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Background to the Study

The recognition of culture, differences of various ethnic groups has directly influenced the

content and approaches to Social Studies. The nature of Social Studies is that it is a study where

the nature of man is its major central focus of attention. Social Studies therefore organizes its

content around relevant knowledge, values and skills that constitute the wide sphere of man. The

subject has also been seen as a prime discipline adopted to socialize our young and function as a

means of promoting progress towards the major social education goals that have been identified

for emphasis - civic duties or development of citizen participation skills, acquisition of desirable

attitudes and values, disciplined life etc. The scope of Social Studies therefore, varies depending

on the level one wants to cover. Its scope involves the" determination of what aspects of the

various constituent contents would be most valuable for the realization of the objectives of Social

Studies. It is therefore obvious that Social Studies is by its very nature a dynamic discipline

which is wide and cannot be expected to have distinct boundaries. The scope certainly covers

both immediate and distant environment in content and Methodology. The exquisite and transfer

of knowledge require some instructional strategies. The Social Studies teacher needs to acquire

competence in his approaches to the teaching of Social Studies. These competences include

content competence; competence in transmitting the content to the learner and competence in the

use of variety of instructional strategies, and competence in evaluating instruction. The teaching

and learning processes involve some methods and means of enhancing meaningful learning

through the use of instructional resources.

The significance of the family in our lives cannot be overemphasized. It is in this light that

society continues to survive by means of procreation. It is through the family that people obtain

their needs and comfort.

According to Ayitey (2002), the following are the importance of the family:

a. Procreation: the family is a social ground where children are born.

b. Physical care: the older generation of the family has the responsibility to provide children

with food, clothing and shelter.

Just as the family is useful in our lives so is the extended family system. The extended family

according to Ayitey (2002) refers to the collection of several nuclear families put together.

According to Foli R and Asante E (2005), with the extended family system, grand parents can

help in the upbringing of children. Children can have several relations from which they can learn

good moral behaviours from; they feel secured due to the presence of these extended family


Also, due to the large family sizes children learn to, live happily together and cooperate with

each other as family, notwithstanding the importance of the family and for that matter the

extended family system. Pupils of Kpatinga D/A Junior High School do not understand the

composition of the extended family system.

The term extended family defines a family that extends beyond the immediate family, consisting of

grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all living nearby or in the same household. An example is a

married couple that lives with either the husband or the wife's parents. The family changes from

immediate household to extended household. In some circumstances, the extended family comes to live

either with or in place of a member of the immediate family. These families include, in one household,

near relatives in addition to an immediate family. An example would be an elderly parent who moves in

with his or her children due to old age. This places large demands on the caregivers, particularly on the

female relatives who choose to perform these duties for their extended family. In modern Western

cultures dominated by immediate family constructs, the term has come to be used generically to refer to

grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins, whether they live together within the same household or not.

However, it may also refer to a family unit in which several generations live together within a single

household. In some cultures, the term is used synonymously with consanguineous family.

In a stem family, a type of extended family, first presented by Frdric Le Play, parents will live

with one child and his or her spouse, as well as the children of both, while other children will

leave the house or remain in it unmarried. The stem family is sometimes associated with

inegalitarian inheritance practices, as in Japan and Korea, but the term has also been used in

some contexts to describe a family type where parents live with a married child and his or her

spouse and children, but the transfer of land and moveable property is more or less egalitarian, as

in the case of traditional Romania, Northeastern Thailand or Mesoamerican indigenous

peoples.[6] In these cases, the child who cares for the parents usually receives the house in

addition to his or her own share of land and moveable property.

In 1996, 21% of all people were living as a part of an extended family. An extended family is

two or more adults from different generations of a family, who share a household. It consists of

more than parents and children; it may be a family that includes parents, children, cousins, aunts,

uncles, grandparents, foster children etc. The extended family may live together for many

reasons, help raise children, support for an ill relative, or help with financial problems.

Sometimes children are raised by their grandparents when their biological parents have died or

no longer can take care of them. Many grandparents take some primary responsibility for child

care, particularly when both parents work. Extended families can be found all over the world in

different communities and countries. The number of these families has increased by 40 percent

in the past ten years.

Kpatinga D/A Junior High School is situated at Kpatinga, a community in the Gushegu District

of the Northern region in Ghana. The inhabitants are basically traders and other government

workers from different region of the country. People from the community are predominantly

Dagombas and almost all the religions practiced in Ghana are practiced over here but it must be

put to record that most people are Muslims. Members of the community are so busy to the extent

that hardly do parents and sibling visit other relatives such as grandparents, uncles, aunts, nieces

and nephews among other. Pupils are unable to stay with their relatives to understand the

composition of the extended family system.

Perceived Problem

During one of my social studies lessons in Kpatinga D/A Junior High School, I observed that

pupils could not state the composition of the extended family system.

