The reflective accountant: Changing Student perceptions of traditional Accounting through reflective educational practice

Nicholas C. McGuigan*, Thomas Kern

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
347 Downloads (Pure)


The study of introductory accounting is characterised by certain topics that have traditionally proved challenging for students often resulting in the adoption of a negative perception towards the academic discipline (Weil, 1989; Sharma, 1997; Lucas, 2000; Mladenovic, 2000; Lucas, 2001; Lucas and Mladenovic, 2006). Drawing on reflective educational theory, this paper describes the introduction of a reflective journaling exercise within a business information course in order to increase student engagement with course related material. The paper commences with a review of literature relating to reflective practice in education followed by an analysis on the use of learning journals, clearly depicting the advantages and disadvantages associated with this teaching technique. The paper then describes the context in which the research takes place, including the nature of the course, its learning objectives and its educational philosophy. Extracts taken from individual reflection journals and essays maintained by students are utilised to provide an evaluation of the perceived usefulness of the teaching method. The findings of the study are then discussed and analysed, with the conclusion and suggestions for further research presented in the final section.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-68
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Learning
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

Copyright Common Ground and The Author/s. Article originally published in International journal of learning, Vol. 16, No. 9, pp. 49-68. This version archived on behalf of the author/s and is available for individual, non-commercial use. Permission must be sought from the publisher to republish or reproduce or for any other purpose.


  • Accounting education
  • Experiential learning
  • Learning Goals
  • Reflection
  • Student perceptions


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