Courses

Choose from a wide range of self-paced BC Ministry of Education certified courses that you can significantly personalize. This table provides an overview of these choices.

Explore the tabs below for course descriptions and mentor bios.

Are you already enrolled with SelfDesign and know what courses you would like to register for? Simply log in to the Community Site to register.

 

 

 

Course Description:
  • Format
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SelfDesigning GM Community Building 11

In this course learners will deepen their selfdesigning skill building and digital explorations from SelfDesigning GM 10; the aim will be to deepen interpersonal skills and move into the realm of the varied components of leadership and the value of learning to work with others in co-inspiration. Learners will consider what traits and skills are the foundation of behind a good leader in general and explore personally what they recognize in themselves and if/where they seek more development. Time will be spent examining the elements of collaborative work and service learning. The SelfDesigning GM 11 course will culminate with learners applying their explorations and skills to a project: they will design the scaffolding for a social action initiative, in collaboration with others where possible. Guiding questions and adaptive learning planning will shape and support all explorations and activities.

Related Courses:

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Choose a SelfDesigning Guiding Mentor course

Consider what it’s like to be seen, championed, supported. Your ideas, joys and frustrations heard. Explore the possibilities available to you during your high school years with the accompaniment of a passionate mentor. One who is interested and committed to knowing you – challenging you to know yourself and to discover or pursue what you find meaningful in ways of learning that suit who you are and your and goals.

The base of the SelfDesigning Guiding Mentor courses is the relationship between learner and their guiding mentor (GM) through ongoing dialogue (in person, via video conferencing, email and/or telephone). The role of the GM is threefold:

  • to support the creation of a personalized learning plan and the navigation of the many high school options and experiences
  • to support the development of self-awareness and advocacy skills and thereby build personal agency and freedom in learning via selfdesigning praxis
  • and to facilitate the building of digital literacy skills and awareness

Learners benefit from their GM’s experience, interest, support and selfdesigning praxis skills all of which help nurture learner self-advocacy and agency. Strong emphasis is placed on the development of digital literacy in all three SelfDesigning Guiding Mentor courses, that culminate with learners developing an e-portfolio celebrating their personal voice, creativity and learning in the form of a wide range of artifacts – art, writings, interviews, videos/films, spoken word, etc.

The SelfDesiging Guiding Mentor courses run from Sept – June and are 4 credits.

See detailed course descriptions to the left

Grade 10 Grade 11 Grade 12
SelfDesigning GM 10 – Digital Literacy SelfDesigning GM 11 – Community Building SelfDesigning GM 12 – Capstone Project

Related Courses:

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SelfDesigning GM Digital Literacy 10

SelfDesigning GM 10 aims to help learners become self-aware, discerning and dynamic agents in their learning processes and encounters – both online and face-to-face. Learners develop strategic skills and core competencies in three significant areas:

  1. selfdesigning – developing skills needed to initiate, plan and design their approach to learning (adaptive learning planning)
  2. personal awareness, self-advocacy and self-assessment
  3. ethical questions and considerations in digital platforms

Learners will focus on their use of digital tools to build personal agency and communication skills and the attendant requirement to engage ethically while doing so. Learning how to discern and evaluate the wealth of data and information available to learners will support their planning and decisions regarding their learning goals and encounters in the world. It will also strengthen their skills as effective communicators while using various digital tools and platforms.

Guiding questions and adaptive learning planning will serve as a reflective home base in each learner’s inquiries and artifact generation for digital e-portfolios. E-portfolios  provide  support for individual explorations into what it means to be personally and ethically aware, engaged in a digital world, equipped and ready to lead and self-author their own lives. This course runs from Sept – June and is 4 credits.

 

Related Courses:

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SelfDesigning GM Capstone Project 12

In this final SelfDesigning GM course, learners will bring their deepening self-awareness, agency and skill development to fruition in a personal project of their own design. They will identify a culminating global question they wish to explore through an interdisciplinary lens. The project questions might lead to anything from a research study to designing a digital social action to organizing a community project. Through co-inspirational conversation with their guiding mentor, designing their own assessment rubric and an ongoing Appreciative Inquiry approach, learners will shape their particular quest and then delineate the steps, resources, tools and communication plans they will need to bring it to expression. Learners will prepare a final presentation in the format of their choice which will link into their project template and live in their e-portfolio.

 

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Course Description:
  • Format
Apprenticeship and Workplace Math

Apprentice and Workplace Math 10

We could also call this course “The most useful math course you will ever take!”

From the introduction to SI (International System) and imperial measurement to the study of unit pricing, this course is designed to provide a rich understanding of practical math skills that will be of use in everyday life, as well as in skilled trades and the workplace. All concepts are explained clearly and completely through interactive videos accompanied by notes. Through online forums and live discussion over Skype, the course mentors engage learners in the materials in a way that supports their unique interests and learning styles. This course will cover all topics necessary to fully prepare learners to write the mandatory Grade 10 provincial math exam, and to continue on to Apprentice & Workplace Math 11.

Note: This course contains a SD Exam and a Ministry Final Exam.

Related Courses:

Travis-Webber

Course Mentor: Travis Webber

Travis graduated from Vancouver Island University with Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Arts degrees. Travis knows what it is like to struggle to find one’s place in the world. He is deeply grateful for the assistance he received from teachers and youth workers throughout his life, and attributes where is is today to this loving support. Consequently, Travis feels that it is his calling to help children and teens develop their skills so that they may contribute to the world with a positive attitude and a strong toolbox that will help them prosper into adulthood. “Every day is special because I have been given the gift of helping young people move forward with their lives. Best job ever? I think so.”

Paul Tosney

Course Mentor: Paul Tosney

Paul earned his degree with the Open University by distance learning, while teaching various subjects at the Royal Air Force Technical College in England. He then went to night school and gained a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from Wolverhampton University. Paul is also the administrator for the SelfDesign High’s Moodle learning management system. Paul has many years of experience distance learning, both as a student and as a tutor. He has taught night classes in Math and Physics and was also a student counsellor.

