INFLUENCE OF COOPERATIVE AND COMPETITIVE TEACHING TECHNIQUES ON EDUCATIONAL PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING IN KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA

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INFLUENCE OF COOPERATIVE AND COMPETITIVE TEACHING TECHNIQUES ON EDUCATIONAL PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING IN KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA  

ABSTRACT

 

The study was carried out on the effects of cooperative and competitive teaching methods on academic performance of secondary school students in financial accounting in Kaduna state,

Nigeria. The study had five objectives, five research questions and five null hypotheses. Quasi-experimental research design was used for the study.  The population of the study was two thousand, one hundred and seventy five (2,175).  The sample size was 80 and purposive sampling technique was used in selecting the sample.  Frequency distribution was used in analyzing respondents’ gender; mean, standard deviation and standard error were used in answering the research questions while Pearson Product Moments Correlation Coefficient (PPMC) and t-test were used to test the null hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance.  Null hypotheses one to three (1-3) and five (5) were rejected while hypothesis four (4) was retained.  The study showed that cooperative teaching method and competitive teaching method had significant influence on students’ academic performance in financial accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria, among other findings.  The study concluded that cooperative teaching method and competitive teaching method influenced academic performance in financial accounting in Kaduna state, Nigeria.  The study recommended the use of cooperative teaching method and competitive teaching method in teaching financial accounting in Kaduna state, Nigeria among other recommendations.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1        Background to the Study

Kaduna State is one of the thirty six states of Nigeria.  It came into existence in 1976 as North Central State.  Kaduna state is one of the states in the north central geo-political zones of Nigeria.  It is divided into three senatorial and twelve (12) education zones.  Kaduna state has twenty three (23) local government areas among which are Sabon Gari and Zaria local government areas (Kaduna State Government, 2013).  These local governments have secondary schools that use different teaching methods in inculcating knowledge to students.  One of the subjects offered in the schools is financial accounting.

Cooperative or collaborative teaching method is an instructional context in which peers work together on a learning task, with the goal of all participants benefiting from the interaction. Cooperation and collaboration teaching method can be synonymously used (O’donnell, 2002).  Cooperation is working together to accomplish shared goals. Within cooperative situations, individuals seek outcomes that are beneficial to themselves and beneficial to all other group members.

Cooperative teaching method is the instructional use of small groups so that students work together to maximize their own and each other’s learning. Cooperative teaching method involves the use of a variety of learning activities to improve students’ understanding of a subject (Slavin, 2000).  According to Woolfolk (2001), cooperative teaching method is an arrangement in which students work in mixed ability groups and are rewarded on the basis of the success of the group.  Akinbobola (2006) sees cooperative method as a model of learning in which students of different levels of ability work together in small groups to achieve a purpose.  Cooperative teaching method provides opportunity for students to develop skills in group interactions and teamwork (Sharan, 2010).

Cooperative teaching method can help improve student achievement and retention, increase self-esteem and intrinsic motivation and develop more positive attitude towards learning and social skills.  Cooperatively taught students can have better and longer information retention, higher grades, more highly developed critical thinking and problem-solving skills, more positive attitudes toward the subject and greater motivation to learn it.  Cooperative teaching method can instill in learners important behaviours that prepare them to reason and perform well in an adult world.  Critical thinking, reasoning and problems-solving skills, attitudes and values of learners could be formed through social interaction.  Cooperative teaching method can be important in helping learners acquire from the curriculum the basic cooperative attitudes and values they need to think independently inside and outside of the classroom.

Cooperative teaching can enhance academic achievements of students. This can lead to critical thinking, reasoning and problem-solving skills of the learner.  Cooperative teaching method, when used appropriately can enable students to move beyond the text, memorization of basic facts and learning of basic skills. This method which can result in cognitive restructuring can lead to an increase in understanding of all students in a cooperative group.  Apart from academic benefits, cooperative teaching can promote self-esteem, interpersonal relationship and improved attitudes toward school and peers.

Cooperative teaching method can be said to lead to the formation of attitude and values, provision of models of pro-social behaviour, presentation of alternative perspective and viewpoints, building a coherent and integrated identity, and promotion of critical thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving behaviour (Borich, 2004). These can result in collaborative skills improvement, better self-esteem and increased achievement.

