Date of Award

Summer 2022

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

First Advisor

Leigh D’Amico

Abstract

As an accounting professor who has been teaching subjects in the domain of Financial Accounting (FA) for more than 10 years, I have observed the worrying phenomenon of reform stagnation in my accounting education program. There have been several reform efforts, mostly designed in a top-down mechanism, both in the aspect of curriculum and instruction aimed to improve the quality of education service in our institution in general. Unfortunately, most of them failed to be executed and some of them did not even make it to the planning stage mainly due to general resistance from the faculty. The current research is my scientific quest to, first, understand the critical relevant factors (CRFs) affecting my fellow instructors attitude toward the past educational reform initiatives in my institution, and second, use the information of the CRFs as a basis for interventions to transform the accounting instructors’ general resistance into acceptance and advocacy to a proposed reform initiative.

To accomplish these two objectives, I used a Participatory Action Research method that consists of two cycles of study, i.e. investigation and intervention cycles, and involves the participation of five FA instructors as collaborators of the current study. The investigation procedure that I implemented in the Cycle 1 of the study reveals seven categorical factors that affect my collaborators attitude toward various proposed education reforms in the past. In the Cycle 2 of the study, I used the CRFs information as guidance for administering two types of interventions; first, the setting control intervention, which is aimed to construct a conducive environment for an education reform, and second, the main intervention, which is introducing the proposed ETI-based content sequence of the first courses in Financial Accounting reform initiative to the collaborators.

Both quantitative and qualitative data observed throughout the current study indicate the effectiveness of both investigation and intervention procedures in transforming the collaborators’ resistance to change mindset into acceptance and advocacy to the proposed initiative. By the end of the study, four collaborators reported the level of fully committed, and one collaborator reported one level below, to apply the revised ETI-based content sequence of the first courses in FA in their future classes. These self-reported high commitments represent a significant improvement compared to those reported in the beginning of the study. Some practical and strategic implications derived from the current study’s causal description and explanation are discussed, especially to shed light on the transferability of the current research process and results to other similar research subjects, treatments, observations, and settings.

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