THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MATHEMATICS AND THE LEARNING OF PRINCIPLE OF ACCOUNTS

**CHAPTER ONE**

**INTRODUCTION**

**1.1 Background Information of the Study**

Virtually in all academic institutions, success is measured by academic performance, or how well a student meets standards set out by Ministry of Education and institution concerned.

Academic performance means how students will perform or achieve in a certain exam. Poor academic performance or excellent academic performance depends on three main factors; students, teacher and educational materials.

Some of the causes of a poor academic performance for some students are simply poor elementary base. According to late research done, the Ministry of Education on the first three levels of elementary education 20% of the students had shown very poor level in reading and writing skills. The results pulled the bill of a dangerous phenomenon and called for quick remedies to overcome such terrifying future of these students. Another reason of poor performance of students can be attributed to bad study habits. They may not be able to focus on tasks easily. Another possible issue could be personal or financial issues which prohibit them from focusing on their studies. These are also other factors that affect student’s performance such as home life, health, motivation, learning problems, psychological problems and family social status (eHow, 2014).

The discipline of accounting is concerned with accurate numerical measurement of precisely defined operational concepts. It follows, that practitioners of accounting should be comfortable with mathematics in general and numbers in particular. Most accounting educators believe that arithmetic skills are important for students to understand accounting systems and financial statement analysis. It seems obvious that academic and professional success in accounting will be facilitated by a high level of mathematical skill.

Most business schools have implemented with requirements in the basic calculus and matrix algebra, but the amount of application of these techniques tends to be limited in many business courses, with the result that some students may concern the usefulness of higher mathematics in the applied business disciplines and the extent to which mathematical techniques could and should be utilized in coursework. Professors of accounting finance and economics tends to be aligned in these debates against professors of marketing and management.

Although, accounting educators tend to be favourably disposed toward mathematics than some other business educators, none of the contributions to the professional literature on determinants of success in accounting have singled out mathematics ability for special emphasis.

Mathematics as a unique part of knowledge has developed from the time when studied to its parent position as the basis on which our scientific and technological knowledge were built, in which principles of account was not rested out.

Mathematics with its characteristics being a collection of disciplines has important parts to play in so long the problems facing government of Nigeria in the Nation Policy on Education (2001) stipulated that mathematics should be a compulsory subjects that should be offered by secondary schools students through their secondary school education in relation to their career choice such as chemistry.

The choice of science subjects at certain level is very much related to the ability in mathematics. In a very actual fact, proficiency in mathematics is of basic importance to the study of principles of account and even in understanding elementary principles of social science subjects.

For logical thinking, Owolabi (2002) explained a simple fact why students that they failed to embrace the theory algebraic expression and laws which will serve as pre-requisite for one another.

Students ability to grasp subject matter algebra, set theory, grasp theory, numerical approximations etc. is equally useful in educations, involving accounting values in principle of accounts and other quantifiable ideas forming parts of our everyday life was involved through the daily transactions.

However, the quantification was the responsibility of mathematics. Therefore, a critical understanding of any branch of social science, like principle of accounts is practically, impossible, if there are no calculations based on its principles.

Therefore, Fafunwa (2000) reported on a widespread failure of college students to translate simple sentence in algebraic representations. Interviewed data led Fafunwa (2000) to conclude that the difficulties experienced by these students were due to problems they have in interpreting some mathematical ideas.

The most voluminous components of the determinants of success literature examiners factors influencing performance of students in principles of accounting courses. Danke, Duke and Franz (1992); Norton and Reching (1992); Jones and Fields (2001).

These authors statistically document strong positive relationships between performance in principle of accounting and the following independent variables: Grade Point Average (GPA), majoring in accounting, grade in principles I courses (relevant to principles II performance). Weaker and more problematic relationships have been found between performance and College of Education courses in accounting, sex (normally female students do better than male students), personality characteristics, effort measures and intervention variables such as supplementary instruction.

The only thing that can be safely concluded is that both have strong effects. Another indication of the relevance of mathematics is the finding by Pritchard, Patter and Saccucci (2004) that students with majors in accounting and finance exhibit better computational and algebra skills, as measured by special-purpose math tests written by the authors, than do students majoring in marketing and management.

