Experiential learning in accounting education: A prison visit

Steven Dellaportas*, Trevor Hassall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Traditional pedagogic methods in accounting education have been the subject of some criticism with potential solutions referring to out of classroom experiences. This paper relies on the concepts of situated and experiential learning to assess the effects of a learning opportunity involving visits to prison by students enrolled in the final year of an accounting degree program. Data collected from a self-designed survey suggest that the students were intellectually and emotionally engaged in the experience emanating from the novelty and anticipation of entering closed walls and meeting inmates who were former professional accountants. Students appeared to learn a number of lessons including the nature of conflicts faced by professional accountants, factors contributing to fraudulent conduct, and strategies on how they might deal with such conflicts in their professional careers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-36
Number of pages13
JournalBritish Accounting Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Accounting education
  • Experiential learning
  • Fraud
  • Prison visit
  • Situated learning


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