ANALYSING TEACHER PERCEPTION OF THE INCLUSION OF CIVIC EDUCATION IN THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM
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Background to the Study
Civic education is one of subjects included in the school curriculum in Nigeria.
There are many scholars that defined civic education according to their school of thought.
The following are the different definitions of civic education.
Civic Education is an important component of education that cultivates, citizens to participate in the public life of a democracy, to use their rights and to discharge their responsibilities with the necessary knowledge and skills.
Civic education can be broadly defined as the provision of information and learning experiences to equip and empower citizens to participate in democratic processes.
Civic education in a democracy is education in self-government.
Democratic self-government means that citizens are actively involved in their own governance; they do not just passively accept the dictums of others or acquiesce to the demands of others.
Civic education is the branch of political science that deals with civic affairs and the rights and duties of citizens.
Civic education means all the processes that affect peoples beliefs commitments, capabilities, and actions as members or prospective member of communities.
In November 2001 Civic Education was offered as an optional subject to pupils in the first grade of primary school (7-8 years old) and first year of secondary school (14-l5year old) classes operated outside the normal time table and the syllabi for Civic Education were developed from existing NGO Programs.
Teachers of Civic Education were selected from existing staff within schools, and received extensive training through workshops provided by the Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES).
The perception that Civic Education (CE) is an alternative choice to religious education has created a very unhelpful dynamic where these are perceived to be ‘rivals’, this is likely to be exacerbated by the ‘compulsory choice’ legislation that has been enacted for the coming school year.
The majority view across all stakeholder groups is that Civic Education should be a voluntary choice.
This may be due to a range of reasons.
For some, including the authorize of the Civic Education Curriculum, allowing pupils to choose whether or not to enroll in Civic Education reflects the practice of democratic values.
For others, the option to choose whether or not to enroll was likely important in the first year of a new and unfamiliar subject.
There are indications that some stakeholders see the subject as one that develops knowledge, attitudes and skills needed by all citizens of a democratic society, and should therefore be compulsory, but this is a minority view at this time. As pupils and parents will be required to choose between Civic Education and Religious Education in the 2002-2003 school years, issues of choice will likely receive greater attention.
The Ministry of Education and Sport introduce Civic Education and Religious Education in the coming year in a way that preserves possibilities for choice (Such as allowing pupils to attend both subjects).
Most teachers, parents and pupils think that 1-2 periods of Civic Education per week is adequate, but a significant number of schools pupils suggest that Civic Education classes should be more frequent.
Many of the lessons in the current curriculum attempt to cover an ambitious amount of material in a 45-minute period and Civic Education would likely benefit from an exploration of more creative scheduling options.
Longer periods at the schools level, for example would the opportunity to fully explore issues through active learning methods.
The introduction of Civic Education has exposed many teachers to the user of more interactive teaching methods.
The new methodologies have been widely applied by teachers and enthusiastically received, particularly by pupils.
The opportunity to interact and participate has made a strong contribution to students’ positive perceptions of the subject.
Reasons for the inclusion of civic education in the school curriculum
– Developing confidence to be able to participate in civic life
– Engaging in political processes
– Assuming the roles, rights and responsibilities usually associated with citizenship in democratic systems
– Being open, tolerant and responsible in exercising their rights and responsibilities.
– Understand their political and civic content
– Know their social and economic rights as well as their political and civil rights
– Understand their roles, rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
– Acquiring the ability to explain, analyses, interact, evaluate, defend a position and monitor processes and outcomes.
– Using knowledge for informed participation in civic and political processes.
Statement of the Problem
The Civic Education which had been included in the school curriculum in posing problem to the planning of the school curriculum in our education sector.
Any subject that will be included in the school should be in line with level of education in Nigeria.
The inclusion of civic education in the school curriculum is to expose the student to their rights and to know their obligation to the nation at large.
In the light of this there is a need to carry out a research on the teacher perception of the inclusion of civic education in the school curriculum in Nigeria.
Purpose of the study
The major purpose of this study is to comparatively assess the teacher perception of the inclusion of civic education in the school curriculum in Ibadan Nigeria.
To obtain the teacher view and their participation towards the inclusion of civic education in the school curriculum in Ibadan Nigeria.