Page 7 - Learning & Teaching Model
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How do we create educational environments that re ect what
we know about effective learning? How do we shift the focus from teaching to learning to better serve our students now and in the future? What does learning look like that has practical relevance and applicability? These are some of the provocative questions that Russell Ackoff and Daniel Greenberg (2008) ask – and answer – in their book, Turning Learning Right Side Up, to provoke dialogue and action regarding how to make education, learning, and schooling more relevant for the 21st Century. Ackoff and Greenberg argue that “In the age of the Internet, we educate people much
as we did during the industrial revolution” (p.i), emphasizing a discipline-based, highly compartmentalized, teaching-centred curriculum that is out of step with a world characterized by  ux, unpredictability, diversity, spiraling technological innovation,
and globalized communications – a world that Barnett (2000) has described as “supercomplex” (p. 415).
Ackoff and Greenberg further contend that this outdated curriculum model is a hallmark of our colleges and universities
as well as our schools. This serves to compound the challenge because the undergraduate and graduate students in our programs at Royal Roads University (RRU) are, or shortly will be, the leaders within our societal, organizational and educational systems. Our students, as leaders, need to be inquirers who know, as Raelin (2006) suggests, “how to construct new knowledge when faced with problems for which there is no known solution
or even for which there is no known conceptual lens” (p.7).
Adding to this challenge, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (2011) recently published a summary of a workshop held in March 2012 for university leaders that called for a “new narrative” (p.1) for higher education in Canada
as a result of the almost universal sentiment among senior
leaders that a high-quality learning experience, especially for undergraduates, has lost the centrality of focus with the collective university mandate.
What if, however, universities were able to provide innovative ways to better prepare graduates for today’s supercomplex world? What if universities provided advanced learning opportunities for emerging and current leaders and other professionals that supported the enhancement of 21st Century skills and knowledge? What if universities were able to provide learning opportunities that were authentic, relevant, and integrative? In this document, we answer these questions by describing the learning and teaching model at RRU.
The model is designed to create the context of a learning community within which we provide our students with authentic learning experiences that mirror the kinds of complex learning, performance, and leadership challenges found in today’s organizations, communities, and educational institutions.
In this document, we articulate many of the distinct and unique qualities of this model, describe their bene ts, and illustrate how these elements work together to provide an authentic, relevant, and integrative learning experience for our students. We examine the teaching philosophy, key curriculum design elements and learning processes that are a common foundation for all RRU programs including both credit and non-credit programs. This foundation is central to producing citizens
of the world who are passionate, determined, and con dent lifelong learners, integrated into a broad network of like-minded learners, and who can con dently manage and resolve complex, real-life problems – the kinds of holistic, contextualized, multi- dimensional issues that Ackoff and Greenberg (2008, p.27) refer to as “messes” because they are seldom simple, non-interactive, and isolated.
Royal Roads University Learning and Teaching Model 5

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