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Matthew Logan s267959




DIDACTIC VS CRITICAL PEDAGOGY:
THE IMPORTANCE OF MULTIPLE PARADIGMS IN TEACHING SENIOR
SCHOOL ACCOUNTING

Author: Matthew Logan
Student No: s267959
Date: Monday 7 April, 2014
GDTL Unit: ETL411 A1
ABSTRACT

This article highlights the importance of establishing various pedagogical paradigms in order to successfully teach
Accounting within a senior secondary school context. Accounting as a profession has commonly been misconstrued as
boring due to the high numerate importance of the industry and the lack of social communication skills required by
practitioners. This could not be further from the truth. Accounting involves both quantitative and qualitative
knowledge with a priority on literacies development. Accountants need successful comprehensive skills in order to
read and write financial statements for stakeholders and related parties, including a vast appreciation for Information
and Communications Technology (ICT). This multi-genre text, in the body of an academic article, was written with
the intension to reflect on the literacies component of Accounting that is critical to todays secondary schooling. It will
specifically focus on why literacies development is important across the board of education, including traditionally
numerate-based subjects. To better substantiate this approach to literacies, the didactic literacies pedagogy will be
analytically contrasted against the critical literacies pedagogy, with direct reference to Kalantzis and Cope (2012).
Throughout the article, my personal context and past experience will be inadvertently utilised to validate the
importance of both pedagogies for literacies development, including my teaching philosophy.

AUDIENCE

This article will be a reflective tool for my personal
use. I believe it is imperative as teachers to reflect on
your body of work and understand areas that may need
reticulation as further knowledge is acquired. Although
I believe in my argument towards literacies
development and the importance of multiple
pedagogies, it will be interesting to return to my
ideologies after experience is attained.


PERSONAL CONTEXT

Growing up in Townsville, attending a Co-Educational
private school led me to approach a similar styled
learning environment in the eastern outskirts of
Melbourne. Billanook College is an independent Co-
Educational school, which spans from Early Learning
through to Year 12 and is located in Mooroolbark,
Victoria. With a total population of 800 pupils, my
placement school seemingly matches my personal
philosophies and ethos within the schooling
environment.


Image 1: Vision and Mission Statement - Billanook College, 2014


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Matthew Logan s267959



My background also includes completing a Bachelor of Business Management/Commerce dual-degree at the
University of Queensland, majoring in Accounting. Working at a prominent insolvency firm in Brisbane for the last 4
years as a Business Analyst in the Corporate Recovery Division has equipped me with a greater understanding of the
professional accounting practice and the importance of literacies and communicative skills.

The following is a summary of my overall philosophy, which will assist in contrasting the pedagogical approaches to
Accounting literacies.

Teaching Philosophy
Matt Logan

Learning and education is the first step in bringing about internal transformationfactors that lead to lasting
happiness
The Dalai Lama

This universally identifiable quote from the Dalai Lama is the fundamental basis for my teaching philosophy. It is my
belief that education provides the appropriate resources in order to create a successful and happy life. My
methodology to teaching starts with a holistic approach. It is my goal as a teacher is to instil a passion for learning that
extends past the classroom. I necessitate an educational environment that encourages positivity and a strong
motivation to learn. This requires a solid rapport with mutual respect at the utmost importance. I plan to instil
preparatory values pertinent to todays society including responsibility, reliability, innovation, problem-solving,
collaboration, disciplinary abilities and a range of effective communication skills in a variety to diverse settings. I
want to challenge student to investigate pressing global issues outside of their immediate proximity. I want to raise
issues of equity and social justice, sustainability for future environments, a greater sense of community and moral
values including acceptance, care and compassion. This involves stepping away from their comfort zone and valuing a
broader outlook. Most importantly, I want to make learning fun and desirable to stimulate creativity and encourage
personal growth.
Image 2: Matthew Logan Teaching Philosophy extract


WHY LITERACIES?