This problem came to light when the pupils were not able to mention or describe the composition

of the extended family system in one of my social studies lessons. These pupils could not even

tell or identify the people who constitute the extended family system. Upon further

investigations, through class exercises, brainstorming, and discussions in class, I noticed that the

students were finding it difficult to understand the concept of the extended family. This therefore

prompted me to carry out the study in order to come out with strategies that will enable us

address the problem of the pupils.

Problem diagnosis

The researcher identified that students found it difficult to understand the concept of the

extended family system. The study is therefore designed to disclose some of the causes of their

inability to understand the topic.

The researcher seeks to use the observation, interview and the tests instruments to achieve the

sole objective of improving students understanding of the concept of extended family system.

Evidence of the problem

The researcher conducted on simple test after delivering a lesson on the concept of extended

family system and the results obtained by the pupils were very unsatisfactory. About 87% of the

students were not able to answer any of the questions. This prompted the researcher to take a

critical review of the methods used in the lesson delivery.

Causes of the Problem

The main cause of the students inability to understand the concept of the extended family

system was attributed to the use of the wrong method of lesson delivery. The researcher observed

that teachers could not relate the concept taught in the classroom to the ordinary life activities in

pupils homes.

Also the researcher observed that pupils do not use books to serve help them study at home to

complement the efforts made in the classroom.

Objectives of the study

The main objective of the study is to improve understanding of pupils in the concept of the

composition of the extended family system. The findings of the study would be considered as

being success if in the end the suggestions if well implemented would promote the understanding

of pupils of extended family in the field of social studies.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to identify the reasons why pupils of Kpatinga D/A Junior High

School form one cannot outline the composition of the extended family system. Also, it is to help

in identifying practical activities, play and dramatization to enable pupils understand the topic.

Research Questions

The question below will help unveil why pupils in Kpatinga D/A Junior High School do not

understand the structure and composition of the extended family system.

1. What are the causes of pupils in Kpatinga D/A Junior High School inability to outline the

composition of the extended family system?

2. What concrete and practical teaching methods can be adopted to help pupils understand

the concept and composition of the extended family system?

Relevance of the Study

The study will be very significant to the pupils of Kpatinga D/A Junior High School as it will

help them understand the concept and composition of the extended family system.

Furthermore, social studies teachers will find the study useful in handling similar topics relevant

to the composition of the extended family.

The causes of the inability of pupils to understand this area of concern will also be ear marked so

that solutions can be identified and systems put in place to help these pupils.


The study was delimited to Kpatinga D/A Junior High School only due to the large enrolment in

the school and time available could not permit the researcher complete then entire study on time

for the pupils were more than one class.




This chapter deals with relevant literature of the study. It consists of the theoretical and empirical

evidence by other researchers.

This review is organized under the following topics: composition of the extended family; reasons

why pupils do not understand the extended family system and the methods of teaching social

studies in Junior High School through dramatization, role play and demonstration.

Composition of the Extended Family

Extended family system consists of both paternal and maternal relations including parents

(mother and father), siblings (brothers and sisters) uncles, aunties, nieces, nephews,

grandparents, grand children and many others.

Many researchers and scholars have so many views on the extended family system. According to

Foli R and Asante E (2005) an extended family consists of father, mother, children, uncles,

aunties, cousins, nieces, nephews, grandparents and grandchildren.

Gyekye K (1996) also stated that the extended family composes of a large number of blood

relations who trace their descend from a common ancestor and who are held together by a sense

of obligation to one another.

Other scholars see the extended family as an expansion of the nuclear family (parents and

dependent children), usually built around a linear descend (i.e. a group in which descend is

through either the female or male line is emphasized). The extended family system often but not

exclusively occurs in regions where the economic conditions make uneasy for the nuclear family

to gain self-sufficiency. In china for example, the extended family traditionally includes the

nuclear family heads of the household his married daughters, his sons and their families and so

forth. The extended family may include more distant kin but the uncles, aunts or cousins usually

belong to the same class members of the core lineage.

The relationship between members of the extended family is such that the form of address a

person employs consists of an extension of the nuclear family within the resident clan. In

matrilineal family for instance, a person might refer to his uncle a father and to the latters child

as brothers and sisters. The extended families do not necessarily live in the same dwelling but

normally the members live close together and work in teams.

It is common for the senior kin to take role of mate selection for marriageable age, who are

considered too inexperienced to make a proper choice. Qualities sought in a spouse by the

interested kin in an extended family include work ability, capacity to adopt, proactive power,

social status and financial worth.

In common usage the extended family has been given variety of meaning. It may for example

refer to a household that includes other kin in addition to the members of the nuclear family.

Definition of the extended family incorporates other kin beyond domestic group who do not

belong to the nuclear family. For example a married couple lives with the husbands parents or a

grandparent and shares a common household, the family changes from a nuclear to extended

family system.

In his article parents of kinship residence, Max E. Stanton (1995) offers clarity in defining an

extended family as an ongoing body with geographical base and it transcends the lifetime of its

members. The composition of the extended family with its nuclear family and independent

single adult changes constantly but the extended family itself continues with new leaders and

new members as individuals depart or as generations pass on.

