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Instructional approaches and the nature of obsolescence in continuing professional education (CPE) in accounting

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Substantial emphasis is being placed on continuing professional education (CPE) by accounting professional associations throughout the world. Instructional approaches in accounting have come under the scrutiny of accounting educators and professional institutions. Although prior research has found individual learning styles and personal traits could influence the choice of instructional methods, perceived professional obsolescence is the main reason behind the increased emphasis on mandatory CPE in accounting. This paper attempts to investigate whether there is a relationship between instructional approaches and the perceived nature of professional obsolescence in CPE courses in accounting. CPE literature identifies two generic instructional approaches: (1) andragogy and (2) pedagogy. This study identifies two aspects of obsolescence in accounting: (1) obsolescence in areas of knowledge and (2) obsolescence in skills and practices pertaining to sectors of activity. The findings of this study indicate that obsolescence in the core areas of accounting knowledge and in established sectors of accounting is frequently dealt with by using andragogy and obsolescence in peripheral areas of accounting knowledge and less established sectors of accounting is frequently dealt with by using pedagogy.
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