Secondary school accounting and accounting at university : with particular reference to an evaluation of the relevance of secondary school accounting in Natal to the first year accounting course at the University of Natal, Durban.
Hall, Trevor William.
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This dissertation examines the teaching of Accounting in secondary schools under the auspices of the Natal Education Department (NED) and the influence that exposure to Accounting at high school then has on the performance of students in the first year Accounting course at the University of Natal (Durban). Teaching and examining methods in Accounting in Natal high schools have undergone notable revision since the introduction of the current Standard 10 syllabus in 1987. The nature of the revised methodology is assessed through surveys of the opinions of those individuals with a direct involvement in high school Accounting i.e. school pupils, prospective university students, the NED Subject Committee, school Accounting teachers, university lecturers and accountants in public practice. The major findings were that a significant majority of university students believed that previous exposure to the subject at high school level was a distinct advantage in Accounting I, while a significant majority of students who had not undertaken the subject up to matric level believed, in retrospect, that they should have done so. A number of universities are aware of the advantage enjoyed by students with previous exposure to the subject and have constructed their first year Accounting courses accordingly. The University of Natal, however, continues to treat its Accounting I group as a homogeneous unit, the implications of which are covered in the study. Data was collected over a three year period (1988 to 1990) in order to compare the performance of the two groups of students in Accounting I i.e. those with matric Accounting and those without. The statistical analysis revealed that students without matric Accounting have: * significantly higher drop-out rates (and drop-outs from this group were of relatively high academic ability) * significantly lower pass rates * significantly lower Accounting I marks, despite the fact that there is no apparent difference in the academic ability of the two groups of students. Whilst the study has focused on the relevance of high school Accounting towards further study at university, the point is made that the high school Accounting course needs to cater also for a majority of pupils who will choose alternative career options.
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