It is common for the senior kin to assume the role of mate selection for those of marriageable

age, who are considered too inexperienced to make a proper choice. Qualities sought in a spouse

by the interested kin in an extended family include work ability, capacity to adapt, procreative

power, status, and financial worth.

In common usage, the term extended family has been given a variety of meanings. It may, for

example, refer to a household that includes other kin in addition to the members of the nuclear

family (known in anthropological terminology as a conjugal family), or it may be loosely applied

to mean all living consanguineal kin. Compare nuclear family.

An extended family can include a wide array of relationships. There can be genealogical

connections between relations (e.g. in laws, adoptive or foster families and aunts and uncles);

Consanguineous relations (e.g. cousins, half siblings); fictive kin (those perceived as extended

family members though they are not related by blood or law for example good parents, best

friends or sundry other relations (e.g. stepparents or strep siblings in blended or reconstituted

families). To be succinct, Bernard Farber (2000) and Maria Schmeckle and Susan Spreecher

(2004) support a definition of extended family to include a third (e.g. grandparent) or even fourth


Colleen Lewahy Johnson (1998), Riley (1993) and Judith Stacy (1990) observed that extended

family occurs in various voluntary and malleable contexts making voluntary membership

changeable and to some extent ambiguous. It consists of three interlocking nuclear families:

families of origin, family of procreation and family of affinal relations (e.g. in-laws). The family

experiences and learning occurs here. By contrast, the family of procreation is a group created

when adults adhere to a socially organized bond, such as marriages and raising of children. The

affinal family derives from social connection acquired through family procreation. Most people

remain stable through changing and status in or more extended families through their lives.

In the olden days, extended families played a big part in helping new parents. Grandparents were

often present to help with the new baby. Extended family members often lived under one roof or

just down the road. Children saw their relatives often enough to know who was who. Today, this

is usually not the case. Modern extended families can be quite different from extended families

genesis or years ago.

The Extended Family in Ghana

In some societies/communities in Ghana, i.e. the Gas, Ewes, Northerners etc..., descend is from

the father's side and we call it patrilineal descend or inheritance. In other societies too, descend is

traced from the mother's side like my tribe the Asantes (Ashantis) being part of the great Akan

tribe of Ghana, that is matrilineal. We describe siblings as one or two more children having

one/both parents in common-brothers and sisters.

The family, according to Sociologist F.T. Wright and F. Randall-in their book: Basic

Sociology,(1978) they posit that the fundamental association is the family association of mother

and child: and that the family association is the normal and common association of parents and


For instance, the extended family is responsible for the Right de Passage-the initiation into

adulthood/womanhood, i.e. Bragoro, Puberty Rights of the Akans (Asantes) of Ghana into

womanhood and the Dipo, of the Krobos also of Ghana, Or the male circumcision-the removal

of the foreskin of the male organ.

The extended family served as a conduit pipe -to establishing standards and clan identification.

Also, one's socio-cultural development starts from the extended/nuclear family; it moulds one's

character/training to fit into society; shapes one's belief in witchcraft, juju, vodoo, etc.

The other obvious functions of the extended family includes teaching its members singing,

drumming dancing and attendance at shrines or neo-Christian(spiritual) church worshiping: it

serves as a social control agency; protect, punishes its members who offend the law and rewards

those who deserve rewarding.

The New Extended Family

Judith Stacey (1990) observed that while it is true that todays extended family may be walking

even driving before they meet some of the extended family members most families still have

some extended family nearby. Geographical isolation is by far more common among upper-

middle class families who tend to migrate to cities where they already have relatives.

But even when the extended family members are relatively close, there is no escaping the fact

that families do not live more privately than they once did. In some cases, extended families still

give day-to-day assistance with child care and other household tasks. More often, though each

branch of the family retains its fundamental independence.

What does all this mean for kids? Essentially, children become more emotionally depend on

their parents. Do not expect your child to consider a seldom seen relative important. Unless you

find a way to open your familys network your children will probably be separated from the

extended family.

Some families hold regular family get - together or large family reunion to re- establish a more

integrated sense of family. Of course, holidays and childrens birthdays provide an avenue for

any family member who lives close by to interact with each other. You can help your toddler to

start to understand the idea of extended family by creating a unique my family photo album

with pictures and names. When he is a little older, you can commence to show the nature of the

relationship with family tree.

Other families experiment with alternate ways to open up the family, for example, some form

babysitting, food and other kinds of cooperatives. This simply means several couples pull

specific resources. This lessens the burden of couples having to do everything alone.

A family cluster is away to create a surrogate extended family. Several families meet regularly

and become emotionally close. They share values, attitudes and tasks. For children, this provides

an increased number of significant adults and playmates. One area where grand parents can be an

enormous aid is watching younger children (siblings) while parents are at work.

