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Constructing Constructivism in Management Accounting Education: Reflections from a Teaching Cycle with Innovative Learning Elements

Jayasinghe, Kelum (2021) 'Constructing Constructivism in Management Accounting Education: Reflections from a Teaching Cycle with Innovative Learning Elements.' Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management, 18 (2). pp. 282-309. ISSN 1176-6093

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The study addresses the possibility of integrating some elements of the ‘radical constructivist’ approach to management accounting teaching. It answers the following two questions: to what extent should management accounting educators construct a ‘radical constructivist’ foundation to guide active learning? and in which ways can management accounting educators use qualitative methods to facilitate ‘radical constructivist’ education? The study uses a teaching cycle that implements innovative learning elements, e.g. learning from ordinary people, designed following the principles of ‘radical constructivism’, to engage students with ‘externalities’ at the center of their knowledge construction. It adopts an ethnographic approach comprising interviews and participant observation for the data collection, followed by the application of qualitative content and narrative analysis of the data. The study findings and reflections illustrate that the majority of students respond positively to radical constructivist learning if the educators can develop an innovative problem-solving and authentic environment that is close to their real lives. The radical constructivist teaching cycle discussed in this study has challenged the mind-sets of the management accounting students since it altered the traditional objectivist academic learning approaches that students were familiar with. Its use of qualitative methods facilitated active learning. Student feedback was sought as part of the qualitative design, which provided a constructive mechanism for the students and educators to learn and unlearn from their mistakes. This process enriched the understanding of learners (students) as well as educators of successful engagement in radical constructivist management accounting education and provides a base upon which to design future teaching cycles. The paper provides proof of the ability of accounting educators, as change-agents, to apply radical constructivist epistemology combined with multiple qualitative research methods by creating new constructive learning structures and cultures associated with innovative deep-learning tasks in management accounting education.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Radical Constructivism, Deep Learning,, Qualitative Methodology, Teaching Cycle, Management Accounting Education
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School > Essex Accounting Centre
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2021 08:03
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:23

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