Accounting Education Call for Papers

Visual Metaphor and Visual Tools in Accounting Education

Accounting Education

"It is seeing which establishes our place in the surrounding world; we explain the world with words, but words can never undo the fact that we are surrounded by it. The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled." - John Berger (1972, p. 7)

The past three decades has seen a significant call within commissioned accounting education reports (see for example, Accounting Education Change Commission, 1990; Pathways Commission, 2012) and broader literature for a change in teaching emphasis from that of simply technical acquisition to one firmly centered around conceptual understanding, therefore promoting the development of lifelong learning. In order for this to occur, there is a need to open up the accounting curriculum in such a way that accounting is made accessible to the learner. A means to achieve this is through the use of visual metaphor. 

Accounting Education: An International Journal invites submissions for a themed issue on 'Visual Metaphor and Visual Tools in Accounting Education'. Visual tools have their foundation in the works of Ausubel (1968) and the constructivist educational paradigm. He believed that individuals create and organise knowledge themselves, linking new knowledge to existing understanding to create new ways in which to view the world. Visual imagery, metaphor and tool construction can aid the learner in such a process. For example, the development of learners' expertise in using visual tools to express complex ideas has been suggested as a means to improve creativity, innovation, knowledge construction, engagement and wider skill development (Mento et al., 1999). Further, visual metaphore and tools are a way in which students can explore and discover their own discipline, opening up the accounting curricula, making it accessible and encouraging individyals to construct their own account of knowledge through experience (McGuigan & Kern, 2015). Accounting itseld can even be perceived as a visual representation of sorts, representing reality through a numerical form of metaphor (Morgan, 1988.)

This themed issue welcomes all views on visual metaphore and tools in accounting education with all types of articles, empirical, theoretical, case studies, autobiographical, or opinion pieces being considered. Submissions should be original work, which investigates an aspect of visual metaphor and tools in accounting education. 

The following list is indicative of topics of interest but is not intended to be exhaustive:

  • Types of visual metaphor and tools in accounting
  • Embedding visual metaphor in the curriculum
  • Assessment and evaluation of visual metaphor and tools
  • Affect of visual metaphore and tools on student learning
  • Developing creativity and innovation skills through visual metaphor and tools
  • Visualisation and the impact it has on emotions in learning accounting
  • Enhancing conceptual understanding through visual metaphor and tools
  • Academic professional development through visual metaphor and tools

Please email the Guest Editors regarding any queries you may have or if you would like to discuss an idea you may have in relation to the themed issue. 


Accounting Education Change Commission (AECC). (1990). Objectives of education for accountants: Position Statement No. 1. Issues in Accounting Education, 5(2), 307-312. 

Berger, J. (1972). Ways of Seeing. Great Britain: Penguin Books Ltd. 

McGuigan, N. & Kern, T. (2015). Developing a Creative Environment for Learning: Nurturing Reflective though Amongst Accountants. In Coleman, K.S. & Flood, A. (Eds.) Capturing Creativity: The Link between Creativity and Teaching Creatively (pp. 145 - 167). Illinois, USA: Common Ground Publishing LLC. 

Morgan, G. (1988). Accounting as Reality Construction: Towards a New Epistemology of Accounting Practice. Accounting, Organizations and Societies, 13(5), 477-485. doi:10.1016/0361-3682(88)90018-9. 

Pathways Commission. (2012, February 12). Pathways Commission update: Charting a national higher education strategy for the next generation of accountants. Presentation given to the Accounting Programs Leadership Group/Federation of Schools of Accountancy Meeting, New Orleans, LA, USA. 


Submissions should be prepared in accordance with AE's policies and style and submitted by 30 April 2017 via the journal's ScholarOne website. When doing so, please select this theme from the special issue drop-down menu. 

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