Reasons Why People Do Not Understand the Extended Family System

Awuni T. in his research came out that, most pupils do not comprehend the family system

composition because socialization of children is done exclusively by their biological parents thus

childr3en do not benefit from the rich experiences of some members of the family.

In the opinion of Foli R. and Asante E. (2005), children may not even know their kinsmen well

because of limited visits and interactions.

People do not understand the composition of the extended family system because most families

now live separately and privately than they once did hence pupils do not understand the

constitution or composition of the extended family

Resources for Teaching in Social Studies

Norwood (1949) observes that "though there are vast quantities of Social Studies materials, yet

there are two important considerations which the teacher must face in using these aids effectively

- the teacher must know where he can find them and must select those materials which will best

fit his particular needs". He goes further to highlight some other considerations in selecting

classroom materials. These include the need for materials to be adaptable in content, format and

style to the age and reading level of the group using them.

Teaching resources in Social Studies mean anything that can assist the teacher in promoting

teaching and learning. When the students are given the chance to learn through more senses than

one, they can learn faster and easier and be able to remember the material learnt for a longer

time. The teacher should, however, note that the resources used should be able to captivate or

arouse the interest of the students.

Materials consist of the major tools the teacher employs in transmitting knowledge, e.g.

environment resources, printed materials which could be textbooks or semi-text (i.e. charts,

maps, pictures, photographs which are commercially made) and non-texts which include models,

real objects, video, films and audio aids.

From the foregoing, it is evident that some schools are now able to make greater use of some of

the more dynamic and attractive techniques of education now possible with the device of

educational technology. Below are some resources available in a variety of forms in the teaching

of Social Studies.

Pictorial presentation is effective particularly for students having reading difficulties or small

vocabularies. Pictures help to illustrate and bring a sense of reality to what is taught, while charts

contain the lesson material itself. While pictures stimulate interest, create correct impression and

bring lesson to life, charts, on the other hand, are valuable in the presentation of materials to be

taught in their simplest form. When pictures are used, the teacher should use a variety of them in

order to impress his points on the students. When charts are used to stress some important facts,

they should be clear and large enough to be seen from any part of the classroom.

Tillman (1976) emphasized the use of models in helping the teacher organize relevant

information in the process of teaching. He asserted that "when information is presented 'in the

format of an instructional model, we have a readymade plan or the kinds of teacher-behaviour

that brings about desired student-learning. Hence, models and specimens have distinct appeal to

children and attract their close attention better than a chart. The usefulness of models cannot be

over-emphasized because they reduce to handy sizes things that would otherwise be difficult to


A resource centre has different meanings. But generally, it refers to a place or space where the

students and teachers may find information and instructional materials not available in the

classroom. Among these may be toys, maps and references or library materials, instructional

equipments, real objects or specimen and artifacts. Some major resources centres of educational

values to Social Studies are the library, the immediate environment, museums and national

archives. The provision of school library with adequate supply of books should be a priority item

for schools. It is the major resource centre for learning activity. The resource offered includes not

only books in abundance, but also microfilm, charts, filmstrips, videotapes and other materials.

The library is therefore; set aside to meet the appetite for learning and to feed the hunger form

understanding. Students can be assigned to read some items in the library to broaden their

understanding of what the teacher has taught in the classroom.

The national archives have official records of all government agencies and noncurrent records of

the government considered worthy of permanent preservation. The archives help students to

open many new vistas of our experience.

The museums on the other hand, provide the opportunity for the students to examine artifacts and

see statue which can aid the understanding of what they have read in books. Kavett (1976) in his

support for artifacts stressed that the purpose of archeological digging is to find artifacts which

fill in information .gaps". It is therefore valuable to use original materials in preference to

predigested information upon which some authors have already imposed various interpretations.

There is at present varieties of instructional tools known as audiovisual devices and materials.

The application of these instructional tools range from the use of small cameras by an instructor

to show close - ups within his classroom to an airborne studio broadcasting to many states.

Self-contained classroom television system, camera, video tape recorder, radio and filmstrips

offer exciting possibilities for all sorts of teaching. Video tape would be of help in the class role-

playing activities. It is in the light of this, that Route (1958) concluded that "from the video

screen, the child learns to recognise the fallible and the humorous aspects of life", while.

Gordon (1969) asserted that "by allowing the use of video tape recorder, students see themselves

as they are actually seen by other students could gain realistic insights into their own

personalities and idiosyncrasies". From this type of simulated activity, the teacher and the class

could judge the effectiveness of their respective participants vis-a-vis the actual expectations for

such a role.

Tape recording has been found to be valuable in meeting such problems as found in mixed

ability group. The adaptability of tape recorder for passive or active use has its great advantage.

The teacher can record the students' activities i.e. discussion and this could be played back as

many times as possible.

Television is one of the great electronic devices which shape our changing world. It has been

found to be powerful medium which can be used to improve the quality of instruction, enrich the

curriculum and extend the benefits of such schooling to millions of children who will otherwise

be deprived of opportunities that should have been opened to them. The students can learn from

it as they can from teachers, text and other resources. Through television programmes, current

affairs, discussions on issues could be seen and heard.

