Strengthening civic education in Botswana primary schools: a challenge to traditional social studies curriculum
PublisherAfrican Education Research Network, http://www.ncsu.edu/aern/
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The primary goal of social studies is citizenship education. Social studies as citizenship education seek to provide students with knowledge, skills, and attitudes which will enable them to actively participate as citizens of a democracy. However, the extent to which the subject is achieving this goal since its introduction into the Botswana school curricular in 19669 has been somewhat questionable. Recent evidence suggests that products of our schools are manifesting some behaviours that are not in tandem with good citizenship. This paper therefore examined the views of some primary school teachers in Botswana on the effectiveness of social studies in promoting citizenship training and self reliance among the learners. This is essentially a survey study. One hundred experienced teachers (with over ten years of teaching primary social studies) were purposively selected for the survey. A questionnaire tagged “Teachers’ perceptions of the effectiveness of social studies in developing appropriate citizenship education” with a reliability coefficient of 0.94 using Cronbach Alpha was used to collect data for the study. Two research questions were addressed in the study. Major findings in the study are: teachers poor rating of social studies as a tool for achieving citizenship training, more emphasis in social studies teaching is placed on theory rather than practice, existence of few materials on social studies to assist teachers, and that social studies is failing largely to promote self reliance skills in the pupils. The implications of these findings for retooling social studies curriculum to achieve the goals of basic education in Botswana were discussed in the paper.