|Accounting @ Macquarie|
Curriculum’s associated with professional vocations, such as accounting, have suffered from a primarily procedural approach, where technical and regulatory content often take precedence over any social and/or political context. This has often resulted in an entrenched student perception of accounting as objective, formalised knowledge. Consequently, learners fail to fully comprehend the role accounting plays within a ‘real-world’ context, in which there are often varying degrees of subjectivity.
We therefore choose to introduce a Comprehensive Professional Portfolio into the accounting capstone unit, ACCG 399: Accounting in Context, at Macquarie University in order to:
· Integrate programme content.
· Renew contextual appreciation of the role accounting plays within society.
· Place a heightened emphasis on developing the ‘self’ within accounting curricula.
· Facilitate the development of reflective practitioners who have the required skills to solve complex business problems.
In order to best prepare students for a complex and rapidly changing professional environment, students are provided opportunities through the portfolio to develop a reflective and critical stance, so that they are able to learn from their experiences and adapt to new challenges. The use of portfolios ensures a space in which a student can reflect on their prior learning, current progress and development and assess how these integrate to acquire new understandings within their capstone experience. Learners are able to creatively explore their learning, through the accumulation of artifacts used within their portfolios. Students can develop a heightened contextual awareness through reflective practice, uncovering contradictions in their own reasoning, allowing openness for alternative ideas as they reflect on their views of their own experiences.
By placing an emphasis on accounting within the profession, the self and society, the comprehensive professional portfolio opens up the curriculum, expanding learner conceptions of accounting beyond their immediate academic environment to ensure students develop a broader contextual appreciation of their discipline. Through the provision of varied learning resources students are able to construct portfolio artefacts that provide a cultural/social, political, ethical, professional and personal contextual appreciation of accounting.
The portfolio aims to provide a holistic perspective to students learning. Removing students from their norm – provoking them, inducing their creativity and embracing their imagination. In doing so, it provides students an opportunity to visualise accounting in different ways and facilitates the integration of their learning across their degree program.