Text Possession and Teachers’ Pedagogical Practices in the Teaching of Prose Literature-in-English in Some Schools in Ibadan

Francis Ogbonnaya Ezeokoli, Patience Igubor


Performance in school examinations has remained one of the reliable indices of the quality of education in manycountries. For over two decades in Nigeria, students’ performance in most subjects on the school curriculumincluding Literature-in-English has been persistently declining. A number of explanations are offered for thisunsatisfactory situation. Many students experience frustration in their efforts to study Literature due to poorproficiency in the English language as well as non-facilitative methods and strategies adopted by teachers. Studies onthe teaching of Literature further revealed that the focus of research was on such issues as methods, strategies andproblems of teaching Literature in the secondary school. Only a few studies centered on text possession while littleor none seem available on whether the teacher’s methods and pedagogical practices were sensitive to students’ extentof text possession. The study, therefore, investigated the extent of prescribed text possession by Literature-in-Englishstudents as well as whether the level of text possession by students influenced the teacher’s methods and pedagogicalpractices. The descriptive survey research design was adopted in the study. Participants in the study comprised 100Senior Secondary School II teachers of Literature-in-English and their 500 students in Ibadan metropolis. Theparticipants were selected using purposive random sampling techniques. Three instruments used for the collection ofdata were: Questionnaire on Students’ Possession of Prescribed Prose Literature Texts (r= .76), Questionnaire onTeachers’ Organization of the Teaching of Literature (r= .75) and Classroom Observation Schedule for the Teachingof Prose Literature (r= .84). Four research questions were answered. Data analysis involved the use of frequencycounts and percentages. Results revealed that a majority of the students do not possess the prescribed Literature texts(60.2% and 65.5%) for African and non- African novels respectively. Teachers generally adopted the read aloud andexplain method of teaching Literature (61%).This is followed by the teacher assigning chapters to be read from homeand discussed in class (37%). There is also the use of the lecture method (27.18%). Results further indicate that whena majority or all the students possessed the prescribed texts, teachers used read aloud and explain method (43.1%) aswell as the lecture method (25.8%) and discussion method (1.8%). Similarly, when either a few or none of thestudents possessed the prescribed texts, teachers used read aloud and explain methods (36.4%) followed by thelecture method (28%). It was concluded that lack of text possession by the students and teachers’ inflexible use ofmethods in spite of varying contexts of teaching and learning are strong pointers to students declining performance inprose Literature. Government and parents should take realistic measures to provide prescribed texts for studentswhile teachers should be encouraged to use innovative methods that are consistent with the teaching and learningcontexts.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jct.v3n1p63


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Copyright (c) 2014 Francis Ogbonnaya Ezeokoli, Patience Igubor

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