JIGSAW AND GUIDED INQUIRY MODELS ON SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING IN AKWA IBOM STATE
Background to the Study
Financial Accounting is one of the vocational subjects taught in senior secondary schools. Financial Accounting is the systematic act of reading, classifying, selecting, measuring and interpreting financial data which enables the users to make a decision. The aim is to provide appropriate knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies necessary for students to study higher and or live in, and contribute meaningfully to the development of the nation and dynamic business environment.
The Federal Republic of Nigeria (2011) stated that the broad goal of secondary school education (also referred to as post basic education)is to prepare individuals for useful living within the society and higher education. To achieve this objective, at the Junior Secondary School, Bookkeeping (Pre-vocational subject) is taught as a component of Business Studies to prepare the students towards the choice of any of the business components including Financial Accounting at the senior secondary level.
The Post Basic Education (senior secondary school) in Nigeria prepares the students for higher education either in polytechnics, monotechnics, colleges of education, innovative enterprise institutions or universities for specialized skills development in various fields including Financial Accounting.
The objectives of Financial Accounting as contained in the West African Senior School Certificate Syllabus (2011) are to: enable candidates appreciate the rules and functions of accounting; lay a sound foundation for further study of Accounting at higher level; and assess candidates’ knowledge of basic accounting principles and their application to modern business activities.
The dynamism of the society and business activities cannot be overstressed. Nigeria in the 21st century presents a radically different economy and a society which poses profound implications on financial accounting education. The globalization of trade and commerce, rapid technological changes, information and communication technology revolution, sustainable development and the emergence of knowledge economy all pose new challenges around the world and Nigeria in particular (Akpan, Akpan & Inyang 2011).
The sole aim of any instruction is to evoke learning. It is observed that not all instructional efforts result to learning. Some teaching efforts are counterproductive as they result in adverse behavioral patterns. Instructional delivery constitutes the highest level of implementation of policies and the most problematic area of curriculum.
It is the activity centre of education, that is, the whole process through which character is formed and personality developed. It involves teachers, learners and environment. The modern approach to teaching and learning is making a greater demand upon financial accounting teachers and educators (Ukegbu & Anuonye, 2012).
The main objective of teaching Financial Accounting is to equip students with intellectual and professional skills. In order to achieve this, new concepts, strategies and methodologies (innovation) have to be introduced in the teaching of accounting.
Despite the importance of financial accounting to the individual and national development, over the years, the secondary school students ’achievement in this subject is far from impressive, this has been observed in the poor achievements of students in 2015, with 48% pass level, in 2016 46% pass level and in 2017 46.7% pass level. While the failure level in the said subject for 2015, 2016 and 2017 recorded 52%, 54% and 53.3% respectively.
Achievement is recorded when the skills taught are successful and objectives realized on the part of the teacher and the students in the teaching and learning process in the classroom. Internal and external examinations/tests, transfer of learning as well as a permanent change in behavior of the students consequent upon the learning process form the yardstick of achievement.
The level of achievement of secondary school students is, to a great extent, influenced by individual learning and teaching strategies (Felder, 2014). Hazikiel (2012) asserted that the interest and achievement which students show in subjects such as financial accounting, and the mastery they demonstrate on completion of a course of study depend, to a large extent, on the teaching methods. Other factors may include student factors, societal factors, home factors, government factor, language problem and instructional strategy employed by the teacher (Ali, 2011; Chacko, 2013& Felder, 2014).
The teacher is the fulcrum in conceptualizing, developing, designing and utilizing appropriate instructional models in the teaching-learning process for desirable outcome. Okoro (2015) observed that not all the teaching strategies applied by teachers to effects learning are appropriate in every situation adding that appropriate teaching strategy to a given situation provides better learning outcome.
One of the characteristics of a competent teacher is that he is conversant with a wide variety of instructional strategies and materials in order to select the one that best accomplishes a particular goal. Some of these instructional models include guided inquiry/discovery, demonstration, discussion, expository, collaborative, simulation, role play, jigsaw, concept mapping and time lines among others.
