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Cover Page – – – – – – – – i
Declaration Page – – – – – – – – ii
Approval Page – – – – – – – – iii
Dedication Page – – – – – – – – iv
Acknowledgements – – – – – – – v
Table of Contents – – – – – – – vii
Abstract – – – – – – – – – ix

1.1. Background to the Study – – – – – – 1
1.2. Statement of the Problem – – – – – – 7
1.3. Purpose of the Study – – – – – – – 7
1.4. Research Questions – – – – – – – 8
1.5. Research Hypothesis – – – – – – – 8
1.6. Significance of the Study – – – – – – 8
1.7. Scope/Delimitation of the Study – – – – – 9
1.8. Operational Definition Terms – – – – – – 10

2.0. Introduction – – – – – – – – 11
2.1 The Concept of Teaching Method – – – – – 11
2.1.1 Classification of Teaching Methods – – – – 15
2.2 Differences between Teaching Methods and Teaching Techniques – 16
2.3 Influence of Teaching Method on Pupils Attitude towards Social Studies 18
2.4 The Need for a Change in Teaching Strategy in Social Studies – – 19
2.5 The Concept of Play Way Method – – – – – 20
2.5.1. Learning through Play – – – – – – – 23
2.5.2. Play and child development – – – – – – 24
2.6 Discovery Method of Teaching – – – – – – 27
2.6.1. Stages of Discovery Learning – – – – – – 33
2.7 Influence of Teaching Method on Pupils’ Attitude towards Social Studies- 34
2.8 Empirical Studies – – – – – – – – 36
2.9 Summary of Literature Review – – – – – – 42

3.1 Research Design – – – – – – – – 43
3.2 Population and Sample – – – – – – – 43
3.3 Sampling Technique – – – – – – – 44
3.4 Research Instrument – – – – – – – 45
3.4.1 Description of Instrument – – – – – – 45
3.4.2 Procedure for instrument development – – – – 45
3.5 Validity of the Instrument – – – – – – 46
3.6 Procedure for Data Collection – – – – – – 46
3.7 Method of Data Analysis – – – – – – 46

4.0. Introduction – – – – – – – – 48
4.1. Presentation of Pupil’s Bio-Data – – – – – 48
4.3 Testing of Hypothesis – – – – – – – 53
4.4 Discussion of Findings – – – – – – – 54

5.0 Introduction – – – – – – – – 57
5.1 Summary of Findings – – – – – – – 57
5.2 Conclusion – – – – – – – – 58
5.3 Recommendations – – – – – – – 58
References – – – – – – – – 60
Appendixes – – – – – – – – 65



This research was conducted as a comparative study of discovery and play way methods in teaching and learning social studies in primary schools in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau state. The study adopted the experimental design. The population of the study consisted of all the primary two (2) pupils in four primary schools in Pankshin. A sample of 120 pupils were selected and used. They were divided into experimental and control groups of sixty (60) each, making a total of 120 sample. The instrument for data collection was test. The control group was taught with discovery method while the experimental group was taught with playway method. After the treatment the researcher administered the same test on the two groups. This was done in each of the four selected primary schools. The data was analyzed with mean score and t-test was used to answer the research questions and test the hypothesis respectively. The findings of the study indicated that there is a significant difference in the mean achievement scores of pupils taught social studies using play way method and those taught with discovery method. This is because pupils who were taught social studies using play way method performed better than those who were taught social studies using discovery method – they had a mean score of 10.25 while their counterparts in the experimental group had a mean score of 4.50 which is a remarkable achievement. It was also discovered in the course of the study that play way method is effective because learners who were called to serve as an example remembered when questions were asked of them. In light of the findings, the following among others were recommended: The use of play way method should be made an integral part of teacher education programme, Social studies teachers in primary schools should adopt the play way method in teaching and learning of social studies, curriculum planners should fashion curriculum to incorporate play method in the primary school curriculum.

