Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Being "pulled up short": Creating moments of surprise and possibility in accounting education

Lucas, Ursula


Ursula Lucas


This paper identifies characteristic features of a pedagogic approach that may be used effectively within a dialogical approach to accounting education. The development of the ideas in the paper arose as a form of praxis: moments of surprise within teaching that led to reflection on what we expect from students as they engage in critical reflection. In particular, the paper discusses the role of epistemological beliefs in learning and the way in which these may affect the receptivity of students to the expectation of critical reflection. Moments of surprise have two aspects. Firstly, they represent moments when the lecturer is "pulled up short" and recognises the unexpected impact of a learning activity and is propelled into reflection. Secondly, they represent moments when students are "pulled up short" and are propelled into questioning taken-for-granted assumptions about themselves and the subject. It is argued that such moments of surprise initially arise out of a willingness on the part of the lecturer to improvise and engage in the "eros" of learning and teaching. These arguments are supported by a detailed description and analysis of five learning activities within a United Kingdom auditing course. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Lucas, U. (2008). Being "pulled up short": Creating moments of surprise and possibility in accounting education. Critical Perspectives On Accounting, 19(3), 383-403.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Apr 1, 2008
Journal Critical Perspectives on Accounting
Print ISSN 1045-2354
Electronic ISSN 1095-9955
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 3
Pages 383-403
Keywords accounting education, auditing education, dialogical education, epistemological beliefs, transformative learning, pedagogy, praxis, ways of knowing
Public URL
Publisher URL