COMPARISON OF PEER TUTORING AND MEMORIZATION STRATEGIES ON STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT IN MANUFACTURERS’ FINAL ACCOUNTS IN COLLEGES OF EDUCATION IN ANAMBRA STATE, NIGERIA
Memorization is a common teaching strategy used by most teachers in the Nigeria educational system. The effect of this strategy on students’ achievement in whatever field has not been ascertained. However, due to regular poor performance of students in manufacturing accounts, the peer tutoring strategy which is now gaining popularity was experimented with to see if the students’ performance would improve.
This study compared peer tutoring strategy with memorization strategy on students’ achievement in manufacturers’ final accounts in colleges of education in Anambra State, Nigeria. A quasi-experimental non-randomized control, pretest/post test design was adopted. The population for the study comprised all 72 NCE year II Business Education (Accounting) students drawn from the two colleges of education in Anambra State, Nigeria.
The instrument used for data collection was the manufacturing accounts achievement test (MAAT). Five research questions and five null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. Mean and standard deviation were used to answer the research questions while analysis of co-variance (ANCOVA) was used to test the null hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance.
The study found that in general, students taught manufacturing accounts using memorization strategy did not perform well in the pretest but students taught using peer tutoring strategy performed better in the posttest. Inspite of the significant difference in performance between the use of memorization and peer tutoring strategies, gender was not affected. Based on these findings, it was concluded that students learn faster and master skills better when they are allowed to participate actively and interact freely with their peers in the classroom.
It was, therefore, recommended that accounting teachers in colleges of education should adopt peer tutoring in teaching manufacturing accounts. This will help to improve students’ learning outcomes through active participation and free interaction among them in the classroom irrespective of their gender
Background of the Study
In colleges of education today, accounting is one of the courses that are taught to students. Accounting is a process of providing financial information about the financial transactions carried out by a business organization, 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.
Accounting covers two broad areas – financial accounting and management accounting. For the purpose of this study, financial accounting is selected because it comprises manufacturing accounts (manufacturers’ final accounts) as one of its aspects which this study is focusing on. Financial accounting is a branch of accounting that is concerned with the reporting of financial information.
American Accounting Association in Osuala (2004) defined financial accounting as the process of identifying, measuring, and communicating economic information. Asaolu (2005) added that financial accounting is used to report financial data of an organization to the users for objective assessment and decision-making. Financial accounting gathers and summarizes financial data to prepare financial reports such as balance sheet and income statement for an organization’s management, investors, lenders, suppliers, tax authorities, and other stakeholders. Financial accounting is, therefore, a specialized branch of accounting which keeps track of the financial transactions of a company.
Okafor (2000) stated that the fundamental need for financial accounting is to reduce the various principal-agent problems, by measuring and monitoring the agent’s performance and thereafter reporting the results to interested users.The importance of financial accounting cuts across all sectors of the economy which include employees, general public, government, investment analysts, lenders, managers/directors, shareholders and suppliers. Financial accounting helps employees to assess the potential for providing continued employment and levels of remuneration.
It enables the general public to assess general employment opportunities, social, political and environmental issues, and to consider potential for investment. Financial accounting helps government in determining corporate taxation schedule. It enables investment analysts to determine investment potential for individuals and institutions with regard to past and future performance, strength of management as well as risk versus reward.
Financial accounting enables lenders to assess the capacity and the ability of a company to service debt and repay capital (Okafor, 2000).
Financial accounting, as a skill course, seeks to achieve one of the goals derived from National Policy on Education (2004) which requires individuals to acquire appropriate skills and to develop mental, physical and social abilities as well as competencies as equipment for them to live in and contribute to the development of the society. Consequently upon this, the philosophy states that the quality of instruction at all levels has to be oriented towards inculcating the acquisition of competencies necessary for self-reliance.
Colleges of education form an integral part of the existing tertiary institutions in Nigeria. A college of education trains teachers for a minimum period of three years or a maximum period of five years. Its programme involves the teaching and learning of all basic courses which will enable students to acquire either further knowledge or develop skills in vocational and academic courses, or acquire knowledge that will enable students to perform well in the world of work. The accounting courses taught in colleges of education are principles of accounts, financial accounting, cost accounting and advanced financial accounting.
The courses offered in colleges of education lead to the award of Nigerian Certificate in Education (NCE) on completion of a programme of study.The admission requirements for Nigerian Certificate in Education (Business Education) programme include possession of either a Senior School Certificate (SSCE) or GCE ‘O’ Level/NECO with credits in five subjects relevant to the course including English Language and Mathematics; or a Grade II Teacher’s Certificate (TC II) with credit or merit in three subjects including English Language, two of which must be relevant to the course (NCCE Minimum Standards, 2009). Colleges of education in Nigeria are made up of male and female students in both state and federal colleges.
There are two colleges of education in Anambra State, namely Nwafor-Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe (state-owned) and Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze. Financial data are processed into accounting information through the use of accounting principles and conventions. The accounting principles are known as generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). They are the fundamentals which guide accountants in recording, appreciating and assessing accounting information as well as the preparation and interpretation of financial statements.
The accounting system is proven, time-honored, and its format is universally understood (Adebiyi, 2001). As a result, books of accounts prepared by accountants in one part of the world are easily understood by their counterparts in other parts of the world because the information system is based on principles that are widely accepted and globally used. The general objectives of financial accounting as cited by Obi (2005) include: to develop a better understanding of business activities and to become familiar with papers and forms commonly used in business transactions; have an understanding and appreciation of the values and possibilities for record-keeping, personal needs, vocational preparation or preparation for further education; have understanding of assets, liabilities and proprietorship as well as to enable students interpret business situation correctly and to determine essential financial accounting traits which include accuracy, orderliness, neatness and responsibilities.
