INVESTIGATION INTO FACTORS AFFECTING TEACHING OF LITERATURE IN SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOLS
INVESTIGATION INTO FACTORS AFFECTING TEACHING OF LITERATURE IN SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOLS
This research was carried out in order to investigate into the factors affecting the teaching of literature in some selected secondary schools in Pankshin Local Government Area. The research employed the survey research design. All secondary school students of literature in English in the selected local government formed the population of this study. The sample of this study consists of ten (10) selected secondary schools in the selected local government. The method of sampling applied in this work is the purposive sampling technique. The instrument for the collection of data was the questionnaire. The questionnaire was prepared for teachers. Simple mean was used for data analysis while the chi-square was used for testing of hypothesis. The findings of the study indicated that: the unavailability of recommended texts in secondary schools serves as a hindrance to the teaching of literature as students don’t get to lay their hands on the books; lofty language of a literary text, poem and drama makes it difficult for the students to read and understand: thereby making them to lose interest entirely; students are unmotivated when the text does not reflects their background or lifestyle. In line with the findings, the following recommendations were made: government and PTA should make the recommended texts available to the students in secondary schools, language of the prescribed texts should be simple or be at the level of the students, literature teachers should make literature lessons concrete by using instruction materials and improvisation when the need arises, students should read the recommended texts at home before coming to the class so that they can also contribute in the discussion.
1.1 Background for The Study
Literary arts are works of imagination, most of which are products of real life situations. Literary artists over the years have presented their thoughts showing considerable concerns regarding the state of affairs in their various societies as they affect the general masses of their societies. Their works therefore, represent the voices of the people. They express value and situations that reflects social life (Iortyer & Longdet, 2016).
Literature in English is an academic discipline today in schools and universities. It owes its heritage to ancient times. Its sources rise out of inherent nature of man. Its variations which reflect the social, political, religious, cultural and environmental changes of ages, and its objectives demonstrate the dominant ideas, events, concepts, beliefs as well as time and space in the society. In the contemporary society, both oral and written literature held allegiance to the African traditional society which started orally. Olehi (2005) stated that education can be more beneficial when it takes literature in English as its bedrock, because it deals with human innermost feelings. Abola (2004) has it that, our traditional literature(s) with which people are informed and the modern African literature have no differences. This shows that our traditional literature mould us while the modern literature modernizes us. Literature plays a vital role to individuals and the society. It should not be taken for granted.
Writers renew, expand and update language by discarding awkward and outdated syntactic structure and new grammatical forms of structure just as literature in English structure individual feeling, emotion as a vehicle for culture transmission and preservation. It performs the functions of preserving and propagating culture as stated by Oko (2004). The cultural values of a people are encoded in their literature. This calls for the attention of teachers of literature to make these plausible functions realizable by cultivating and stimulating positive students’ attitude towards literature. Many educationists are deeply concerned with improving the standard of literature in English.
Muouat (2002), Obah (2001), Elpa (2005) Udondata (1994) and Eka (1991) confirm the poor attitude and performance of students in literature in English at all levels.
The Nigerian government after the attainment of independence and with the wave of Western ideologies saw a great need of making literature in English a discipline in school curriculum. This was done not only to educate but to propagate the cultural heritage of the country. In achieving this, the curriculum was designed, personnel were trained, school building erected and learners were grouped according to age ability. Teaching and learning materials were made available to the school. Proper orientation and counselling were done. Teachers recruited into schools were not only qualified but also very conscientious and dedicated in the discharge of their legitimate duties. All these were done to enhance proper teaching and learning of literature in English. The teaching and learning of this subject starts from the first stage of formal education in poetry form known as nursery poem or rhymes which is done through recitation. It advances in stage as one advances in education. Literature is completely introduced in Junior Secondary School and it comprises of the three genres of literature. Literature in English and English language were integrated to be known as English studies, Ezenyiriobu (2001), which every student had to study.
