1.1 Background to the Study
Over the years, the poor performance of students in public examinations has been blamed on the wrong choice of teaching methods by teachers. Teaching and learning activities have a lot to do with other variables, such as instructional materials, teacher’s qualification, school environment variables, students’ factors and so on. In this study, instructional material is the main focus in order to unveil their effects on the academic performance of students. The importance of Instructional Materials in any teaching/learning Process cannot be over emphasized. This is for the fact that such materials enhance, facilitate and make teaching/learning easy, lively and concrete. Instructional materials are the devices developed or acquired to assist or facilitate teachers in transmitting an organized knowledge, skills and attitudes to the learners within an instructional situation (Nwachukwu, 2006).To be precise, an instructional material are educational resources used for illustrating the content of instruction, thereby making learning more concrete and less abstract. The sequence in which learners encounter materials has direct effect on the achievement of the task. In providing closer experience to real situation, instructional material enhances acquisition and retention of factual information. Instructional material not only provide the necessary concrete experience but also help students integrate prior experience.
Accounting is a discipline which is concerned with the process of collecting, recording, presenting and analysing of financial information in a summarized form for the users of financial statement. Accounting is concerned with the use to which the book keeping are put, the analysis and interpretation. The keeping of accounting books is essentially an art and the aims of those who study the subject are essentially utilitarian. An accountant must not only be interested in record keeping but also in the application of his professional competence, knowledge and dexterity in presenting accounting information to assist management and other users of accounting information in their respective decision making
Financial accounting is one of the subjects offered in the senior secondary school in Nigeria, it is among the subjects taken in West African Senior School Certificate Examination and National Examination Council School Certificate Examinations. According to WAEC (2004) financial accounting is the most popular subject that students offer among the vocational elective subjects.This subject equips the recipients with the competency needed to keep basic accounting records. Many students register this subject in secondary Schools but unfortunately they perform poorly in external examinations.
Statistic of entries and performance of students by grades In the May/June 2004 West African School Certification Result (WASSCE) in Nigeria shows that out of 202151 students that registered for financial accounting, 46778 representing a percentage of 23.14 passed at credit and above while 93394 representing a percentage of 46.20 failed. In the year 2005, out of 199274 that enrolled for financial accounting, only 49440 representing a percentage of 24.81 passed at credit level and above while 83655 representing a percentage of 41.98 failed. In the year 2006, out of 211552 that sat for the examination, only 102539 representing a percentage of 48.47 passed on credit level and above while 103449 representing a percentage of 48.90 failed. The performance of students in financial accounting in 2006 fell below the 2005 level and fluctuated over the 3-year period. The drop in the performance level of financial accounting calls for a review of current strategies in the teaching and learning of the subject. The traditional methods of teaching financial accounting such as the discussion method, demonstration method, Socratic Method and project methods have been used but failed to impact the necessary knowledge and skills comprehensively. Okon (2002) equally believes that these traditional methods are not challenging enough to the needs of the students. Considering the fact that financial accounting processes are more of practical which involved the active participation of every members of an instructional process to ensure that the whole processes is maximized. It will be fascinating to ascertain the impact of instructional material on the academic performances of students in financial accounting
1.2 Statement of Problem
Most financial accounting teachers are not well grounded in the use of and selection of a viable instructional material and as such the teaching and learning of financial accounting has not been optimal. The poor performance of students in financial accounting is evident in the overall results of students in such examinations as the General Certificate in Education (G.C.E); Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations S.S.C.E and National Business and Technical Examination Board (NABTEB). Despite the efforts being made by accounting teachers to revamp the performance of students, it appears much is still left to be done (Ankomah & Kwarteng, 2010). Many teaching methods and approaches have been introduced but could not improve the achievement of students in financial accounting. Teachers teach the subject matter in abstraction thereby making it comprehensive and arduous task for learners and this has militated against the maximization of academic performance. Also, teachers are not conversant with the current trend in education in relation to the teaching and learning of financial account. In developed nations, financial accounting in colleges is taught using practical processes involving the use of computer and its programmes such as Microsoft Excel. This is not obtainable in Nigeria as teachers only make the students to memorize accounting format without really understanding its relevance to real life situation. This study will be designed to examine the effect of instructional material on the academic performance of students in senior secondary school.