Financial accounting has different aspects which include knowledge of basic accounting principles; double entry; books of original entry; cash book; trial balance; manufacturing accounts; partnership accounts; company accounts; et cetera (Okafor, 2000). This study will focus on manufacturing accounts aspect of financial accounting. The reason is that manufacturing accounts constitute one of the difficult aspects of financial accounting which students find difficult to attain high scores in as observed and shown in their performances in manufacturing accounts for a period of three years (see Appendix V page 103). A pilot study conducted by the researcher in the two colleges of education in Anambra State confirmed a wide gap between the scores obtained and the scores expected of students in manufacturing accounts for the past three years (see Appendix V page 103).
The students’ consistent low scores in manufacturing accounts implies that the teaching strategy adopted such as memorization must have been unfavorable to enable them attain the expected scores. The researcher believes that students will perform better in manufacturing accounts if an alternative favorable strategy is adopted in teaching this particular aspect of financial accounting. Manufacturing accounts is a financial statement that shows the cost of direct materials and labor as well as production overhead of a manufacturing organization.
It enables a manufacturing organization to ascertain the cost of its production so as to determine the cost of sales for the purpose of maximizing profit (Oyetade, 2008). Manufacturing accounts which constitutes manufacturers’ final accounts have three segments: the factory manufacturing account (which ascertains the cost of production); the trading account (which shows cost of sales); the profit and loss account (shows the overall net profit or loss of the manufacturing organization); and the balance sheet (which shows the true financial position of a manufacturer at the end of a financial year (Okafor, 2000). For students to really comprehend and assimilate manufacturing accounts as a topic, a learner-centered strategy has to be adopted.
Learner-centered strategy comprises peer tutoring, active learning, cooperative learning, associative learning, et cetera while teacher-
centered strategy includes memorization, planned repetition, drill and practice, et cetera. For the purpose of this study, peer tutoring is selected as one of the strategies that can be adopted by both teachers and students so as to improve students’ academic achievement in manufacturing accounts. Achievement is the art of accomplishing or finishing a task. Students’ achievement is something that students accomplish successfully, especially by means of exertion, skill, practice or perseverance.
It is something that somebody succeeds in doing usually with effort (Anikweze, 2010). Achievement in the context of this study specially refers to academic attainment of students after completing a course. Achievement is both indicative and predictive. According to Anikweze (2010), achievement is indicative when it shows a student’s level of success thus a student that scored an ‘A’ in a completed course is adjudged to have had a higher performance than a student that scored a ‘B’ in the same course.
It is predictive when it is a criterion for determining the ability of a student to undertake another task such as the case of a student who is adjudged able to offer a course because of a high score in a previous course. Teaching is an art that is geared towards shaping the behaviour of a learner. Every teacher must have an intention, and the achievement of the intention is what qualifies one as a teacher.
One cannot be a good teacher until his intention for doing what he is doing is ascertained. It is because of this arduous task of helping one to learn that many models, methods, and instructional strategies and designs have been innovated. It is a matter of choice by teachers to adopt whatever model, method or instructional strategy that suits a particular content.
As more teachers emerge, more strategies of instruction emerge. This development has given rise to the use of peer tutoring as a strategy of instruction instead of memorization. Memorization is the process of establishing information in the memory.
Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (2009) explained memorization as the act of learning something carefully so that a person can remember it exactly. The use of memory to teach is known as memorization strategy of teaching. Maji (2012) buttressed that memorization strategy involves the use of information stored in the memory, brain, heart and mindset to teach without lesson notes and textbooks. In memorization strategy, students select the central idea of a passage and summarize it as a keyword. Next, they recode other important facts to the keyword.
They recall the keyword when needed to retrieve the related information. Peer tutoring, according to Topping (2005), is the acquisition of knowledge and skills through active helping and supporting among learners of equal status/level. According to the author, peer tutoring involves people from similar social groupings who are not professional teachers helping one another to learn.
Peer tutoring may consist of students of the same learning level working together or students of varying learning levels working together. This can easily be implemented even in a classroom of diverse learners. Kourea, Cartledge & Musti-Rao (2007) stated that by implementing peer tutoring as an instructional strategy, classroom teachers are able to individualize instruction for each of their students and give all the students in the classroom the opportunity to be actively engaged in learning at the same time. Peer tutoring can be useful in a classroom for a number of reasons.
One of the reasons as given by Kourea, Cartledge, & Musti-Rao (2007) is that it allows teachers to provide all students the opportunity to be actively engaged in learning at the same time while each student work on his/her own specific level of need. This is possible even if there is only one teacher in the classroom. Another reason according to Miller, Topping, &Thurston (2010) is that peer tutoring improves students’ self-reliance. Students taught with peer tutoring rely mostly on themselves for learning instead of solely relying on their teachers. Topping (2005) added that peer tutoring increases students’ positive attitudes on school and learning in general.
Apart from increasing individual attention and student engagement, Kourea et al (2007) stated that peer tutoring has also been noted to be among the most cost-effective of learning strategies. They further explained that peer tutoring gives teachers the opportunity to maximize their instructional influence on the classroom as well as to provide individualized instruction. Brewer, Reid &Rhine (2003) reported that one-on-one instructional procedures have been viewed as highly effective for students with diverse needs.
According to them, in most public school classrooms, one teacher is expected to provide academic instruction to a group ranging in size from fifteen to forty students. As they further discussed, in a classroom with this many students, as is the case in our colleges of education, it can be difficult or nearly impossible to provide daily one-on-one instruction for each student due to limited class time. For this reason, it becomes necessary to find a more efficient way of addressing all students’ academic needs; hence the adoption of peer tutoring in place of memorization strategy to help improve students’ achievement in manufacturers’ final accounts in colleges of education in Anambra State, Nigeria.