Filmstrips are effective for teaching Social Studies. They serve two purposes: The projector and

screen can produce pictures and sound at the same time. Presentation of a film could prelude a

discussion lesson. Hence film strips help to stimulate and activate students' interest on a topic.

A film projector on the other hand can only produce pictures without any sound. It could also be

urged to stimulate the students' interest and attention before a discussion on the subject matter

shown on the screen.

The recent years have witnessed tremendous interest in micro computer as educational medium.

The varied capabilities of the computer could add an exciting instructional features to simulation

games in Social Studies. Hason (1975) concluded his study on micro computer by saying that

"the increasing availability of micro computer hardware and soft ware will soon make it possible

for all Social Studies teachers to take advantage of this unique medium.

Though the audio-visual devices have been known to improve and affect learning, the expensive

and relative sophistication of these devices have, to some extent, restricted their educational use.

Methods of teaching social studies in JHS

The methods of teaching social studies in junior high schools are as follows: role-plays,

dramatization and demonstration.

Role play or simulation method

This is a situation where people are made to imitate and pretend to perform the duties of

particular person. They tend to act the roles of a father, mother, teacher, nurses, just to be

mentioning a few. They picture and see themselves as these people and perform their duties as


This is a simplified model of a real-world situation. Simulation is usually used for teaching

concepts and principles that are not easily observable such as theoretical concepts.

They are dynamic and lively ways of presenting ideas, problems, issues and realities in our past

and present societies.

Simulation comes from the Latin word "Similis" which means, to act like, to resemble. It is

therefore expected that through this method, a situation will be created in which activities are

presented as if they are real-life. There are three major kinds of simulation methods. These

consist of historical simulation, simulation activities and simulation games.

Historical simulations are dramatizations in which past incidents are relived and real characters

portrayed. Examples include the hoisting of the Ghana Flag on the first independence day, the

crowing of an Oba or the turbaning of an Emir.

Simulation activities include practical exercises wherein students play role or act what really

happens in an occasion of organisation e.g. a mock state house of assembly, ECOWAS meeting,

O. A. U. meeting, bank, etc.

Simulation games or instructional games are used for educational purpose. They are activities

that involve rules, competitions and players. The outcome of the game are determined less by

chance and more by decision made by the players. Thus, simulation games are commercially

sold-board-games of which "Monopoly" is very common. There are other games which model

social, economic, and political events, but "Monopoly" is a simulation of buying, developing and

renting of properties. There are other games that can simulate economic operations, election

procedures, historic battles, miniature stock market operations, career choice etc. There seems to

be evidence that these games are effective in dealing with the learners attitudes.

Simulations are highly motivating to students and they bring about increased interest when they

are used. They have been used in teaching skills e.g. war strategies. They provide the group (s)

involved in the game with a common and shared experience that can be used to make learning

more meaningful and effective. Topics that look too difficult or abstract e.g. morality,

democracy, patriotism, followership, leadership, conflict prejudice etc. can beunderstood if

demonstrated through simulation activities.

Teachers using the simulation method must be aware that it takes a great deal of time and

students tend to be very noisy, disorderly and sometimes prove very difficult to control.

Students should therefore, be prepared and enlightened on how to conduct themselves during

simulation activities. This demands adequate preparation from the teacher and the establishment

of the value and relevance of the activities to the syllabus


According to Tanwam (2005), demonstration is the presentation of the pre-arranged series of

events or activities to a group of students for their observation. It is primarily an activity which

combines talking, acting in front of an audience.

Demonstrations are the repetition of series of planned actions designed to illustrate certain

phenomena. Demonstrations can be presented by the students or teachers.

The use of demonstration is to make some information clear. Demonstration can also be used to

introduce a certain topic for study by presenting some vivid illustrations. It can be used either as

the starting point for a unit of instruction in Social Studies or to provide a convincing conclusion.

There are many advantages of demonstration, especially when there is shortage of Social Studies

equipment. Topics like cultural patterns such as mode of dressing of a certain tribe, music,

dancing etc. can be effectively taught by demonstration. A good Social Studies teacher can by

means of carefully planned demonstrations, teach a larger number of students then he could by

any other method. It is economical in terms of teaching-hours and materials.

Though demonstration is a useful teaching device, it should not be indiscriminately used or to the

exclusion of other teaching techniques.


According to Logem and Remington (1969), dramatization is a form of an organized play in

which some of the participants represent individuals in history or contemporary society and

exhibits or shows the behaviour in the form of improvised action.

It is one of the most effective methods of stimulating the students in what they learn. It is a

natural way by which students express freely their understanding of the life around them. The

method allows for a great deal of involvement and participation by the students physically,

emotionally and mentally. In a situation where a lesson or topic is dry, dramatization could

effectively help to sustain the students' attention and interest. Dramatization involves direct and

simple techniques such as mining playlet and role-playing which can be allocated for such


The teacher could engage students who are less active in academic work. This opportunity would

create a sense of belonging in them. The teacher must make adequate preparation to allow the

participants know what part to play. The drama to be staged must rely a good deal on the realistic

imagination of the students to make it effective and relevant.

