (2000), Coie, Dodge and Coppotelli, (2001), social inability can be a lifelong problem. Therefore it is imperative that social skill deficits be identified early and addressed in much the same way as we identify and address children’s learning problems because social incompetence can be more debilitating and detrimental to success in life than learning problems. It is against this background that the researcher is interested investigating the effect of teaching methods (drama method and play-way method) on acquisition of social skills among primary schools pupils in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area.
Statement of the Problem
Nowadays, children tend to exhibit ill behaviours like being impatient, aggressive, disrespectful etc. All these can be as a result of lack of correct social norms and values which may not be properly transmitted in their childhood stage.The family becomes both a training ground for development of social skills and an arena in which those skills are put to use.Social skill deficits can lead to behavioural difficulty in school, low self- esteem, academic failure, concentration difficulties, isolation from peers, and depression. A social skill deficit can also take the form of non-compliance with school procedures, physical or verbal aggression or defiance of authority figures. The lack of social skills can lead to behavioural difficulty in schools, delinquency, and inattentiveness, peers rejection, emotional difficulties, bullying, difficulties in making friends, aggressiveness, problem interpersonal relationships, poor self-concept, academic failure, concentration difficulties, isolation from peers and oppression.
Looking at the context of school, the relationships formed within this setting and the interactions between them creates a more complete picture of children’s development. Studies have shown that children spend most of their time in school thereby making this setting their primary environments.Social skills are an important component of academic achievement, however children from families with low socio-economic status and enrolled in poorly equipped and resourced schools may struggle to succeed academically as they often enter school with fewer social skills, unprepared for the social interactions that facilitate learning and that are crucial to acquire in the early years of schooling.There is therefore the urgent need to devise better and more productive methods of teaching social skills to make it interesting and rewarding to the learners. Its effectiveness, to the best of the researcher’s knowledge, is yet to be determined in the teaching of social skills inIkot Ekpene Local Government Area.Based on the foregoing, therefore, the problem of this study is to find out the effect of teaching methods (drama method and play-way method) on acquisition of social skills among primary schools pupils in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
Generally, study is to determine the effect of teaching methods (drama method and play-way method) on acquisition of social skills among primary schools pupils in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area.Specifically, the study seeks to:
To ascertain the difference in pupils’ acquisition of friendliness skills when exposed to drama and play-way method.
To determine the difference in pupils’ acquisition of cooperative skills when exposed to drama and play-way method.
To find out the difference in pupils’ acquisition of communication skills when exposed to drama and play-way method.
To ascertain the difference in pupils’ acquisition of ability to take turns skills when exposed to drama and play-way method.
To determine the difference in pupils’ acquisition of problem solving skills when exposed to drama and play-way method.
To ascertain the difference in pupils’ acquisition of competitive skills when exposed to drama and play-way method.
1.4 Significance of the Study
Practically, the findings of this study will be beneficial to pupils, teachers, educational administrators, curriculum planners, textbook writers, the Nigerian society and future researchers.
The pupils will be exposed to a different teaching method which is exciting, learner-centred and rewarding. This will not only arouse their interest but also enhance their academic achievement because pupils usually achieve better in any learning experience they have interest in.
The study will be of great relevance to teachers as they will adopt a better teaching approach that will help them achieve their set objectives with less stress and less emphasis on the monotonous, teacher-centred method.
Furthermore, it is hoped that the curriculum planners will find this study as an aid in the planning of the curriculum so as to emphasize the use of the method of instruction by teachers to achieve maximum result from the students.
Textbook writers will also benefit from this study because it will expose them to produce good and comprehensive textbooks on social skills that will cover drama method and play-way of instruction.
Besides, the Nigerian society will benefit from this study. This is because Nigerian society has a lot of societal problems. It is expected that this study will be of great help in solving the societal problems by exposing the students to the right type of values that are needed to foster the progress of the country.
Finally, it is expected that this study will also serve as available data for future researchers on their search for better techniques in the teaching and learning process.
1.5 Research Questions
The following research questions are stated to guide the study:
What is the difference in pupils’ acquisition of friendliness skills when exposed to drama and play-way method?
What is the difference in pupils’ acquisition of cooperative skills when exposed to drama and play-way method?
What is the difference in pupils’ acquisition of communication skills when exposed to drama and play-way method?
What is the difference in pupils’ acquisition of ability to take turns skills when exposed to drama and play-way method?
What is the difference in pupils’ acquisition of problem solving skills when exposed to drama and play-way method?
What is the difference in pupils’ acquisition of competitive skills when exposed to drama and play-way method?
1.6 Research Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses are formulated to guide this study:
There is no significant difference in pupils’ acquisition of friendliness skills when exposed to drama and play-way method.
There is no significant difference in pupils’ acquisition of cooperative skills when exposed to drama and play-way method.
There is no significant difference in pupils’ acquisition of communication skills when exposed to drama and play-way method.
There is no significant difference in pupils’ acquisition of ability to take turns skills when exposed to drama and play-way method.
There is no significant difference in pupils’ acquisition of problem solving skills when exposed to drama and play-way method.
There is no significant difference in pupils’ acquisition of competitive skills when exposed to drama and play-way method.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study was carried out in public primary schools in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Areas. There are thirty-five (35) public primary schools Ikot Ekpene Local Government Areas. The primary one pupils in the above named areas wer used for the study.
In terms of content coverage, the following topics selected from the social skills were used for the study. They are: friendliness, cooperative, communication, problem solving, ability to take turn and competitive.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Teaching methods: Is what method technique or approach, an individual or group of teachers choose and use in actual classroom situation.
Social skills: Are those behaviours that enhance a person’s ability to contribute to the larger social network to which he/she belongs.
Drama: Is a presentation and interpretation of a physical or mental activity into creative arts.
Play-way method: Consists of the activities that include a sort of fun or play and give joy to the pupils.
Friendliness skill: Is refers to the ability to put up a warm personality that makes you approachable, easy to relate with and without any hostility.
Cooperative skill: Involves building relationships and working with other people.
Communication skill: They are how we give and receive information and convey our ideas and opinions with those around us.
Ability to take turns: Is the ability for someone to wait for his or her turns without any interruption.
Problem solving skills: Is the ability to cope with conflict at any point in time.
Competitive skill: Is the ability to compete with other in spite of challenges.