Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Assessment of Learning: Social Constructivism

  • This best practice guideline is based upon a specific learning theory – social constructivism.
  • This theory argues that people create their own understandings by integrating their previous experience/knowledge with new learning, within specific contexts, including crucial social contexts. 
  • This is consistent with the principles of client centred care.
  • Social constructivism promotes effective assessment.
  • In health-care settings, this assessment is about how well the client understands the knowledge, the implications for safety/health, how supported they are to adopt healthy behaviours, and the availability of resources to follow-up and continue to engage actively in learning to care for themselves and maintain their health.
  • Nurses assess client learning regularly, taking into account the challenges of health literacy, incorporating holistic analysis of client learning and building on client strengths.
Facilitating Client Centred Learning
Background Information