Prevalent Instructional Strategies In The Teaching Of Drama At The Senior Secondary School In Shomolu Local Government



The study examined Prevalent Instructional Strategies in Drama Teaching at Senior Secondary Schools in Shomolu Local Government of Lagos State. To achieve the purpose of the study, research questions were posed, and hypotheses were formulated. A descriptive survey research design was used for the study—the population for the study comprised secondary school teachers in secondary schools in Shomolu LGA of Lagos State. A stratified random sampling technique was used to sample 327 secondary school teachers. The instrument for data collection was a questionnaire titled “Teachers’ Perception Questionnaire” (TPQ). The instrument was trial tested to determine the reliability using secondary school teachers in Lagos State, and a reliability coefficient of 0.93was obtained. The data collected for the study were analyzed using means and standard deviations to answer the research questions, while t-test and analysis of variance were used to test the formulated hypotheses 0.05 level of significance. The findings of the study were: instructional strategies as a method of teaching were perceived by teachers as an advantage in teaching drama in secondary schools; the extent to which drama teachers perceived instructional strategies as effective in teaching drama is great; numerous challenges are hindering the effective use of instructional strategies in teaching drama; qualification has no significant influence on teachers’ perception of the use of instructional strategies for the teaching of drama in secondary schools. The findings have implications for students, teachers, parents, and the ministry of education. Based on the study’s findings, it was recommended, among others, that the drama method should be frequently used in teaching students at the secondary school level, and physical conditions in classrooms should be improved to accommodate drama activities.



1.1 Background to Study

The importance of education to human beings cannot be overemphasized. Globally, education is considered a human right that should be accorded to all human beings. That accounts for why many international human rights bodies consider education as a fundamental human right. Education is regarded globally as a potent instrument for introducing and sustaining social change in human societies and shaping their destiny (Ifenkwe, 2013). Apart from serving as a vehicle for enhancing social and economic upward mobility, education is a key to social reconstruction and an instrument for conserving, transmitting, and renewing culture. These are requisites for social integration, the performance of productive tasks, and effecting national development (the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004).

In realizing the important role that education plays as an agent of national development and globalization, there has been agitation for more functional and qualitative education worldwide (Alaba, 2010). This agitation and concern for quality education are reflected in the inauguration of Education for All (EFA) in Jomtien (Thailand) in 1990 and Dakar in 2000. This was followed by a meeting convened by the 56th General Assembly of the United Nations to discuss the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Education is a gradual and systematic way of acquiring knowledge to actualize one’s desired goal.

Though there are divergent education systems in developed and developing countries, education delivery comes in stages that include pre-primary, primary, secondary, and tertiary stages. For example, education in Nigeria is based on a system that involves three levels of institutional learning processes, the primary school, the secondary school, and the tertiary levels. Primary education is very important in the Nigerian education system as the first stage of compulsory education.

Secondary education plays a crucial formative role in the survival of the whole educational system. The National Policy on Education (2004) refers to education as the education given in institutions for children aged 6 to 11. The NPE also added that since the rest of the education system is built upon it, the primary level is the key to the success or failure of the whole system. Research shows that successful adult intellectual development has its root in the early years of primary education (Gysbers& Henderson, 2005; Sink & Spencer, 2005). In line with the above view, Maduewesi (2005) stated that a sound primary education is a prerequisite to sound secondary and tertiary education and continuing education. The objectives of primary education in Nigeria, according to the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) in National Policy on Education (2004), include inculcating permanent literacy and numeracy and ability to communicate effectively; laying a sound basis for scientific and reflective thinking, and give citizenship education as a basis for effective participation in contribution to the life of the society. Others include

  • molding character,
  • developing a good attitude and morals in the child, and
  • developing the ability to adapt to the child’s changing environment.

It also aims to give the child opportunities for developing manipulative skills that will enable the child to function effectively in the society within the limit of the child’s capacity and provide the child with the basic tools for further education and advancement, including preparation for trades and crafts in the locality. Through drama, it is hoped that these objectives will be achieved.