1.9. Background to the Study
Many researchers have documented the fact that hands-on activities are among the best teaching strategies for learning among primary school children (Iroegbu, 2000; Eggen & Kauchak, 2006). Play-way teaching strategy is a hands-on teaching strategy which young children enjoy all the time (Brewer, 2007). Perhaps it will be profitable to introduce social studies at the Basic level through the use of play-way activities, since social studies had been taught at the primary school level in the past using teacher dominated classroom presentation and had produced the current level of social studies underachievement among former products of the primary schools. It is imperative therefore that some other strategy that holds some promise should be tried. This is one of the various teaching strategies.
The term strategy has been borrowed from military science. According Encyclopedia Strategy is the science or art of planning and directing large military movements and operations. It refers to the pattern of acts that serve to attain certain outcomes. If we use strategy in teaching learning situations, then it is known as instructional strategies. It means the determination of some policy before presenting the content with the help of which teaching objectives are achieved. It is some sought of planning for achieving goals. Strategy is that skill full planning of a working system by which the objectives can be achieved easily.
Strategy changes according to the changing situation. Teaching strategy is the means to achieve learning objectives. According to Stones and Morris (2011) teaching strategy is a generalized plan for a lesson which includes structure, desired learner behavior in terms of goals of instruction and an outline of planned tactics necessary to implement the strategy.
For Example:
1. Blackboard is a strategy to provide visual structure during a lecture or discussion.
2. Free writing is a strategy for encouraging students to explore ideas in writing.
3. Debate is a teaching strategy in which students organize planned presentation for various view points.
Play is one of the major preoccupations of children. It is an activity which every child would like to engage in if left alone. It is a worthy activity through which a child explores the world around him/her and which enables the child to acquire some firsthand knowledge and experience about the natural world. Children are never bored with playing. In support if this assertion, Brewer (2007) described play as what young children spend most of their time doing which contributes to cognitive growth, aiding social and emotional development and is essential to physical development. Many of the abilities required to succeed in school setting are gained through play experience.
Early childhood educators have described and documented numerous examples of play that can be used for teaching pupils (Osayin, 2002). Some of the popular forms of play include the following: functional plays which involve the children in muscular activities; symbolic play, which is a form of play in which children pretend to be what they are not; games with rules, which are plays that help children to acquire discipline and principles; constructive plays involve children with erecting structures and models; fantasy plays, which are plays where children imagine unrealistic notions like fairy tales; cognitive plays which lead children to acquire some direct knowledge; outdoor plays, rough and tumble play, cooperative play etc. It is not possible to exhaust here the various types of play which engage the practice of young children. Among the types of play listed here, cognitive plays hold great promise for the study of social studies (Brewer, 2007). However, whatever play that children engage in leads them to the acquisition of some vital skill, or experience or knowledge or some of these.
Since play does not produce boredom in children, it is therefore appropriate to deploy play activity for teaching various facts and skills as well as concepts to children. Data from field studies have shown that children learn more from handling and experimenting with actual objects than they do from pictures, stories, video or from being told (Morrison, 2006).The scholar further revealed that when children are encouraged to manipulate and interact with the world around them, they begin to construct concepts about relationships, attributes and processes. It is important to realize thast although these observations were made with children in the developed world, it is necessary to try out such experiments in the third world countries so that the experiences of children from the developing nations may also be documented. It is possible that children from the developing nations will benefit equally when provided with adequate play material including models of objects and real world items similar to those available to children in the developed nations. While expository teaching is based on teachers (who are believed to be an expert on their subject) planning and presenting the information in a set timeframe, generally in an atmosphere where learners are passive listeners (Terzi, Eryılmaz, Anadol & Kaya, 2009), Discovery Learning is where the teacher’s role is more in the line of being a facilitator helping the learners to discover information by deduction and construction (Kaufman, 1971). The main initiators of this approach to learning is Bruner (Denbo, 1994), John Dewy, Jean Piaget, and Lev Vygotsky based on their constructivist learning theories (Castronova, 2002) as well as Hilda Taba’s curriculum based projects on Discovery Learning in the 1960’s (Kaufman, 1971).
The discovery method is considered as one of the teaching methods that enable the child to achieve the actual interaction with activities; so he can acquire different concepts and skills. Ather (1994) referred to the importance of previous experience in interpreting and classifying many ambiguous stimuli. Sirag (2000) indicated that the guided discovery is one of the teaching strategies, which depends on the learner’s activity and the teacher’s direction in order to reach the targeted educational goals, in the educational situation. The guided discovery teaching method depends on the problem solving approach which can highly affect the teaching of difficult skills, especially among children since they need to understand the world around them, form different concepts and gain different skills. This could be fulfilled through the direct interaction with items in addition to noticing and discovering their components. Adopting the guided discovery method is very important in enabling the learners with intellectually disabled children to acquire many concepts. Many studies proved that if the child received a good training on the concepts and skills that fit his capacities and potentials, he will be capable of acquiring many skills that will qualify him to live normally and safely in his society.
In the last few decades the approach to education is increasingly steering towards more learner centered approach of which Discovery Learning is a part. The reason for this is because it has been found to instil curiosity and motivation in learners to analyze and make sense of the information they encounter (Castronova, 2002). This in return results in better knowledge retention (Balım, 2009). The discovery approach to learning exposes pupils to pleasant discomforts which promote learning and self actualization and hence provides positive reinforcement. It has been establish that learning that is meaningful to pupils is developed through discoveries that occur during exploration motivated by curiosity (Bruner, 1964). Okere (1996) discussed that teachers should maximize the degree to which learners expand their knowledge by developing and testing hypothesis rather than merely reading or listening to verbal presentations of information. Emphasis is to be put on activities that encourage learners to search, explore analyze or actively process input rather than merely respond to it. When this approach to teaching is practiced in social studies, the learners’ mind is opened to understanding how the general principles and laws came about.