There is seemingly no one exclusive teaching method that is perfectly indispensable of others in getting students to overcome their poor perception of difficult accounting concepts. The level of study, core-curriculum objectives of the subject and student characteristics dictate which method is appropriate to adopt at any given time or situation.
This was why Eze (2011) posited that there is no unanimity among researchers on the best technique or model of teaching Financial Accounting, Okoro (2015) asserted that uniform treatment of learners at any level in any subject area is erroneous because the same learning activity, subject matter or teaching strategy will not evoke the same achievement or responses from different learners at any given time.
Similarly, a particular teaching model that enhances learning on male students may not have a corresponding effect on female students and vice versa.
The predominant method used in teaching Financial Accounting in the senior secondary schools continue to be the age long expository method which is the text-board-talk and chalk.
The researcher has been in the teaching profession for twenty years and has observed that, despite various changes and reforms in accounting curriculum contents and needs, most teachers are not sensitive to the changes refusing in their instructional techniques and continue to use the expository method even when the topic requires different methods for better understanding. This seems to result in students not achieving the expected learning outcome in Financial Accounting.
The text-board-talk and chalk (the expository method) is a teacher centred approach employed by accounting teachers to instruction. The teacher dominates the learning process using a textbook and chalk-board as well as talking and writing notes for students to copy. According to Obasi (2011), Tochonites (2012), Ukoha and Eneogwe (2012) and Udoidiong (2011), expository method involves only the teacher talking while most of the students remain passive listeners.
These authors contended that using the method in teaching accounting in senior secondary schools failed to produce students with needed employable skills and eligibility for further education. It is imperative that innovative instructional models such as jigsaw and guided inquiry be introduced in the teaching of financial accounting.
Jig-saw is one of the cooperative learning strategies which allow students to take responsibility for teaching each other to achieve certain objectives. Aronson (2002) posits that jigsaw cooperative learning strategy enables students of a “home” group to specialize in one aspect of learning unit.
Jimoh (2016) proposed that in using jig-saw, the teacher divides the students into four to five jigsaw groups, divide the lesson into expert areas and assigns brilliant students to each expert area’. Experts from different groups meet together at a round table to discuss their content giving each expert opportunity to learn the whole content and then experts return to their jigsaw groups to teach members the whole unit of work.
Jigsaw cooperative learning strategy can be used to teach or learn in secondary and higher institutions (Mbacho, 2013). The main purpose of jigsaw is to develop teamwork and cooperative learning skills among students. These skills are necessary for financial accounting students as it will better enable them to transfer of what they leant from the school to the work environment.
Guided discovery is an inquiry-based, student centered and an activity-oriented teaching strategy which allows financial accounting teacher to use varieties of instructional materials and probing questions, to enable students discover answers to accounting problems.
According to Ekhasemomhe (2010), this strategy places the teacher as the overseer and facilitator of learning, and as the mediator between the students and the instructional materials for the lesson. Discovery learning takes place in problem-solving situations where the learners use their own experiences and prior knowledge to discover the truths that are to be learned.
Discovery learning is a strategy through which students interact with materials by exploring and battling with probing questions or performing experiments to discover more knowledge (Olorode & Jimoh, 2016). It is believed that students are likely to remember concepts they discover on their own than those they are taught.
Gender is the grouping of people into feminine and masculine through interaction with caretaker and socialization in childhood (Ezenwosu & Nworgu, 2013).There is a general belief in Nigeria that males are superior to females in terms of physical fitness, cognition, logical reasoning and even academic achievement.
According to Ezenwosu and Nworgu, male students perform better in practical oriented subjects like physics, mathematics, statistics and accounting. William in Turned (2014) reported that academic achievement differs between boys and girls in basic subjects both at primary and secondary school levels. According to William, to disentangle gender influence on academic achievement is a complex task.
However, it is widely believed that using appropriate teaching methods will improve the academic achievement of senior secondary school students in Financial Accounting and other subjects. Hence this study is considered imperative as it will highlight the effects of different teaching methods as the academic achievement of senior secondary students in Akwa Ibom State in Financial Accounting.
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