A PERSONAL BELIEF
24 NOVEMBER 2010
“A good teaching philosophy evolves.”
Where am I with my critical rationale about teaching and learning? What are my aims, values, beliefs, insights, and convictions in the context of Accounting education? The reality of teaching and learning is never perfect. Accordingly, a critical rationale of both should be a work in progress. Both teachers and students must be curious enough for lifelong learning and research, broad enough to accept and evaluate opposing views, and flexible enough to let their philosophies of learning evolve accordingly. My keywords of my own teaching philosophy are thinking and reflection. This philosophy further consists of the five essential elements (Schönwetter et al., 2002) discussed below and is framed by the context of my current teaching situation (Eble, 1983; Smyth, 1986). It considers the particularities of students (e.g., age, goals, and motivations) and of the higher educational institution (e.g., its mission, vision, priorities, and culture).
A vision of higher education The students and learning The teacher and teaching Methods to use Evaluation and assessments Conclusion Endnotes References Appendix: Summative assessment 2 3 4 5 6 6 6 7 8
Dr. Francisco Chia Cua CPA ACA PhD (Otago), MEntr (Otago), PGCertTertT (Otago), MSBA (FEU), BSC (FEU), GradCertMgt (OpenPolytechnic), DipIS&T (OpenPolytechnic) Associate Professor Kazakhstan Institute of Management, Economics, and Strategic Research
1. A VISION OF HIGHER EDUCATION
“For learning to take place... students must be motivated. To be motivated, they must become interested. And they become interested when they actively working on projects which they can relate to their values and goals in life.” — Gus Tuberville, President, William Penn College Students should not be mere spectators (Blocher, 1966), but have a learning environment that engages them and lets them process new data into information. They must be made aware of tensions between the theory (pure knowledge) and the practice (applied knowledge) and encouraged to think critically about them. The traditional lectures, wholegroup (classroom) discussions, BlackBoard participations, and small-group presentations are some deliberate methods to foster such a deep approach to learning and to facilitate a student’s evolution from novice to expert (Shuell, 1986).
“Students should not be mere spectators.”
The Knowledge Dimension of Accounting
Becher’s (1989) uses a matrix that combines two sets of knowledge: (1) the hard knowledge versus the soft knowledge and (2) the pure knowledge versus the applied knowledge. It assumes that a discipline falls exclusively in one of the four quadrants. For example, Physics falls under the hard-pure knowledge; Accounting belongs to hardapplied knowledge; Management is soft-applied; and Philosophy is soft-pure. To some extent, every Accounting course has all the hard, soft, applied, and pure components at the same time. Figure 1 shows the way each course passes through the same funnel, though the emphasis on the type of knowledge varies at different points of the funnel. For freshmen, the engagement of hard-pure knowledge should be thorough and deliberate, grounded with some highly structured practical application (the hard-applied knowledge). Sophomore students retain the hard aspect of their learning and increase their experiences to include the applied aspect, which makes for a more engaging learning experience. Although applied knowledge takes center stage for junior students, the applied dimension emphasize the soft knowledge, which gives students more freedom to be creative. Finally, both senior and postgraduate students need enough soft-pure knowledge to become ethical and reflective thinkers. Whitehead (1929, p. 93) seems excited about the potential of knowledge to transform. “A fact is no longer a bare fact: it is invested...
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