ACCESS AND UTILIZATION OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIAL IN TEACHING ECONOMICS IN NIGERIAN SCHOOLS
Economics is one of the examinable subjects in the Nigerian secondary school curriculum. Its significance is corroborated by its inclusion in the secondary school curriculum by the Ministry of Education. Economics like any of the business education subjects has vocational syllabus content. That is, it prepares an individual to be potentially employable in the job market.
One important dimension in teacher education that is getting a lot of attention is related to the use of instructional materials. Instructional materials are those materials used by teachers to simplify their teaching. They include both visual and audio-visual aids and could either be concrete or non-concrete.
These instructional materials bring life to learning by stimulating students to learn. The use of instructional materials in the classroom has the capability to aid the teacher explain new concepts conspicuously, which result in better understanding of the new concepts being taught. However, they are not ends in themselves but they are means to an end (Kadzera, 2006).
It is held that good teaching resources can never replace the teacher but the teacher uses them to achieve teaching and learning objective. Some of the instructional aids necessary for effective teaching and learning of economics include the chalkboard, models, graphs, chats, maps, pictures, diagrams, cartoons, slides, filmstrips, radio etc.(Kochhar,1991).
According to the syllabus requirements, the major aim of teaching the subject is;
To give the learners basic economic knowledge and skill so as to enable them understand, appreciate and participate in the economic environment in which they live. Emphasis should be on developing the ability of the learner to appreciate and solve economic problems, which confront them in the real world situation (Business Education syllabuses, 1985, p 20).
From the systems theory, economics can be taken as a system, which has aims, objectives and goals to be achieved. Endogenous variables including teaching strategies, school facilities, and teaching learning environment, school administration, and the availability of text-books and other resources, play an important role in achievement of these goals. These factors affect the learner in the learning process in one way or another.