About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2174-2180
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain

CONCEPTUAL DIFFICULTIES OF NEW UNIVERSITY ACCOUNTING STUDENTS: PROPOSALS FOR IMPROVEMENT IN VIEW OF THE EHES

F. Sousa Fernández, M.M. Carro Arana

University of Cantabria (SPAIN)
In Accounting, as in all areas of human knowledge, it is essential to correctly understand and assimilate a series of basic concepts and their impact on the most technical or applied questions, to thus establish the bases allowing to successfully carry out their subsequent study and application.
Nevertheless, the initial study of this discipline presents added difficulties, such as the use of a considerable level of abstraction to fully capture and represent the economic/financial reality of the company. Also, a good number of basic accounting concepts do not correspond with colloquial language and the intuition that the lay person may have about them, and as a result we often face what could be called the false conceptual friends.
Within the framework of this issue, this paper attempts to review, from the authors’ personal reflection and experience of over 20 years in the teaching of Accounting at university level, the most relevant problems that are generally encountered by first-year students, primarily those studying the degrees offered in the Faculties of Economics and Business Administration. Such problems derive largely from the aforementioned level of abstraction and the gap between the conceptual framework of this discipline and the preconceived and intuitive ideas held by laypeople, and will lead to failure if not overcome; this can represent a 'training gap' with serious consequences not only to the field of Accounting but to Business Administration as a whole.
Facing the imminent challenge of the EHES, we then take into account the need for the special training of professors responsible for teaching Accounting to new university students. Some basic educational activities are also considered to alleviate the problems encountered; these are conceived from the point of view of our students' learning and not from that of lecture-based teaching, with practically no interaction with students, which is closely related to traditional education.
Therefore we suggest the proper training of the teaching staff in the basic concepts of the Conceptual Framework on which Accounting is based, together with the necessary pedagogical training, including new technologies. This will allow professors to educate their pupils in the acquisition of basic conceptual skills in the subject, which they generally lack at present, so that students are able to find a suitable justification for the accounting techniques that they use, and thus they can successfully face the rest of their studies and their future professional lives.
In order to improve these basic conceptual skills, besides that specified for the training of the teaching staff, we also suggest other courses of action for improved teaching, such as education through real images or photographs, cooperative learning with the resulting positive interdependence between students, and participation in student/student and student/professor debate forums held in classrooms or online through platforms such as WebCT/Blackboard. These represent ideal strategies so that Accounting teachers delve more deeply into the conceptual difficulties of their new pupils and, through feedback, rectify their teaching methods so that they achieve a higher level of teaching.
@InProceedings{SOUSAFERNANDEZ2009CON,
author = {Sousa Fern{\'{a}}ndez, F. and Carro Arana, M.M.},
title = {CONCEPTUAL DIFFICULTIES OF NEW UNIVERSITY ACCOUNTING STUDENTS: PROPOSALS FOR IMPROVEMENT IN VIEW OF THE EHES},
series = {3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-7578-6},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {9-11 March, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {2174-2180}}
TY - CONF
AU - F. Sousa Fernández AU - M.M. Carro Arana
TI - CONCEPTUAL DIFFICULTIES OF NEW UNIVERSITY ACCOUNTING STUDENTS: PROPOSALS FOR IMPROVEMENT IN VIEW OF THE EHES
SN - 978-84-612-7578-6/2340-1079
PY - 2009
Y1 - 9-11 March, 2009
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2009 Proceedings
SP - 2174
EP - 2180
ER -
F. Sousa Fernández, M.M. Carro Arana (2009) CONCEPTUAL DIFFICULTIES OF NEW UNIVERSITY ACCOUNTING STUDENTS: PROPOSALS FOR IMPROVEMENT IN VIEW OF THE EHES, INTED2009 Proceedings, pp. 2174-2180.
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