ISSUES IN THE TEACHING OF PSYCHOLOGY IN UNIVERSITY OF ADO-EKITI, NIGERIA
Psychology is a much misunderstood academic discipline in Nigeria. The problem stems from the fact that everyone from the illiterate to the literate is intimately involved with, and is a student of human behavior. This has resulted in certain misconceptions about the discipline and consequently affected the development of psychology as a discipline in Nigeria. Although Zimbodo’s (1992) definition of psychology as the scientific study of the behavior of individuals and their mental processes, seem to simplify the subject matter of psychology, but a more recent definition of psychology which is given as the scientific study of mental states, attributes and processes, their behavioral manifestations and biological correlates and the consequences and effects of behavior on the social and physical environment (Uguru-Okorie, 2002) put the subject matter of psychology in better perspective for teaching and other purposes.
Teaching of psychology at the University of Ado-Ekiti is based on the understanding of psychology as the scientific study of behavior and the mental processes associated with it. Being a scientific discipline, psychology is taught with the basic assumption, shared by all scientific discipline, that there is a law and order to which a phenomena, including behavior bow. On the basis of this and other assumptions of scientific methodology, psychology lecturers in the university use methods of science not only to discover the laws that govern behavior and its determinants objectively but also to predict and control behavior.
The objectives of the Department of Psychology at the University of Ado-Ekiti in Nigeria include to graduate students who have been trained in the basic concepts, theories, techniques and methodology of psychology; to prepare students for specialization in the fields of Psychology; to prepare students who would go for further training in psychology and in other fields where the knowledge of psychology is relevant; to prepare students to understand themselves and the behavior of others better, and to function effectively both as persons and as workers.
Various methods are being used to ensure effective teaching of psychology in the University of Ado-Ekiti. These are lecture method, discussion method, textbook method, project method, field trip, and instructional materials.
Problems confronting psychology lecturers in the university include inaccessibility to recently published textbooks in psychology and unequipped psychology laboratory. These problems arose as a result of poor funding of the university by the government which affects the psychology department.
It is recommended that psychology lecturers in UNAD and indeed all lecturers of psychology in tertiary institutions in Nigeria should be dynamic and flexible when adopting teaching techniques so as to enhance effective teaching and learning of the course. This is imperative considering the uniqueness of psychology as a discipline which aims at understanding, explaining, predicting and controlling human and animal behavior. Government should increase the monthly subvention and allocation given to the university.
© 2008 Victor Karandashev