EFFECTS OF PROBLEM-SOLVING AND COOPERATIVE TECHNIQUES ON BUSINESS EDUCATION STUDENTS’ PERFORMANCE IN FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING IN COLLEGES OF EDUCATION IN NORTH-WEST NIGERIA
The study investigated the Effects of problem-solving and cooperative methods on
Business Education Students‟ Performance in Financial Accounting in Colleges of Education in North-West Nigeria. The study had five objectives, five research questions, and five null hypotheses which were formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance. A quasi-experimental design with pre-test, post-test and control group was adopted for the study. The population for the study was 1471 NCE II business education students for 2016/2017 academic session in Colleges of Education offering financial accounting in North-west Nigeria. Purposive sampling technique was used to select Federal College of Education, Zaria,for the study and 153 students as sample size. The instruments used to generate data for the study were two self-designed Instructional package for financial accounting and financial accounting achievement Test. Mean and standard deviation were used to answer the stated research questions. Simple Logistic Regression was used to test null hypotheses one and two, while t-test statistic was employed in testing null hypotheses three to five.From the results of the study, all the five null hypotheses were rejected. The study revealed that both problem-solving and cooperative methods affected the students‟ positivelyand there was no significant difference in the performance of students‟ in problem-solving and cooperative methods as a result of gender. Therefore, it was concluded that both methods have effect on financial accounting students‟ performance.Among the recommendations made was that, in order to promote the use of both methods in teaching Financial Accounting, government and Colleges of Education through the National Commission for Colleges of Education should be implored to give enough grants to procure equipment and facilities necessary for using the two methods.
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the Study
Education is fundamental to development and growth of any country. It is a veritable instrument for effecting positive change in the behavior of citizens. National policy on Education (FRN, 2013) emphasizes the goals of education in Nigeria to include inculcation of the right type of values, attitudes, communication skills as well as life-long skills. These can only be achieved through effective teaching and learning. Teaching and learning process is a two-way process where the teacher sends out the message while the students acknowledge through feedback, but this give and take processes could only be effective when the teaching method applied is appropriate. Teaching entails giving instruction, imparting knowledge, facts, skills, attitudes, interest,and aptitude. Modebelu (2007) defines teaching as an activity consisting of a body of actions and programmes planned and directed towards inculcating learning through conscious and deliberate efforts of the teacher.
In order to have the right skills and attitudes imparted to the learners, teaching must be effective. Effective teaching according to Mkpa (2009) consists of four elements: Purposeful and planned teaching, Mastery of subject matter, display of conceptual skills and instructional materials. Mkpa (2009) posited that teaching method is the totality of all strategies, techniques,and ways that a teacher employs to maximize and facilitate classroom interaction. Teaching method is therefore the process of transmitting facts, skills, information and knowledge with an appropriate integration of instructional materials, so as to engage students in meaningful activities for learning and to achieve the objective of the lesson. There are different teaching methods such as: Lecture, problemsolving, demonstration, peer teaching, cooperative, guided-discovery and play way that can be applied during teaching and learning of Financial accounting to enhance students performance.
Financial accounting is the branch of accounting that is concerned with reporting financial information. American Accounting Association (AAA) in Osuala (2004) posits that financial accounting is the process of identifying, measuring and communicating economic information. Accounting is in this context, a process of providing financial information about the financial transactions carried out by business organizations, so that decisions about the financial activities of the business could be ascertained by users.
Oladele (2009) stated that accounting involves the maintenance of an organization‟s financial records of revenue and expenditure as well as accounting for the flow of funds into and out of an organization. One major problem faced by accounting students today is not what the teachers teach, but how they teach them. The researcher‟s experience during his NCE programme and some of his course mates showed that only a few out of the many business education students who did not have the opportunity to offer financial accounting in their secondary schools perform well in financial accounting due to the methods of teaching used by some of the lecturers. Also, an interaction with some of the students buttressed that their poor performance in financial accounting is due to the predominantly used traditional teaching method by most lecturers thereby giving them little or no time to participate.Therefore, students‟ ability tosolve financial accounting problems well depends on teachers‟ ability to use meaningful methods in teaching the students.
Problem-solving method also known as problem-based learning/inquiry method is a student–centeredpedagogy in which students learn about a subject through the experience of solving an open-ended problem found in trigger material.Problem-solving is the ability to identify and solve problems by applying appropriate skills systematically. Problem-based learning is a learner-centred environment, which models a way in which humans learn throughout their lives. Barrows& Tamblyn, (2010) defined problemsolving learning as one kind of learning, which works through the process of understanding and solving problems to obtain results. The goal of problem-solving method is to cultivate in the students‟ the ability to identify problems through the application of knowledge and skills to the process of solving problems.