The drama involves the subject matter of realistic conditions, possessing skills, attitudes, and activities that focus on society and individuals as members of a social group. National Teachers’ Institute (NTI, 2000) opines that drama is an area of school curriculum specifically designed to study man and how he fits into the society by utilizing the necessary attitudes, values, and skills in his reach. If properly programmed and effectively taught, drama is a discipline that should help solve social problems facing developing countries, especially Nigeria, where the old norms are fast losing their grips without any effective substitute to replace them (Fadeiye, 2005; Bozimo&Ikwumelu, 2009). Social Studies help to instill a disposition for acceptance of attitudinal change or rebranding to tame the tide of corruption that has enveloped all sectors of life in Nigeria. Bozimo and Ikwumelu (2009) also opined that Social Studies is concerned with knowledge and attitudes, skills, and values. It allows important social and moral issues such as attitudes to the destitute, poverty, racialism and different types of government, cruelty to animals and children, brutality and injustice to be introduced into the curriculum (Ikwumelu, 2002).

In drama, man is viewed as being at the center, while his physical, political, cultural, psychological, and socio-economic environments encircle him. Thus, Social Studies deal with the relationship between man and his physical and social environments and his relationship with science and technology (Nigeria Education Research Development Council in Fadeiye, 2005). Social Studies can help the Nigerian citizens generally develop the ability to respect the worth and dignity of individuals; helps in the inculcation of national consciousness and national unity, and instill in man a disposition for acceptance of attitudinal change or rebranding in order to tame the tide of corruption which has enveloped all sectors of life in Nigeria. However, Social Studies in the elementary years are crucial if we expect the young people of this nation to become active, responsible citizens for maintaining the democratic values upon which this nation was established. Unless children acquire the foundations of knowledge, attitudes, and skills in Social Studies in the important elementary years, it is unlikely that teachers in the junior and senior high schools will successfully prepare effective citizens for the 21st century.

To achieve these objectives, teachers of drama in all affected levels of education need to be familiar with the content and methods of teaching the subject to interpret the content of drama correctly and encourage its learning. In addition, teachers need to acquire skills in selecting and utilizing drama methods. Whether a subject is effective depends on the nature and quality of the learning experiences associated with it (Wheeler in Fadeiye, 2005). This implies that it is not only the content that determines effectiveness but also the quality of learning experiences that depend on the teachers’ proper selection and appropriate utilization of instructional methods. Content must be related to the selected instructional methods for effective and quality learning experiences (Mkpa, 2005). In reality, content and process are so interrelated that an outright distinction may not be desirable except for an analytical purpose. Content and process should therefore be seen as an integral part of each other and should be accorded sufficient emphasis as one cannot exist in isolation from the other.

Proper selection and appropriate utilization of instructional methods and strategies could encourage skills acquisition and development of values (Mbakwem, 2005). From the preceding, it appears that the ability of Social Studies to realize the lofty goals expected of it rests on the teaching methods selected and used by the teachers. However, the ever-increasing changes in the world and new requirements of globalization in the education system have made it difficult to enhance the quality of education (Akin, 2014). The importance of applying learner-centered contemporary approaches has increased to bring up creative students.

Drama is commonly defined as a platform that improves individuals’ learning by providing a fictional environment where they can bring their past experiences, feelings, and bodies into action through playing roles(Ekeberg, Lepp, & Dahlberg, 2004). Drama supremely involves the pupils’ imaginations. It forces pupils to think actively, logically, and emotionally about human situations, problems, and challenges in unfolding scenarios (Nichol, 2008). The drama involves doing something as if it is real. It provides a presentation and interpretation of physical or mental activity and is a way to transform pupils’ mental and physical potentials into creative acts (Durusel, 2007). Drama is based on experiences, intellectual background, and knowledge gained through education and dreams (Aksarı, 2005). The drama method provides a cooperative learning environment where pupils can employ scientific principles in their daily lives (Sloman& Thomson, 2010). In drama, pupils are assigned various roles. They then act like the character they were assigned. They talk and think in the way the related character talks and thinks. In this way, students improve their language and communication skills (Farris, 2001, cited in İçelli, Polat, &Sülün, 2008). Drama in educational settings makes pupils active participants in the learning process (Gönen&Uyar-Dalkılıç, 2003). It also reinforces pupil motivation due to its joyful character (Önder, 2006).

