DETERMINANT OF STUDENTS ATTITUDE TOWARDS LEARNING OF ACCOUNTING IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS
This research is carried out to find out the determinant of students attitude towards learning of accounting in secondary schools in Bewkwarra Local Government Council of Cross River State. A well structured questionnaire was used to gather information from the respondents and the questionnaire is subjected to four point Henry Linkert scale. The mean of any factor of 2.5 and above is said to be agreed upon as factor affecting performance of students in Learning of Accounting and therefore acceptable while the mean below 2.5 is unacceptable as factors. The outcome of the study showed that students perceived Learning of Accounting to be difficult, relevant to life situation and that gender of student’s does not affect their attitude toward Learning of Accounting. It was recommended that counselors should be employed to counsel students in order to have positive attitude toward their subject and that secondary schools’ authorities should make provision for the supply of recent textbooks and materials needed for teaching/learning of the subject, it was also recommended that teachers should employ an appropriate and suitable method of teaching to enable students to develop positive attitude towards the learning of the subject and it finally recommended that Government should provide conducive environment for the teaching and learning of the subject.
Background of the Study
Learning of accounting occupies a unique position in the present 6-3-3-4 system of Education in Nigeria. The importance of learning of Accounting in an organization cannot be over looked throughout the age of mankind. The teaching and learning of accounting should be a replica of what is happening in the present business world. Therefore, a course of this nature is one that stimulates the curiosity and imagination of student (such as becoming an accountant in the labour market), thereby encouraging him/her to pursue his own ideas. The curriculum and the classroom practice therefore are expected to provide students with the ability to explore different ideas in such a way that young school leavers can become self-reliant and as well should be able to engage themselves in functional trade/entrepreneurship skills needed for poverty eradication, job creation and wealth generation. With this, the students will be useful to themselves and the society at large. It is generally accepted that we all live in a world of business. The survival of a nation depends so much on business and technology.
Accounting is the process of recording business transaction in a systematic form so that the financial position of the business can be communicated to the users of such accounting information. Igboke (2003) sees accounting as that which equips individual with knowledge of recording, analyzing, classifying and interpreting financial information as well as the pedagogy required in teaching the skills. Accounting is important to the economic and business financial world.
Attitude can be described as a state of readiness, a tendency to act or react in a certain way. In general, it refers to a learned disposition or tendency on the part of individual to respond positively or negatively to a situation or another person. Oludipe (2005) citing Comb (2009) in Adetayo(2010) stated that attitude is a regulator of all behaviours and one’s behaviour according to Combs, at any given time are not causes but consequences of what is going on within the individual that is feelings and attitudes underlie external behaviours. It follows therefore, that if a student has a negative attitude towards a subject, the individual will have low level of confidence to study and achieve better in the subject. In order to study therefore, the individual needs to have a strong will and determination that he will succeed in it because a positive attitude towards a subject will build the required confidence for success in the individual.
Researchers have shown that there are a lot of factors that determine the attitude of student towards the teaching and learning of accounting. Such determinant could be home-related and school-related factors etc. it could also be positive or negative attitude. Sriffth, (2013) noted that family background is an important determinant of accounting education students’ performance in accounting at all levels, where school characteristics have minimal effects.
According to Pelemo (2014) in Adetayo (2015) study habit determine the attitude of students, study habit is the degree to which a learner identifies with learning activities such as attending to class, doing homework, reading, taking tests or examinations, devoting time for private studies, associating adequately with the teacher and peer groups. Study habits could be referred to as a well planned and deliberate effort towards understanding and acquiring knowledge (Yoloye, 2019) in Adetayo (2010). From the various definitions of study habits, it follows that the way students study will definitely affect his performance and this will invariably, affect his attitude in learning accounting.
Student’s interest is another determinant of student attitude towards teaching and learning of accounting. For instance, Zhang (2016) finds student’s interest in the subject and ability very important in making choice to study accounting. Other factors like quantitative skills and intellectually challenging also determines students’ attitude. When students see accounting as interesting and enjoyable, they are more likely to choose it but if otherwise they hate it.
Teacher quality is another determinant. The teacher is the pivot on which the educational process rests. Infact, the importance and place of teacher in the education process is highly priced by all nations of the world. However, whatever the influences of the teacher would be on the teaching of accounting can only be determined by the teacher’s quality, teacher’s quantity and teacher’s value. Many student run away from accounting classes simply because of the teacher.
Teaching is not just a matter of teachers talking and students listening, effective teaching involves interactive communication patterns that are skillfully directed. Some Shiundu and Omulando, (2012) quoting holds the view that teachers have a leading role to play in what and how to teach. The role of the teacher is key to curriculum implementation and should not be underscored. It is the teacher who translates the broad general curriculum goals into instructional objectives. It is the teacher who initiates, develops and directs student learning, a teacher evaluates the student’s progress maintains classroom discipline while teaching and works with other staff members. But where the above is not in place the student develop negative attitude.
