Calculative practices in higher education: a retrospective analysis of curricular accounting about learning (2009)
Type of ContentDiscussion / Working Papers
PublisherMPRA Munich Personal RePEc Archive
University of Canterbury. Department of Accounting and Information Systems
- Business: Working Papers 
Purpose – Accounting has been shown to figure variously in New Higher Education. However, despite their infant precursors having been labelled curricular accounting (Theodossin, 1986), accounting researchers have overlooked a collection of calculative practices that has grown and spread internationally over the past two decades. The collection in question comprises credit points, levels of learning, level descriptors, learning outcomes, and related characteristics of student transcripts and diploma supplements, qualification frameworks and credit transfer systems. This paper extends coverage of the accounting literature to this particular variant of accounting. Design/Methodology/Approach – The subject is addressed both in a technical way and in the broader context of accounting in organisations and society. The former University of New Zealand and its affiliate in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the University of Canterbury, also of that city, are used as a case study. The credit point system in place at the University of Canterbury in 2009 and its antecedents back to 1873 are analysed genealogically. Participantobservation and related means are used to collect data. These data are analysed using ideas of representational schemes, path-dependent changes and negotiated orders among parties who have been associated with the case institutions. Findings – The analysis illuminates how and why learning (and teaching) at the University of Canterbury has come to be specified, recorded and controlled using curricular accounting; and why the accounting in use accords conceptually and, to an increasing degree, in practice to that in use across tertiary education in many countries. Among the social, economic and political issues that have spurred on this spread are international standards, quality and equivalence of tertiary education qualifications, study and learning; diversification of participation in tertiary education; changes to the levels and sources of funding tertiary education; and the many and varied ideas, etc. associated with New Higher Education. The spread has multifarious consequences for students, academics, alumni, universities and similar institutions, higher education, governments and others. There is much scope for further research. Research limitations/ implications – The findings are derived from an accounting perspective and there is scope for adding other perspectives. Practical Implications – A synopsis of curricular accounting and several of its facets are synthesised in this one paper, along with its history and with issues that are likely to with its history and with issues that are likely to condition further developments.
condition further developments. Originality Value – Curricular accounting is now in the accounting
CitationDixon, K. (2009) Calculative practices in higher education: a retrospective analysis of curricular accounting about learning..
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Keywordshigher education; credit accumulation and transfer; social and institutional accounting; genealogical methods
ANZSRC Fields of Research15 - Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services::1501 - Accounting, Auditing and Accountability
39 - Education::3901 - Curriculum and pedagogy::390103 - Economics, business and management curriculum and pedagogy
13 - Education::1303 - Specialist Studies in Education::130313 - Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Calculative practices in higher education: A retrospective analysis of curricular accounting focusing on university enlargement. Dixon, K. (University of Canterbury. Department of Accounting and Information Systems, 2010)Purpose – This study extends coverage of the accounting literature to means of measuring, recording and reporting university-student learning. The means in question comprise credit, credit points, levels of learning, level ...
Reflection and constitution of “new” public service and “new” university education in and through curricular accounting Dixon, Keith (University of Canterbury. Department of Accounting and Information Systems, 2010)Purpose – Credit, credit points, course weights, levels of learning, level descriptors, learning outcomes, and related characteristics of course catalogues, qualification frameworks, resource allocation practices, credit ...
Dixon, K. (University of Canterbury. Department of Accounting and Information Systems, 2009)Purpose – Accounting has been shown to figure variously in New Higher Education. However, despite their infant precursors having been labelled curricular accounting (Theodossin, 1986), accounting researchers have overlooked ...