Title: Application of scaffolding to support learning in UK higher education: the case of social and environmental accounting

Authors: Aminu Hassan

Addresses: Division of Accounting, Finance and Economics, Dundee Business School, Abertay University, 40 Bell Street, Dundee DD1 1HG, UK

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to report on the application of scaffolding to support fourth-year university students' learning concerning an ethics-related subject, social and environmental accounting (SEA)/sustainability accounting. It uses narrative essay to report and discuss a pedagogic underpinning used to support adult learning in a specific subject area. The essay describes how the author developed concept-meaning scaffold and concepts-relationship scaffold to support comprehension of the subject. Two major pieces of evidence regarding the successful application of the scaffolds were documented. Firstly, the students' assessment result was generally very good. Several A-grades were recorded with over 90% pass rate. Secondly, it is also evident that the students have essentially grasped the particular ethical principles that sustainability accounting seeks to inculcate in accounting and finance graduates. This, the author contends, has gone a long way in increasing their ethical sensibility and moral conscience. The paper contributes to the debate on the need to pay more attention to teaching ethics-related subjects to accounting students. It also extends the literature on the application of scaffolding in a specific learning situation.

Keywords: UK higher education; United Kingdom; ethics; concept-meaning scaffolding; social accounting; social and environmental accounting; SEA; sustainability accounting; learning support; accounting education; concepts relationship scaffolds; ethical sensibility; moral conscience; sustainable development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHES.2016.080778

International Journal of Higher Education and Sustainability, 2016 Vol.1 No.2, pp.133 - 146

Received: 23 Jul 2015
Accepted: 19 Oct 2015

Published online: 07 Dec 2016 *

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