EFFECTS OF PROBLEM-SOLVING AND COOPERATIVE TEACHING METHODS ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING

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EFFECTS OF PROBLEM-SOLVING AND COOPERATIVE TEACHING METHODS ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING IN KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

 

This study investigated the effects of problem-solving and co-operative teaching methods on academic performance of secondary school students in accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria. The research design was a quasi-experimental design. The population was 1509. The sample was 90 students, which were obtained using purposive sampling method. The instruments used for data collection were Instructional Package for Financial Accounting (IPF A) and Financial Accounting Achievement Test (FAAT). The data collected were analyzed using t-test at P ≤ 0.05.The findings of the study among others revealed that Problem-solving teaching method has significant effects on students’ academic performance in financial accounting in senior secondary schools in Kaduna State, cooperative teaching method had more effects on students’ performance in financial accounting in senior secondary schools in Kaduna States. The researcher concluded that problem-solving and co-operative teaching methods are better and more effective in teaching and learning financial accounting and effective use of these methods could enhance secondary school students’ performance in financial accounting. The researcher therefore recommended that secondary school teachers should be encouraged to use problem-solving and cooperative teaching methods in teach financial accounting in senior secondary schools.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1         Background to the Study

Education is the act of imparting or acquiring general knowledge and developing the powers of reasoning and judgment. It is an investment that pays off anytime, anywhere. By investing in education, governments, corporations, communities and individuals can help the youth to face the challenges ahead. Educational system in Nigeria has three levels including: primary school level, secondary school level and tertiary school level. Primary education is also called elementary education which provides pupils with a basic understanding of various subjects as well as the skill they will use throughout their lives. Successful pupils at the primary school level who have passed the entrance examinatio n to secondary school can then proceed with the secondary school education.

The Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004) stated the broad goal of the secondary education which is to prepare individuals for: “useful living within the society and higher education”. To achieve this objective, secondary school education in Nigeria has six y ears duration given in two stages – three years of junior secondary school followed by three years of senior secondary school. The curriculum designed for senior secondary school is comprehensive and broad based, aimed at broadening student’s knowledge and outlook. Subjects offered in senior school are in three groups – core subjects, vocational and non-vocational subjects. One of the vocational subjects is Financial Accounting.

Teaching is the process of carrying out those activities that experience has shown to be effective in getting students to learn. The ability of the teacher to teach should be judged on the basis of students learning. Teachers should be held accountable for students learning despite poor parenting, negative attitudes and other social ills. Active teaching and learning involve the use of strategies which maximize opportunities for interaction Aliyu (2006).

Teaching method comprises the principles and method used for instruction to be implemented by the teachers to achieve the desired learning in students. These strategies are determined partly on subject matter to be taught and partly by the nature of the learner. For a particular teaching method to be appropriate and efficient, it has to be in relation with the characteristics of the learner and the type of learning it is supposeto bring about. Ibe (2013) suggested that the design and selection of teaching methods must take into account not only the nature of the subject matter but also how the students learn.

The approaches of teaching can be classified into teacher centered and learner centered. In teacher centered approach to learning, teachers are the main authority figure in this model; students are viewed as “empty vessel” whose primary role is to passively receive information (via lectures and direct instruction) with an end goal of testing and assessment. In student centered approach to learning, teachers and students play an active role in the learning process. The teacher’s primary role is to coach and facilitate student learning and overall comprehension of materials. Students’ learning is measured through both formal and informal forms of assessment including group projects, student portfolios and class participation Berrett (2012).

There are several methods used in teaching and learning, these among others are; demonstration method, conventional method, cooperative teaching method, guided discovery method, problem solving method, class discussion method, debriefing method, class action research method. This research work will only focus on two methods which are problem solving and cooperative teaching.

Problem-solving method is a systematic approach that reviews students and weaknesses, identifies evidence-based instructional interventions, frequently collects data to mo nitor student progress, and evaluates the effectiveness of interventions implemented with the student. Cantrell (2004) opined that, much of the early implementation of problem-solving
models has involved elementary schools, problem solving also has significant potential to improve outcomes for secondary school students. Therefore, it is important for secondary school administrators to understand the basic concepts of problem solving and consider how components of this model could mesh with the needs of their schools and student. The benefit of problem based learning method is to help accounting students to develop the ability for self-directed learning in order to cope with ever changing and increasing body of knowledge they will need to succeed as professionals.