Related work in the disciplines of economics and finance has statistically documented the positive effect of mathematics ability or student performance. For example, Ballard and Johnson (2004) cite six prior studies indicating a positive effect of mathematics ability (usually measured) by the quantitative SAT/ACT score) on performance in economics courses. The innovation of the Ballard Johnson study is to use student performance on a specially devised mathematics pretest as a predictor of success in economics courses. One advantage of this approach is that it enables insights into the relationship between economics performance and specific types of mathematical operations presumed to be especially important in the study of economic ratios, algebraic manipulation, graphical illustration and interpretation and so on.

A similar study by Pritchard, Romes and Sccucci (2000) looks at the relationship between a special purpose math pre-test and performance in introductory finance courses. In this study, we report results from an analogous research project involving principles of accounting.

Therefore, teaching of mathematics and principles of accounts in all our colleges of education needs to be emphasized. With aid doubt, if we strive to inculcate the knowledge of these two subjects in the minds of students, the interest of these towards mathematics would greatly be increased and hence increase their achievement in principles of accounts.

**1.2 Statement of the Problem**

Mathematics is the background of many science and non-science subjects. Mathematical knowledge is of high need in all subjects that involves calculations. Several different branches of mathematics are relevant to the discipline of accounting.

Some of these branches more important than other branches in determining a student’s success in principles of accounting.

The current research study focuses on the relation between student’s academic performance and his background in mathematics. Accounting courses highly depends on mathematics, so a high academic performance in accounting studies could be related to good background in mathematics.

The accounting discipline is highly concerned with an accurate mathematical concerned with an accurate numerical measurement of business transactions. It requires the practitioners to be comfortable with mathematics in general and numbers in particular (Yunker et al 2009). Gist et al. (1996) also indicated the needs of accounting students for possessing calculation skills and an acceptable level of knowledge in Algebra. To carry out the financial statements analysis and the corporate data-processing task, accountants need to have a general skills in arithmetic. The majority of accounting instructors attest the key role of mathematic skills of accounting undergraduate students for faster analyzing of the complex issues in advanced accounting. (Collier & McGowan, 1989; Yunker et al 2009).

The noted that the mathematics talents of accounting graduates could contribute to a better development of the modern accounting that underpaid both practice and academic capability.

It is against this background that the researcher wants to critically examine the relevance of mathematical knowledge to the teaching of principles of Accounts in College of Education in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State.

**1.3 Purpose of the Study**

The main purpose of this study is to establish the relationship between mathematics and the learning of principle of accounts in College of Education in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State. Other specific objectives are:

- To augment our understanding of the effect of mathematical skill or academic success in accounting.
- To determine the relationship between mathematical and academic achievement of accounting students in College of Education, Ikere in Ekiti State.
- To statistically estimate the incremental effects of mathematical ability or performance in principles of account.
- To differentiate between the effects of various specific types of mathematical ability on success in accounting.

**1.4 Research Questions**

- Is there any significant relationship between mathematical knowledge and the learning of principles of accounts in Colleges of Education?
- Is there any significant difference in the mathematical knowledge of male and female accounting students in Colleges of Education?
- Does the knowledge of mathematics help accounting students in achieving academic excellence in accounting related subjects?

**1.5 Research Hypothesis**

- There is a significant relationship between mathematical knowledge and the learning of principle of accounts in College of Education.
- There is no significant difference between the mathematical knowledge of male and female accounting students in Colleges of Education.

**1.6 Significance of the Study**

The study will help the school, Ministry of Education, Government, teachers and curriculum planners to provide an evaluation standard on the importance of mathematics in accounting related subjects.

It will enable the government to employ adequate qualified teachers, to enhance effective learning and teaching process.

The findings will enable the teachers to make their teaching more interesting by arousing and sustaining the interest of their students in learning of principles of accounts.

The study would go a long way to improve student’s ability in solving accounting-math’s related problems and also reduce teaching problems in a greater measure.

**1.7 Scope of the Study**

The study is restricted to College of Education in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State. In view of the constraints of time, fund resources and other human limitations, the researcher limited the study to cover 20 students randomly selected in Part Two.

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