Since pupils animate the roles in their preferred way, they are not timid, increasing their self-confidence. During role-playing, children try different solutions, exclude those that do not work in the relevant situation and employ useful ones that are further improved upon. This process eventually improves their problem-solving skills (Kocayörük, 2004). In short, drama as an educational method allows students to reflect, discuss, make connections with real life, and look at the events from different angles (Littledyke, 2001). Some scholars like Dorion (2009) argue that drama reinforces the attainment of cognitive, emotional, and technical skills related to analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

Drama is one of the contemporary methods that have been used in education to serve multiple dimensions such as the students’ arts education, the student’s social and emotional development, support of the teaching of other cognitive subjects like Language, History, Mathematics (Unal, 2004). Drama in education refers to the dramatic techniques that support and strengthen learning in the classroom. Some terms like developmental drama, creative dramatics, educational drama, and mantle of the expert have been used to describe different approaches to drama engagement in classroom teaching practices (Masoum, Rostamy-Malkhalifeh&Kalantarnia, 2013). It is one of the most effective methods of stimulating the students in what they learn. It is a natural way through which students express their understanding of life around them freely. The method allows for a great deal of involvement and participation by the students physically, emotionally, and mentally. When a boring lesson or topic, dramatization could effectively help sustain the pupils’ attention and interest.

Dramatization involves direct and simple techniques such as miming play-let and role-playing. Dramatization provides, among other things, an avenue for respect for the opinion of others, the attitude of cooperation within the development of desirable skills, confidence, and self-esteem, and the opportunity for the pupils to express themselves freely. Pupils can be led to dramatize the function of a family, the role of the father or mother, honesty, leadership, and followership, among others, which are topics in the Social Studies syllabus as these will be geared towards effective teaching and learning.

Effective teaching is seen as successfully achieving the pupils’ learning objectives as identified by the teacher. Effective teaching is potentially the largest single school influence on student achievement (Watson, 2011). There are essentially two simple elements to effective teaching: the teacher must have a clear idea of what learning to be nurtured. The teacher must set up and provide a learning experience that enables this to happen. This brings to bear the pivotal role of effective teachers in the process. For this study, effective teaching is a systematic way of teaching with instructional materials, skills, or methods to achieve teacher-stated objectives.

Teachers are professionally trained individuals who teach children in the above-stated institution. Effective teachers have high expectations that all their pupils will achieve their potential and are committed to providing high-quality education for all their learners (The Centre for the Future of Teaching and Learning, 2008). They treat children and young people as individuals, positively acknowledging their differences and building collaborative learning relationships. Moreover, effective teachers are approachable, communicate clearly with parents, and listen to parents’ aspirations and concerns for their children. They have comprehensive pedagogical and content knowledge of their subject areas and a deep understanding of the learning process.

Similarly, an effective teacher is approachable, uses instructional materials, and makes his/her teaching helpful or interesting to the learner (Aitken &Sinnema, 2008). They also have high expectations of themselves and their learning. Effective teachers provide thoughtful ongoing feedback and use strategies that enable students to become self-managing, motivated learners who take responsibility for their learning.

Naturally, teachers need to be well-versed in the subjects they teach, and provisions require teachers to demonstrate subject-matter knowledge to earn a highly qualified status. Thus, guaranteeing the effective dramatization of the subject contents for this study qualification refers to a standard that must be attained. Gender bias in society has permeated the school environment, curriculum, pedagogy, and instructional materials, among others, to influence the teachers’ attitudes in favor of the boys (Novak &Musonda, 1991). Again, though boys and girls have similar abilities and capabilities, and learn in the same school, taught by the same teacher using the same syllabus, girls, in the end, still perform very poorly in the Social studies classroom. In this work, the researcher sees gender as the classification of man into male and female.