The discovery approach to learning exposes learners to circumstances of failure, hence the learner learns through mistakes of trial and error. Learners exposed to discovery learning go through a natural progressive process which enhances learner’s internalization of concepts (Papert, 2000). This makes learning more permanent as opposed to traditional methods of learning that are fact based that result in rote learning (Mosca & Howard 1997, Bonwell, 1998 & Papert, 2000).
Employers are now interested more in employees with good problem solving techniques. Learners in huge business enterprises such as general motors, Microsoft, Safaricom and Rank Xerox look for employees who can easily adapt to change by requiring little training once they are hired (Lunenburg, 1998). Graduates from schools are expected to collaborate, work in teams, teach others and negotiate (Rice & Wilson, 1997). Further business and society expects graduates to acquire, interpret and evaluate data to learn reason and solve problems.
By this century, there is little research that has been done to compare the discovery approach with play way methods of teaching. This study wants to fill this gap through comparative analysis of discovery and play way methods for effective teaching and learning of social studies in Primary Schools in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State.
1.10. Statement of the Problem
Over the years, researchers in the field of social studies have lamented on the rate of failure of learners in social studies. This rate of failure has been attributed to a lot of factors which include; parental background, poor qualifications, teaching methods among others. According to Nwogu (2009), for students and pupils, different topics in different subject demand different teaching methods; this depends on the level. Therefore, it can be safely said that not all teaching methods can be used for a particular subject, group of learners and topic if learning is to be effective. The age of the learners have to be considered when choosing a teaching method.
For children at the primary level, it takes a careful selection of teaching methods to make learning effective. This research therefore seeks to make a comparative analysis of discovery and play way methods for effective teaching and learning of social studies in primary schools in Pankshin Local Government Area.
1.11. Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to make a comparative analysis of discovery and play way methods for effective teaching and learning of social studies in primary schools in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State. Specifically, the main objectives of this study are:
1. To determine the performance of pupils taught social studies using discovery method.
2. To determine the performance of pupils taught social studies using play way method.
3. To compare the performance of pupils who were taught social studies with discovery method and those who were taught social studies with play way method.
1.12. Research Questions
In order to serve as a guide, the following research questions have been formulated which will be answered at the end of the research:
1. What is the mean score performance of pupils taught social studies using discovery method?
2. What is the mean score performance of pupils taught social studies using play way method?
3. What is the difference in the mean score performance of pupils who were taught social studies with discovery method and those who were taught social studies with play way method?
1.13. Research Hypothesis
H0: There is no significant difference in the mean performance of pupils taught with discovery method and those taught with play way method.
1.14. Significance of the Study
The importance of this study cannot be overlooked especially now that the relevance of teaching method is the paramount determinant of the academic performance of learners, especially pupils at the primary school levels. The beneficiaries of this study include government, teachers, curriculum planers and the pupils who are at the center of the research.
To the government, the study will be of importance to them because they are the pulse string or the finance of education. Therefore, they will provide the necessary facilities and equipments to facilitate or enhance the use of play way and discovery method in teaching learners at the primary school level.
The curriculum planners who structure learning experiences, they will get to know the importance of using play way and discovery methods of teaching at the primary school level. Therefore, they will advocate for the use of these methods by teachers for the effective teaching and learning.
Coming to the teachers who are the implementers of the curriculum, they will also come to see the importance of using play way or discovery method in teaching learners at the primary school level.
Learners at the primary school level who are the reasons for this research will benefit from this study as the recommendations made from this study will enhance their academic performance, especially when discovery or playway method is used to teach them.
1.15. Scope/Delimitation of the Study
This study covers a comparative analysis of discovery and play way method of teaching for effective teaching and learning of social studies in Primary schools. The study is limited to some selected primary schools in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State. However, despite the fact that the study is limited to the selected local government, its findings can be applied or generalized to other parts of the state and country.
1.16. Operational Definition Terms
Discovery Method: A largely unstructured, situational method or philosophy of teaching whereby students are permitted to find solutions to problems on their own or at their own pace, often jointly in group activities, either independent of or under the guidance of a teacher.
Play Way Method: Play-way method of learning is a complete package that enables overall development of the child by developing in terms of feelings, intellect and skills parameters. It not only focuses on subjective development but the emotional development of the child as well.
Teaching: Teaching is a process in which one individual teaches or instruct another individual. Teaching is considered as the act of imparting instructions to the learners in the classroom situation. It is watching systematically. Dewey:- considers it as a manipulation of the situation, where the learner will acquire skills and insight with his own initiation.
Learning: Learning is the process of acquiring new, or modifying existing, knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences. The ability to learn is possessed by humans, animals, and some machines; there is also evidence for some kind of learning in certain plants. Some learning is immediate, induced by a single event (e.g. being burned by a hot stove), but much skill and knowledge accumulates from repeated experiences. The changes induced by learning often last a lifetime, and it is hard to distinguish learned material that seems to be “lost” from that which cannot be retrieved.

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