The High School Accounting Curriculum: friend or foe
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Concern that the high school accounting curriculum may be discouraging students from pursuing a career in accounting provided the motivation for this study. Drawing on social psychology theory, this paper identifies and analyses the perceptions of accounting held by senior high school students. Individual perception data were collected through questionnaires. Further, separate focus groups comprising students who had and who had not previously studied accounting provided a basis on which to ascertain how and why perceptions of accounting may have been formed. Those students taking accounting classes had more focused, but also more negative perceptions of accounting and accountants than did those with no previous study in accounting. Perceptions across both groups of students were more stereotypical than expected however while indirectly linked, the influences on the resultant perception differed for each group thus requiring different intervention strategies.