Cooperative teaching method suggests that well-motivated students, who can be taught using the teaching method, come together from different academic background to make a difference in their academic pursuit.  In cooperative teaching, assignments, tests and scores are given to groups. Cooperative teaching method has repeatedly been shown to be more effective than the traditional teaching approach to education.  For example Johnson and Johnson (2005) reported that in all levels of education students in cooperative situations achieved greater academic, social and psychological benefits.  Beck and Chizhik (2008), Sousa (2006), Ghani, Rashid, Subramaniam and Zain (2009) specifically reported that cooperative teaching method improved students’ academic achievement compared to other conventional teaching method.

Competition is a social process that occurs when rewards are given to people on the basis of their performances compared with the performances of others doing the same task or participating in the same event.  Competitive teaching method is an approach that learners will successfully achieve a certain goal by beating opponents in a learning process of mutual competing.  Competition exists when one student’s goal is achieved but all other students fail to reach that goal (Griffiths & Podirsky, 2002).  Tabesh (2007) defined competitive method as a type of learning which is motivated by participation in a competition.  It is a class based on the concept of ranking.  Only one student can be at the top or students with equal performance.

Competitive teaching method is an extracurricular activity which can cause improvement of the educational system.  It can assist teachers in discovering students’ abilities and creativity while it can enable students to have the chance to solve problems, conduct research and synthesize information on their own.  Competitive method can be an efficient instrument to motivate learning behaviors.  It can increase better academic performance and learning achievements in students.  For example Carrillo-de-Gea, Fernández-Alemán, and Rodríguez-Mondéjar (2011) reported that competitive teaching method produced significant cognitive gains in comparison to the conventional teaching method.

Secondary school students are students within the age of 12-18 years.  On successful completion of junior secondary school, students proceed into senior secondary classes where they choose to offer science, arts or vocational subjects.  Financial accounting is one of the vocational subjects in the senior secondary school curriculum. It is offered at the beginning of Senior Secondary School (SSS) level.  According to the West African Examination Council (2004), financial accounting is the most popular subject that secondary school students offer among the vocational subjects.

Academic performance, according to Gouch (2009), can be referred to as the way and manner students deal with their studies and how they cope with or

accomplish different tasks given to them by their teachers.  It can be seen as the result of activities (e.g. of an individual) over a given period of time (Stefan, 2011). Flegm (2005) in Ibrahim (2011) reported that in educational institutions, success is measured by academic performance, or how well a student meets set standards by institution.  Academic performance is what students achieve in their studies and how they cope with or accomplish different learning experiences given to them by their teachers

(Moradeyo, 2015).  The quality of students’ academic performance according to

Ibrahim (2011) remains at top priority for educators.  It is meant for making a difference in performance. The factors which may affect academic achievement include age, gender, teaching methods, availability of teaching materials and teachers’ qualification, etc.

Financial accounting according to Asaolu (2002) is the process of recording, classifying, selecting, measuring, interpreting, summarizing and reporting financial data of an organization to users for objective assessment and decision-making.  Accounting is therefore the process of collecting, recording, presenting and analyzing/interpreting financial information for the users of financial statements.  The aim of inclusion of financial accounting in secondary curriculum is to build on the work that has been done in book-keeping at the Junior Secondary School (JSS) level and also provide teachers with the framework within which the teaching is to take place. Generally, financial accounting aims at providing specialized instruction to prepare students for career in financial accounting field; fundamental instruction to help students assume their economic roles as consumers, workers and citizens; background instruction to assist students in preparing for other professional careers requiring advanced studies in financial accounting; and financial accounting skills for personal use in future.

Therefore, trying to incorporate cooperative and competitive teaching methods into a single class (like in a financial accounting class) requires commitment and effort on any teacher’s part. However, the benefits to the students might just be worth that extra effort.  Like life, nothing in teaching is completely black or white. Noting that cooperative and competitive teaching methods have their advantages and disadvantages, both could be incorporated into a classroom provided teachers remain on guard against the pitfalls of each teaching method. For instance, students could study in small groups or in pairs, but could still be responsible for their own test grades. Financial accounting lessons could be taught in the more competitive way, but larger, cooperative projects could also be part of the lesson plan. Students could also be allowed more say in how they attack a learning problem and choosing their own collaborative activities when appropriate.  It is on the basis of this background that the study was conducted on the effects of cooperative and competitive methods on academic performance of secondary school students in financial accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria.

