Title: Accounting at school: the impact of policy, teachers and class on the ethical construction of accounting and business in Scottish secondary schools

Authors: Ken McPhail, Catriona Paisey, Nick Paisey

Addresses: Department of Accounting and Finance, University of Glasgow, 65-71 Southpark Avenue, Glasgow G12 8QQ, Scotland, UK. ' Division of Accounting, Finance and Risk, Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow G4 0BA, Scotland, UK. ' School of Management and Languages, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, Scotland, UK

Abstract: Drawing on Bourdieu, this paper begins from the assumption that significant progress in developing the ethical proclivities of accountants and business people more generally requires greater understanding of, and engagement with, the way business and accounting is experienced by pupils within their primary and secondary education. The paper draws on interviews with teachers, student group observations and a large questionnaire survey, in order to critically explore three broad questions. Firstly, what broader policy agendas are impinging on the way business and accounting is being constructed within secondary schools in Scotland? Secondly, how do teachers of business and accounting view the broader social and ethical dimensions of their subject? And thirdly, what is the impact of both the broader policy agendas and teacher|s perspectives on the way accounting and business are constructed and experienced by students from different socio-economic backgrounds? The paper concludes with a call for greater critical engagement in policy agendas in primary and secondary education.

Keywords: Bourdieu; high school; accounting education; business education; ethics; Scotland; secondary schools; teachers; policy agendas; socio-economic backgrounds; secondary education; primary education.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCA.2010.033434

International Journal of Critical Accounting, 2010 Vol.2 No.3, pp.289 - 318

Published online: 02 Jun 2010 *

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