INFLUENCE OF PROBLEM-SOLVING AND GUIDED-DISCOVERY TEACHING TECHNIQUES ON STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN KWARA STATE, NIGERIA

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INFLUENCE OF PROBLEM-SOLVING AND GUIDED-DISCOVERY TEACHING TECHNIQUES ON STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN KWARA STATE, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

The study was carried out to assess the effect of problem-solving and guided-discovery teaching methods on students‟ academic performance in financial accounting in secondary schools in Kwara State, Nigeria. Five objectives, five research questions were raised to guide the study; while five null hypotheses were raised and tested at 0.05 level of significance. The research design used was quasi-experimental. The population was nineteen thousand two hundred and thirty eight (19,238) SS II Financial accounting students. Purposive sampling procedure was used for the study and one hundred and twenty (120) students were used as sample size for the study. The instrument used for data collection was a self- developed financial accounting achievement test (FAAT).

Mean and Standard Deviation were used to answer the stated research questions. Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC) was used to test null hypotheses one and two, while t-test statistics was used to test null hypotheses three, four and five. From the results of the study, hypotheses one to three were rejected while hypothesis four and five were retained. The summary of the study showed that students in problem-solving and guided-discovery teaching methods performed better than those in the conventional (direct teaching method), and male and female students performed relatively better with the use of guided discovery teaching method. It is concluded therefore that, problemsolving and guided-discovery teaching methods has a positive effect on students‟ academic performance in financial accounting in secondary schools. Based on the findings, five recommendations are postulated, among others that the use of Guideddiscovery teaching method should be instituted in the teaching and learning of financial accounting in secondary schools in Kwara state, Nigeria.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background to the Study

Financial accounting is one of the business education subjects offered at both secondary and tertiary levels in the nation‟s private and public institutions for job skills, employment and self-reliance. Elements of financial accounting are taught at the junior secondary school level as an aspect of business studies. At the senior secondary school level, financial accounting is offered as a full-fledge subject. Financial accounting graduates play a vital role in an economy, hence the need for accounting‟s graduate to be properly trained to discharge their duties effectively and to face emerging challenges in the profession. Financial accounting is the process of identifying, measuring and communicating economic information about an organization for the purpose of making decisions and informed judgment.

National Examination Council (NECO, 2012) has states that the general objective of studying financial accounting at the senior secondary school level is to enable students appreciate the basic rules, functions and principles of accounting, to lay proper foundation for further study of accountancy and allied courses at the higher level and to enable students understand basic accounting principles, practices and their application to modern business activities. Also, Nigerian Educational Research Development Council (NERDC, 2007) expressed the specific objectives of teaching financial accounting in secondary schools to include preparing students for employment, or for further studies. These objectives can only be realized if academic performance of secondary school students in financial accounting is encouraged through efficient teaching occasioned by accommodating learning environment.

Academic performance is the outcome of education, the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their educational goals. Academic performance is commonly measured by examination, continuous assessment or Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of students. Academic performance also refers to what students achieve in their studies and how they cope with or accomplish different learning experiences given to them by their teachers. Ibrahim (2011) reported that in educational institutions, success is measured by academic performance, or how well a student meets the standards set out by the institution.

To achieve the objectives of teaching financial accounting at the secondary school level, financial accounting teachers should employed various instructional methods in the cause of teaching. Teaching can be said to be the science and art of assisting a person to learn in cause of teaching and learning processes. The science of teaching entails the use of acquired knowledge from natural and behavioural science in order to help appreciate the circumstance and personality of the learner, while the art aspect of teaching involves the use of creative and demonstrative skills in aiding the delivery of instruction. In order to achieve positive and desirable learning outcome in course of teaching and learning processes, relevant teaching method(s) must be adopted by the teacher, who is the person knowledgeable about the subject or topic(s) to be taught.

Teaching methods refer to the combination of techniques adopted by the teacher in order to impact the learners with the necessary skills and knowledge required to achieve the goal of the lesson. It is also a medium through which a teacher passes knowledge, instruction, or training to his students. A method of instruction is not effective if at the end of the instruction or training students have not learned. Therefore, if learners must imbibe the right skills and attitudes, teaching must be effective. Effective teaching, according to Mkpa (2009), consists of four elements i.e purposeful and planned teaching, mastery of subject matter, display of conceptual-skills, and instructional methods.

Like any other teaching methods, guided-discovery and problem-solving are adopted by teachers to encourage efficient instructions of practical oriented subjects including Financial Accounting at any level of school system of which senior secondary school is no exemption. Guided Discovery is a teaching method that encourages students to take an active role in the learning process by answering series of questions or solving problems designed to introduce a general concept. With Guided-discovery method of teaching, students solve problems but the teacher provides directions on how to solve the problems and also to keep the students on track. Guided-discovery involves helping learners to discover certain facts or answers to a given problem. Guided-discovery also involves inquiry method that stimulates a learner‟s interest in seeking information about ideas and concepts by asking questions. Guided discovery drills learners and enables them search for knowledge in a systematic and logical way.

