Effects of Transformative Sustainability Education in Accounting on Male and Female Students Attitudes Toward Sustainable Development

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Higher Edu and Learning Technology

Date of Award

Summer 2023


Given Earth's finite resources and the detrimental climate effects of modern society, sustainability is increasingly important to citizens, governments, corporations, and higher education institutions. Accountants are essential in communicating corporate sustainability efforts to stakeholders through sustainability accounting, reporting, and assurance services that improve information credibility. In addition, adult education benefitted greatly from the development and inclusion of transformative learning theory, which was instrumental in developing effective pedagogies for teaching sustainability education. The purpose of this study was to examine curricular innovation in higher education using multivariate analysis of variance and t-test to measure the effects of transformative sustainability education in accounting on the attitudes of male and female undergraduate accounting students toward the four sustainable development concepts of environment, economy, society, and education using an online Qualtrics survey. The results diverged from previous studies in that no significant differences in the students' attitudes toward sustainable development existed based on sustainability education or gender. Significant correlations showed that the students’ attitudes toward the four dimensions of sustainable development were positively and moderately correlated, but results indicated significant differences in the students’ attitudes toward the four dimensions. Students' mean scores were highest for the social and education dimensions, and they reported that sustainability education was valuable to their future careers. The transformative sustainability education provided critical thinking and problem-solving skills that students noted were important for solving complex sustainability problems but also for other business decisions. They chose as the most effective concise video assignments illustrating sustainable development in real-life business. However, they also valued the group collaboration in discussion boards for peer interactions, exchange of ideas, and mutual support in considering complex sustainability issues. Last, case studies provided more variety and in-depth coverage of sustainable development efforts.


Kibum Kwon

Subject Categories

Education | Higher Education | Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education