One of the primary functions of schools is to prepare learners for this real world of communication for work,
citizenship and contemporary community life
Kalantzis & Cope, 2012, p. 41

Parallel to my own teaching philosophy, Kalantzis and Cope emphasise the importance of education, and in particular,
the use of multiple literacies in providing a deeper understandings of the world and personal growth for learners. For
accountants, this is no exception. The following extract is taken from The Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE)
Study Design for Accounting (2013-2016), developed by The Victorian Curriculum & Assessment Authority (VCAA).
This document will be utilised extensively as it is most relevant to senior secondary Accounting and continues on
from the Australian Curriculum Victorian Essential Learning Standards (AusVELS).


Image 3: VCE Study Design Accounting [2013-2016], p. 7

7
!"#$%&'(#)%"
SCOPE OF STUDY
VCE Accounting Iocuses on the fnancial recording, reporting and decision-making processes oI a
sole proprietor small business. Students study both theoretical and practical aspects oI accounting.
Financial data will be collected and recorded, and accounting inIormation reported, using both manual
and inIormation and communications technology (ICT) methods.
The preparation and presentation oI fnancial statements is governed by Australian Accounting
Standards and guided by the Framework Ior the Preparation and Presentation oI Financial Statements
(AASB Framework).
RATIONALE
Accounting is the process oI recording, reporting, analysing and interpreting fnancial data and
accounting inIormation which is then communicated to internal and external users oI this inIormation.
It plays an integral role in the successIul operation and management oI businesses.
VCE Accounting Iocuses on small business. Unit 1 begins with a small service business, allowing
students to develop knowledge and skills in accounting without the complexities oI accounting Ior
trading businesses or large organisations. Units 2, 3 and 4 then Iocus on a single activity trading
business where students build on and extend their accounting skills.
Many students who study VCE Accounting will go on to Iurther studies and careers in business and
fnance.
AIMS
This study enables students to:
acquire knowledge and skills to record fnancial data and report accounting inIormation in a manner
that is appropriate Ior the needs oI the user
develop an understanding oI the role oI accounting in the management and operation oI a small
business


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Matthew Logan s267959


This indicates that Accounting is not solely numerate-based, and involves fundamental literacy and communicative
abilities in order to successfully operate and manage a business. The VCE curriculum also highlights the importance
of both qualitative and quantitative knowledge in pursuit of successful learning, as demonstrated in the Scope of
Study.


Image 4: VCE Study Design Accounting [2013-2016], p. 7

Throughout the Study Design, the importance of ICT is highly valued. The world is an ever-changing environment
and teachers must adapt appropriately through multilingual and multimodal forms of communication. According to
Kalantzis and Cope (2012, p. 49), communicators for the new workplace require participatory, thoughtful, reflexive,
boundary-crossing and multimodal communication skills. It is a common misconception that Accountants do not
possess these vital abilities, and in fact, are labelled introverted, anti-social and boring.


Image 5: Common Accounting jokes

From personal experience, I can guarantee that this
perception of accountants is wrong on many fronts. In
the company I worked, there was not a dull employer
in the office. I must admit, I was surprised at this, since
I too had the monotonous, number-bashing
stereotype in my head when I first begun. Being an
insolvency firm, we needed exceptional literacy and
numeracy skills in order to successfully take-over
businesses and either re-build them to a profitable
status, or dissolve and distribute moneys to creditors.
The accountants needed exemplary communication
skills when dealing with bankrupts and directors who
have just had their businesses fall into liquidation. As
you can imagine, these people are either devastated,
heartbroken, furiously angry or on most occasions, all
these emotions simultaneously. It is for these reasons
that various types of pedagogical approaches to
literacies need to be displayed in the Accounting
classroom in order to adequately prepare the learners
for the real world environment.

