Michelle Rodrigue and Shona Russell
‘Teaching Sustainability Accounting’ – An overview of the first CSEAR Education Community of Practice Event
We had the great pleasure to host the first of what we hope will be a long series of events on sustainability accounting education on October 13, 2022. The first CSEAR Education Community of Practice (ECoP, as we like to call it) event was held on the broad theme of ‘Teaching Sustainability Accounting’. Our panellists for inaugural event were Nicolas Antheaume (Université de Nantes), Bisola Joloko (University of Birmingham), Hannele Mäkelä (Tampere University) and Leanne Morrison (University of Tasmania).
Bisola started off by evocating the dynamics of integrating sustainability in accounting education, sensibilizing us to the many opportunities and challenges associated to such integration. She underlined how students need to develop skills such as engagement and holistic and critical thinking, and how it is our responsibility to “equip [future] accountants to be able to address and contribute to sustainability.”
Hannele and Nicolas then discussed their approach to teaching, engaging us to reflect on teaching practices. Hannele shared with us how she aims for her classroom environment to nurture the co-construction of learning, not only amongst students, but also in the teacher-students dynamics. Inspired by the pedagogical studies she has been doing, she draws on “the competencies of knowing, and acting and being, or becoming,” aiming for “transformative learning.”
Nicolas offered us a fascinating example of role play he uses to help students learned about the multifaceted considerations related to a circular business model. Giving his students a case inspired by his research on circular economy, he asks his students, “Go ahead, start rehearsing, analyzing your role, analyzing the information. Make a first proposal of how the business model could work, the costs, the benefits, who would be related, to whom what information would be exchanged. Then come play your role at the negotiating table.”
Leanne concluded by sharing with us how her research concluding to climate illiteracy among management accountants led her to reflect on how to better embedded sustainability issues into the accounting curriculum, ultimately aiming to inspire accounting practice into capacity building. She emphasizes, “That’s something that we really have within our power to change as a discipline and as individual researchers as well”.
Of course, this is only a glimpse of the insights we gathered from our panelists! To learn more, you will find a video recording of the panellists’ contributions in the CSEAR Members’ Area. Nicolas Antheaume and Leanne Morrison have kindly shared resources listed below. The resources are also available in the CSEAR Members’ Area.
Huge thanks to our panellists once again, for their time, energy, and generosity.
If you would like to sign up to the CSEAR ECoP mailing list, please contact email@example.com.
‘Teaching Sustainability Accounting’ Resources