Course Mentor: Dave Dawson

Choose A Course

Click “Choose a course” above to select a course from the drop down menu and to view the course description, course mentor bios and related courses.

Additionally, learners have three choices – IDesign, Independent Studies, and Personal Project – with increasing options for personalized learning and self-authorship of their studies. This table provides an overview of these choices.

Register for Courses
Already know which courses you’re interested in? Register here!

Learn year-round, at your own pace
To get the most out of your learning you can slow down, leap ahead, start any time, and take as long as you need. While our September to June schedule ensures the best integration with provincial education, summer courses are also available for learning 12 months a year. We have found that learners who complete a course within three to four months are typically those most satisfied with their experience.

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ENGLISH 11

English 10

Human beings have always used stories to express the important themes that are at the center of human life. A good story can be a myth, legend, epic poem, short story, play, novel, poem or film. In this course, learners will have a chance to look at a range of expressive story forms, from literature and language both ancient and contemporary. A good story contains universal themes, meaning it relates to many people regardless of time period or culture, such as life as a personal journey, the expression of personal voice, and the power of romantic love.

Learners will be introduced to the tools that help them understand these stories and their themes, including techniques in story creation (such as imagery, metaphor, rhyme and rhythm) and narrative elements (such as plot, character, setting, theme and mood) and learn how to formally analyze stories with these tools. With a greater understanding of the literary devices that support the building of a powerful story, learners can put them to use for themselves and express their own ideas and journey.
Launch, explore…and Bon Voyage!

Note: This course contains a SD Exam and a Ministry Final Exam

Related Courses:

Janell-Sklapsky

Course Mentor: Janell Sklapsky

Janell has taught in both public and Waldorf schools and in addition to her role as a SelfDesign High mentor, is currently a substitute teacher on Vancouver Island. Janell is a lover of life, and looks for the positive and a lesson in everything. Though her interests are wide, Janell’s true passion lies in the humanities – both teaching and learning about people, places, and their stories. She is also a lover of literature and writing as well as being active outdoors dirt biking, skydiving, paddle boarding, running, and camping. Janell is grateful to be a mentor with SelfDesign High, and for the opportunity to learn alongside and support youth growing toward their unique potential.

Dan Spring

Course Mentor: Dan Spring

Dan worked for twenty years as a journalist, performing poet, and short-story writer. He earned a bachelor’s of education degree from UBC and a bachelor’s of English degree with a minor in history and an interest in philosophy from the University of Waterloo. Dan expresses his love of teaching as a natural outgrowth of his love for people and learning. “I want learners to know that I am here for them whether they want to talk about course material or about their lives. I believe that our natural, happy state is one where we are learning about things we feel passionate about. Ideally, learning is an adventure into the landscape of knowledge that surrounds us everywhere.”

John Lydon

Course Mentor: John Lydon

John earned his B.A. in English Literature and Psychology at the University of Victoria, and has diplomas in TOEFL, Adult and Continuing Education. Currently he is completing his Masters of Arts in Learning and Technology at Royal Roads University. With 15 years of experience teaching English as a second language John brings a wealth of knowledge and skills in helping international learners succeed. Having studied both French in Quebec, where he lived for two years, and Spanish in Mexico and Guatemala, where he worked on social justice issues for ten years, John understands the challenges involved studying and living in another culture. Focused on a deep engagement with learning, John strives to build a supportive environment that engages individual learners. As an avid cook, he also loves to try recipes from his learners’ cultures!

“I like to be useful to learners, to help nurture their individual growth, to make manifest the wonder of learning”

Nusri-Hassam

Course Mentor: Nusri Hassam

Nusri has been an educator for 20+ years, having worked at the Vancouver School Board, various other alternative schools, and SelfDesign Learning Community since 2007. Nusri has supported both learning assistance students as well as gifted learners. Nusri’s passions include travelling, singing, reading, the outdoors, ping pong, humour, cooking, working smart not hard, learning efficiently, and more. She encourages creativity and supports teens with their interests and passions.

Jennifer-Cooper

Course Mentor: Jennifer Cooper

Jen’s life is centered around her young family, as well as enjoying all the activities that the sunny Okanagan has to offer. Her education and experience is in P.E, English and Social Studies. Jen’s competitive nature has lead her through many aspects of her life; she now finds herself competing in triathlons and is enjoying teaching her son and daughter to walk, run, bike, ski, and swim. She appreciates that every learner comes from a different place in their lives and believes they all deserve to succeed.

Angela-Kinsella-Jones

Course Mentor: Angela Kinsella-Jones

A global traveller with two grown up daughters, Angela has made her living as a teacher in Africa, England and Canada. With over thirty years of teaching experience, she holds a Bachelor’s degree and a qualified teacher’s license from the UK, as well as a BC Teacher’s Licence. Angela specializes in teaching English and History and has immersed herself in these subjects to not only learn about the people they portray, but how this helps us see and understand cultures more clearly. From ancient texts, through Chaucer and Shakespeare, to Canadian sources and modern graphic novels, there are countless stories surrounding and binding people. Angela brings her experience and insights to help learners interpret and understand, both the stories and the people behind them.

Foundations & PreCalc

Foundations & Pre Calc 10

This is a course for math enthusiasts that prepares learners for Foundations 11 or Pre-Calc 11. This course covers all topics necessary to fully prepare students to write the mandatory Grade 10 provincial math exam. Learners look at measurement and study metric and imperial systems while exploring area, volume, and trigonometric ratios. As a learner you dive into algebra and study factoring, irrational numbers, powers and polynomials. Learners embark on a journey through relations and functions and study their differences and the slope of graphs. Learners also learn about linear relations, their graphs and equations, and how to solve them. Finally, they investigate function notation. Learning is shown through quizzes, exercises, and assignments, and a final exam worth 20% of the final grade.