7
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SCOPE OF STUDY
VCE Accounting Iocuses on the fnancial recording, reporting and decision-making processes oI a
sole proprietor small business. Students study both theoretical and practical aspects oI accounting.
Financial data will be collected and recorded, and accounting inIormation reported, using both manual
and inIormation and communications technology (ICT) methods.
The preparation and presentation oI fnancial statements is governed by Australian Accounting
Standards and guided by the Framework Ior the Preparation and Presentation oI Financial Statements
(AASB Framework).
RATIONALE
Accounting is the process oI recording, reporting, analysing and interpreting fnancial data and
accounting inIormation which is then communicated to internal and external users oI this inIormation.
It plays an integral role in the successIul operation and management oI businesses.
VCE Accounting Iocuses on small business. Unit 1 begins with a small service business, allowing
students to develop knowledge and skills in accounting without the complexities oI accounting Ior
trading businesses or large organisations. Units 2, 3 and 4 then Iocus on a single activity trading
business where students build on and extend their accounting skills.
Many students who study VCE Accounting will go on to Iurther studies and careers in business and
fnance.
AIMS
This study enables students to:
acquire knowledge and skills to record fnancial data and report accounting inIormation in a manner
that is appropriate Ior the needs oI the user
develop an understanding oI the role oI accounting in the management and operation oI a small
business
If an accountants wife cannot sleep,
what does she say?
- Darling, could you tell me about
work?
What do accountants do for fun?
- Add the telephone book!

Whats the definition of accountant?
- Someone who solves a problem
you didnt know you had, in a way
you dont understand!


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Matthew Logan s267959



DIDACTIC V CRITICAL LITERACIES PEDAGOGY

Accounting is theoretical and practical. Students should be able to record transactions correctly, as well as apply
theory to problem solving and decision making.
VCE Study Design - Accounting [2013-2016], p. 44

According to Kalantzis and Cope (2012, p. 92), didactic teaching involves spelling out learning content explicitly,
such as the facts and theories of a discipline, on the expectation that learners will memorise the content they are
presented. It requires students to learn the formal rules and comprehend the correct meaning of text. Teachers are
expected to follow the textbooks and students are required to answer correctly to the set questions. This form of
teaching is still very relevant within the Accounting classroom. For instance, The Financial Reporting Handbook
(Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia, 2010, p. 27-31), explicitly state the Accounting Principles and
Qualitative Characteristics, including relevance, reliability, comparability and understandability, that underpin the
application of accounting information. The didactic approach would be an appropriate tool to learning these
principles, as they are standardised across the board in the accounting profession. Another necessity within
Accounting that can that be taught via didactics, is the format of financial reports. Successful application of financials
such as Income Statements and Balance Sheets, requires a sequence of various accounting vocabulary and important
principles that must be structured in a particular order. As these documents are conformed across the board, it is
appropriate to use a rote learning approach to successfully memorise and obtain this knowledge.


Image 6: Format of Income Statement and Balance Sheet can be taught using didactics

38 !"# %&'() (#%*+,

Advice for teachers ACCOUNTING 20132016
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Budget Actual Variance
Favourable/
Unfavourable
9.2(-, *+"+,-,.+ /"01".2, 3,4(0+ 5(0 4,01(6 ,.6,6 76"+,8
Budget Actual Variance
Favourable/
Unfavourable
9.2(-, *+"+,-,.+
BUSINESS NAME
INCOME STATEMENT for period ended (date)
Revenue
Less Cost of Goods Sold
Gross Prot
Adjusted Gross Prot
Add Other Revenue
Less Other Expenses
Net Prot
:"'".2, *$,,+
BUSINESS NAME
BALANCE SHEET as at (date)
$ $ $ $
Current Assets Current Liabilities
Non-Current Liabilities
Non-Current Assets Owners Equity


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Matthew Logan s267959





Image 7: VCE Study Design Accounting [2013-2016], p. 49


Didactic literacy is based on learning formal rules, dry
facts and mechanical skills. It is quite passive and
compliant on the behalf of the students, and focuses on
social reproduction of information. The above activity
of recording financial data can sufficiently be taught
using the didactic approach.

Although didactic teaching is still highly appropriate
within the Accounting classroom, it needs to be used in
conjunction with various other approaches in order to
successfully prepare students for a professional career
in the industry. Critical literacy pedagogy explores
differences in language and social power, address real-
world challenges, help students develop their voice for
active citizenship and support them in taking control of
their own lives (Kalantzis & Cope, 2012, p. 15). In
contrast to didactic, critical literacy takes a democratic
standpoint, where students are encouraged to act upon
real issues. It promotes active participation and
addresses problems that required thought. These issues



are usually contentious and vary with divergent
personalities, cultural backgrounds, gender and so on.

