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there is general agreement that a social constructivist orientation includes the following key elements (Mayes and de Freitas, 2004; Beetham and Sharpe, 2007):
• Self-responsibility for learning that enables students
to actively construct their own understanding of concepts;
• Complex problems to support a discovery-oriented approach to learning;
• Open-ended activities and challenges to encourage experimentation and risk-taking;
• Collaborative inquiry with peers and faculty members to help learn faster or deeper than when solely engaged in individual activities;
• Shared ownership of the learning process to facilitate
a common understanding and shared meaning of the tasks and experiences involved in learning;
• Discussion and re ection that draws on existing concepts, contexts and skills; and
• Timely and effective feedback to guide correction and improvement in concept and skill attainment.
The social constructivist/constructionist orientation
is a foundation for both a set of principles that guide the learning and teaching process, i.e. the RRU Teaching Philosophy, and a constellation of practices, i.e. Core Elements of our Learning and Teaching Model. These principles and practices will be described in the following sections. The cohort learning communities which spring up to support individual learning, socially construct (Berger & Luckmann, 1967; Gergen, 2000)
a common language of shared experience, creating metaphors, humour, feedback, and indeed, a whole transformative
culture, that supports the student throughout their time in the program, and beyond, into the broader realm of the working life of RRU alumni.
Taken together in a summary fashion, we understand learning as a socially constructed activity and we conceptualize lifelong learning as a process of social and personal discovery beyond the acquisition of knowledge.
Figure 2: Foundational Frameworks for Learning and Teaching at Royal Roads University
Self Responsibility
Learning to Know
Complex Problems
Learning to Do
Collaborative Inquiry
Learning to Live Together
Open Ended Learning Activities
Learning to Be
Discussion and Re ection
Learning to Transform Oneself and Society
People Learn in a Diversity of Ways
10 Learning and Teaching Model Royal Roads University

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