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It doesn't matter what you teach?

Bebbington, J. and Thomson, Ian (2004) It doesn't matter what you teach? Critical Perspectives On Accounting, 15 (4-5). pp. 609-628. ISSN 1045-2354

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Abstract

There has been from time to time [see, for example, Adv. Public Interest Acc. 2 (1988) 71; Acc. Org. Society 16 (1991) 333; Acc. Educ. 3 (1994) 51; Acc. Aud. Accountability J. 8 (1995) 97; Crit. Perspect. Acc. 10 (1999) 833; Crit. Perspect. Acc. 12 (2001) 471] concern expressed about the state of accounting education and its potential link to the broader critical accounting project. This special issue revisits this theme focusing on the managerial undercurrent of accounting undergraduate education. This paper seeks to contribute to this debate by posing the suggestion/question that how one teaches is equally important as considering what you teach. In exploring the 'how' of teaching approaches, two educational theorists are drawn from Ivan Illich and Paulo Freire. In particular, we develop the idea that the 'hidden curriculum' [Deschooling Society, Calder and Boyars, London, 1971] of accounting education may be uncovered and problematized if one uses a dialogical approach to education [Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Pelican, London, 1996]. In seeking to expound our thesis, we draw from a number of teaching experiments which have explicitly sought to introduce more dialogical approaches to UK undergraduate accounting education.