 

1.2       Statement of the Problem

The introduction of financial accounting into the secondary school curriculum grew rapidly because the first few schools which offered it in the West African School

Certificate Examination (WASCE) had unexpectedly good results (Abayomi, 2014).

Since Financial accounting was introduced as a school subject in the West African

School Certificate Examinations, a lot of changes have been witnessed in schools.

Students’ results in West African Examination Council (WAEC) May/June 2010, 2011 and 2012 financial accounting showed a failure rate of 41.98% 46.20% and

48.90% respectively.  Again another decline in students’ result in West African Examination Council (WAEC) November / December 2010, 2011 and 2012 financial accounting showed a failure rate of 37.37%, 40.41% and 44.48% respectively (WAEC, 2010, 2011 & 2012). The drop in the performance calls for a review of current strategies in the teaching and learning of financial accounting.  The trend of mass failure has compelled the academia to investigate the reasons for the large number of failures as well as low academic performance of financial accounting students (Abdullahi, 2014).

In an attempt by the researcher to uncover the reason for mass failure in financial accounting, the researcher heard students complain of difficulties in understanding financial accounting, lack of interest among students in the public secondary schools to offer financial accounting and low turnout in the subject in ordinary level examination and during the researcher’s teaching practice, he noted lack of proper background in previous studies of financial accounting.  Teachers of financial accounting in secondary schools do not vary their methods of teaching.  They are bent mostly to the conventional methods of teaching not noting the declining academic performance of their students as a result of the constant use of these methods.  Focus was lacking in broadening the financial accounting curriculum and developing alternative teaching strategies. Jackling (2005) observed that conventional methods of teaching which emphasize memory and recalling of facts are considered less desirable approach when teaching financial accounting and may result in passive students.

The researcher observed that students could not identify and solve unstructured problems by using multiple information sources, yet, identifying and solving unstructured problems is an essential requirement in the business environment today.  Albrecht and Sack (2000) noted the absence of skills development through accounting programmes, despite its importance.  Iksan and Zakaria (2007) noted that accounting students need the skills of working in groups in work places.  Farrell and Farrell (2008) noted the absence of team work which leads to sound preparation for participation by financial accounting students in work environment.  Jaidi, Mohidin, Osman and Seng (2009) stated that because students do not work in groups, there is less partification, less self-confidence and poor leadership ability.  The teaching of financial accounting has failed to enable students to develop the necessary communication and business skills needed at business environment (Abraham & Jones, 2008).  Milner and Stoner (2010) observed that financial accounting teachers do not work closely with various stakeholders and they do not prepare students for lifelong learning and successful business careers.

Today, the government is expecting better results from graduates to justify its heavy spending on education; parents are also expecting good results from their children to justify their investment in education; the society is expecting well educated persons to replace the aged; organizations are expecting graduates who they will employ and spend very less on training because of the training they received in schools.  With these high expectations from the government, parents, stakeholders and society, teachers are still dwelling on the conventional teaching methods which are not yielding the required academic performance from students.  These constitute the problems that prompted the researcher to conduct the study on effects of cooperative and competitive methods on academic performance of secondary school students in financial accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria.

 

1.3       Objectives of the Study

The major objective of the study was to investigate the effects of cooperative and competitive methods on academic performance of secondary school students in financial accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria.  The specific objectives were to:

  1. determine the effect of cooperative teaching method on secondary school students’ academic performance in financial accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria.
  2. determine the effect of competitive teaching method on secondary school students’ academic performance in financial accounting in Kaduna State,

Nigeria.

  1. determine the difference in performance of secondary school students taught financial accounting using cooperative teaching method and those taught using competitive teaching method in Kaduna State, Nigeria.
  2. determine the difference between the performance of male secondary school students taught financial accounting using cooperative teaching method and those taught using competitive teaching method in Kaduna State, Nigeria.
  3. determine the difference between the performance of female secondary school students taught financial accounting using cooperative teaching method and those taught using competitive teaching method in Kaduna State, Nigeria.

 

1.4        Research Questions

This study was guided by the following research questions:

  1. What is the effect of cooperative teaching method on secondary school students’ academic performance in financial accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria?
  2. What is the effect of competitive teaching method on secondary school students’ academic performance in financial accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria?
  3. What is the difference in the performance of secondary school students taught financial accounting using cooperative teaching method and those taught using

competitive teaching method in Kaduna State, Nigeria?