On the other hand, Cooperative learning strategy is a method of teaching in which students work together in small heterogenous group to complete a problem, project or any other instructional goal, while teachers act as a guide or facilitator. The use of cooperative instructional method is characterized in such a way that learners positively depend on each other. They engage in face to face interaction, assessed individually and held accountable for equally haring and contributing to the mastery of learning goals. They also develop appropriate collaborative and interpersonal skills to teach and encourage each other to learn, reflect and assessed the effectiveness of growing for future learning (Johnson and Johnson, 2009).The main purpose of Cooperative method is topromote students‟ teamwork competence; improves their learning effectiveness and cultivates their ability to improve the effectiveness of the education system and also enhances students‟ abilities to think, apply knowledge, as well as foster their socialization skills.
Students‟ performance portrays their ability in intellectual functioning. Performance 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 institution, success is measured by academic performance, or how well students meet standards set out by institution.
Nicholes, (2007) stated that educationists have made an effort at developing psychological rational essential for answering the question “how school subjects be taught to ensure effective and meaningful learning?” there are several assumptions that meaningful learning occurs when learners are actively in knowledge getting process. This includes use of learner centred methods. These methods ensure an absolute shift of learning from class teacher domination to learner self-guided learning process. To this regard, teacher remains an active facilitator in knowledge inquiry and skill acquisition. Therefore, in order to achieve the set objectives of teaching financial accounting in Colleges of education, financial accounting teachers should employ learner friendly instructional methods in teaching the subject such as problem-solving and cooperative teaching methods.All the aforementioned variables constituted the background against which this current study was conducted with regard to the Effects of Problem-solving and
Cooperativemethods on business education students‟ performance inaccounting in
Colleges of education in North-westNigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Many people believed that the learning outcome of most students depend on the type of teaching strategy/method employed by the teacher during instructional delivery.
Ideally, students trained as business educators ought to be able to integrate into the teaching and business professions as professionals. Unfortunately, this is not so with most graduates of Colleges of education in Nigeria. Raymond&Ogunbameru, (2005) showed that some teaching methods adopted by most teachers in teaching accounting do not seem to allow teachers to adequately cater for the diverse learning interests of most students. The weakness of such methods contributes to the poor performance of studentsin accounting.Also, interactions between the researcher and some accounting lecturers and students in some Nigerian Colleges of education in North-west attributed the problem of poor performance to teaching methods used in teaching financial accounting. According to them, the lecture method has been the traditional and conventional method used, but performance in financial accounting examination continues to be discouraging. While other students complained that the subject was too difficult to assimilate as it required a lot of calculation. This they say is due to the expository (lecture) method predominantly used in most tertiary institutions which areteacher centered, learner passive and do not allow students to actively involved in the learning process thereby making the subject difficult. For example in Federal College of education Kano, the NCE II summary of financial accounting result collected from the examination office show that, for the year 2012/2013 session, 75.15% of NCE II failed to score credit and above in financial accounting. In 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 74.13% and 78.30% respectively failed to score credit grade in financial accounting, and in 2015/2016 session, the result also indicated that 76.52% did not score credit grade
Similarly, in Federal College of Education Zaria, the summary of NCE II financial accounting examinationresults collected from the examination office showed that for the year 2010/2011 session, 53.07%failed to score credit and above. In 2011/2012 and2012/2013 session 57.53% and 27.91% respectively failed to score credit and above in financial accounting exams, and in 2013/2014 session, the result also showed that 27.60%did does not score credit grade and in 2014/2015 session, out of 146 NCE II students, only 58.96% failed to score credit and above. Perhaps, other colleges of education in Nigeria might be experiencing the same problem.
On the other hand, many people perceived that accounting is gender neutral, while some perceived that accounting is only a profession for males. That is why males were found mostly in accounting profession than their female counterparts. Many of the previous research that seeks to examine the causes of students‟ poor performance in financial accounting suggested that factors such as gender and prior knowledge to accounting can cause difference in students‟ scores, Guney, (2009). Also, the researcher through discussions with both male and female students‟ revealed that most female students‟ perform better in financial accounting through the use of both student-centred and traditional based-ways than their male counterparts who mostly perform better when using methods that are student centred where they work with each other and develop their active learning attitude.
With the onset of the knowledge-based era, the business environment has become more complex, challenging and competitive. The education system is deeply affected by this trend. The traditional subject-based teaching method is teacher-centered, which mainly focuses on imparting knowledge and memorization instead of training students to think independently, to collaborate with others, and to apply knowledge to solve real-life problems. Therefore, for meeting the needs of the ever-changing environment, the purpose of teaching is not only to pass on knowledge but also to cultivate in students their ability to cooperate, collect, analyze, aggregate, judge and apply the knowledge they learn to find solutions to a problem. To attain these goals, cooperative learning and problem-based learning are two of the most useful and popular methods. It is in view of this that the researcher examined the effects of problem-solving and cooperative methodson Business education students‟ performance in Financial accounting in Colleges of education in North-west Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The major objective of the study was to determine the effects of problem-solving and cooperativeteaching methods onbusinesseducation students‟ performance in financial accounting in Colleges of education in North-westNigeria. The specific- objectives of the study are to:
- determine the effect of theproblem-solvingmethod on business education students‟ performance in Financial accounting in Colleges of education in Northwest Nigeria.
- determine the effect of cooperative teaching method onbusiness education students‟ performance in Financialaccounting in Colleges of education in NorthwestNigeria.
