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Responding to crises: rewilding accounting education for the Anthropocene

Lisa Powell, Nicholas McGuigan
Published: 20 January 2022
 by  Emerald

Abstract: Purpose: Responding to COVID-19, this conceptual paper uses rewilding to interrupt anthropocentric and human/nature dualist properties of accounting education. Through rewilding accounting education, informed by posthumanist and ecofeminist thought, this paper aims to develop an accounting pedagogy that shapes greater ecocentric narratives. Accounting educators can contribute to addressing crises by evolving new pedagogies that radically transform the education of future accounting professionals. Design/methodology/approach: The authors take a critical stance in analysing the human-centred accounting education model. They explore how this model can be reimagined through rewilding accounting education, resulting in learning interventions that foster an understanding of intrinsic value, complexity of systems and collective disposition with all species and the natural world. Findings: Rewilding learning interventions embed an ecocentric approach in accounting curricula design to extend beyond a human focus. Rewilding learning interventions practically explored with application to accounting include learning with and from nature, Indigenous knowledge perspectives, play as a common language and empathy as a dialogical bridge. Social implications: The authors present an accounting pedagogy that fosters among accounting students and educators a relational orientation and ecological consciousness that encompasses compassion and openness to others, including non-human species and nature. This will ensure that accounting graduates are better prepared for addressing future crises that stem from our disconnect with nature. Originality/value: This paper adds to limited research investigating accounting and the Anthropocene. Investigations into the Anthropocene’s human-centred discourse in accounting education are vital to respond adequately to crises. This paper extends social and environmental accounting education literature to encompass less anthropocentric discourse and greater relational learning.
Keywords: COVID-19 / Anthropocene / Accounting / Rewilding / Posthumanism / Ecofeminism / Accounting education

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