1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
It is commonly established among educators that educational experiences involving learners actively engaged in real instances are retained longer than abstract lessons. Hence, instructional materials add dimensions of realism by offering tangible instances of learning. Many scholars, upon this fact, have written on the use of instructional materials both in teaching social studies and other related disciplines in order to improve teaching for intended social and behavioral changes. These scholars include the World Bank (1999), Greenwood (2001), Bozimo (2002), and Adekeye (2008). (2008). It was explicitly highlighted in the publications of these scholars that the use of instructional materials is a sine qua non in affecting the behavior of learners in all subjects, particularly social studies. Additionally, it was similarly proved by some of the academics that these materials are key catalysts of societal re-enginuering and transformation. On the other hand, social studies teaching and learning can not be properly achieved without the use of instructional resources.
Furthermore, the technological advancements have pushed instructional resources, particularly projected and electronic materials, to the forefront as the most radical instruments of globalization and social development, which has changed the classroom teaching-learning situation favorably. Such modern developments including networked and non-networked; projected and non-projected; visual, auditory, and audio-visual electronic materials are major landmarks in transmitting knowledge. With them, both teaching and learning become highly delightful experiences.
Specifically, instructional materials feature certain intrinsic characteristics that make them distinctive in social studies education. For one thing, they give the instructor with an intriguing and compelling platform for communicating knowledge because they stimulate learners to want to study more. Also, by giving chances for independent study and reference, the learner’s interests and curiosity are progressively encouraged. Further, the instructor is supported in overcoming physical problems that may have prevented his successful presentation of a certain subject. They typically make teaching and learning simpler and less stressful. They are equally significant catalysts for the social and intellectual growth of the students.
According to Bolick (2003), there is a beneficial association between social studies teaching and the usage of instructional resources. He stated that "although some educators have been captivated by the potential of instructional resources to improve teaching and learning, instructors have lagged behind in utilizing instructional materials during teaching and learning." Others noted concerns that instructional resources are important components of teaching-learning situations; they are not merely to supplement learning but to complement it. It thus illustrates that if there must be a successful teaching-learning activity, the exploitation of instructional materials will be required.
Contextually, Ema & Ajayi (2004) state that "teaching equipment and materials have evolved throughout the years, not just to ease teaching and learning settings but also to satisfy the instructional demands of people and groups." Instructional materials are made up of artifacts such as printed or audio-visual that help in the effective delivery of social studies classes. To this purpose, instructional materials are considered to be items or things the instructor may employ in the classroom when teaching in order to lighten off his teaching tasks (Chuba 2000). (Chuba 2000). However, instructional materials cannot handle all the teaching-learning difficulties, but they may go a long way towards fixing them, simply because they are extra equipment that can impact the reality of teaching and learning activities.
Furthermore, Joof (1995) noted that the notion of teaching aids has progressed through numerous phases, including basic aids, instructional technology, media, and communication, and educational technology. nevertheless, teaches us that instructional materials are not merely things or equipment utilized during the teaching-learning process, but those objects improvised by the instructor to make conceptual abstraction more tangible and practical for the learners. Instructional materials are the relevant resources employed by a teacher throughout the social studies instructional process with the goal of making the contents of the instructions more practical and less ambiguous. Ema & Ajayi (2006) opined that, without a teacher who is competent, educational materials cannot promote change and advancement. The only moment it starts to have an effect is when the teacher begins to make use of it and enables it to take over its values. The aforementioned authority, the expertise of the instructor, cannot be overemphasized in the usage and use of any instructional device for optimal learning.
The interactive nature of some of the resources makes the learners part of the learning process of the experiences. This is a wonderful thing since what good are resources when they are not adequately used for the teaching of social studies? Instructional materials are crucial aspects in every teaching-learning process. Ordinary words or verbalization have been shown to be enough for successful instruction. Instructional materials serve as a vehicle via which communications, information, ideas, and knowledge are transmitted more readily. They can, therefore, be controlled, seen, heard, touched, or spoken about. They facilitate actions. They include everything or anybody the instructor resorts to for aid in his learning process (Esu & Umoren, 1998).
Instructional materials grab the learners’ intellects and reduce ennui. Some of the special properties of educational materials include rapid learning and precision. They make the task simpler, more attractive, correct, neater, and increase the clarity of social studies topics. Effective use of instructional materials takes a lot of creativity as well as a strong grasp of social studies in their functioning. Bozimo (1992) stated that "there are continually growing amounts of audio and visual resources accessible to schools, and that instructors should take use of the chances to buy great videos and recordings covering a broad variety of topic subjects in the social studies curriculum."
The non-use of instructional resources in supporting the teaching and learning of the subject in a manner that would allow the students to learn from those practical experiences that the subject is designed to impart to the learners is a reoccurring problem in the field of social studies education in Oluyole Local Government Area of Oyo State. Social studies is a complete and integrated curriculum, and without the use of instructional materials in its teaching process, its aims and objectives will not be fulfilled.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The use of instructional materials in social studies instructions has been widely researched but many questions are still remains unanswered. The needs for exploring locally available materials as an alternative for the grossly unavailable materials in our schools, resourcefulness of the teacher must be in line with the learners’ curriculum and environment so that classroom teaching does not have to be retarded by lack of funds.
Hence, government must strive to develop her local technology in all its ramifications, since social studies is interested in providing solutions to man’s problems holistically. Many writers in social studies shave pointed out the grossly unavailability of instructional materials coupled with teachers attitude towards the utilization during classroom teaching-learning situations. The problems are that, instructional materials not available in our schools, teachers are not improvising and reluctant in using them.