Critical literacy pedagogy is an imperative part of
Accounting. If commerce could solely be learned
through a didactic approach, then everyone would run
successful businesses and there would be no need for
practitioners in liquidation and insolvency. This is
clearly not the case. Accountants do not simply rote
learn from a textbook in everyday practice. They apply
critical thinking and in-depth decision making to
benefit themselves, their clients and their businesses.
Critical literacy within Accounting involves
interpreting financial statements, understanding the
industry vernacular and making informed decisions
based on that knowledge. The following extract
signifies the critical literacies component of learning
by asking the students to evaluate and construct ideas
on running a small business. It suggests interviewing a
small business owner and analysing factors which lead
to success of failure of business operations.

!"# %&'() (#%*+, 49

ACCOUNTING 20132016 Advice for teachers
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This unit introduces students to trading businesses and credit transactions. Students use a single entry
recording system Ior cash and credit transactions and the accrual method Ior determining proft.
Area of study Suggested duration
Recording financial data and reporting accounting information 8 weeks
ICT in accounting 3 weeks
Evaluation of business performance 4 weeks
Students should be encouraged to design and complete business documents as this will enhance
their understanding oI the accounting process. A point to note: the two-Iold eIIect oI transactions on
accounting reports does not mean recording transactions in the general ledger.
In Area oI Study 2 students develop an understanding oI the role oI ICT in the accounting process.
Students must use a commercial accounting soItware package to complete this outcome. The use oI
ICT in the recording process will enable students to gain a greater understanding oI the process, which
they can then apply when manually recording transactions.
In Area oI Study 3 students use a range oI fnancial and non-fnancial inIormation. They use this
inIormation to evaluate the perIormance oI the business. Students must then discuss strategies that
will enable the business to improve its perIormance. They should be encouraged to look at the impact
oI the strategies on perIormance and explain why the strategy would result in an improvement. Using
ICT to produce and interpret accounting inIormation using graphical representations will enhance
student knowledge and understanding oI the strategies that could be used to improve the perIormance
oI the business.
Example activities
AREA OF STUDY 1: Recording nancial data and reporting accounting information
4+$)*53 6 Examples of learning activities
Record nancial data
and report accounting
information for a sole
trader.
collect a range of business documents (handwritten and electronically generated)
and identify the nancial data each contains, explaining how it will be used in the
accounting system
create a glossary of appropriate accounting terms
design a spreadsheet to calculate cost, volume, prot analysis linked to charts and
graphs which display the results
design appropriate business documents and record a list of transactions
design stock records using spreadsheets
prepare a list of price setting methods
prepare a list of strategies to minimise stock losses
prepare a poster which explains the difference between cash and prot


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Matthew Logan s267959




Image 8: VCE Study Design Accounting [2013-2016], p. 45


Critically literate people identify relevant and powerful topics, analyses and documents evidence,
considers alternative points of view, formulates possible solutions to problems and perhaps also
tries these solutions, comes to their own conclusions and makes well-reasoned arguments to support
their case.
Kalantzis & Cope, 2012, p. 149


By now, it should be clear that implementing both didactic and critical literacy pedagogies to Accounting is a vital
step in todays modern classroom. Although very different, these approaches work simultaneously in order to deliver
the best possible outcomes. The following assessment plan involves completing two outcomes with various
assessment components:

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ACCOUNTING 20132016 Advice for teachers
Example activities
AREA OF STUDY 1: Going into business
!"#$%&' ) Examples of learning activities
Describe the
resources required,
and explain
and discuss the
knowledge and skills
necessary, to set up a
small business.
collect and summarise a range of newspaper articles and other media material
describing success and failure of small businesses
construct a concept map or a poster to show the factors that lead to the success
or failure of a small business
construct a concept map or a poster to show the reasons for and alternatives to
establishing a small business
construct a multimedia presentation and design a quiz with questions about
establishing a small business
develop a questionnaire and interview an accountant on the role they play in
providing advice to small business owners; complete a PowerPoint presentation
on the answers provided
invite a business professional to speak to the class about their experiences with
small business owners
invite a small business owner to speak to the class about their experiences of
running a business
prepare a report following an interview with a small business owner covering the
history of the business, the use of professional advisors and the factors which
lead to the success or failure of a small business
participate in the ASX game to demonstrate an alternative investment strategy
research sources of nance and prepare a PowerPoint presentation showing
when it would be most appropriate to use each type and the advantages and
disadvantages of each


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Matthew Logan s267959







Image 9: VCE Study Design Accounting [2013-2016], p. 32



As you can see, both didactic and critical literacies
should be used to gain results. Students must have a
substantial knowledge and understanding of the correct
financial reporting systems. They then need to apply
this knowledge in order to evaluate the performance of
a business and make critical decisions in order to
discuss strategies for improvement.








