A significant challenge within accountancy studies is its technicality and process-oriented culture, which presents a unique challenge to how students understand, connect and internalise the purpose of the profession. In order to tackle this, the programme works to promote a framework and tools for teaching and learning that will develop a deeper interest and understanding of the social purpose and role of accountancy.
From emerging research in the field of educational psychology and cognitive sciences, we understand the need to emphasize progressive teaching and learning approaches within accountancy education. Our theory draws on dialogic inquiry and constructivist methods of learning, which have shown to lead to deeper reasoning, independent critical thinking and sustained personal development. We propose a holistic social context, in which educators problematise the purpose and the subject matter, beyond technical skills, and engage with students in active work to challenge and emphasize their personal development, sensitivity and reasoning capacities.
We believe that this approach will develop the critical thinking skills and moral reasoning that are at the core of professional skepticism, and will boost the rigour of professional accounting education so that it becomes something to aspire to.
We designed the Philosophy for Accountancy (P4A) programme to broaden accounting education and to help teachers foster responsible professionals through developing critical thinking and ethical reasoning in accounting students. At the heart of our aims is the belief that people do not just respond to extrinsic incentives, and that as humans, we have progressed so far socially and economically because we are able to reason and act altruistically. Thus, if given the chance to develop a deeper understanding of the self and the larger system in which they function and which they impact, young professionals could develop practical wisdom and ethical commitment toward their profession.