Unfortunately, this imagination may sometimes be too realistic to be relevant. While student

written plays are useful and often the most important part of the exercise, they do take up a lot of

time which the teacher may feel they do not justify. Nevertheless, dramatization provides among

other things, an avenue for respect of opinion of others, the attitude of co-operation within the

coactors, development of desirable skills, confidence and self-esteem, and the opportunity for the

students to express themselves freely. Students can be led to dramatize the function of a family,

the role of the father or mother, honesty, leadership, followership etc. which are topics in the

Social Studies syllabus.

Problem - Solving Method

This method enables the students to think about a problem, try to understand the problem and

finally evaluate information in order to find solution(s) to the problem that has been identified.

The method demands the use of Scientific approach in the teaching and learning processes. The

method recognises that there is an orderly procedure in the thinking process.

The method focuses the learner's attention on activities which may involve arrangement,

classification, sorting out and interacting with facts with the ultimate goal of finding a logical

answer to a specific problem.

In most cases, teachers are faced with the problem of determining the type of problem to be

solved. They should be guided by the fact: that problem-solving method should be child centred.

The teacher should in this regard, make the problem relevant and appealing to the students'

experience. He should also encourage the students to think for themselves and be able to arrive at

a deeper understanding of the information available in the process of solving a problem.

The stage in problem-solving involves the student in this situation should be able to state the

problem that confronts them and be able to propose possible ways of solving the problem.

Discussion on the possible solutions follows with the aim of accepting the most reasonable

solutions. The answer or solution is determined through the application of the acceptable

suggestion. The original problem and solution are then re-stated. Interesting, issues and problems

worthy of consideration in the use of the problem-solving method include food, family, financial,

clothing, transportation, cultural and-learning problems. It is pertinent to stress that a natural

point of interest for the child is the method that generates questions and problems to be solved.

Construction Method

This method helps the students to learn by doing, to be initiative and to engage in selfdirected

activity. The construction activity can be of two kinds. One involves the use of print materials

like newspaper construction, file folder, scrap book, vertical file, magazine construction and

book construction. On the other hand, some materials are used to make items like models,,

sculptures and other instructional constructions. It is the role of the teacher to guide in the

initiation of construction method. Construction method could be used for the following topics in

Social Studies: The Family Structure, The Systems of the Government, Social Orgnisations,

Cultural pattern etc.

There should be thorough supervision when the construction involves the use of sharp objects

like knives and saws. This method is stimulating, motivating and functional in the higher classes

of school.

In conclusion, there is the need to select appropriate methods that will help the cognitive,

effective and psychomotor domains of the learner. Though efforts have been made in this article

to discuss a few out of other methods available for use in the teaching of Social Studies, the

methods discussed are not exhaustive. It is also obvious that no single method of learning can

adequately fit all learning situations. However, it should be noted that there is no best method of

teaching Social Studies of other methods would definitely help in achieving the desired

instructional objectives.


According to Ayitey (2002), an extended family refers to the collection of several nuclease

families put together,

Foli R and Asante E (2005) both think that extended family consists of parents, children,

grandparents and several great grandparents including all relations. It is also an ongoing body

with a graphical base and it transcends the lifetime of its members. The composition of the

extended family with its nuclear families and independent single adults change constantly but the

extended family itself continues with new leaders and new members as individuals depart and

member generations appear.




This part of the study captures the methodology of the research design. It deals with the

population and sample selection. It further highlights the research tools and the motives for using

them. It further talks about the data collection and concludes with the data analysis plan.

Research Design

The design employed is the action research. It is a systematic collection of information that is

designed to bring about immediate solution to local problems such as classroom teaching and


The action research design has been chosen because it brings immediate solutions to classroom

teaching and learning problems. It will therefore help pupils of Kpatinga D/A Junior High

School to overcome the problem of their inability to understand the composition of the extended

family system. The action research also uses scientific methods in solving problems because

finding from scientific methods are always valid and reliable. However, action research design is

costly and time consuming.

Population and Sample Selection

The population of the research was made up of pupils of Kpatinga D/A Junior High School

(250). However, the targeted population was made up of pupils in form one A (60). This group

constituted my sample and it was craved using the purposive sampling method.

Research Instruments

The research instruments used were: observations, questionnaires and tests.


The researcher observed lessons delivered by the regular teacher on the extended family system

and the participation of pupils during the lesson. I observed also pupils attendance in the class

the teachers relationship with the pupils and the materials used in the teaching process.


The researcher used questionnaires for pupils to respond to. This enabled him find out about

pupils background teachers qualifications and reasons why pupils do not understand the

extended family system, problems some students encounter at school in learning, the provision

of educational and academic performances of pupils in school


The researcher also conducted a test during the pre-intervention stage. Another test was

conducted at the post intervention stage to find the pupils performance after the intervention the

researcher had with the pupils.