A practical, real-world example demonstrating the
importance of various degrees of understanding is
included as appendices. Specifically, an extract from
Woolworths Limiteds (WOW) 2013 Annual Report,
which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange
(ASX). Accountants need a solid education on formal
rules and processes in order to understanding the
financial (Balance Sheet) and non-financial (Managing
Directors Report) aspects of the Annual Statement.
They also need critical literacies skills in an attempt to
make informed decisions for investment opportunities.



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Unit 4 ACCOUNTING 20132016
Outcomes Marks allocated* Assessment tasks
Outcome 1
Record nancial data using double
entry accounting and report accounting
information using an accrual-based system
for a single activity sole trader, and discuss
the function of various aspects of this
accounting system.
50
The students performance on Outcome 1 will be assessed
using one or more of the following:
structured questions
a folio of exercises (manual and/or lCTj
a case study (manual and/or lCTj
a test (manual and/or lCTj
a report (written, oral or multimediaj.
Outcome 2
Prepare budgets and variance reports,
evaluate the performance of a business
using nancial and non-nancial
information and discuss strategies to
improve the protability and liquidity of the
business.
30
20
Outcome 2 will be assessed by two tasks:
Task A
Prepare budgets and variance reports for a business using
spreadsheets. Evaluate the budgets and variance reports
and discuss strategies for improvement.
Task B
Evaluate the performance of a business using nancial and non-
nancial information and discuss strategies to improve
the protability and liquidity of the business.
The students performance for Task B will be assessed using one
or more of the following:
structured questions
a folio of exercises (manual and/or lCTj
a case study (manual and/or lCTj
a test (manual and/or lCTj
a report (written, oral or multimediaj.
Total marks 100 At least 30 marks must be allocated to ICT-based assessment
*School-assessed Coursework for Unit 4 contributes 25 per cent.
End-of-year examination
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The examination will be set by a panel appointed by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.
All the key knowledge and key skills that underpin the outcomes in Units 3 and 4 are examinable.
Students will be required to apply the knowledge and skills oI the accounting processes undertaken
in Units 3 and 4. Students will not be required to calculate fnancial indicators or prepare graphical
representations in the examination. Students will not be required to use inIormation and communications
technology (ICT) in the examination.
+)*,&(&)*#
The examination will be completed under the Iollowing conditions:
Duration: two hours.
Date: end-oI-year, on a date to be published annually by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment
Authority.
Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority examination rules will apply. Details oI these
rules are published annually in the !"# %&' !"() ('*+&+,-.%-+/0 1%&'2334.
The examination will be marked by assessors appointed by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment
Authority.


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Matthew Logan s267959




CONCLUSION

Literacy development occurs across all subjects in order to better educate and provide enhanced opportunities for
adolescence to succeed in not only the educational setting but also socially (Kalantzis & Cope, 2012, p. 43). It is nave
to assume that only English teachers are responsible for teaching literacy. All teachers must be literate and develop
literacies skills appropriate to the particular subject content. In the case of senior secondary Accounting, it is
imperative to combine various literacy pedagogies, for instance didactic and critical, with modern resources,
multimodalities and ICT to engage the next generation and develop the vital communicative aptitudes needed beyond
the classroom. The traditional basics (reading, writing and arithmetic) are all still extremely relevant in Accounting,
which can be taught through didactics. This approach, in conjunction with critical pedagogy, will encourage students
to develop their own opinions and actively participate in generating new skills. Accounting requires qualitative and
quantitative knowledge as well as an understanding of financial and non-financial information. It is therefore a
personal aim, as an educator in Accounting, to assist students in developing the skills required to pursue a successful
and happy career and make wise decisions for the future. This can be achieved using various pedagogical paradigms.


