Open Access Opinion Article

The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic: Implications for Teaching Social Studies as Integrated Curriculum

Vincent Mensah Minadzi

Asian Journal of Education and Social Studies, Page 24-30
DOI: 10.9734/ajess/2021/v19i330466

The purpose of the study was to examine the impacts of COVID-19 and its implications for teaching Social Studies as integrated curriculum. This was done through review of a number of articles relating to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as Social Studies as integrated discipline. Historical background and the effects of the pandemic specifically in Ghana have been outlined in the paper. Being integrated curriculum, the author argues that the pandemic offers unique opportunity for Social Studies educators and teachers of the subject to demonstrate their understanding of the concept of integration with respect to the impacts of the pandemic. There is no denying the fact that the pandemic had tremendous impacts on all facets of human life including economic, social, psychological, political, religious, and health. Based on the literature review, it is recommended that educators and teachers in the field of Social Studies should draw connection between the COVID-19 and the Social Science subjects. In so doing, it would promote wholistic understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Open Access Original Research Article

Engaging Students in the Development of an Atmospheric Science Course: A Discourse Analysis

Kuok Ho Daniel Tang

Asian Journal of Education and Social Studies, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/ajess/2021/v19i330463

Aims: With increasing emphasis on learners-centered approach in teaching and learning, engaging students in course development and refinement is crucial. This study aims to foster a participatory approach in course development by engaging students in meaningful discourse at the early stage of an atmospheric science course.

Study design:  This is a qualitative study which employed the grounded theory for data analysis.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted in March 2021 in an international higher learning institution located in the Guangdong Province of China.

Methodology: This qualitative study invited a year 3 cohort of environmental science students taking an atmospheric science and pollution course in an international higher learning institution in China to participate in a meaningful discourse about the course in week 2 of the semester. Their responses were transcribed and the transcripts analyzed with NVIVO based on the grounded theory. The transcripts were coded, the themes were drawn and the relationship was probed.

Results: This study identified three overarching themes from the codes, namely assessment, course contents and learning activities, whose codes covered 4.5%, 17.8% and 23.1% of the text respectively. Codes for assessment comprise practical assignment and multiple-choice question, while those for course contents include black carbon, modelling, greenhouse gases, zero-carbon, and removal of Freon. Codes for learning activities include case studies, debate, field trips and quizzes. The words most frequently appeared in the transcripts are learning and field. The findings reflect expectations for interactive learning, simulation-based learning, authentic assignments and activities, experiential learning via field trips and problem-based learning. These are in line with the established pedagogies for environmental science.

Conclusion: This study shifts the paradigm of students’ engagement in the increasingly learner-centered educational setting where students are proactively involved in course development in the early stage of teaching and learning instead of reactively involved through feedback collection at advanced stages.

Open Access Original Research Article

Perceived Influence of Large Class Size and Psychological Classroom Environment on Students’ Academic Performance in Senior High Schools in Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana

Hansen Akoto-Baako, Bernard Kissi-Abrokwah

Asian Journal of Education and Social Studies, Page 10-23
DOI: 10.9734/ajess/2021/v19i330464

This study investigated how large class size and the psychological class environment influenced students’ academic performance. Survey design was employed. Three hundred and twenty students were purposively selected from ten senior high schools in Kumasi Metropolis. Questionnaire was used to obtain data from the respondents with a reliability coefficient of 0.7. The study revealed that large class size influenced students’ academic performance and also limits their learning opportunities. It also came up that psychological class environment have a great influence on students’ academic performance. Furthermore, the study showed that students perform well in smaller class size and good psychological classroom environment. The study, therefore, recommends that small class size and good psychological class environment are better for good performance. Teachers and head teachers should make sure they conform to the required teacher to student ratio of 1:40 recommended by the Ghana Education Service. Teachers should create an enabling environment for students to participate in classroom activities. Government should, therefore, employ more teachers and build more classrooms to solve the problem of large class size in the senior high schools in Ghana.