Cooperative teaching instructional strategy involves a situation in which students work together cooperatively and interdependently in small groups towards a group goal. Cooperative teaching is described by Adeyemi (2008) as the instructional practice of placing students into small groups and having them work together toward a common goal. Each group member learns new materials and helps other group members learn important information.

Azih and Nwosu (2011) defined accounting as the recording, classifying, summarizing and communicating of financial information to interested parties and interpreting to help in making specific business decision. Accounting records are kept to evaluate the performance and profitability of the business organization, prevention of fraud, monitoring of the enterprises progress and for making economic comparison. The accounting curriculum in the secondary school is carefully designed to suit the need of the students. If it is properly inculcated into the students by using appropriate teaching methods, many of them would be properly grounded and prepared to become professionally qualified accountant.

It is believed that good and quality teachers bring about positive students’ performance. Okon (2002) observed that poor academic performance of students in accounting is being reported in the most countries especially developing countries. For instance Ezeani (2013) noted that the situation is not different in Nigeria where poor academic performance of students in accounting has been recorded in many public examination such as Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC).

Gender refers to the personal sexual identity of an individual, regardless of the person’s biological and outward sex. How people define masculinity and femininity can vary based on the individual’s background and surrounding culture. Different societal expectations in different cultures establish the behavioral, psycho logical and physical attributes that are associated to one gender or another. It has been reported by Slavin (2005) that most girls choose to be successful in those subjects considered achiever while at the same time maintaining their femininity. Several researchers reported that sex differences in subject choice and also in achievement within the subjects. School subjects according to investigations are sex-stereotype. For instance, mathematics, physical sciences, computing and engineering are regarded as masculine subjects, while humanities, languages; domestic subjects are regarded as feminine subjects.

In conclusion, having discussed the variables and the relationship that exists among the variables, this formed the background of this research work.

1.2         Statement of the Proble m

Accounting like every other business subject has an inestimable value which it had played and is still playing definite and important roles in the world of business. Learning by doing requires the availability of equipment and materials. Okebukola (2002) reported that, the financial support of the government and educational bodies is so low and could be needed by the schools. This can in turn limit teachers to treat the practical aspects of accounting, namely, accounting software/ packages such as Peachtree, database, spreadsheets, etc. Ezeani (2013) pointed out some problems encountered in teaching and learning of financial accounting in secondary schools among others are: No student wants to study accounting as a terminal course, In this regard, they often complained that the subject is too difficult. Even to balance the cash book, trial balance among others is a very big problem. Through this, many students prefer to offer commercial subjects without accounting. Accounting classroom practices were not application based; Researches have shown that there are a lot of factors that could influence the academic performance of students in accounting. Such as negative attitude of the students towards accounting, lack of qualified accounting teachers, inappropriate use of teaching methods, unavailability of instructional materials among others.

Uwameiye and Ogunbameru (2008) blamed the problem on accounting teachers’ insensitivity to the nature of financial accounting when planning ins tructional activities in the classroom. According to her, financial accounting is not one of the subjects that can be mastered by mere memorization of the basic rules. It requires total determination, sound theoretical knowledge and intensive practice in application.

Despite the government's commitment to improve secondary school education in Nigeria, there is still a marginal decline in the students’ performance in national examination. The West African Examination Council (WAEC) report of 2014 indicated that, in 2012, only 38 per cent of the candidates that sat for the examination have met the requirement for admission at the higher level of learning. Similarly, in 2013, the percentage dropped down to 29.17 while in 2014, approximately over 70 percent failure was recorded. Ezeani (2013) reported that there has been a decline in the performance of secondary students in financial accounting in Kaduna state especially in their external examination. He further stated that, the major factor contributing to students’ failure in financial accounting is the predominant usage of conventional teaching approach where teacher dominates the class and does not encourage students to be active participants in the classroom. This approach has a negative impact on students’ achievement (Samad, 2005). Financial accounting is not a course or subject that can be learned simply by memorization of basic rules and principles. It requires full participation of learners in the learning process

Uwameiye and Ogunbameru (2010) concluded that, any study carried out on teaching methodology cannot be a waste effort. This is because teaching and learning situation must be crowded with reputable method before an effective communication can bring about ideal permanent change.

