1.1 Background to the Study
Effective teaching presupposes efficient learning by students. Teaching effectiveness can be viewed as a teacher's capacity to be intellectually challenging, motivating students, setting high standards, friendly, presenting materials well, making the subject and class intriguing, motivating self-initiated learning and having actually great elocutionary (good public communication) skills that triggers learning and produces valuable result. When a teacher has these qualities or attributes, it will spur the students up and motivate their reading and studying ability which inevitably improves performance and academic excellence. According to Layne (2014), effective teaching from the school administrator's viewpoint focuses more on what they believe the teachers have to do in connection with course content. Students see it as teachers' capacity to always keep students interested in the entire period, well organized, well prepared for class, interacts with students, and is accessible and the ability to be patient and versatile when dealing with students. This suggests that for an accounting teacher to be deemed effective, he/she should have these qualities and attributes such as; communication skill, resourcefulness, assessment of students, accessibility and capacity to create active learning environment for students.
The success of a professional teacher requires outstanding communication skill, concise and easy to understand expressions and explanation during lesson delivery. Bolarinwa (2014), has provided an excellent account of the teacher's duties in the classroom, therefore a teacher is a communicator; a supervisor and organizer of student in a way to help them meet set goals and serve as a monitor of students' performance. Listening, speaking, writing, reading and interpersonal communication skills are required to help with teaching/learning and to enable the teacher to achieve their objectives which is to attain effectiveness evident in the students' performance. According to Fathi, Aieman and Rholoud (2010), teachers are regularly gathering, sorting, analysing and explaining information to learners.
A teacher's competency in 21st century according to United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (2018) is that such teacher ought to have firm/sound understanding of the curriculum of his/her subjects, and to utilize the available technological gadget in a way that will improve the curriculum. Olarewaju (2015) mentioned that formal system of education relies on three elements that are curriculum, students and teacher, therefore financial accounting teachers' function is to impart accounting knowledge to the students and make sure that it builds the society. Anobi (2016) opined that reliability of a job depends upon its competency, and competency depends upon consistency of the work. The criteria for financial accounting teachers' competencies entails; the acquisition of a degree in accounting (B.Sc., B.Ed. or its equivalent), membership of Teachers' Registration Council of Nigeria, membership of professional accounting bodies (House, 2010).
It is apparent that assessment of curriculum and instructional process allows the teacher, principal and curriculum developers to identify how well the need of learners have been met through a planned series or sequence of instruction. Ogbonna (1994) in Okpa (2006) maintained that the objective of teacher's assessment of students' work is improvement of his own instructional methods, which consequently results in improved learning for the students. It can be summarized that evidential changes in behavior and learning attitude of students can be motivated with assessment. It is used to examine the progress of students, report to parents, administrators and identify the instructional outcome of the whole curriculum. Students' evaluation of students' work will allow both students and teachers to examine themselves, checking their success, performance, strength and weak point. This assessment ought to comprise, asking questions in class administration class work, use of school-based tests and examination.
Accounting teachers appear to display poor communication skill; innovative ability; failure to use feedback mechanism, inability to be resourceful and failure to produce an active learning environment might result in ineffectiveness in teaching/learning. This is showing up in the low achievement of accounting students in school. Some learners get discouraged by these conducts of several of the accounting teachers thus, many students create cold feet towards learning accounting which inevitably impact their understanding of the course content and thus general performance in the subject. It is therefore, pertinent to look at the root causes of this issue by examining teacher's competence and effective teaching of accounting in secondary school in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Teachers teaching financial accounting in secondary schools in Nigeria appear to have problems in meeting the demands of the Revised National Curriculum Statement (RNCS), which a few of them experience problems with creation of positive learning environment in the class; knowledge of curriculum and learning programmes; lesson planning, preparations and presentations; assessment of learners in addition to the recording of the assessment results. With years of teaching, financial accounting teachers are required to acquire expertise in the science and art of teaching accountancy as to guarantee proper evaluation of students' cognitive achievement in the area of knowledge, comprehension, application, evaluation, synthesis and assessment. Sadly, such assumption is fraught with the variability of accounting subjects taught and the degree of proficiency with developments in the area of accounting mitigated (Anobi, 2016).
Lack of interest to learn or lack of the needed psychological capability to teach and learn the subject, lack of adequate industrial training, lack of adequate fund from the government to supply quality textbooks, instructional materials and others, have been basic issues facing financial accounting teachers' competency in senior secondary schools in Nigeria, thus creating a gap. It is on this premise that this evaluation study of teacher's competence and effective teaching of accounting in secondary school in Nigeria was carried out as to fill the gap.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The primary objective of this study is to investigate teacher's competence and effective teaching of accounting in secondary school. The specific objectives however, include:
a) To understand how accounting teachers’ motivational competencies, improve students and co-teacher’s ability to achieve educational objectives in secondary schools.
b) To determine teachers’ material utilization competencies and students’ academic performance in accounting subject.
c) To understand teacher's innovative approaches to the teaching of accounting in secondary schools.
1.4 Research Questions
The following questions were formulated based on the objectives of this study. They include:
a) How do accounting teachers’ motivational competencies, improve students and co-teacher’s ability to achieve educational objectives in secondary schools?
b) Does teachers’ material utilization competencies have influence on students’ academic performance in accounting subject?
c) What are the teacher's innovative approaches to the teaching of accounting in secondary schools?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses were formulated for the purpose of this study:
a) There is a significant difference between accounting teachers’ motivational competencies, students’ improvement and co-teacher’s ability to achieve educational objectives in secondary schools
b) There is no significant correlation between teachers’ material utilization competencies and students’ academic performance in accounting subject
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will be of benefit to the students, parents, curriculum developers, teachers and government. Interested students or researchers who may want to carry out similar study will find this work very worthwhile. Students will also have relevant manipulative skill and become a saleable member of the society. It would also build the confidence in them as they contribute their quota in the society thereby making good living from the acquired skills. The students who have acquired such skills would be self-reliant and useful to themselves, industrial sector and society at large. The study also will help students become more strategic learners who can take significant responsibility for their learning.
This study will also be helpful to the curriculum developers to review the accounting syllabus in the future. The outcome of this study would be beneficial to the government, being the Policy maker in planning and decision-making. It would help in policy formulation, Implementation, evaluation and reformation. The study will reveal to the government the appropriate strategies needed for improving teaching and learning of financial accounting subject in our school system, with the aim of helping to adopt them by providing grant in aid to secondary schools.
To the financial accounting teachers; the study will reveal appropriate teaching strategies that could improve the teachers’ effectiveness in teaching of financial accounting. It is hoped that the teachers will employ them, thereby improving teaching and learning process.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study focuses on teacher's competence and effective teaching of accounting in secondary school in Nigeria. The case study used for this study was public school in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
1.8 Definition of Terms
The following terms were used when carrying out this research study:
Teacher’s Competence: The ability of a teacher to communicate and transfer information to students understanding successfully or efficiently
Teacher’s Effectiveness: the degree to which teachers impart knowledge to students successfully to produce the right result of learning and education.