Pre - Intervention

The researcher had to first observe the lesson delivery of the regular teacher of Kpatinga D/A

Junior High School for a week. He then realised that during the delivery of the lesson on the

extended family system. Pupils found it difficult to respond to the teachers questions. He also

observed the attendance of the pupils and their performance in exercises given at the end of the


The researcher went further to prepare a questionnaire on pupils background, parents

qualification, educational background of parents, reasons why some pupils absent themselves

from school, provision of school materials and payment of school fees and to find out if the

material factors inhibit the pupils studies.

He finally conducted a test on the composition of the extended family system. Out of these

measures the researcher found out that most of the pupils performance in the test was below

average. Some of the pupils also came from illiterate homes whiles others were not properly

provided with educational materials. Some of the pupils had intermittent attendance to school in

order to work for money to provide their needs.


The researcher identified these problems and put in place the following measures to address the


Role Play

The researcher used the role play method of presenting the topic the composition of the

extended family system. The researcher chose a boy and a girl from, the class to represent the

father and mother respectively. The researcher guided the boy to perform the roles of a father

such as taking care of the family and providing the familys needs whilst the girl performed the

role of the mother such as performing of household chores and taking care of the children.

The researcher also chose five children from then class to act as children of the parents whose

responsibilities were to keep the house clean and assist in household chores.

He then chose six children to represent the siblings of the children and two other boys to

represent the uncles (i.e. brothers of their parents) who should provide support and comfort to the

children in the absence of their parents and two other girls were selected to act as aunts.

Other children were also chosen to act as nephews, nieces, cousins, grandparents and great

grandparents and pupils were taught on the roles of all the individuals in the extended family.

After that pupils who did not fall in any of the groups were described as kinsmen and were

women of the family.

Finally, it was described to pupils that when all these group of individuals come to live together,

an extended family is formed.

During the week of intervention, as pupils absented themselves from school, the teacher told

pupils that those who attended school throughout the week were going to be given special

awards. This activity motivated and excited pupils so much that their attendance to class

improved greatly. The headmaster was also contacted and textbooks which had topics or

passages related to the composition of the extended family system was provided.

Post Intervention

After all, the interventions were undertaken by the researcher, He observed that there was a

remarkable improvement in the performance of pupils. Absenteeism was now a thing of the past

and most of the pupils were provided with their educational needs.

A questionnaire was administered to find out whether the pupils understood the composition of

the extended family and their responses were very positive. The researcher finally conducted

another test on the extended family system and the performances of pupils were great. About

90% of pupils scored marks above average in the test.


Handful of students had intermittent attendance during the period of study and as a result might

not fully comprehend the composition of the extended family system as taught during the

lessons. However, these absentees formed a minute percentage of the total class and so could not

negatively influence the validity and reliability of the study

Data analysis plan

The data was presented on a frequency table well distributed according to the research question.

The tables were formed with the following headings: responses, numbers, percentages and total.




This chapter deals with the analysis of findings from the data collected. It contains the responses

on why pupils cannot understand the composition of the extended family system and the post

intervention test result analysis.

Reasons why pupils could not understand the composition of the extended family

The study revealed that the reasons why pupils could not outline the composition of the extended

family were: the use of inappropriate teaching and learning techniques; lack of textbooks; poor

backgrounds of pupils and absenteeism of pupils during lessons (see table 3).

Table 3

Responses Percentage (%)

Teachers who stay in campus up to 1.30 pm 5 8.3

Teachers attendance to in-service training 7 11.7

Use of appropriate teaching methodology 15 25.0

Background of pupils 5 8.3

Lack of textbooks 20 33.3

Absenteeism 8 13.3

Total 60 100.0

Table 3 shows that 5 students representing 8.3% of the responses identified the short duration of

teachers in the school as the cause, 7 students representing (11.7%) also cited the fact that most

of the teachers do not attend in service workshops in order to upgrade their skills. Whiles 15

(25%) said the use of inappropriate teaching techniques was the cause. Majority of the responses

identified the lack of appropriate textbooks as the main reason why pupils could not understand

the composition of the extended family. The implication of the analysis is that for one to address

the problem, one must employ appropriate teaching techniques in addition to the appropriate

textbooks and other reference materials. It is also essential for teacher to adopt not only the right

pedagogical strategies of variables but to use the correct teaching and learning resources.

Table 4 pre intervention test results

Scores(40 marks) No. of pupils Percentage (%)

05 10 17

6 10 15 25

11 15 12 20

16 20 8 13

21 25 5 8

26 30 5 8

31 35 4 7

36 40 1 2

Total 60 100

Table 4 shows results of pupils in Kpatinga D/A Junior High School A during a pre

intervention test on the composition of the extended family system. It shows that majority of the

pupils 27 (45%) scored below 20% which was very poor indeed.

