Thinking Out of the Box? What Does it Take to be Effective Accounting Teachers
This study investigates how students become self-regulatory learners, a condition that helps to promote many of the finest professional and personal competences for the changing workforce. It posits that self-regulated learners are adept at managing their internal feelings, impulses and resources, and sustaining tendencies that guide or help them to achieve their goals. The study uses a model that proxies self-regulated learning as a combination of good (higher order) thinking and deep learning. This adapted model is based on learning approach theory which suggests that once students engage in good thoughts, have an intention to learn and use deep learning strategies, they can acquire a level of self-regulation. The sample consisted of 77 first semester accounting college students in Malaysia. Three hypotheses were constructed to determine whether a self-regulated learning environment significantly improves thinking, learning behaviour and academic performances by comparing subjects from the intervention group to a control group, after a constructivist teaching intervention. The results show that the self-regulated learning environment that used a more constructivist approach was more effective in promoting self-regulation (good thinking and deep learning) and improving academic performance. The intervention group was perceived to have higher metacognitive abilities and to have used a deeper approach to learning than the control group. Hence, moving students towards self-regulation and helping them to think out-of-the-box requires teachers to rethink about the goals of education and to broaden those goals to include life skills. As such, direct transmission of domain specific knowledge and acquisition of intellectual skills may be inadequate. It costs teachers to learn to be self-regulated; it requires them to rethink about teaching goals and strategies in order to effectively make students “learn to think” and “think to learn”.
Keywords: Accounting Education, Deep Learning, Higher Order Thinking, Self-Regulation
Dr. Adeline Lau
Lecturer, School of Management, University of Science