- ascertain the difference in the mean performance of business education studentstaught Financial accounting using problem-solving method, and those taught using cooperative method in Colleges of education in North-west Nigeria.
- compare the differences in the mean performance of male and female business education students‟ taught Financial accounting using problem-solving method in
Colleges of education in North-west Nigeria.
- compare the differences in the mean performance of male and female business education students‟ taught Financial accounting using cooperative method in
Colleges of Education in North-westNigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
Based on the specific objectives of the study, the following questions were formulated to guide the study:
- What is the effect of problem-solvingmethod on business education students‟ performance in Financial accounting in Colleges of education in North-west Nigeria?
- What is the effect of cooperative methodon business education students‟ performance in Financial accounting in Colleges of education in North-west Nigeria?
- What is the difference in the meanperformance of business education students‟ taught Financial accounting using problem-solving method, and those taught using cooperativemethod in Colleges of education in North-west Nigeria?
- What is the difference in the mean performance of male and female business education students‟taught Financial accounting usingproblem-solving method in Colleges of education in North-west Nigeria?
- What is the difference in the mean performance of male and female business education students taught Financial accounting usingcooperativemethod in Colleges of education in North-west Nigeria?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses were formulated for the study:
- There is no significant effect of problem-solvingmethod on business education students‟ performance in Financial accounting in Colleges of education in North-west Nigeria.
- There is no significant effect of Cooperativemethod on business education students‟ performance in Financial accounting in Colleges of education in North-west Nigeria.
- There is no significant difference inthe meanperformance of business education studentstaught Financial accounting using problem-solvingmethod and those taughtusing cooperativemethod in Colleges of education in Northwest Nigeria.
- There is no significant differencein the mean performance of male and female businesseducation students‟ taught Financial accounting using problemsolvingmethod in Colleges of education in North-west Nigeria.
- There is no significantdifference in the mean performance of male and female businesseducation students‟ taught Financial accounting using cooperative methodin Colleges of education in North-west Nigeria.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study after it has been published in journals and other media would be of significance to the following: accounting students‟, lecturers, society, National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), administrators of colleges of education, and researchers.The findings of this study may help motivate accounting students‟ through the effective application of appropriate teaching methods by their lecturers. Business education students would also improve which consequently may reduce thepoor performance of students‟ in financial accounting in Colleges of education in North-west Nigeria.
The result of these findings may be made available to lecturers in tertiary institutions through workshops, seminars, and publication who will find it useful. It would make their teaching job easier and interesting as they applied the research outcome which would make them applied best teaching methods that may make students perform excellently in financial accounting. Lecturers through the use of this result may also improve classroom instructions which will invariably improve students‟ performance.
The study may be of great benefit to the general public that will enjoy the services of accounting graduates who will be well-equipped in terms of skills to contribute to the growth and development of the country economic and the society at large.Graduates would be self-employed and in turn be employers of labour, pay taxes, volunteer in their communities and less likely to involve in criminal activities.
The result of this work may enlighten National Commission for Colleges of Education curriculum planners because it would suggest relevant teaching methods for teaching different topics in the curriculum which will invariably improve teaching quality for a better academic performance. Also, the results willadvise textbook authors to put into consideration teaching methods revealed by this study when writing accounting textbooks.
The findings of this study may be useful to administrators of Colleges of education as they will have an insightful understanding of appropriate methods theywill advise in teaching financial accounting in colleges of education. It may also help them in implementing good policies that would ensure the effective use of the rightteaching methods by lecturers with a view to improving students‟ academic performance.Finally, the study may also be useful to researchers who may want to draw reference from this study as input to their review of literature in thesimilar area of study and the findings would be accessible to beneficiaries through publications. It may serve as reference materials and empirical studies to them.
1.7 Basic Assumptions of the Study
For the purpose of this study, the following assumption was made:
It is assumed that the best way to improve business education students‟ performance in financial accounting is to maketeachers adopt the use of problemsolving and cooperative methods as they improve classroom instruction.
1.8 Delimitation of the Study
The study was delimited to manufacturing accounts. The reason was that it is one of the topics of financial accounting offered in NCE II. The study was delimited to problem-solving and cooperative teaching methods. This was because they are not commonly used by lecturers in teaching financial accounting in colleges of Education in North-west Nigeria.The study wasdelimited to nine (9) Colleges of education in Northwest Nigeria.The reason wasthat they are the colleges of education offering business education program in North-west Nigeria.
The study among the nine (9) colleges of education was delimited to Federal College of education Zaria. This was because it has adequate and functional instructional facilities and it also has adequate experienced staff. The study was delimited to NCE II business education students 2016/2017 academic session. This was because they are a stable class and are more conversant with the environment. Finally,the study was delimited Financial Accounting. Reason is that, it is one of theNCE IIbusiness education students‟ courses.
EFFECTS OF PROBLEM-SOLVING AND COOPERATIVE TECHNIQUES ON BUSINESS EDUCATION STUDENTS’ PERFORMANCE IN FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING IN COLLEGES OF EDUCATION IN NORTH-WEST NIGERIA