Ability and Location Differences in the Effects of Guided Inquiry on Nigerian Students’ Achievement in Social Studies Curriculum

Abstract:

In line with global challenges, the education system in Nigeria is advocating a shift from teacher to studentcentered instructional methods such as Guided Inquiry. This study sought to examine the effects of the guided inquiry method (GIM) on students’ achievement in Social Studies curriculum in Anambra State relative to location and ability. It was guided by two research questions and two null hypotheses. The study was a quasi experimental design. Sample involved 160 JSS III Social Studies students selected through stratified random sampling technique from four randomly drawn secondary schools in Anambra State. A 20- item Social Studies Test was used to collect pre-test and post-test data for the study. The data obtained from the students were analysed using mean scores, standard deviation, t-test and the analysis of co-variance. Findings indicated that there were significant improvements in the mean scores of high and low ability learners in urban and rural school locations taught Social Studies with the Guided Inquiry method. This implies that irrespective of ability and school location, the guided inquiry method is more effective in raising students’ achievement in selected concepts of Social Studies curriculum more than the lecture method. Based on these findings, it was recommended among other things that in order to enhance students’ learning in Social Studies, new activity-based instructional strategies such as GIM should be adopted in secondary schools especially in teaching the subject to Junior secondary school students irrespective of their ability levels and school location.