A strategy to enhance business education learners' academic performance using the principle of critical accounting
Matoetoe, Mohau Motloang Vitalis
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The study aims to formulate a strategy to enhance business education learners‟ academic performance using the principles of critical accounting. Business education (BusEd) replaced bookkeeping and commerce in 2000 as a subject taught in secondary school in Lesotho. It deals with education for general knowledge of business practices that involves various aspects of managing, operating and investing in a business. BusEd learners in this country had a problem of not being able to apply what they had acquired in the BusEd classroom into reality. As a result, the principles of critical accounting (PCA) were adopted as a way to respond to this problem. Principles of critical accounting (PCA) were used because it is a human effort to initiate an actual transformation of the system that participates in a real life situation. Moreover, PCA offers many opportnuties for learners to explore their knowledge in different situations at a particular time. The study pursued the challenges that BusEd teachers face when teaching BusEd which areas follows: teachers are still using teachers-centred approach; there is lack of community involvement and therefore effective teaching. These challenges are based on identifying trends to be considered before establishing a business, record keeping skills and the evaluation of a business as some of the objecti ves of BusEd. The study adopted critical emancipatory research (CER) as a theoretical framework because it gives people chance to raise their voices through empowerment, which benefited the study, as other stakeholders were not given opportunity to be part of the teaching and learning process of BusEd. In response to the challenges, the co-researchersdecided to establish a team with the same vision. The vision focused on how best businesss education teachers can teach the subject effectively, which would result in learners reaching high levels of cognitive skills. Data was generated through participatory action research (PAR) as our methodology. PAR was used as a tool improving the lives of those participating in the process, its results were seen in the transformation of societal structures and relationships. Various data generation tools were employed, ranging from audio recordings and minutes. In order to deepen the meaning of spoken and written text, the study used Van Dijk‟s critical discourse analysis at three levels, namely, text, discursive practices and social structures. The conducive conditions for the implementation of the emerging strategy that were explored included effective working of the team, lesson preparation and facilitation and involvement of relevant stalkholders in teaching of BusEd. Moreover, threats to the strategy were as follows: not be able to work as a team, time factor for meetings and BusEd teachers fear to adjusting to new approaches like working with other stakeholders in BusEd. Lastly, the team had already practiced as a results, we had scope of knowledge, problem solving and accountability of learners in their learning of BusEd as evidence. All these were used so that there could be sustainability of the strategy that enhancesbusiness education learners‟ academic performance using principles of critical accounting during and beyond the duration of the study. The findings of the study show that if business teachers work together as a team, where they share the same vision, ideas, resources and involving other stakeholders, they are better able to enhnance learners‟ academic performance, assiting them to master problem-sloving skills, a deep understanding of business education and they will be able to be accountable.