The incompetence of a teacher to improvise instructional materials has been said to be one of the factors responsible for attitude of students. Teacher’s competency is an underlying characteristic of an individual that is usually related to effective or superior performance. These characteristics include enduring motives, traits, self-concepts, values, knowledge, and skills that can be assessed and differentiated. To be precise, teacher’s competency is an appropriate prior knowledge, skills, attitudes and abilities in a given context that adjust and develop with time and needs in order to effectively and efficiently accomplish a task and that are measure against a minimum standard.
A competent teacher selects, modifies and uses a wide range of instructional material (printed, visual and audio-visual) appropriate to the content area and the reading needs and level of each student. Effective teachers are equipped with repertoire of best teaching practices such as strategies, procedures, and approaches in presenting, implementing and assessing classroom instruction in accordance with the objectives set.
Other factors frequently cited as determinants of students’ attitude towards learning of accounting are intrinsic values, financial rewards, job market and the cost-benefit. Some of these factors are long term salary possibilities, prestige of the profession, job security and starting salary. It has been found that students consider stereotype about the different careers when making their decisions .Yayla & Cengiz (2005) find some determinant such as own choice, family or parents socio-economic factor, environment, interesting profession, earnings expectations and job opportunities.
In view of the above, efforts would be made in this study to investigate the determinant of students attitude towards learning of accounting in secondary schools in Bewkwarra Local Government Council of Cross River State.
Statement of the Problem
The attitudes of students toward every given subject such as learning of Accounting may differ from one person to another. However such attitude may be influenced by several determinant such as teachers, parents, school, government and environment.
Many students lack interest in offering accounting courses. In this regard, they often complained that the subject is too difficult. Even to balance the cash book, trial balance etc is a very big problem. Though, many students prefer to offer commercial subjects without accounting. Hence, accounting requires further professional examinations for one to be designated as an accountant.
It is on this backdrop, this study the examines determinant of students attitude towards learning of accounting in secondary schools in Bewkwarra Local Government Area of Cross River State.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to find out the determinant of students attitude towards learning of accounting in secondary schools in Bakwarra Local Government Area of Cross River State.
In specific term, the study sought to find out:
- The attitudes of students towards the leaning of accounting in secondary schools.
- The underlying factors responsible for the present attitude of students toward the learning of accounting
- If the gender of students affect their attitude toward the teaching of accounting.
- If parents occupation influence the attitude of the students.
The following research questions were raise to guide the study:
- What are the attitudes of students towards the learning of accounting?
- What are the underlying factors responsible for the present attitude of students towards the learning of accounting?
- Does gender of students affect their attitude towards learning of Accounting in Bekwarra Local Government?
- Does parents’ occupation influence the attitude of students in Bekwarra Local Government Secondary Schools towards learning of Accounting?
Significance of the Study
The study is important as it will;
- Reveal student’s the determinant of students attitude towards learning of Accounting in Bakwarra Local Government Area of Cross River State
- Reveal the various factors influencing students negatively or positively.
- It will go a long way to assist the teaching of Accounting and consequently result in the improvement of students’ performance in the subject.
- Enable the students to have a change of attitude towards learning and be more dedicated to their studies.
- Provides useful information to the parents in respect of their responsibilities in the procurement of recommended textbook and material needed to enhance and improve student’s learning.
- Severs as a point to the Government both Federal and State on the need for the recruitment of qualified competent teachers to handled learning of Accounting as well as provides necessary instructional materials.
- Lastly, it will serves as a base for further research work in Accounting Education and as well as teaching and learning of learning of Accounting in Senior Secondary School in particular.
Scope of the Study
The scope of the study is centered on the attitude of students toward the learning of Accounting in Senior Secondary school using Bekwarra Local Government as a case study. In the process of carrying out the study, the following areas shall be considered.
- The influence of gender (Male or Female) in the formations of attitude.
- Factors responsible for the information of attitude.
- The influence of parents in the formation of attitude.
- Attitude relative to difficulty of a subject
- Attitude relative to relevance’s of a subject as regards its application.
Definition of Terms
Learning: Learning is defined as “a consistent pattern of behavior and performance by which an individual approaches educational experiences, it also a ways of perceiving, conceptualizing, and problem-solving. It is also referred way of interacting with and responding to the environment.
Accounting: Accounting is the process of creating financial statements based on the company’s financial information. Also, financial Accounting is used by internal or external business stakeholders for making business or investment decisions.
Attitude: According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, attitude is defined as the way one thinks and feels about something or somebody. It also as an organized predisposition to think, feel, perceive and behave toward a referent or cognitive object