Table 5 post intervention test

Scores (40) No. of Pupils Percentage (%)

05 1 2

6 10 2 3

11 15 3 5

16 20 4 7

21 25 6 10

26 30 14 23

31 35 10 17

36 40 20 33

Total 60 100

After the pre intervention test the researcher realized that pupils performance was very poor in

the test. He therefore designs practical activities, teaching techniques like brainstorming and


He also used methodologies such as role play, dramatization to enable pupils understand the

topic. The researcher designed a detailed lesson plan which included the teaching techniques and

methodologies. This can be seen in appendix three (3). He began by brainstorming for the

composition of the extended family and later moved on by asking pupils to mention the people

they stay with at home.

He then used the role play method of presenting the topic. A boy and a girl were chosen from the

class to perform the roles of a father and a mother respectively. Five children from the class were

selected to act as children of the parents and were assigned roles as children play. Uncles and

aunts were represented by two boys and two girls respectively.

The researcher continued to use the students to represent all members of the extended family

system and they were all given roles to play. After the practical activities, pupils became

interested in the lesson and the lessons objectives were duly achieved. Pupils performed very

well in the post intervention test conducted by the researcher as clearly depicted by table three

which shows the then post intervention test results from pupils of Kpatinga D/A Junior High

School. The table shows that most of the pupils 54(73%) passed the test after the intervention.


The study was conducted to found out why pupils did not comprehend the composition of the

extended family system and how to use concrete activities to handle the lesson which will enable

them to acquire the concept of the extended family system. The problem was identified when the

researcher handled a lesson on the extended family system and later conducted a class test for

them. The test results were poor. There researcher also discovered that pupils had no interest in

the lesson. As a result most of them absented themselves during the lesson on the said topic.

The researcher adopted role play and dramatization in order to make the lesson interesting

Students performed various roles as family members and acted practically the concept of

extended family system. After the practical activities, pupils developed interest in the lesson and

the attendance to class increased. Pupils also performed very well in the post test conducted by

the researcher. From their performance and active participation in the lesson, it was a clear

indication that pupils understood the concept of the extended family system very well.




The problem the researcher undertook was developing the understanding of pupils of Kpatinga

D/A Junior High School in the composition of the extended family system. The problem was

discovered when the researcher was undertaking his two weeks observation in the

aforementioned school. He then conducted in his study to find out the reasons why pupils did not

understand the lesson. The researcher also wanted to know how to handle such lessons in a more

practical way which could motivate the pupils to learn the concept quickly.

The researcher found out that the school was situated in a community where business such as

petty trading and other governmental works which includes: teaching are predominant

occupations carried out by people from different regions of the country. In view of the business

like nature of the community, parents and siblings do visit other relations such as uncles, aunts,

grandparents, nephews and nieces once in a blue moon. Pupils were unable to stay with their

distant relatives to understand the composition of the extended family system this was testified

during the oral lessons of pupils with the regular teacher; the researcher observed that pupils

could not answer questions well.

This made the researcher to administer test items to the pupils to confirm this and it was still true

that pupils did not really understand the extended family system because their performance was

poor. The researcher then saw the need to find a solution to the problem and the instruments to

collect the data were through test and observations. The researcher came to realize that oral

presentation of the topic made it difficult for the pupils to understand. The researcher therefore

employed methods such as role playing and dramatization. With these activities pupils then

acquired the concept of the extended family system.


One outstanding findings of the research was pupils background. The pupils hardly visited other

distant relations of their families. It has come to light that teachers lessons were always

theoretical rather than practical. The core concept of the problem was lack of test books. Another

finding from the study was that most of the pupils absented themselves from the social studies

lessons as they found lessons boring.

It was also detected that social studies teachers did not benefit from in-service training since they

always left to various educational institutions for further development. Finally, most of the

teachers have long overstayed in the school and as result, rather behaves in a way that shows his/

she is independent which in many ways showed signs of monotony and boredom.


Recommendations identified and suggested by the researcher are under the following subtopics:

actions to be taken by the parents, actions to be taken by the headmaster and actions to be taken

by the Ghana Education Service (GES).

Actions to be taken by the parents:

Parents should provide for their wards the requisite educational materials to enhance teaching

and learning.

During holidays, parents should take children to their respective traditional homes for them to

familiarize with other members from the family

Parents should show interest in their wards schooling by visiting schools to have firsthand

information of the progress made by their wards.

Actions to be taken by the headteacher

The head teacher should try to frequently organize in service training for teachers in the school to

help them upgrade their skills and improve upon their knowledge. Teachers should practicalise

their methods of teaching in the representation of their lessons in order to make lesson interesting

for pupils.

Strong measures should be instituted to minimized pupils absenteeism from school.

The lecture method of teaching should be discouraged at this level of pupils education.

Actions to be taken by GES

The District Director of Education should ensure that all teachers who have served for more than

ten years in the school be transferred.

Workshop and in-service training should be organized regularly for teacher to upgrade their

knowledge. Text books on social studies should be supplied to schools regularly and on time.


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