Despite several studies carried out, the consistent poor performance of students in financial accounting at terminal examination up to the senior secondary school certificate examination (SSCE) still persist, this leaves one in doubt about the effectiveness of teaching methods popularly used by accounting teachers for teaching the subject. The use of talk and chalk method of teaching leads to memorization of facts and concepts which constitute the main problem this study has to addressed using empirical evidences.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study was to investigate the effects of problem-solving and cooperative teaching methods on the academic performance of students in financial accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria. The specific objectives of the study were to:

  1. determine the effects of problem-solving teaching method on academic performance of secondary school students in accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria.
  2. determine the effects of cooperative teaching method on academic performance of secondary school students in accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria.
  3. establish whether any difference exist between the effect of problem-solving teaching method and cooperative teaching method on academic performance of secondary school students in accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria.
  4. ascertain whether any difference exist between the effect of problem-solving teaching method and cooperative teaching method on academic performance of male secondary school students in accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria.

 

  1. to find out whether any difference exist between the effect of problem- solving teaching method and cooperative teaching method on academic performance of female secondary school students in accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria.

1.4Research Questions

To effectively carryout this study,  the  following research questions were  formulated

based on the specific objectives:

  1. what is the effect of problem-solving teaching method on academic performance of secondary school students in accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria?

 

  1. what is the effect of cooperative teaching method on academic performance of secondary school students in accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria

 

  1. what is the difference between the effect of problem-solving teaching method and cooperative teaching method on academic performance of secondary school st udents in accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria?

 

  1. what is the difference between the effect of problem-solving teaching method and cooperative teaching method on academic performance of male secondary school students in accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria?

 

  1. what is the difference between the effect of problem-solving teaching method and cooperative teaching method on academic performance of female secondary school students in accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were formulated during the cause of the study

  1. Problem-solving teaching method has no significant effect on academic performance of secondary school students in accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria.

 

  1. Cooperative teaching method has no significant effect on academic performance of secondary school students in accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria.

 

  1. There is no significant difference between the effect of problem-solving teaching method and cooperative teaching method on academic performance of secondary school students in accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria.

 

  1. There is no significant difference between the effect of problem-solving teaching method and cooperative teaching method on academic performance of male secondary school students in accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria.

 

  1. There is no significant difference between the effect of problem-solving teaching method and cooperative teaching method on academic performance of female secondary school students in accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria.

1.6         Significance of the Study

The findings from this study are expected to be significant in many ways; the study will avail curriculum developers, educational planners, students, teachers, researchers, text book publishers, professional bodies and associates as stated below. The findings from this study will grant the curriculum developers and educational planners the opportunity to concretize the process of evaluation of teaching and learning of financial accounting at secondary school level and also to commend the two methods adopted in this study as a teaching strategy in schools where appropriate.

The findings of this research work will help to improve the performance of students in financial accounting by making the subject interesting to the students in such a wa y that other commercial students who dropped the subject will go and re-register the subject. This study

is important in the sense that it will help the teachers to see the effect of problem-solving and cooperative teaching methods on the academic performance of secondary school students compared to lecture method so that they can employ appropriate teaching methods in their teaching and learning activities in accounting.

This study is significant to the researchers who might want to carryout work on such related issues by providing them empirical evidence on the present status of financial accounting teaching and learning activities. Due to the importance of this research work, text book publishers need to incorporate the effective teaching strategies in their publications based on the findings of the study in relation to financial accounting at secondary school level.

Professional bodies and associations such as National Business Education Association (NBEA), Association of Business Educators of Nigeria (ABEN), National Association of Business Teachers Education (NABTE), Business Education Association in Vocational Education (BEAVE), National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), National Education Research and Development Council (NERDC), State Education Resource Centre (SERC) among others, will hopefully benefit by considering the findings of this study in developing instructional method.

1.7 Basic Assumptions

The following were the assumptions for this study:

  1. Problem-solving teaching method may influence the academic performance of secondary school students in accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria.
  2. Cooperative teaching method may influence the academic performance of secondary school students in accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria.

Factors other than teaching method (such as availability of instructional aids, motivation, peer influence) have the same effect on academic performance of secondary school students in accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria.

1.8 Delimitation of the Study

This study was delimited to only co-educational secondary schools in kaduna state due to its gender involvement. The researcher used only SS2 students for the study because they are assumed to be stable and have adequate exposure to financial accounting. The curriculum contents were limited to one accounting topic which was manufacturing account. The reason why the researcher chose this topic was because she discovered that both West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) do set questions from this topic every year. Also whenever the students further their study, they will still meet the same topic at the higher institutions.

EFFECTS OF PROBLEM-SOLVING AND COOPERATIVE TEACHING METHODS ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING

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