Teaching Accounting Ethics: A Problem-Based Learning Approach

35 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2016

See all articles by Miriam Gerstein

Miriam Gerstein

Brooklyn College

Esther Winter

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Sarah Hertz

State University of New York (SUNY), Empire State College

Date Written: February 13, 2016

Abstract

Research has shown problem-based learning (PBL) to be an effective learning method in a variety of ways. This paper discusses the merits of implementing PBL in college accounting classrooms to teach ethics effectively. This paper reviews literature on the use of PBL in business and non-business areas and discusses how these research findings can be used to adapt the PBL pedagogy to successfully inculcate ethics into the mindset of accounting students. We found that many of the skills imparted by the PBL process, such as flexible thinking, problem solving, self-directed learning, collaboration, and intrinsic motivation, are crucial to the acquisition of ethical values. Although PBL with regard to mature learners has been studied extensively and a few papers have discussed the merits of implementing PBL in the college accounting classroom, no research has been conducted to date that has focused specifically on how it can best be adapted to effectively teach ethics in the accounting classroom. By using PBL to make the learning of business ethics more interesting and relevant to students, we educators hope to optimally influence and educate the next generation of accountants to make ethical decisions in their professional practices.

Keywords: Problem-based learning, ethics, collaborative learning, self-directed learning

JEL Classification: M41

Suggested Citation

Gerstein, Miriam and Winter, Esther and Hertz, Sarah, Teaching Accounting Ethics: A Problem-Based Learning Approach (February 13, 2016). Journal of Accounting, Ethics and Public Policy, Vol. 17, No. 1, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2732093

Miriam Gerstein (Contact Author)

Brooklyn College ( email )

New York, NY
United States

Esther Winter

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey ( email )

311 North 5th Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08854
United States

Sarah Hertz

State University of New York (SUNY), Empire State College ( email )

325 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10013
United States

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