Sustainability education or learning involves more than providing expert knowledge to inform students about sustainability issues. It is about encouraging transformative learning—the capacity to construct knowledge to challenge practice, to critique and debate sustainability issues. The basis objective of teaching “Sustainability” in the first year accounting course is to introduce basic concepts and motivation for sustaining management accounting and reporting.

Students would become acquainted with major frameworks and would be able to discuss relationships of sustainability to financial accounting and prepare students to carry out these concepts into management and cost accounting courses. By incorporating sustainability into the beginning financial accounting course helps students learn to think critically by giving them a range of questions to consider at the same time as the traditional problems and questions of the accounting curriculum. Several case studies could be incorporated into the financial accounting class that deal with activities, methods and systems to record, analyze and report environmental and economic uses that constitute the dimensions of sustainability.

This article is from the Accounting Instructors’ Report, an electronic journal that provides teaching tips and insights to those who teach accounting and other business courses.

Contributor: Shirley Polejewski, University of St. Thomas

Read Sustainability Accounting and Reporting.