Each student is entitled to knowledge, understanding and skills that provide a foundation
for successful and lifelong learning and participation in the Australian community.

ACARA - Student Diversity, 2013



































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Matthew Logan s267959


APPENDICES



Appendix 1: Managing Directors Report Woolworths Limited Annual Report 2013


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Matthew Logan s267959





Appendix 2: Consolidated Balance Sheet Woolworths Limited Annual Report 2013

105

NOTE
2013
$M
2012
$M
Current assets
Cash and cash equivalents 849.2 833.4
Trade and other receivables 8 968.6 869.9
Inventories 4,205.4 3,698.3
Other financial assets 9 54.2 23.8
6,077.4 5,425.4
Assets classified as held for sale 33 148.7 376.7
Total current assets 6,226.1 5,802.1
Non-current assets
Trade and other receivables 8 16.6 24.5
Other financial assets 9 358.7 238.8
Property, plant and equipment 10 9,246.1 9,589.0
Intangible assets 11 5,784.3 5,282.0
Deferred tax assets 5d 618.4 644.7
Total non-current assets 16,024.1 15,779.0
Total assets 22,250.2 21,581.1
Current liabilities
Trade and other payables 12 5,390.3 5,242.2
Borrowings 14 169.4 54.4
Current tax liabilities 5c 193.2 221.5
Other financial liabilities 13 145.9 107.4
Provisions 16 967.2 939.8
6,866.0 6,565.3
Liabilities directly associated with assets classified as held for sale 33 200.9
Total current liabilities 6,866.0 6,766.2
Non-current liabilities
Borrowings 14 4,282.5 4,695.3
Other financial liabilities 13 992.6 887.2
Provisions 16 549.2 527.3
Other 259.4 258.8
Total non-current liabilities 6,083.7 6,368.6
Total liabilities 12,949.7 13,134.8
Net assets 9,300.5 8,446.3
Equity
Issued capital 17 4,522.7 4,336.6
Shares held in trust 17 (180.5) (60.7)
Reserves 18 25.1 (243.9)
Retained earnings 19 4,661.1 4,163.4
9,028.4 8,195.4
Amounts recognised directly in equity relating to assets classified as held for sale 33 (7.2)
Equity attributable to the members of Woolworths Limited 9,028.4 8,188.2
Non-controlling interests 272.1 258.1
Total equity 9,300.5 8,446.3
The above consolidated balance sheet should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes to the consolidated financial statements
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET WOOLWORTHS LIMITED



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Matthew Logan s267959




REFERENCES


Australian Curriculum, Assessment & Reporting Authority ACARA (2014). Student Diversity 2013, ACARA
Education, Retrieved from http://www.acara.edu.au/curriculum/student_diversity/student_diversity.html


Australian Stock Exchange ASX (2014). Woolworths Limited (WOW) Company Information, ASX Group,
Retrieved from http://www.asx.com.au/asx/research/companyInfo.do?by=asxCode&asxCode=WOW


Billanook College (2014). About Us Our Vision and Mission, Billanook College, Retrieved from
http://www.billanook.vic.edu.au/AboutUs/OurVisionandMission1.aspx


Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia (2014). Financial Reporting Handbook of 2010, John Wiley & Sons,
Retrieved from http://www.charteredaccountants.com.au


Jokes4us (2014). People Jokes Accountant Jokes, Jokes4us, Retrieved from
http://www.jokes4us.com/peoplejokes/accountantsjokes/accountantonelinersjokes.html


Kalantzis, M. & Cope, B. (2012). Literacies. (1
st
Edition). Port Melbourne, AUS. Cambridge University Press


Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (2014). Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) Accounting Study
Design [2013-2016], State Government of Victoria, Retrieved from
http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/Documents/vce/account/AccountingSD-2013.pdf


Woolworths Limited (2014). Annual Report 2013, Woolworths Limited, Retrieved from
http://www.woolworthslimited.com.au/annualreport/2013/downloads/WoolworthsLimited_AnnualReport_2013_Full
Report.pdf