Ensuring Future Resilience beyond ICT and Online Teaching and Learning of Social Studies in Ghanaian Senior High Schools: Lessons from COVID-19 Pandemic
Keywords:Social Studies, online, teaching, learning, resilience, COVID-19, students, teachers
The emergence of COVID-19 has posed unprecedented challenges to every sphere of social life, including education. To mitigate the educational challenges, students and teachers were urged to adjust to online teaching and learning. This spurred a slew of studies into ICT and online teaching and learning. However, studies had given little attention to resilient mechanisms beyond ICT and online teaching and learning, particularly, in Social Studies. This study, therefore, purported to elicit the challenges encountered by students and teachers in the teaching and learning of Social Studies during the COVID-19 school closures. It also sought to identify holistic resilient approaches to withstand future unforeseen contingencies. An explanatory sequential mixed method design was employed in this study. Overall, 300 form three students of senior high school and 15 Social Studies teachers participated in this study. Quantitative data were analyzed using SPSS Version 20. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the qualitative data. Some of the challenges identified by this study in the teaching and learning of Social Studies include lack of technical support, data cost, unstable or no Internet connection, absence of television or radio, no or poor electricity connection, inadequate textbook ownership and absence of self-learning textbooks. The resilient mechanisms suggested by teachers and students towards future pandemics include the development of online learning infrastructure, provision of technical support for students and teachers, provision of ICT and online learning equipment for economically disadvantaged students, provision of solar-powered or dry cell ICT or online teaching and learning equipment, expansion of the school infrastructure and provision of adequate self-learning and informative textbooks. It was concluded that, with the aforementioned resilient mechanisms, Social Studies education will not be truncated in case of future pandemics. The study recommended curriculum reform in order to design textbooks that are informative enough to allow learners to learn easily. This study suggested that further studies be conducted to include all major stakeholders in education so as to unravel all other resilient strategies.
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