Back to: Jss1 Social Studies (NVE)
Topic: History of Social Studies in Nigeria
WEEK: 3 – 5
Historical Development of Social Studies Education in In Nigeria
Social studies is a field of study that deals with the social sciences, humanities, and practical knowledge. It emerged in the United States during the 1920s as a response to the need for a curriculum that would help students understand the social, political, and economic changes that were taking place in society.
The origins of social studies can be traced back to the late 19th century when educators began to advocate for a more integrated and interdisciplinary approach to education. The goal was to provide students with a more comprehensive understanding of the world around them, including its history, culture, and social institutions.
In the early 20th century, progressive educators such as John Dewey and Charles Eliot advocated for a more hands-on and experiential approach to learning. This approach emphasized the importance of teaching students how to think critically and solve problems, rather than just memorizing facts.
In 1921, the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) was founded, which helped to establish social studies as a recognized academic discipline. The NCSS developed standards for social studies education and advocated for the inclusion of social studies in the curriculum of public schools.
Since its inception, social studies has evolved to include a wide range of subjects, including history, geography, economics, political science, anthropology, and sociology.
the history and origin of social studies in Nigeria can be traced back to the period of colonial rule and the struggle for independence. The subject was introduced to promote social awareness, cultural identity and citizenship education. It has since become an integral part of the Nigerian educational system, helping to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary for effective citizenship and social participation.
Social studies as a subject were introduced into the Nigerian educational curriculum in the late 1960s, during the period of educational reform in the country. It was designed to replace the old subject called ‘citizenship education’, which focused mainly on patriotism, national unity and loyalty to the state.
The origin of social studies in Nigeria can be traced back to the period of colonial rule when the British government introduced the Western-style education system. The curriculum at that time was designed to produce clerks, teachers and other semi-skilled workers who could assist the colonial administration in its administrative and economic activities.
However, with the growth of nationalism and the struggle for independence, the Nigerian government began to review the educational curriculum to reflect the aspirations of the people. This led to the introduction of new subjects like social studies, which aimed at promoting social awareness, cultural identity and citizenship education.
The introduction of social studies in Nigeria was also part of the broader education reform agenda of the post-independence era. The country had just gained independence in 1960 and there was a need to develop an educational system that would help build a new nation, one that was free, democratic, and prosperous.
Social studies were seen as a key subject that could help achieve these goals. It was designed to provide students with a broad understanding of social, economic, and political issues, as well as the skills and attitudes necessary for active citizenship and social participation.
The subject was also meant to be interdisciplinary, drawing from various fields such as history, geography, economics, political science, and sociology. This was intended to provide a holistic understanding of society, its institutions, and the forces that shape it.
The Nigerian government at the time recognized the need to promote cultural diversity and national unity in a country with over 250 ethnic groups. Social studies were seen as a means of achieving these goals by promoting an understanding and appreciation of the different cultures and ways of life in Nigeria, while also emphasizing the values and principles that bind the nation together.
The Nigerian curriculum for social studies was developed in the 1960s and 1970s by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The curriculum was designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for effective citizenship, social participation and responsible decision-making.
Over the years, social studies have become an integral part of the Nigerian educational system, with students at all levels required to take the subject. The subject has undergone several revisions and modifications, to keep it relevant to the changing needs of society.
National and International Bodies and Conferences Held in Africa and Nigeria to Spread Social Studies
There have been several national and international bodies and conferences held in Africa and Nigeria to spread social studies. Some of these include:
- African Studies Association (ASA): ASA is an international organization that promotes research and scholarship on Africa. It holds conferences and supports publications on various topics related to social studies in Africa.
- Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER): NISER is a research institute in Nigeria that focuses on social and economic research. It conducts research and training programs in various areas of social studies and holds conferences on social and economic issues in Nigeria.
- African Council for Distance Education (ACDE): ACDE is an organization that promotes distance education in Africa. It holds conferences and supports research on various topics related to social studies and distance education in Africa.
- West African Social Science and Humanities Research Association (WASSHRA): WASSHRA is an organization that promotes social science and humanities research in West Africa. It holds conferences and supports research on various topics related to social studies and humanities in West Africa.
- International Conference on Education, Social Sciences, and Humanities (ICESSH): ICESSH is an international conference that brings together researchers and scholars in social studies, education, and humanities to discuss and present research on various topics.
- Nigerian Social Science Association (NSSA): NSSA is a professional association that promotes research and scholarship in social studies in Nigeria. It holds conferences and supports research on various topics related to social studies in Nigeria.
- African Association of Social Work Education (AASWE): AASWE is an organization that promotes social work education in Africa. It holds conferences and supports research on various topics related to social work education and practice in Africa.
These national and international bodies and conferences play a vital role in promoting social studies in Africa and Nigeria, supporting research and scholarship, and bringing together scholars, researchers, and practitioners in the field.