Problem solving method of teaching involves the presentation of a problem to the whole class and the entire students are requested to find solution to it. Problemsolving method involves identifying the problem, planning alternative behavior that may resolve the problem, activating the most promising of this behavior, evaluating the consequences, and applying the process to new problems as they arise (Awoniyi, 2007).

Ajoma (2009) describes direct teaching method (conventional method) as a process whereby a teacher gives a talk on a subject to the students, while the students listen and think about the lesson taught. To Ajoma (2009), though direct teaching method has the advantage of being useful in a large class and in advanced level of learning, it should not be encouraged in the secondary schools. Siagh and Rana (2004), see the direct teaching method has received more criticism than any teaching strategy, yet it continues to be used extensively. Teachers believe that direct teaching method is undoubtedly as one of the more efficient means of conveying large quantities of information in short period of time. The method is characterized with listening on the part of the students and that is not too ideal to teach students. It‟s chief disadvantage is that it does not encourage students’ participation in the lesson and is often referred to as teacher-centered method.

From the foregoing, it could be inferred that methods of teaching financial accounting largely determine whether students would learn or not. It means that if the appropriate teaching methods are not used effectively, learning would not take place and students‟ academic performance would be poor. This might, no doubt, account for student‟s of Kwara State a low performance in financial accounting in the senior secondary schools certificate examinations conducted by NECO between 2010 and 2014 –  2010 (44.9%), 2011 (47.8%), 2012 (39.8%), 2013 (35.4%) and 2014 (32.6%). The same observation was made Onaolapo (2015) who states that ineffective teaching methods used by financial accounting teachers in secondary schools have failed to produce students with needed skills for employment and admission into tertiary

institutions.

Kwara State was created on 27th May, 1967 and it is one of the six states in North-Central Geo-Political Zone of Nigeria. At its creation in 1967, Kwara State has a land area of about 32,500 square kilometers with a population of over 1.5 million made up of four main ethnic groups. The State shares boundaries with Ekiti, Oyo, Osun, Kogi and Niger State. The state is made up of sixteen local governments areas as Asa,

Baruten, Edu, Ekiti, Ifelodun, Ilorin East, Ilorin South, Ilorin West, Irepodun, Isin, Kaiama, Moro, Offa, Oke Ero, Oyun and Patigi with three hundred and fourty-seven

(347)  public senior secondary schools. It is, therefore, against this background that the researcher investigated the effect of problem-solving and guided-discovery teaching methods on the students‟ academic performance in financial accounting in the senior secondary schools in Kwara State, Nigeria.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

The rate at which students failed in external examinations in financial accounting in Kwara state from 2010 to 2014 is of great concern to the state government, teachers, parents, guardians and well meaning citizens. It has been observed that the government huge investment on education is not yielding the desired dividend, financial accounting teachers also complained of students‟ low academic performance in both internal and external examinations. This is evident from the data collected by the researcher from Kwara State Teaching Service Commission (KSTSC), Ilorin in 2015. The results revealed percentage failure rate by students in financial accounting in NECO from 2010 to 2014 to be 55.1%, 52.2%, 60.2%, 64.6% and 67.4% respectively. In spite of the various instructions methods available to the accounting teachers, the performances of students in financial accounting in public secondary schools in kwara state over the years have not been encouraging.

As indicated in the background of the study, there are a number of methods of teaching financial accounting in the secondary schools. Indication are that problemsolving and guided- discovery instruction methods are considered to be among the best and effective methods of teaching financial accounting at the secondary schools level. However, indications from research findings in the area are that there is no clear finding as to whether which of the two teaching methods is more effective for teaching financial accounting. This research is therefore, undertaken to establish which of the two instructional methods is more effective for teaching financial accounting. In other words, the study is to establish which of the two teaching methods could be more effective for establishing the level of student‟s academic performance in senior secondary school financial accounting.

1.3      Objectives of the Study

             The major objective of the study is to establish the effect of problem-solving and guided-discovery methods on the students‟ academic performance in financial

accounting in senior secondary schools in Kwara state, Nigeria. The specific objectives are to:

  1. determine the effect of problem-solving teaching method on performance of senior secondary school students in financial accounting in Kwara state, Nigeria.
  2. determine the effect of guided-discovery teaching method on performance of senior secondary school students in financial accounting in Kwara state, Nigeria.
  3. determine the difference in the effect of problem-solving teaching method and guided-discovery teaching method on performance of senior secondary school students in financial accounting in Kwara state, Nigeria.
  4. determine the difference in the effect of problem-solving teaching method and guided-discovery teaching method on performance of senior secondary school male students in financial accounting in Kwara state, Nigeria.
  5. determine the difference in the effect of problem-solving teaching method and guided-discovery teaching method on performance of senior secondary school female students in financial accounting in Kwara state, Nigeria.

