Adapting Faculty and Student Learning Styles: Implications for Accounting Education
William T. Geary and Ronald R. Sims
Few disciplines can match the commitment to change in educational practices that is evidenced in accounting. The process of change in accounting education is distinguished by both the breadth and depth of the effort. Organizations such as the American Accounting Association, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the Institute of Management Accountants have joined with accounting firms, publishers, and educators to provide leadership, funding, and widespread dissemination of information about initiatives and outcomes in accounting education. During this period of great change and experimentation, it has become clear that change will continue to characterize accounting education. If the emphasis during this evolution is placed on understanding the learning process and learning objectives, then accounting education can avoid the fate of once again becoming stagnant.
As faculty promote growth and development in students, they struggle to improve themselves and to become more effective classroom leaders, planners, presenters, and facilitators. This challenge for faculty development is very intense in accounting. Faculty must not only respond to the demands created by very complex professional and technological environments but also reexamine their choice of pedagogy and their assumptions about the learning process. Rather than using only the teaching style with which they may be most comfortable and familiar, faculty must learn to use new techniques and approaches to respond to a variety of educational goals and a variety of student approaches to the learning process.