1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Social change leads to transformation in thinking which in turn influences behaviour patterns in society. Social change is an alteration in the thought processes of individuals that drives social progress. It may refer to a paradigmatic change in the socio-economic structure of today, characterised by complexity and global interdependence. Historically, social change has been driven by cultural, religious, economic, scientific or technological forces. Contemporary rapid technological advances and escalating global changes have impacted on the global economy in ways that are detrimental to the environment and communities, threatening the sustainability of our societies. To address the challenges faced by global communities, education instructional systems will transform values, attitudes and behaviour patterns to actuate social change or modification. Education is a major and vital instrument in initiating social adaptation “by bringing about a change in outlook and attitude of students. It can bring about a change in the pattern of social relationships and thereby causing social changes”. Emerging new technologies test the existing social systems and often become an antecedent of more efficient human connectedness and globally accepted human communication. Thus social change evolves progressively, sometimes dramatically as it has, in the last two decades. “Social change is a very complex and dynamic phenomenon that can be considered from a variety of perspectives and is reflected in a number of processes. These processes are different in different types of societies” [Pavlova, 2014]. Existing cultural, social and economic similarities and dissimilarities in various local environments affect these processes and shift societal structure globally, driving social change. Arab spring, Occupy protest are examples that illustrate how local is transmitted through social networking into the global field, influencing social thought processes and initiating change. Global technological advances are embraced in various environments and disseminated, localised and customised in the existing cultural, social and economic context. Localisation presents world readiness consequently local communities emerge with a commonality yet retaining aspects of the local identity. Global societies set common goals with local application thus globalisation becomes a worldwide phenomenon that drives social change. Education is a method that will bring about behavioural changes in the society, which will allow every individual to effectively participate in the activities of the society and to form positive contribution to the progress of the society.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
A negative attitude towards Islamic studies has been found to be a contributing factor towards under-achievement in the subject. The negative attitude in the subject has created a lot of fear and anxiety among students who continue to perform dismally as they lack the interest, curiosity and patience needed for learning and performing related tasks concerning to the subject. Studies on students achievements in Islamic studies have mostly pointed to the fact that student’s attitude is a major contributor yet has received very little attention if any. There is therefore a need to study the effect of student attitudes and beliefs as is the integral part of socio-cognitive learning which affects the learning outcomes (Burstein, 2012). This study would concern itself with a variety of beliefs that students harbour and which have potential effects on their learning processes as would determine their ability and willingness to learn. Students’ opinions and beliefs regarding Islamic studies, how much they like it, how important they think it is, how difficult they perceive it is and the future expectations can be understood as facets of student’s attitudes towards Islamic studies and which determine their success in the subject (Aiken, 2010). This is a clear indication that structural changes alone are a necessary, but not sufficient condition in realizing an improved performance (Trends in international Islamic studies and science study, 2015). There is a need therefore to understand the learners themselves, their attitudes and perceptions towards the subject with the aim of suggesting strategies for improvement in the teaching and learning of the subject through attitude change. As a result, some balance should be struck between curriculum goals and the student performance (Mullins et al, 2014).
1.3AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine influence of social changes on attitude of students to studying Islamic studies in secondary schools. Other general objectives of the study are:
1. To examine the perceptions of students about Islamic Studies in secondary schools.
2. To examine factors influencing student attitudes to studying of Islamic studies.
3. To examine the influence of social changes on secondary school students’ attitude towards studying of Islamic studies.
4. To examine gender effects of social changes on secondary school students’ attitude towards studying of Islamic studies.
5. To examine the relationship between students attitude and academic achievement in Islamic studies.
6. To examine ways of how to improve students attitudes towards learning and achievement of Islamic studies.
1.2 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What are the perceptions of students about Islamic Studies in secondary schools?
2. What are the factors influencing student attitudes to studying of Islamic studies?
3. What are the influences of social changes on secondary school students’ attitude towards studying of Islamic studies?
4. What are the gender effects of social changes on secondary school students’ attitude towards studying of Islamic studies?
5. What is the relationship between student’s attitude and academic achievement in Islamic studies?
6. What are the ways of improving student’s attitudes towards learning and achievement of Islamic studies?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H01: There is no significant influence of social changes on secondary school students’ attitude towards studying of Islamic studies.
H02: There is no significant relationship between student’s attitude and academic achievement in Islamic studies.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Islamic studies have been in the middle of reform efforts towards an improved performance yet this has never been realized. The findings of this study would help all the interested parties in understanding the factors within the learners themselves and how the learners ultimately can contribute to their own learning processes and performance in the subject. The study was to help in exposing some of the perceptions and beliefs which learners acquire and carry into the classroom environment and which are of paramount importance to all stakeholders in education in attempting to improve teaching and learning of the subject in all schools. The study therefore would provide crucial information to curriculum planners that will guide in the designing policies and strategies towards improving performance in the subject. The teacher would understand the learners better so as to capture their attention and change their perceptions and attitude towards the subject. Motivation, reinforcement and relevant instructional strategies by the teachers, might help the learners get directions on what is expected. Through this study, the learners would understand themselves and that their performance in the subject is a consequence of their actions, attitudes and effort which they can control for their successful learning and improvement in the subject. The study would also be useful to other researchers in supplementing the existing literature on the same study area and would also provide a rich ground for further research based on the gaps left out by this study.
1.7SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on influence of social changes on attitude of students to studying Islamic studies in secondary schools: case study of Ibadan North, Oyo State.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Social Change: Refers to any significant alteration over time in behaviour patterns and cultural values and norms. By “significant” alteration, sociologists mean changes yielding profound social consequences.
Learning: Measurable and relatively permanent change in behaviour through experience, instruction, or study. Knowledge or skill acquired by instruction or study.
Islamic studies: Is the umbrella term for the Islamic sciences ('Ulum al-din). In a non-Muslim context, Islamic studies generally refer to the historical study of Islam: Islamic civilization, Islamic history and historiography, Islamic law, Islamic theology and Islamic philosophy.
Attitude: Is a mental and neural state of readiness, organized through experience, exerting a directive or dynamic influence upon the individual’s response towards all subjects and situations with which it is related”. This is a mentalist perspective on the definition of attitude. Attitudes are not fixed but are constantly fluctuating and shifting according to the social environment.