Faculty Publications - College of Business

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to review whether culture affects accounting students’ learning processes to identify practical guidance for accounting educators facing a culturally diverse classroom. In spite of a significant literature thread in accounting education on student learning, relatively, little emphasis has been placed on culture-specific learning differences. The literature gap is particularly acute with respect to practical culture-specific guidance for accounting educators. This paper is organized along three primary inquiries into the role of culture in accounting education: first, do we know if culture impacts learning? Second, how much do we know about culture-specific learning styles in the accounting field? Third, what implications do culture-specific learning styles carry for accounting educators?

Design/methodology/approach – Initially, the author surveys culture-specific learning styles literature, after which a more in-depth analysis of accounting-specific literature is conducted. The author then provides a synthesis of the literature followed by a discussion of the implications for accounting educators.

Findings – Culture-specific learning styles carry several implications for educators such as problems associated with overloading short-term memory, the importance of prior experience and the role of visual prompts and motivation among students and educators.

Research limitations/implications – It is an opportunity for accounting educators to explore practical teaching techniques that address differences in learning styles that result from culture.

Practical implications – Culture-specific learning styles carry several implications for educators. Problems with culture may ultimately be associated with overloading short-term memory. Likewise, prior experience is an important aspect of culture-specific learning and should be recognized by accounting educators. Last, not all motivation need be sourced from the student, and instructors may explore the role of visual prompts when teaching international students.

Originality/value – This paper highlights the importance of culture-specific learning styles research in accounting education and the need for accounting educators to carefully consider cultural implications, as international accounting education standards are pursued. The dearth of research into culture-specific learning styles in accounting education is addressed.


Originally published in the Journal of International Education in Business, Vol. 8 Iss: 2, pp.78-91.


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