Note: This course contains a SD Exam and a Ministry Final Exam.

Related Courses:

Paul Tosney

Course Mentor: Paul Tosney

Paul earned his degree with the Open University by distance learning, while teaching various subjects at the Royal Air Force Technical College in England. He then went to night school and gained a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from Wolverhampton University. Paul is also the administrator for the SelfDesign High’s Moodle learning management system. Paul has many years of experience distance learning, both as a student and as a tutor. He has taught night classes in Math and Physics and was also a student counsellor.

Course Mentor: Patricia Collins

Travis-Webber

Course Mentor: Travis Webber

Travis graduated from Vancouver Island University with Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Arts degrees. Travis knows what it is like to struggle to find one’s place in the world. He is deeply grateful for the assistance he received from teachers and youth workers throughout his life, and attributes where is is today to this loving support. Consequently, Travis feels that it is his calling to help children and teens develop their skills so that they may contribute to the world with a positive attitude and a strong toolbox that will help them prosper into adulthood. “Every day is special because I have been given the gift of helping young people move forward with their lives. Best job ever? I think so.”

French 10

French 10

Bienvenue! Welcome to the world of French, one of the two official languages of Canada. Learning languages is a mind-body-soul exploration that allows learners to look outside their cultures, experiences, and lives to incorporate new influences and meaning into everyday life.

This course includes audio, text, interactive online and video learning and follows a program of assessment by mastery, meaning that learners are encouraged to work on new materials until they are understood, not just in preparation for a test. Aside from studying verbs, articles, as well as verb and subject agreements, learners explore vocabulary useful for basic conversations and travel. Ask about the possibility of visiting Quebec, as part of the course!

Related Courses:

Megan-Allen

Course Mentor: Megan Allen

Megan spoke French as a child, but after moving to Victoria she had forgotten what she had learned. A cultural exchange to Quebec and Africa as a teenager, revitalized her love of French and expanded her knowledge of both French and Arabic. Megan has since studied Arabic culture at the University of Montreal and travelled to Paris for a month for work as an engineer. Now with over 20 years speaking French, Megan is passionate about the rich, bold French culture that is found all over the world.

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Makers 10: Innovation & Prototyping with Robotics

This online workshop is open to all high school learners in Grades 10-12. Using an on-loan robot building kit, you will learn how to design, build and program robots. Unlike VEX or LEGO, these modular kits from Multiplo are built on the open source Arduino platform which will give you a great start toward understanding microcontrollers, or robot brains, in general. Via weekly online meetings, we will explore the course material together as a team, discussing and discovering the greater world of technology in general. In between these meetings, you’ll be programming and building robots by completing the weekly or bi-weekly projects (and hacking them of course!). Learners receive support and guidance as needed via video conference, instant messaging, and personalized feedback videos.

This four-credit course satisfies the Applied Skills/Fine Arts requirement for graduation.

The Fall session (Oct-Jan) of Makers 10: Robotics is now FULL. The course will be offered again in early February 2016. For more info, and to be added to the waitlist, please email makers@selfdesign org.

Related Courses:

Course Mentor: Chris Newton

Chris Newton loves to make things … from sustainable houses, rocket stoves and cars that run on waste vegetable oil to robots and wearable technology.  He is fascinated with the appropriate use of technology and its impact on society. Chris has been co-developing the grade 10 Robotics and Prototyping course with John Krotez and hopes to see this first course develop into a series of maker-based learning opportunities focusing on innovation, technology and practical skills. Chris earned a degree in engineering, as well as an independent school teaching certificate and is a SelfDesign parent.

 

Physical Education

Physical Education 10

Physical activity is an important part of holistic health; people of all ages, shapes, sizes and abilities can benefit from being physically active. In this course, learners explore a diverse range of physical activities and consider which activities are suitable for individual constitutions, body types, and inclinations. Learners will connect/consult with physical activity professionals in their community to further their understanding, experience and appreciation of physical movement. Throughout the course, learners log 80+ hours of diverse physical activities, while expressing their learning through writing, artistic, and multimedia assignments.

Related Courses:

Sarah-Bresnahan

Course Mentor: Sarah Bresnahan

Sarah’s career has involved numerous projects in environmental experiential education. She has worked in the outdoor leadership field for many years guiding canoe and kayak trips, as well as exploring nature with youth of all ages. Sarah is an outdoor enthusiast and likes to stay active, whether its paddling, biking, climbing, skiing, sailing or running on the trails around Nelson. She enjoys teaching weekly yoga classes to balance out all of the activity. Sarah brings her deep love of learning and sensitivity of different learning styles to her work with learners.

Jennifer-Cooper

Course Mentor: Jennifer Cooper

Jen’s life is centered around her young family, as well as enjoying all the activities that the sunny Okanagan has to offer. Her education and experience is in P.E, English and Social Studies. Jen’s competitive nature has lead her through many aspects of her life; she now finds herself competing in triathlons and is enjoying teaching her son and daughter to walk, run, bike, ski, and swim. She appreciates that every learner comes from a different place in their lives and believes they all deserve to succeed.

Janell-Sklapsky

Course Mentor: Janell Sklapsky

Janell has taught in both public and Waldorf schools and in addition to her role as a SelfDesign High mentor, is currently a substitute teacher on Vancouver Island. Janell is a lover of life, and looks for the positive and a lesson in everything. Though her interests are wide, Janell’s true passion lies in the humanities – both teaching and learning about people, places, and their stories. She is also a lover of literature and writing as well as being active outdoors dirt biking, skydiving, paddle boarding, running, and camping. Janell is grateful to be a mentor with SelfDesign High, and for the opportunity to learn alongside and support youth growing toward their unique potential.

maze

Planning 10

The Planning 10 course engages learners in a process of personal reflection about themselves and their lives. Areas of exploration that learners examine include: achieving and maintaining positive interpersonal relationships, personal health – as it relates to topics such as drugs, sleep, and sexuality, as well as organizing for your current and future education, career, and life goals. Usually learners most enjoy this course when your passions and interests guide how you choose to meet assignment criteria, with video, poetry, music, written responses and more often acceptable formats in expressing yourself.

