The nature and objectives of Social Studies in Nigerian Secondary schools indicate the affective orientation of the subject. Studies abound on the dominance of cognitive orientation to the teaching and evaluation of the subject in the schools, an indication that the curriculum is poorly implemented. This study assessed the affective evaluation competences of Social Studies teachers in western Nigeria, using the observation methods and rating scale. It was found that the teachers' over-all affective evaluation competences were below the acceptable level and that professionally qualified non-graduate teachers demonstrated more competence than their graduate counterparts. The need to intensify the development of affective teaching skills in Social Studies teacher education was recommended.
Social Studies in Nigerian schools may be seen as a subject meant to develop in students a critical and balanced awareness (Lawton and Dufour, 1976). Ogundare (1988) posits that the modern social studies programme emphasizes the promotion of how to think, over what to think. Ogundare (1989) further opines that Social Studies in Nigeria is aimed towards social attitude formation. Kissock (1981) explains that the need for establishing Social Studies programme arises when a society determines that it requires formal instruction to develop a common set of understanding, skills, attitudes and actions concerning human relationship among all members of the society.
The various views on the nature of Social Studies portray the subject area as functional in orientation. It is expected that there would be a remarkable change in the nature of the personalities exposed to learning opportunities provided by Social Studies The views of Kissock (1981) about Social Studies as utilitarian in focus and Onyabe (1980) as the integration of knowledge and experience concerning human relations for the purpose of effective citizenship provides a basic frame work for this study.
Social Studies is therefore viewed mainly as a formal instruction to develop a common set of understanding, skills, values, attitudes, habits and actions concerning human relationships in the society. Hence, Iyamu (1998) views Social Studies as that aspect of education meant to help people learn how to get along with others. In Nigeria and perhaps like other places, it has to do with the development of socio-civic and personal behaviour. These are expressive of the affective orientation of Social Studies in Nigerian schools.
Consequently, the objectives of the secondary school Social Studies curriculum in the country include the following
i. To develop in students positive attitudes of togetherness, comradeship and cooperation towards a healthy nation through the inculcation of appropriate values of honesty, integrity, hard work, fairness and justice and fair play as one's contribution to the development of the nation
ii. The creation of awareness that discipline is essential for an orderly society (NERDC, 1981).
It could be said that the objectives of social studies lean more towards affective learning than the cognitive. This is in line with the view of Jarolimek (1981) that describes social studies as changing priorities from academic to socialization functions. Social Studies is expected to provide learners with adequate skills to relate effectively with their fellow human beings as well as their environment. In spite of this basic orientation of the subject, literature abounds on the cognitive approach to the teaching and evaluation of social studies in Nigerian schools ( Novak, 1977., Okunrotifa, 1981., and Iyamu, 1998). The practice in schools is that emphasis is laid on facts and information learning. Could it be that the teachers lack the needed competences to emphasize the affective orientation of social studies? Unless the teaching and evaluation of Social Studies in Nigerian schools reflect the affective orientation of the subject, its objectives cannot be seen to be realized nor the curriculum implementation effective. …