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Exploring teachers’ experiences of teaching Accounting in rural schools: a case of novice teachers in Zululand district.

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The public education sector in South Africa has experienced drastic changes. This includes curriculum changes and a shortage of both physical and human resources in most parts of our country. The implementation of the curriculum has been affected by various issues in both the urban and rural teaching context. Therefore, this study focuses on newly appointed Accounting teachers’ experiences of teaching the Accounting curriculum in the rural context. The main purpose of this study was to explore Accounting novice teachers’ experiences of teaching the Accounting curriculum in three rural secondary schools in the Zululand district. This study employed the interpretive paradigm and a qualitative approach to obtain in-depth information about novice teachers’ experiences. Purposive sampling was adopted in five Accounting novice teachers in Nongoma circuit currently teaching the Accounting Further Education and Training (FET) phase, who had less than five years of teaching experience. Semi-structured and focus group interviews were conducted with the teachers in their schools and all sessions were audio-taped. Thematical analysis was used to analyse the generated data, and themes were developed. The findings revealed that Accounting novice teachers experienced various challenges linked to the implementation of the Accounting curriculum and the development of Accounting pre-service teachers. On one hand, the teachers reported problems such as inadequate teaching and learning resources, a lack of parental support, stereotypical views of Accounting, contextual limitations on assessment and teaching, learners’ lack of adequate foundational knowledge, and language barriers in the Accounting classroom. These problems were linked to challenges deterring implementation of the curriculum as planned. Inadequate preparation of Accounting pre-service teachers, a lack of proper induction, lack of support and mentoring, and professional isolation were issues revealed by novice teachers. This study therefore made some recommendations based on the findings. Novice teachers as innovative commerce teachers must work together with their schools to approach local businesses and relevant stakeholders for any possible support in respect of inadequate teaching and learning resources. Due to a shortage of human resources, the financial literacy in grades 8 and 9 in the Economics and Management 7 Sciences (EMS) subject must be taught by Accounting specialists to ensure that the Accounting part is well implemented. The Department of Education (DoE) must develop continuous programmes directed to novice teachers’ development in the profession to increase the retention rate of teachers in a rural context. Also, principals in rural schools must be well trained and monitored whether they implement teacher developmental programmes in their schools.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.