Related Courses:

Sarah-Bresnahan

Course Mentor: Sarah Bresnahan

Sarah’s career has involved numerous projects in environmental experiential education. She has worked in the outdoor leadership field for many years guiding canoe and kayak trips, as well as exploring nature with youth of all ages. Sarah is an outdoor enthusiast and likes to stay active, whether its paddling, biking, climbing, skiing, sailing or running on the trails around Nelson. She enjoys teaching weekly yoga classes to balance out all of the activity. Sarah brings her deep love of learning and sensitivity of different learning styles to her work with learners.

Jennifer-Cooper

Course Mentor: Jennifer Cooper

Jen’s life is centered around her young family, as well as enjoying all the activities that the sunny Okanagan has to offer. Her education and experience is in P.E, English and Social Studies. Jen’s competitive nature has lead her through many aspects of her life; she now finds herself competing in triathlons and is enjoying teaching her son and daughter to walk, run, bike, ski, and swim. She appreciates that every learner comes from a different place in their lives and believes they all deserve to succeed.

Janell-Sklapsky

Course Mentor: Janell Sklapsky

Janell has taught in both public and Waldorf schools and in addition to her role as a SelfDesign High mentor, is currently a substitute teacher on Vancouver Island. Janell is a lover of life, and looks for the positive and a lesson in everything. Though her interests are wide, Janell’s true passion lies in the humanities – both teaching and learning about people, places, and their stories. She is also a lover of literature and writing as well as being active outdoors dirt biking, skydiving, paddle boarding, running, and camping. Janell is grateful to be a mentor with SelfDesign High, and for the opportunity to learn alongside and support youth growing toward their unique potential.

Course Mentor: Shelly Dale

Nusri-Hassam

Course Mentor: Nusri Hassam

Nusri has been an educator for 20+ years, having worked at the Vancouver School Board, various other alternative schools, and SelfDesign Learning Community since 2007. Nusri has supported both learning assistance students as well as gifted learners. Nusri’s passions include travelling, singing, reading, the outdoors, ping pong, humour, cooking, working smart not hard, learning efficiently, and more. She encourages creativity and supports teens with their interests and passions.

Science 10

Science 10

Science surrounds us. It touches all aspects of our daily lives and we are constantly making science-based decisions when we choose what to eat, consider how ‘green’ our products are (products created with the environment in mind), or forecast the weather. Science is happening everywhere and all the time! Science 10 offers an introduction to life sciences, chemistry, physics, and earth sciences. Our exploration of life sciences begins with ecosystems and ecology and is followed with a study of evolution, population dynamics, and how ecosystems can be impacted by external influences. The chemistry component of the course looks at the building blocks of all things on earth, atoms, and provides an introduction to elements, compounds, chemical reactions and radioactivity. The physics section explores how things move and covers concepts including velocity, speed, and acceleration. Finally the course’s earth science component explores plate tectonics, the interior earth, as well as how energy is transferred around our planet and how our climate is affected by natural phenomena and human activity.

Note: This course contains a SD Exam and a Ministry Final Exam.

Related Courses:

Sarah-Bresnahan

Course Mentor: Sarah Bresnahan

Sarah’s career has involved numerous projects in environmental experiential education. She has worked in the outdoor leadership field for many years guiding canoe and kayak trips, as well as exploring nature with youth of all ages. Sarah is an outdoor enthusiast and likes to stay active, whether its paddling, biking, climbing, skiing, sailing or running on the trails around Nelson. She enjoys teaching weekly yoga classes to balance out all of the activity. Sarah brings her deep love of learning and sensitivity of different learning styles to her work with learners.

Course Mentor: Alison Roy

Course Mentor: Beth Heckkner

Course Mentor: Malcolm Coupe

SD-R-16_Home Page

SelfDesigning GM Digital Literacy 10

SelfDesigning GM 10 aims to help learners become self-aware, discerning and dynamic agents in their learning processes and encounters – both online and face-to-face. Learners develop strategic skills and core competencies in three significant areas:

  1. selfdesigning – developing skills needed to initiate, plan and design their approach to learning (adaptive learning planning)
  2. personal awareness, self-advocacy and self-assessment
  3. ethical questions and considerations in digital platforms

Learners will focus on their use of digital tools to build personal agency and communication skills and the attendant requirement to engage ethically while doing so. Learning how to discern and evaluate the wealth of data and information available to learners will support their planning and decisions regarding their learning goals and encounters in the world. It will also strengthen their skills as effective communicators while using various digital tools and platforms.

Guiding questions and adaptive learning planning will serve as a reflective home base in each learner’s inquiries and artifact generation for digital e-portfolios. E-portfolios  provide  support for individual explorations into what it means to be personally and ethically aware, engaged in a digital world, equipped and ready to lead and self-author their own lives. This course runs from Sept – June and is 4 credits.

 

Related Courses:

Social Studies 10: Canadian History

Social Studies 10: Canadian History

Social Studies 10 explores the formative years of Canada’s history including the personalities and events that led us from a confederate to the birth of an independent Canada. Characters, like the visionary Louis Riel to the intractable John A Macdonald, and artifacts like the Group of Seven paintings and the magical story of Paddle to the Sea will contribute our understanding of this earlier time. Learners will uncover the scandal, rebellion, visionaries, technological innovation, and the spirit of possibility that resulted in the independence of Canada against the wishes of our American neighbour and colonial interests. Through video, original-source historical materials, songs, creative film and storytelling, learners will follow the people and unfolding events that resulted in the birth of our country, with an eye to understanding who we are today.