 

 

 

1.4     Research Questions

The following five research questions were raised to guide the study:

  1. What is the effect of problem-solving teaching method on performance of senior secondary school students in financial accounting in Kwara state, Nigeria?
  2. What is the effect of guided-discovery teaching method on performance of senior secondary school students in financial accounting in Kwara state, Nigeria?
  3. What is the comparative effect of problem-solving teaching method and guideddiscovery teaching method on performance of senior secondary school students in financial accounting in Kwara state, Nigeria?
  4. What is the difference in the effect of problem-solving teaching method and guided-discovery teaching method on performance of senior secondary school male students in financial accounting in Kwara state, Nigeria?
  5. What is the difference in the effect of problem-solving teaching method and guided-discovery teaching method on performance of senior secondary school female students in financial accounting in Kwara state, Nigeria?

1.5     Research Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were propounded and tested at 0.05 level of

significance.

  1. Problem-solving teaching method has no significant effect on the performance of senior secondary school students in financial accounting in Kwara state, Nigeria.
  2. Guided-discovery teaching method has no significant effect on the performance of senior secondary school students in financial accounting in Kwara state,

Nigeria.

  1. There is no significant difference in the effect of problem-solving teaching method and that of guided-discovery teaching method on the performance of senior secondary school students in financial accounting in Kwara state, Nigeria.
  2. There is no significant difference in the effect of problem-solving teaching method and guided-discovery teaching method on performance of senior secondary school male students in financial accounting in Kwara state, Nigeria.
  3. There is no significant difference in the effect of problem-solving teaching method and guided-discovery teaching method on performance of senior secondary school female students in financial accounting in Kwara state, Nigeria.

1.6      Significance of the Study

The findings of this study is expected to be relevant to the following groups of stake holders: government, school administrators, financial accounting teachers, students, parents, educational bodies, curriculum planners, textbook publishers and the larger society.

Government always invests heavily in education. Where academic performance of students is enhanced and encouraged through appropriate and effective methods of instruction or teaching methods, it means government‟s heavy investment is justified.

School administrators are also interested in fostering excellent academic achievements and are also often concerned about their reputations and the possibility of financial supports from government institutions, stake-holders and other Non-

Governmental Organization (NGOs), which, in most cases, is dependent on students‟ performance.

The outcome of this study will also be of great importance to the financial accounting teachers as it will help them in the selection and the use of appropriate teaching methods that will enhance students‟ academic performance. With the use of appropriate and relevant teaching methods, financial accounting students will also benefit by motivating students‟ interest and their parents toward the financial accounting.

Also, it is hoped that other researchers will benefit from the research findings as it can serve as reference materials and empirical evidence for them. Curriculum developers who decide on syllabi and recommend effective, suitable and appropriate methods of instruction would consider the result of this study with a view of recommending it as a teaching strategy in schools where appropriate.

Textbook publishers would include in their publications the findings of this study for teaching financial accounting at secondary education level. Finally, the result the findings of this study will benefit society at large, as the students are part of the society.

Therefore, anything that thus affects the students is of interest of the society.

1.7    Basic Assumptions of the Study

The basic assumptions for this study were:

  1. Students‟ low performance in financial accounting is caused by ineffective instructional methods adopted by teachers during teaching and learning process.
  2. Students‟ performance in financial accounting will be enhanced by the use of problem-solving and guided-discovery teaching methods in senior secondary schools in Kwara state.
  3. Factors other than teaching methods have the same effect on student‟s performance in financial accounting (such as peer influence, learning materials, teacher qualification, infrastructural facilities, and parental influence).

1.8     Delimitation of the Study

The study was delimited to public senior secondary schools in Kwara State, Nigeria. This was because, the rate of poor academic performance in financial accounting was more pronounced in the public senior secondary schools compared to private secondary schools in the state. The study was also delimited to problem-solving and guided-discovery teaching methods as against the use of traditional direct teaching methods in the teaching financial accounting in senior secondary schools. Problemsolving and Guided-discovery teaching methods were purposely chosen because they were among modern-day teaching methods not commonly used by teachers in teaching financial accounting in senior secondary schools. The study was further delimited to Okelele Senior Secondary School, Ilorin, Ilorin-South Senior Secondary School and EroOmo Senior Secondary School Ilorin. The schools were purposely chosen because they are one of the oldest and the most populous secondary school in Kwara State with the highest number of commercial students offering financial accounting subject as at 2015/2016 academic session.

The research work was delimited to the topic partnership account up to partners current accounts because it constitute one of the common area in West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) objectives and theory questions focus almost every year. Only SS II commercial students both male and female taking financial accounting in the 2015/2016 academic session were covered under the study because the research delimited topic (Partnership Account) is in the year II secondary schools‟ curriculum course contents of financial accounting.

INFLUENCE OF PROBLEM-SOLVING AND GUIDED-DISCOVERY TEACHING TECHNIQUES ON STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN KWARA STATE, NIGERIA

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