Academic Master



Learning as known, is the process of acquiring knowledge about topic of interest. It has been made easier than it was despite distance. This is possible due to availability of various critical learning processes which includes Collaboration, coaching and mentorship.

Various theories have emerged to explain the theory of teaching and learning. These theories include Experimental, Humanism, and Sensory. However there are only three main theories; Behaviourist, Cognitivist Constructivism and Social Constructivism. First and Foremost, Behaviourism, which is B.F Skinner’s concept that perceives learning as a stimuli-response reaction. Knowledge is more of behavioural responses to environmental stimuli and highly promoted by repetition and positive reinforcement e.g., good work. Knowledge acquisition is extrinsic in that, it involves positive and negative reinforcement from external. In addition, correct behavioural responses are transmitted by the teacher who acts as a role model then copied by the student. However, it surely does not prepare learner for problem solving since learning only involves performance, imitation and not creativity.

COGNITIVE CONSTRUCTIVISM, on the other, is a learning theory which involves processing given information internally based on pre-existing cognitive structures. There is active assimilation and accommodation of new information to existing cognitive structures the teacher facilitates learning by providing an environment that promotes discovery and accommodation. It’s intrinsic, in that it’s upon the learner to set his or her own motive to learn more about potential field or topic. Unlike Behaviourism, there is no imitation and reinforcement from the external force.

SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVISM, theory process where a learner construct new knowledge as from the social context he or she is exposed to through interactions with fellow counterparts. Students are integrated and collaborated in a community where new information can be shared and learnt .Learning goals and results are both intrinsic and extrinsic in that, rewards are provided by the learner himself or herself and knowledge community (teachers or mentors plus colleagues). The collaborative learning is facilitated by teacher who orients and acts as mentors of such collaborations. Social constructivism appears to be the best learning and teaching theory since it promotes assimilation, collaboration and group learning. Consequently, promotes unity as it brings people from different backgrounds come learn as one. It involves teachers who in this theory, acts as the mentors or leaders of such collaborative groups. Thus, it’s prudent to describe how social constructive qualifies as the best theory method in relation to its connection with Collaboration which is the mostly used learning approach, more so in Undergraduate education.

COLLABORATION is considered as the most commonly used learning approach in various institutions more so Undergraduate classes; it’s a learning process where two or more people come together in attempt to gain knowledge linked to a given field of study. Distance learners for example, are able to form groups through internet classes OR share one classroom. By this, they are able to share their ideologies through these formed groups; in help of their mentors. This mode of critical learning does not only eased the learning process but also makes it more interesting and interactive.

IMPORTANCE Collaboration is linked to various importances, These Include;

  • Develops higher level of thinking skills e.g. Oral communication skills as a result of sharing.
  • Promotes student faculty interaction and familiarity,
  • Increase student retention, self-esteem building, and student’s satisfaction with learning experience…
  • Students explore alternate problem solutions in a safe environment, self-management skills among other. Students taught how to criticize ideas, not people.
  • Above all, it encourages students with different backgrounds, race work together in a common classroom. The group setting provides involved students with various benefits enhancing their studies progress.
  • Learners are able to share their opinions, and learn more about other cultures the different knowledge possessed by the learners would enable them get solutions or answers when question arise. Working together enhances freedom of expression or rather sharing an opinion. Additionally, build trust among the collaborators strengthens unity into achieving a common goal or performance.

Furthermore, Collaboration is successful and run smoothly because of leadership. Roles includes

  • Establish goals and targets in that, this engages leaders role in developing vision, values, missions and strategic directions that would further the institutional.
  • Ensuring an orderly environment, leaders has the task of ensuring positive behavior is maintained in the institution.
  • Development of curriculum for the learners, and ensure there is a relational trust and collaboration as students success as well as creating a conducive environment for learning. They worked by influencing the quality of curriculum and the focus of classroom.
  • Promoting and participating in professional learning, as it has a greatest impact on student outcomes. Done by applying outside expertise to enhance internal expertise, and challenging achievement issues with an appropriate response.
  • Ensure internal evaluation where all staff participate and understand the importance of internal evaluation and inquiry.

Moreover, Collaboration process is linked to various principles. Since collaborative learning is attached to a belief that learning can be done better within a population where members actively interact by sharing experiences. It is a student-centred approach as its main objective is to maintaining corporation of students through interactive activities other than competition. Furthermore, collaborative learning redefines student-teacher relation in the classroom making it more beneficial than harmful. In addition, it operates on the basis of various group activities which include class groups, group discussion, joint proposals, debates and many other activities. Collaborative learning is the best approach to education, more in the undergraduate education; because relationship between a student and an instructor is well maintained thereby creating conducive environment for learning. Collaborative has various importances to the learners. These include;

  • Encourages good contact between students and faculty, hence encourages active learning.
  • Enhances corporation and reciprocity among students.
  • Emphasizes time on task thereby giving prompt feedback.
  • This approach is attached to good outcomes which include Academic achievement and increased self-esteem as quoted by (Sharan and Slavin 1994).

PRINCIPLES INCLUDE; Teachers are expected to work in collaborative teaching, this will ensure they are familiarised with the recent research and literature. Meeting the challenges of collaborative teaching e.g., applying useful reading materials. Additionally, teachers are expected to understand what’s composed of an effective lesson design. The components serve as guides to instructors. FURTHER, it’s important for teachers to create productive learning environments for the students through orientation and facilitating their collaboration.

LEADERSHIP, For one to qualify as a leader of a collaboration in any learning institution, he or she is required to be knowledgeable of what makes collaboration process successful, should be able to note their roles in the process. Must have an ability to solve problems that arises during the process, knowledge of curriculum to qualify as a leader. Expected to be flexible, enabling them be able to work with any group encountered.

Nevertheless, other two important learning and teaching approaches includes Mentoring which refers to offline assistance to someone who needs to expand his or her knowledge or work based on a given field of study. It’s always a long-term. COACHING is defined as a process that enables learning and development occur thus improving performance. Coaching is important in learning institutions, since educators and students gain skills which guides them in developing coaching approach towards their learning process.

In conclusion, social constructivism is applicable theory of teaching and learning since it promotes collaboration. As explained above, learning process involves learners and teachers or mentors. Learners when grouped or collaborated, process becomes easier and interactive since skills and knowledge is shared, led by teachers. All these occur in collaboration approach of learning and teaching. As a result, social constructivism forms the best teaching and learning theory.



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