Rivers (1968) states that the Junior high school curriculum should provide students with an organized introduction to many avenues of human knowledge and experience, showing him the possibilities which lie before him. The philosophy for Nigerian education report of the national curriculum conference (1969) cited by Uwaifor shows that out of the fifteen objectives stated for primary and secondary schools in Nigeria, the following can be achieved through the study of literature in English.
• Catering for the difference in talents, opportunities and roles open to students after their secondary education.
• Raising a generation of people who can be reflective for themselves.
• Encouraging students to develop a desire achievement, continual self improvement both in school and outside school.
• Helping students appreciate and understand Nigerian culture as well as the world’s cultural heritage.
• Fostering clear communication of thoughts and making relevant judgment.
In the light of the above and in consonance with the educational goal which is all round development of a child, a proper teaching and learning of literature in English is very desirable if the said goal is to be achieved.
It is evident that the teaching and learning of literature in English at the Senior Secondary School level is not properly handled due to some factors affecting it.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Over the years parents and educational stakeholders have expressed their concern over the failure of student in literature as a subject. This scenario is witnessed in both the internal and external examinations conducted yearly by National Examination Council (NECO) and West African Examination Council (WAEC). As a result of this failure, the researcher has seen the need to venture into digging out the problems militating against the proper teaching of literature in secondary schools.
Literature has become very relevant because, parents and the entire society send their wards to school to acquire knowledge, skill effectively and societal norms and values. The only best way to acquire this knowledge of societal norms and values is through the study of literature in English. It is true that this subject is not properly handled. This is as a result of some problems which include teacher factor, parental factor, curriculum planners factor and students factor. In the light of this, the research is out to find out the causes of these problems militating against the teaching and learning of literature in secondary schools.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is to identify the major factors that militate against proper teaching and learning of literature in English. Specific objectives are:
1. To determine factors that affect teaching and learning of literature in English.
2. To find out if there are teacher related factors which affect the proper teaching and learning of literature in English.
3. To discover if parent related factors influence the proper teaching and learning of literature in English.
4. To dig out other factors affecting teaching and learning of literature.
1.4 Research Questions
In order for the researcher to have a sense of guide, the following research questions are formulated which will be answered by the end of the research:
1. What factors affect teaching and learning of literature in English?
2. Are there teacher related factors that affect the proper teaching and learning of literature in English?
3. Are there parent related factors that influence the proper teaching and learning of literature in English?
4. Are there other factors affecting teaching and learning of literature?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The significance of this study cannot be overemphasized especially now that society is faced with a lot of challenges and poor attention is paid towards education, especially literature as a subject. The beneficiaries of this research include teachers, parents, students and curriculum planners.
To the teachers, it will become crystal clear that the problems of teaching literature can be neutralized if the problems are identified and solved.
The parents will get to understand the importance of literature which includes: reading proficiency, writing, speaking and inculcation of morals into their children. In the strength of this knowledge, they will encourage their children to take literature serious and even study it as a course in the university.
To the curriculum planners, learning has its challenges, therefore they will get to know the problems faced by teachers and students in the course of teaching and learning literature: they will look for ways to surmount it accordingly.
To the students, they will benefit from this study as all the problems encountered in the study of literature will be neutralized by the parents, teachers and curriculum planners thereby creating a conducive learning environment for the study of literature.
1.6 Scope/Delimitation of the Study
This study is based solely on factors affecting proper teaching and learning of literature in English in selected Senior Secondary Schools in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State. However, despite the fact that the study is restricted to Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State, its findings will be generic – it can be generalized to other parts of the country as well.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
These definitions as used in this project work:
1. Literature: This is a body of written works (such as poems, plays, and novels)
2. Teaching: This is the process by which a more knowledgeable person imparts knowledge on a learner or group of learners.
3. Teacher: It is a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.
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- Chapter 1 to 5
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- Preview Table of contents, abstract and chapter 1 below
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