Open Access Original Research Article

Exploiting Opportunities in the New Normal Context of University Education: A One Year Retrospection

Chandana Jayalath, Chandika Karunasekara, Yashodhara Hemachandra

Asian Journal of Education and Social Studies, Page 31-41
DOI: 10.9734/ajess/2021/v19i330467

With all teaching and learning activities online and academic staff having to capacitate themselves in navigating the crisis of Covid 19, this article reflects on how the Sri Lankan universities dealt with pandemic scenario while exploring domestic experience over a period of one year commencing March 2020. A literature survey was carried out to gain an understanding of the existing debates surrounding the topic of challenges and opportunities availed in the crisis. 100 invitee academics representing each university participated in a questionnaire survey administered via Google forms and data were analyzed using descriptive statistics in order to gauge the perception among the academics towards the discharge of the university functions and the opportunities exploitable under new normal context. Human Resource Management departments and Learning Management Systems have functioned well despite the crisis persisting so long. In addition, the respondents were satisfied with the data protection measures initiated to address any possible loss of data. A few respondents disagreed with the claim that utilizing IT services had functioned well and that the transition to digital teaching was accomplished without difficulties. There is a higher possibility to revisit and amend existing curriculums and teaching and learning methods, pursuit on course accreditation and validation with professional entities, preparing study packs, materials, toolkits, academic audit and appraisal, review on student feedbacks and making necessary pedagogical and other reforms as appropriate. Regardless of chronic issues such as digital inequality, universities have demonstrated that they can accomplish tasks and retain their legitimacy efficiently. This suggests that Covid 19 has been reasonably responded using adaptive management. All with aspirations to achieve professional excellence mediated by current events and its agility, the article offers some of the key challenges that inevitably emerged. The findings highlight that the Covid 19 has brought about a number of opportunities for which a greater reliance on collegial decision-making between academics and their counterparts, the students are crucial.

Open Access Original Research Article

Sources of Career Inspiration of Adolescents in Secondary Schools and their Career Choice in Delta State

C. N. Nwokolo, R. N. Chukwuma

Asian Journal of Education and Social Studies, Page 42-51
DOI: 10.9734/ajess/2021/v19i330468

Aims: To determine the sources of career inspiration of adolescents in secondary schools and their career choice in Delta State, Nigeria

Study Design: Descriptive Survey Research Design.

Place and Duration of Study: Secondary schools in Asaba, Education Zone of Delta State, between March 2019 and July 2021.

Methodology: The population of this study comprises 5,273 (male = 3754, female = 1519) senior secondary school II adolescents drawn from the 65 secondary schools situated in four local government areas in Asaba education zone of Delta State. The sample for this study comprises 810 SS II adolescents (male = 434, female = 371). The multistage sampling procedure was adopted in sampling the respondents. Firstly, simple random sampling technique was used to draw two local government areas, from the existing four LGAs in Asaba education zone of Delta State. There exist 30 secondary schools in the sampled LGAs. Secondly, disproportionate stratified sampling technique was used to select 27 senior secondary school II adolescents from each secondary school. The instruments for data collection were a structured questionnaire, structured on a 5–point response option of strongly agreed – strongly disagree with weighed values of 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. The instruments were validated and reliability established. The Cronbach alpha reliability coefficient was 0.621, 0.841, 0.721 for the three sub-scales and an overall reliability of 0.715. The administration of the questionnaire structured for data collection was done through direct delivery approach. A total of 810 questionnaires were administered and 780 retrieved and used for data analysis. Data relating to research questions 1 - 3 was analyzed using mean and standard deviation. Data relating to the hypotheses was tested using the T-test for independent sample at 0.05 significance level.

Results: The mean of means score is a pointer that adolescents agree to family influence as a source of career inspiration. More so, the standard deviation score shows heterogeneity of the respondents rating. The significant value is greater than the alpha value, hence there is no significant difference. This goes to show that male and female adolescents in secondary schools in Delta State do not differ significantly in their mean rating of family influence as a source of career inspiration. The mean of means scores revealed that adolescents agree to environmental influence as a source of career inspiration. More so, the standard deviation score indicates a heterogeneity of the respondents rating. The significant value is greater than the alpha value, this goes to show that male and female adolescents in secondary schools in Delta State do not differ significantly in their mean rating of environmental influence as a source of career inspiration. Mean of means score reveals that adolescents strongly disagree to occupational stereotyping influence as a source of career inspiration. The significant value is greater than the alpha value, hence there is a no significant difference. This goes to show that male and female adolescents in secondary schools in Delta State do not differ significantly in their mean rating of occupational stereotyping influence as a source of career inspiration.

Conclusion: Based on the findings of this study it was concluded that adolescents in secondary schools agreed to family influence and environmental factor as sources of career inspiration. However, they strongly disagreed to occupational stereotyping as a source of career inspiration in Delta State. It was further concluded that adolescents in secondary schools in Delta State do not differ significantly in their mean rating of family influence and occupational stereotyping influence as sources of career inspiration. More so, there differ significantly in their mean rating of environmental factor as a source of career inspiration based on gender.