Related Courses:

Mark-McGivern

Course Mentor: Mark McGivern

Bio coming soon!

Heather-Keczan

Course Mentor: Heather Keczan

Heather is excited to be working with Social Studies 10. She studied History and Human Rights at Carleton University in Ottawa, then on to the University of Toronto for teachers college, and now her learning journey has just brought her to Nelson! Heather and her partner enjoy a simple life where they love to dig in the garden, ride their bikes, eat good food, drink homemade Kombucha, and take care of their sweet two year old girl Willow.

Dan Spring

Course Mentor: Dan Spring

Dan worked for twenty years as a journalist, performing poet, and short-story writer. He earned a bachelor’s of education degree from UBC and a bachelor’s of English degree with a minor in history and an interest in philosophy from the University of Waterloo. Dan expresses his love of teaching as a natural outgrowth of his love for people and learning. “I want learners to know that I am here for them whether they want to talk about course material or about their lives. I believe that our natural, happy state is one where we are learning about things we feel passionate about. Ideally, learning is an adventure into the landscape of knowledge that surrounds us everywhere.”

Spanish

Spanish 10

¡Bienvenidos! Welcome to Beginner Spanish (Spanish 10)! This course introduces the basics of the Spanish language: pronunciation, conversation, grammar, vocabulary, reading and writing. Learners will also explore cultural aspects of the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America and Spain to give context in which to appreciate the culture’s vibrance. Learners engage in a variety of multimedia learning activities while communicating regularly with the course mentor for support along the way.

Related Courses:

Miguel Rodrigues

Course Mentor: Miguel Rodriguez

Born in Madrid, Spain, Miguel found that his passion for studying went beyond what conventional academic settings could offer. He unknowingly started on a path of independent scholarship that pushed him towards the main fields of the humanities: religion, philosophy, literature, theology, political theory, history, law. He has written many books (in Spanish), two of which have been published: on the relationship between poetry and philosophy, and on the history of Buddhist philosophy. He has translated two books of political theory into English (with the University Press of America), and plans to soon self-publish his poetry in ten small volumes.

Visual Arts 10 - Intro to Mixed Media

Visual Arts 10: Drawing & Painting

The fascination of leaving a footprint in the snow. A stick repurposed as a mark making tool in the sand. Our breath leaving our mouths on a cold day.

Human beings have been enthralled, from a very young age and since the beginning of time, with our ability to leave a mark, however permanent or temporary. With a childlike mind, learners will playfully embark on a journey of exploration and discovery by revisiting familiar art materials with fresh eyes and expanding their experiences of mark making by branching into new mediums.

As learners explore, they also take a look at what has come before them, examining and touching into the marks left by others through an introduction to western art history.

We look forward to witnessing each learner’s unique mark.

Related Courses:

Sheila-Harrington

Course Mentor: Sheila Harrington

Sheila has degrees in both Fine Arts and Education. She has taught junior and senior high school students English, Art, and Theatre. She has also worked as a set designer and props person professionally on several films and theatre productions. She has edited and written several books including (The Islands in the Salish Sea, and Giving the Land a Voice). Her real love is communicating about the importance of nature and helping young people effectively communicate their dreams, wishes, ideas and artistic visions.

Anita-Leveque

Course Mentor: Anita Levesque

Anita earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Drawing from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2001. Her love for learning and education led her to Halifax where she studied towards her education degree with a focus in visual arts education. Anita has enjoyed her role with SelfDesign High since its earliest days. She has gleefully watched the high school offerings blossom within SelfDesign’s diverse and dynamic educational community. Anita feels a sense of pride and deep gratitude to be a part of SelfDesign’s growing community and to have found yet another home along the journey of life. Anita lives with her husband, two year old, and two cats in Nelson with no plans to move anytime soon!

Amber-Santos

Course Mentor: Amber Santos

Amber Santos is an educator and artist who loves to dance and paint on the streets. Her formal education includes studying photography at Concordia University and Fine Arts at Universidade Estadual de Santa Catarina in Brazil. However, she considers her greatest university to have been the communities of Recife, Brazil, together with street educators and youth, transforming it in a positive way through art and community media.

Course Description:
  • Format
abstract colorful rhombus pattern landscape background

Apprentice and Workplace Math 11

We could also call this course “The most useful math course you will ever take – in Grade 11!”

Units include algebra, graphing, surface area, volume and capacity, trigonometry, scale representations, financial services, and personal budgets. This course is designed to provide a rich understanding of practical math skills that will be of use in everyday life, as well as in skilled trades and the workplace. All concepts are explained clearly and completely through interactive videos accompanied by notes. Through online forums and live discussions online, mentors engage the learners in the materials in a way that supports their unique interests and learning styles.

Related Courses:

D'Arcy Ziprick

Course Mentor: D’Arcy Ziprick

D’Arcy earned his Bachelors of Engineering at the University of Manitoba. He has been a physics, chemistry and math teacher at high school level since 2001. D’Arcy focuses his teaching on conceptual understanding of the material for a lifelong understanding. He was a professional engineer for 11 years prior to becoming a teacher and has extensive one-on-one tutoring experience at the university level.

Travis-Webber

Course Mentor: Travis Webber

Travis graduated from Vancouver Island University with Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Arts degrees. Travis knows what it is like to struggle to find one’s place in the world. He is deeply grateful for the assistance he received from teachers and youth workers throughout his life, and attributes where is is today to this loving support. Consequently, Travis feels that it is his calling to help children and teens develop their skills so that they may contribute to the world with a positive attitude and a strong toolbox that will help them prosper into adulthood. “Every day is special because I have been given the gift of helping young people move forward with their lives. Best job ever? I think so.”