  1. What is the difference in the performance of male secondary school students taught financial accounting using cooperative teaching method and those

taught using competitive teaching method in Kaduna State, Nigeria?

  1. What is the difference in the performance of female secondary school students taught financial accounting using cooperative teaching method and those taught using competitive teaching method in Kaduna State, Nigeria?

1.5        Research Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance:

  1. Cooperative teaching method has no significant effect on academic performance of secondary school students in financial accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria.
  2. Competitive teaching method has no significant effect on academic performance of secondary school students in financial accounting in Kaduna State, Nigeria.
  3. There is no significant difference between the performance of secondary school students taught financial accounting using cooperative teaching method and those taught using competitive teaching method in Kaduna state, Nigeria.
  4. There is no significant difference between the performance of male secondary school students taught financial accounting using cooperative teaching method and those taught using competitive teaching method in Kaduna State, Nigeria.
  5. There is no significant difference between the performance of female secondary school students taught financial accounting using cooperative teaching method and those taught using competitive teaching method in

Kaduna State, Nigeria.

 

1.6        Basic Assumptions of the Study

Other variables that can affect students’ academic performance (such as peer influence, parental influence and school environment) have the same effect.

 

1.7       Significance of the Study

The result of the study will be of benefit to students, parent, teachers, school administrators, society, government and education stakeholders.  Students will benefit from the outcome of the study when teachers apply effective teaching methods.  This will improve their academic performance.

Parent will benefit from the outcome of the study because their children’s academic performance will justify the amount of fees spent on their education.  When good academic result is achieved, parent will hope their children will have better job opportunities.  Teachers who have been using conventional methods of teaching that have proven less productive will benefit from the results of this study.  They will learn to do less class teaching but more of supervision from desk to desk, watching students carry out instruction in line with stated objectives.  When objectives are achieved, teachers will recommend the use of the teaching method in this study to other colleagues.

School administrators are interested in fostering good academic habits for successful graduation and gainful employment.  They are more concerned about their reputations and the possibility of securing financial aid from government, institutions and other Non-Governmental Agencies, which can add to the overall general performance of the school.  Rather than school administrators to encourage individualistic learning which results to less number of successful graduation and less reputation on the school, teachers will be encouraged to apply the new discovered learning strategy that can lead to group attainment of objectives, which can lead to higher academic performance and general success in education.

Society stands to benefit from this study since the students are part of the entire society.  Thus, any positive impact on the students equally benefits the society.

At graduation with employment, these students will reciprocate those positive impacts they benefited to the younger generation through their own contributions to the society.  In a way, kindness will be recycled back to the society.

Government and educational stakeholders’ investment in education is always heavy at all levels, secondary school inclusive.  The outcome of this study will be of benefit to them because the study will serve as an eye opener for them to see the need to embrace financial accounting education and provide adequate fund and facilities to facilitate the teaching and learning of the subject.  It will make them to appreciate that every additional money spent on raising teacher quality improved greater student achievement gains than did any other use of school resources.  As such, when students perform well it means government investment is justified.

Through publications, seminars and workshops, the result of the study will be made available to the beneficiaries.  Specially, the researcher will make an executive summary of the outcome of the study available to the sampled school.  This way, they will have first-hand information about the outcome of the study.

 

1.8       Delimitation of the Study

The study was delimited to senior secondary schools in Sabon Gari and Zaria Local Government Areas of Kaduna State, Nigeria.  This was to enable the researcher have an area of coverage that can adequately and effectively be covered in the course of the research.  It was further delimited to public senior secondary schools offering financial accounting.  Specifically, it was delimited to Government Commercial College, Zaria, Kaduna State because the school had long outstanding history in the teaching of financial accounting.  The study was again delimited to senior secondary one (SSS I) students in third term.  This was because the students are first introduced to financial accounting in this class.  The accounts covered in the study were Trading Profit and Loss Accounts and Balance Sheet.  The choice of the accounts is because

they it is a must for all accounting students.

INFLUENCE OF COOPERATIVE AND COMPETITIVE TEACHING TECHNIQUES ON EDUCATIONAL PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING IN KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA  

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