However, the researchers like Moore (2004) have observed that most teachers in secondary schools hardly employ drama to improve the quality of teaching and learning despite the huge benefit it offers. These observations have led to some disturbing questions, including: could it be that teachers are not aware of the huge benefits this teaching method provides? What strategies and methods could be applied? Are there challenges to the use of these strategies and methods? Thus, it is important to assess overall instructional strategies in drama teaching at senior secondary schools in Shomolu local government of Lagos State.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The drama teaching is directed towards building a virile Nigeria Nation, irrespective of ethnic diversity. It is also directed towards promoting citizenship and values education in addition to skills development. Despite the immense benefits of introducing drama into the school curriculum, there seems to be poor handling of the subject in secondary schools. The problem of students’ under-achievement in drama has been a much-discussed educational issue in contemporary times in the educational sector. Such discussions have consistently centered around instructional strategies used in teaching the subject. Since several problems have been identified with the teaching and learning of drama in secondary school and drama, an important aspect of the teaching method has appeared to be neglected. Many teachers in secondary school have ignored drama innovative teaching strategies, whereas drama as a subject first requires practical examples for proper internalization. This is because drama can be used as an innovative way of helping pupils to learn concepts and topics in primary schools. It is important for students who learn better through games or game-like activities that curriculum designers and educators understand the value of drama since the age of pupils in primary school fell into the concrete operational stage, which should involve the observation and practical expression of the subject matter. Hence, it is valuable to learn about teachers’ views concerning the overall instructional strategies in drama teaching at senior secondary schools in Shomolu local government of Lagos State.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

This study examines overall instructional strategies in drama teaching at senior secondary schools in Shomolu local government of Lagos State. The specific objectives will include to:

  1. Determine teachers’ perception of the advantages of using instructional strategies in teaching drama in secondary schools.
  2. Determine teachers’ perception of the effectiveness of instructional strategies in teaching drama in secondary schools.
  3. Determine how often teachers use instructional strategies in teaching drama in secondary schools.
  4. Investigate the influence of teachers’ qualifications on instructional strategies in teaching drama in secondary schools.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions were formulated from the objectives to guide this study;

  1. What are teachers’ perceptions of the advantages of using instructional strategies in teaching drama in secondary schools?
  2. What is the perception of teachers on the effectiveness of instructional strategies in teaching drama in secondary schools?
  3. How often do teachers use instructional strategies in teaching drama in secondary schools?
  4. What influences teachers’ qualifications on instructional strategies in teaching drama in secondary schools?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The significance of the study is discussed from both theoretical and practical perspectives. Theoretically, the study is anchored on constructivist learning theory. The findings of this study will strengthen the constructive learning theories in terms of providing practical information, among others, on the constraints to the effective use of instructional strategies, a constructivist teaching method/strategy, in teaching drama to the students in secondary schools. Based on the information, teachers could see a reason for using these strategies in teaching the students and could be assisted in effectively using them.

Practically, it is hoped that the study’s findings would be of immense benefit to teachers, parents, government/school administrators, and curriculum reviewers when completed.

Through the findings of this study, secondary school teachers will be exposed to the various advantages of using instructional strategies to teach drama, which will be applicable in the realization of the stated objectives. This kind of awareness could help teachers realize the importance of these methods and look inwardly at how to adopt these methods in their teaching and learning processes in classrooms.

The government and the school administrators of secondary education will also be aware of the advantages of using instructional strategies to teach drama and the problems hindering its use in the teaching of students, if any. With this, they will be better informed and well equipped to develop better strategies for overcoming those hindrances; This may encourage its use by teachers.

1.6 Scope of the Study

The study is restricted to teachers in secondary schools in the Shomolu local government area of Lagos State. In terms of content scope, the study will be limited to investigating the perceptions of teachers on the use of instructional strategies as an effective means of teaching drama to secondary school students in realizing the objectives of secondary education, the influence of gender and qualification in the use of instructional strategies, frequency of use, advantages, and problems hindering the use of this method by primary school teachers.

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