Rebecca-Kay

Course Mentor: Rebecca (Becky) Kay

Trained as a Math teacher in England, Becky taught in London before she moved back to Canada in 2008 to put down roots on Vancouver Island. Since then, she has been teaching in the Nanaimo/Ladysmith school district. Though originally from Alberta, Becky has always been drawn to the ocean and the outdoor lifestyle of the west coast. As part of that lifestyle, she and her family spend as much time as possible in the great outdoors. If they are not camping and hiking, then they can be found tending their giant veggie patch. Having a young family has given Becky the opportunity to see the world through her children’s eyes and has shown her that every experience in life is an occasion to learn and to have fun!

Small green seedling growing from soil

Biology 11

“Life on earth is such a good story you cannot afford to miss the beginning… Beneath our superficial differences we are all of us walking communities of bacteria. The world shimmers, a pointillist landscape made of tiny living beings.”
Lynn Margulis

Biology 11 is all about earth’s magnificent life forms and the abundance of living organisms within our biosphere. This course explores three main themes: unity and diversity, evolutionary relationships, and ecological relationships. Learners create visual representations of the organization of life, research plant and animal life, learn more about organisms that are of special interest to the learner, and explore how diversity, evolution, and ecology are interrelated.

Learners also chart the five kingdoms – familiarizing themselves with the most commonly known animal and plant classification system, preparing them for Biology 12. The topics within this course include: Adaptation and Evolution, Microbiology, Fungi and Plantae, and Kingdom Anamalia.There is no final exam for this course and course grades are based on lessons, assignments, exercises, labs, and quizzes completed throughout the duration of the course.

Related Courses:

Sarah-Bresnahan

Course Mentor: Sarah Bresnahan

Sarah’s career has involved numerous projects in environmental experiential education. She has worked in the outdoor leadership field for many years guiding canoe and kayak trips, as well as exploring nature with youth of all ages. Sarah is an outdoor enthusiast and likes to stay active, whether its paddling, biking, climbing, skiing, sailing or running on the trails around Nelson. She enjoys teaching weekly yoga classes to balance out all of the activity. Sarah brings her deep love of learning and sensitivity of different learning styles to her work with learners.

Course Mentor: Lisa Walwork

Diversity of Chemical Elements

Chemistry 11

Looking at the world from a chemistry perspective is a unique and fascinating journey. Everything around us is made up of chemistry and many of the changes that we observe in the world are caused by chemical reactions. This course will explore the physical properties and physical changes of substances, chemical reactions, atoms, the periodic table and more! Learners will perform an experiment in their own kitchen and present their findings through audio, text, and video. This course combines experiential and conceptual methods of exploring chemistry with diverse evaluation techniques to engage learners with varied learning styles. Mentors are available for support through a variety of means.

Related Courses:

Megan-Allen

Course Mentor: Megan Allen

Megan spoke French as a child, but after moving to Victoria she had forgotten what she had learned. A cultural exchange to Quebec and Africa as a teenager, revitalized her love of French and expanded her knowledge of both French and Arabic. Megan has since studied Arabic culture at the University of Montreal and travelled to Paris for a month for work as an engineer. Now with over 20 years speaking French, Megan is passionate about the rich, bold French culture that is found all over the world.

Choose A Course

Click “Choose a course” above to select a course from the drop down menu and to view the course description, course mentor bios and related courses.

Additionally, learners have three choices – IDesign, Independent Studies, and Personal Project – with increasing options for personalized learning and self-authorship of their studies. This table provides an overview of these choices.

Register for Courses
Already know which courses you’re interested in? Register here!

Learn year-round, at your own pace
To get the most out of your learning you can slow down, leap ahead, start any time, and take as long as you need. While our September to June schedule ensures the best integration with provincial education, summer courses are also available for learning 12 months a year. We have found that learners who complete a course within three to four months are typically those most satisfied with their experience.

Related Courses:

Earth Sciences 11

Earth Sciences 11

“The stars, earth, stones, life of all kinds, form a whole in relation to each other and so close is this relationship that we cannot understand a stone without some understanding of the great sun. No matter what we touch an atom or a cell, we cannot explain it without knowledge of the universe.“
Maria Montessori, To Educate the Human Potential

SelfDesign’s Earth Science 11 covers five topics: Origins of the Earth, Lithosphere, Atmosphere, Hydrosphere, and Biosphere. The majestic and awe-inspiring processes of the earth are explored, revealed, reflected upon, and debated. The study of Gaia and the Gaia Hypothesis are woven within the course materials to show how each topic relates to the wellbeing of the greatest living, interdependent and interactive unit known, our entire Earth.

Related Courses:

Course Mentor: Patricia Collins

ENGLISH 11

English 11

Every human being must face the questions of identity and destiny. Who are we, and what is the meaning in our life? Why are we here? Is there a purpose to our lives? These are all questions that come from humankind’s search for meaning in life. These themes are explored in a variety of literary genres, including poetry, novels, short stories/speeches, and film, ranging from classical literature to modern forms of poetry such as spoken word. Literary devices are examined, and learners are invited to explore the existence of bias, determine its effect, and contrast this with a more objective presentation of opinion. The personal voice is explored through the narrative genres of biography and memoir, including the creation of the learner’s own personal narrative.

Related Courses:

Sheila-Harrington

Course Mentor: Sheila Harrington

Sheila has degrees in both Fine Arts and Education. She has taught junior and senior high school students English, Art, and Theatre. She has also worked as a set designer and props person professionally on several films and theatre productions. She has edited and written several books including (The Islands in the Salish Sea, and Giving the Land a Voice). Her real love is communicating about the importance of nature and helping young people effectively communicate their dreams, wishes, ideas and artistic visions.

