Page 11 - Learning & Teaching Model
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At the heart of the student experience is a focus on meaningful, relevant, and lifelong learning that permeates all educational offerings at RRU, including degree, non-degree, and continuing education programs. UNESCO’s Commission on Education
for the Twenty-First Century (Delors, 1996) and subsequent work by UNESCO’S Education for Sustainable Development Initiative (2012) presented a conceptual framework for ongoing, lifelong learning that applies very well to the RRU context.1 This model organizes learning into the following  ve pillars:
1. LEaRning TO KnOw – the development of skills
and knowledge needed to function in this world e.g. formal acquisition of literacy, numeracy, critical thinking and general knowledge.
2. LEaRning TO DO – the acquisition of applied skills linked to professional success.
3. LEaRning TO LivE TOgEThER – the development
of social skills and values such as respect and concern for others, and the appreciation of cultural diversity. These are fundamental building blocks for social cohesion, as they foster mutual trust and support and strengthen our communities and society as a whole.
4. LEaRning TO BE – the learning that contributes
to a person’s mind, body, and spirit. Skills include creativity and personal discovery, acquired through reading,
the Internet, and activities such as sports and arts.
5. LEaRningTOTRansFORMOnEsELFanDsOCiETy– when individuals and groups gain knowledge, develop skills, and acquire new values as a result of learning, they are
equipped with tools and mindsets for creating lasting change in organizations, communities, and societies.
RRU President Allan Cahoon, in his June 16th 2011 Convocation address, asserted these pillars are “ rmly planted in the bedrock of our applied, team-based, experiential learning model” supported by highly committed faculty and staff.2 He concluded his address by suggesting that at RRU,
We have, by design, taken on the challenge of re-envisioning post- secondary education to make it meaningful to the world in which we live. Progress results because of the powerful connect between knowledge and action.
These  ve pillars are linked together by a social constructivist approach to individual learning and a social constructionist approach to the development of learning communities that signi cantly in uences how students learn and how faculty
and staff support their learning at RRU. Proponents of a social constructivist approach maintain that learning is an active social process – an individual’s acquisition of new knowledge and skills is heavily in uenced and supported by the social environment in which the learning occurs (Mayes and de Freitas, 2004). Students make meaning from their experiences by being actively engaged with others and the environment in which they are situated rather than passively receiving information from their
professors or texts (Stage, Muller, Kinzie and Simmons, 1998). Although there are some inconsistencies in the literature on the interpretation of constructivism (Lui and Matthews, 2005),
1 This conceptual framework also serves as the basis for the development of the Canadian Council on Learning’s Composite Learning Index (CLI). For more information, see
2 Cahoon, A. (2011). President’s Address: Taking stock: The value of continuous learning. RRU 2011 Spring Convocation, June 16, 2011, Royal Theatre, Victoria.
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