Curricula in introductory accounting: The ‘old’ and the ‘new’
Palm, Chrisann T. & Bisman, Jayne (2006) Curricula in introductory accounting: The ‘old’ and the ‘new’. In Accounting & Finance Association of Australia & New Zealand Annual Conference, 2-4 July 2006, Wellington.
Coupled with significant debate over the last several decades about the state of accounting education per se, including concerns about the use of transmissive models of teaching and inattention to the development of students’ generic skills, introductory subjects in accounting have also been the target of considerable criticism. In particular, the narrow content and technical focus of such subjects has come under attack, as has the quality of the student learning experience, given the influence that this experience may have on students’ perceptions of accounting and their subsequent choice of major and career. In this paper we examine a number of these issues and build a profile of the current curriculum of introductory accounting subjects based on a review of subject outlines and textbooks and a cross-sectional survey of the objectives, content, and teaching delivery strategies of these subjects in Australian universities (n =21). The research is particularly germane given the current climate of university reform where distinctions can be made not only on the basis of notions concerning ‘old’ (or traditional) and ‘new’ curricula and teaching methods, but also between ‘old’ and ‘new’ universities and those which service metropolitan or regional areas. There was a twofold purpose to the research, being: (1) to provide a benchmark against which universities can compare their own curricula, and which may also provide useful information to professional bodies, and (2) to assess if there are apparent differences in the way particular groups of universities have designed and delivered the initial subject in accounting. The results provide a range of information for benchmarking IA subjects in terms of learning objectives, subject orientation, topics, assessment, and innovations in teaching delivery and learning strategies. The results also indicate that curriculum and teaching and learning strategies across ‘new’ and ‘old’ universities, and regional and metropolitan universities, are generally comparable.
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