Jennifer-Cooper

Course Mentor: Jennifer Cooper

Jen’s life is centered around her young family, as well as enjoying all the activities that the sunny Okanagan has to offer. Her education and experience is in P.E, English and Social Studies. Jen’s competitive nature has lead her through many aspects of her life; she now finds herself competing in triathlons and is enjoying teaching her son and daughter to walk, run, bike, ski, and swim. She appreciates that every learner comes from a different place in their lives and believes they all deserve to succeed.

Janell-Sklapsky

Course Mentor: Janell Sklapsky

Janell has taught in both public and Waldorf schools and in addition to her role as a SelfDesign High mentor, is currently a substitute teacher on Vancouver Island. Janell is a lover of life, and looks for the positive and a lesson in everything. Though her interests are wide, Janell’s true passion lies in the humanities – both teaching and learning about people, places, and their stories. She is also a lover of literature and writing as well as being active outdoors dirt biking, skydiving, paddle boarding, running, and camping. Janell is grateful to be a mentor with SelfDesign High, and for the opportunity to learn alongside and support youth growing toward their unique potential.

John Lydon

Course Mentor: John Lydon

John earned his B.A. in English Literature and Psychology at the University of Victoria, and has diplomas in TOEFL, Adult and Continuing Education. Currently he is completing his Masters of Arts in Learning and Technology at Royal Roads University. With 15 years of experience teaching English as a second language John brings a wealth of knowledge and skills in helping international learners succeed. Having studied both French in Quebec, where he lived for two years, and Spanish in Mexico and Guatemala, where he worked on social justice issues for ten years, John understands the challenges involved studying and living in another culture. Focused on a deep engagement with learning, John strives to build a supportive environment that engages individual learners. As an avid cook, he also loves to try recipes from his learners’ cultures!

“I like to be useful to learners, to help nurture their individual growth, to make manifest the wonder of learning”

rulers-1195369-m

Foundations of Math 11

This course is for learners who are interested in incorporating some math into their learning journey, but not necessarily in the context of science and engineering. In this course, learners explore measurement through investigating rates, scale diagrams, and scale factors of areas and volumes. The next section dives into geometry, where learners are invited to investigate the properties of lines and triangles, including the sine and cosine laws, and using those properties to solve problems. Then learners move into logical reasoning using inductive and deductive reasoning to solve puzzles and games. The next course adventure is statistics, where learners investigate statistical data and the various ways it can be interpreted. Finally, learners discover the mysteries of relations and functions, learning how to solve problems using systems of linear inequalities, and investigate quadratic functions. Learners express their learning through assignments, exercises, quizzes, and a research project on a current event or an area of interest that involves mathematics.

Related Courses:

Course Mentor: Patricia Collins

Rebecca-Kay

Course Mentor: Rebecca (Becky) Kay

Trained as a Math teacher in England, Becky taught in London before she moved back to Canada in 2008 to put down roots on Vancouver Island. Since then, she has been teaching in the Nanaimo/Ladysmith school district. Though originally from Alberta, Becky has always been drawn to the ocean and the outdoor lifestyle of the west coast. As part of that lifestyle, she and her family spend as much time as possible in the great outdoors. If they are not camping and hiking, then they can be found tending their giant veggie patch. Having a young family has given Becky the opportunity to see the world through her children’s eyes and has shown her that every experience in life is an occasion to learn and to have fun!

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 8.58.10 AM

French 11

Bienvenue! This course has been created to strengthen a learner’s ability to communicate in French using materials that interest them. Learners will read, write, and practice speaking French to develop a more fluid level of understanding and communicating. Duolingo, an interactive language program, has been incorporated to provide engaging opportunities to practice reading, writing, listening to and speaking French.

Learning languages is a mind-body-soul exploration that enables learners to look outside their culture, experiences, and lives to incorporate new influences and meaning into everyday life. We will provide countless opportunities to do this as we enhance our language skills throughout the course.

Allons-y!

Prerequisites: French 10

Related Courses:

Megan-Allen

Course Mentor: Megan Allen

Megan spoke French as a child, but after moving to Victoria she had forgotten what she had learned. A cultural exchange to Quebec and Africa as a teenager, revitalized her love of French and expanded her knowledge of both French and Arabic. Megan has since studied Arabic culture at the University of Montreal and travelled to Paris for a month for work as an engineer. Now with over 20 years speaking French, Megan is passionate about the rich, bold French culture that is found all over the world.

Peace Studies

Peace Studies 11

This course challenges learners to take a deep look at what peace is and at the underlying roots of violence, conflict, and war. Learners explore the interrelatedness of human rights, justice and peace, critically examine the concept of nonviolence, and determine steps they can take to contribute to creating a culture of peace and nonviolence in their hearts, communities, and world. Learners engage with a variety of resources and show their learning through writing, engaging in discussion, and creating art and presentations.

Related Courses:

Alison Talbot Kelly

Course Mentor: Alison Talbot Kelly

Alison came to Nelson from Montreal where she was a teacher at college level for 8 years in the Humanities, Philosophy and Religion departments. She has degrees in Philosophy (McGill) and Religious Studies and a Master’s in Anthropology/Religious Studies (McMaster). Along with sporadic engagements teaching at Selkirk College Alison has been involved with SelfDesign High developing curriculum and administration. The questions lurking behind much of what interests Alison are “What do we need to know?” and “What influences how we know?”

John Lydon

Course Mentor: John Lydon

John earned his B.A. in English Literature and Psychology at the University of Victoria, and has diplomas in TOEFL, Adult and Continuing Education. Currently he is completing his Masters of Arts in Learning and Technology at Royal Roads University. With 15 years of experience teaching English as a second language John brings a wealth of knowledge and skills in helping international learners succeed. Having studied both French in Quebec, where he lived for two years, and Spanish in Mexico and Guatemala, where he worked on social justice issues for ten years, John understands the challenges involved studying and living in another culture. Focused on a deep engagement with learning, John strives to build a supportive environment that engages individual learners. As an avid cook, he also loves to try recipes from his learners’ cultures!

