Graduate Program

Curriculum and Instruction

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2021

Thesis Director

John H. Bickford III

Thesis Committee Member

Roger B. Beck

Thesis Committee Member

Alexis Jones

Thesis Committee Member

Catherine L. Polydore


Bolstering best practice social studies pedagogy is crucial to raising analytical, responsible, moral, and civic-minded students in Nigeria. This study, using content analysis research methods, examined the contents of Nigerian junior secondary school (JSS) social studies curriculum materials to determine the extent to which the curriculum aligns with major social studies teachers’ epistemologies (citizenship transmission, social sciences, and reflective inquiry). Though there have been numerous studies on examining the major social studies teachers’ epistemologies—citizenship transmission, social sciences, and reflective inquiry—yet few have examined the extent to which Nigerian social studies curriculum materials aligns with these epistemologies. Three major findings emerged from analyzing the content of the Nigerian social studies curriculum materials. First, the curricular guide distinguished state-approved from non-state-approved curriculum material. Second, the curricular guide did not provide teachers the sources and strategies for criticality, inquiry, and disciplinary thinking. Third, the state-sponsored curriculum emphasized and valued conformity, patriotism, and cultural regeneration. This inquiry, though, lacked a comprehensive data sample and there was a limited data pool to conduct the study. Future studies could include a wide data pool to re-examine how social studies curriculum materials align with these major social studies teachers’ epistemologies.