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Accounting. Teaching and learning to raise student achievement. Presenter: Elizabeth Pitu Rationale. Accounting gives students the tools to make real life financial decisions in a constantly changing and uncertain world.

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Teaching and learning to raise student achievement

Presenter: Elizabeth Pitu

  • Accounting gives students the tools to make real life financial decisions in a constantly changing and uncertain world.

“It is the story you tell that is the compelling part of the numbers. You can’t just turn up with a spreadsheet.

You need the story that introduces it and kind of makes it the why and what people are coming to you for and why they will come to you and why they will come back.”

(Interviewee 7 from my research paper)

Link to Accounts Receivable slide

learning objectives
Learning objectives
  • LO.1 Manage the financial affairs of……..while acting with integrity (6.1/7.1) or to enable internal and external users to make effective and ethical decisions (8.1).
  • LO.2 Make use of appropriate communication tools and skills to process, report and interpret information for……..
  • ……entities at each level step up (small, medium/large, global) but all levels include individuals/whanau, businesses and community organisations
making it real and relevant
Making it real and relevant
  • How do you engage students?
  • What is real for your students?
  • What is relevant for your students?
  • Each and everyone of them??????
why make it real
Why make it real?

Selected interview quotes

  • School needs to be realistic
  • The YES programme taught me the building blocks – it was real money & real invoices going out
  • Case studies – putting things into a real life situation helps you to see the whole picture so you understand what you’re doing as opposed to just bits and pieces here and there.

Extracts from my research interviews

simple ways to make it real
Simple ways to make it real
  • Use local business examples
  • Use the students co-curricular interests as contexts
  • Have the students provide the contexts
  • Use the student names as business owners
simple ways to engage students
Simple ways to engage students
  • Use group activities often.
  • Example:
    • Give students sheets of newsprint.
    • Have different groups do the income statement and balance sheet with adjustments.
    • Put them together – do they agree?
what about the language of accounting
What about the language of accounting?
  • How to you teach students the language of accounting?
  • Even something as simple as wages has multiple meanings:
    • When is wages income?
    • When is wages an expense?
    • What is the difference between sales wages and office wages?
a foreign language
A foreign language??
  • “Learning about accounting for the first time can be scary. Accounting people seem to speak a completely different language. In order to talk to them you have to learn that language too. But where do you begin? Just like learning a foreign language, you begin with vocabulary — the first step of becoming fluent.”
a whole lot of language
A whole lot of language
teaching literacy
Teaching literacy
  • Accounting standards contribute to Level 1 literacy requirements for NCEA.
  • Accounting teachers need to teach the literacy specific to the needs of their students.
  • Most NCEA accounting assessments require a significant degree of competence in literacy.
  • Accounting teachers need to teach the literacy specific to the needs of the assessments their students are undertaking.
a new focus
A new focus
  • Students need to use literacy skills to interpret processed information and make relevant links to the continuing viability/operations of the entity being studied.
  • These skills are now required in both the internal assessments and the external assessments at each level.
options for evidence
Options for evidence
  • Consider options other than a written report.
  • Provide guidance and steps for students to follow.

Digital report

Written report

You tube




scaffold the task
Scaffold the task
  • Identify the components of the evidence/report the students need to include.
  • Provide opportunities for feedback / feed-forward.
for example
For example
  • Writing a treasurer’s report – give students a checklist.
  • Have you written about what the club does, what is happening linked to dollars, number of members, subscriptions, donations, trading/fundraising activity, purchase of assets, major expenses, cash flow, income over expenditure, cash at the bank, assets, liabilities, accumulated funds.
  • Have you included non-financial information.
accounts receivable inventory
Accounts Receivable / Inventory
  • Evidence is NOT just the numbers and/or accounting entries. Refer to the Rationale.
  • Focus of teaching and learning needs to be on the subsystem(s).
  • Relevant aspects of processing should be an integral component of the subsystem(s) that allows the business to meet its goals/remain viable.
linking entries to elements
Linking entries to elements
  • A comprehensive understanding includes the ability to incorporate relevant accounting entries/processes into the discussion of the elements of the subsystem.
  • How might I apply this in my teaching?
  • How might I contextualise this for my students?