“I like to be useful to learners, to help nurture their individual growth, to make manifest the wonder of learning”

Physical Education

Physical Education 11

Begin or continue to develop a holistic awareness and understanding of a balanced lifestyle! Through involvement in experiential and adventure educational experiences, learners discover what type of activity is a fit for their personal wellness approach and interests. Assignments include trying out new physical activities and observing and reporting on their experience. Through research and personal reflection, learners also discover various components of stress in our 21st century Western lifestyles and experience how physical activity and play can be a therapeutic response to support human development.

Related Courses:

Vanessa-Kuran

Course Mentor: Vanessa Kuran

Vanessa is a trained Physical Education teacher and has been teaching PE for the past 10 years at the Nelson Waldorf School. Her love for the outdoors and active living are a good fit for her life in Nelson. Together with her partner, daughter, and 2 big dogs, Vanessa can be found swimming or paddling in the lake, hiking the local mountains, building or renovating her house, riding her bike, running and skiing the trails close to her house, or reading a good book. Vanessa feels that each and every experience we encounter, whether it is a person, a fear, a new situation, is a deep and rich opportunity for learning.

Course Mentor: Lisa Walwork

Sarah-Bresnahan

Course Mentor: Sarah Bresnahan

Sarah’s career has involved numerous projects in environmental experiential education. She has worked in the outdoor leadership field for many years guiding canoe and kayak trips, as well as exploring nature with youth of all ages. Sarah is an outdoor enthusiast and likes to stay active, whether its paddling, biking, climbing, skiing, sailing or running on the trails around Nelson. She enjoys teaching weekly yoga classes to balance out all of the activity. Sarah brings her deep love of learning and sensitivity of different learning styles to her work with learners.

Physics 10,11,12

Physics 11

Physics 11 may not explain why the chicken crossed the road, but it will explain why the apple fell from the tree. This course adds a scientific point of view to many everyday occurrences. Learners use their motion knowledge from Science 10 as a basis for many of the units including kinematics, work, and energy. They also expand on their knowledge from Grade 8 science to explain how light acts with mirrors, lenses, and in changing mediums. This course challenges learners to find out what E=mc^2 actually means, and determine if the chicken was crossing the road, or if the road was moving under the chicken. For this course, learners need to use their strong math skills to guide them to the right formulas. Each chapter consists of a written assignment, a test, and a reflective journal entry.

Related Courses:

D'Arcy Ziprick

Course Mentor: D’Arcy Ziprick

D’Arcy earned his Bachelors of Engineering at the University of Manitoba. He has been a physics, chemistry and math teacher at high school level since 2001. D’Arcy focuses his teaching on conceptual understanding of the material for a lifelong understanding. He was a professional engineer for 11 years prior to becoming a teacher and has extensive one-on-one tutoring experience at the university level.

Course Mentor:

Pre-Calculus Math 11

Pre-Calculus 11

Pre-Calculus 11 prepares learners for the world of calculus. Learners will build on skills from Math 10 and further explore: quadratic functions, equations, trigonometry, rational and radical numbers, and arithmetic and geometric sequences and series. Why is calculus important, you ask? Calculus has a multitude of real-life applications. Included among the disciplines that use calculus are physics, engineering, economics, statistics, and medicine with physical concepts such as heat, light, electricity, and motion all informed by the concepts underpinning calculus.

Related Courses:

Course Mentor:

Psychology 11

Psychology 11 (New Course)

“The pendulum of the mind oscillates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong.” C.G. Jung

The word ‘psychology’ is composed of two Greek words, psyche, which roughly means ‘mind’, and logos, a multilayered and polysemous word which we could translate even more roughly as ‘knowledge’. Thus psychology means ‘knowledge of the mind’.

Learners in this course will explore how psychology can reveal the motivations behind human behavior, a subject which is of particular interest for many people today. Learners will get a chance to see some of the things that can cause people to act and react in the ways that we do. This course explores the emergence of psychology as a new modern subject and how this subject has grown to become an everyday part of our lives and ways of seeing ourselves.

Related Courses:

Miguel Rodrigues

Course Mentor: Miguel Rodriguez

Born in Madrid, Spain, Miguel found that his passion for studying went beyond what conventional academic settings could offer. He unknowingly started on a path of independent scholarship that pushed him towards the main fields of the humanities: religion, philosophy, literature, theology, political theory, history, law. He has written many books (in Spanish), two of which have been published: on the relationship between poetry and philosophy, and on the history of Buddhist philosophy. He has translated two books of political theory into English (with the University Press of America), and plans to soon self-publish his poetry in ten small volumes.

SD-R-16_Home Page

SelfDesigning GM Community Building 11

In this course learners will deepen their selfdesigning skill building and digital explorations from SelfDesigning GM 10; the aim will be to deepen interpersonal skills and move into the realm of the varied components of leadership and the value of learning to work with others in co-inspiration. Learners will consider what traits and skills are the foundation of behind a good leader in general and explore personally what they recognize in themselves and if/where they seek more development. Time will be spent examining the elements of collaborative work and service learning. The SelfDesigning GM 11 course will culminate with learners applying their explorations and skills to a project: they will design the scaffolding for a social action initiative, in collaboration with others where possible. Guiding questions and adaptive learning planning will shape and support all explorations and activities.

Related Courses:

Social Studies 11

Social Studies 11

Social Studies 11 tracks Canada’s journey from it’s early days as a nation onto the world stage. Early in our history, Canada had been considered just one dominion in the British Empire; however, the First and Second World Wars and the Great Depression were pivotal in shaping Canada as an independent nation with respected status in the international community. Learners will look at the international relations of the world wars including: the players, dynamics, and repercussions, along with the domestic realities facing Canadians on the home front. The post-war period is one of enormous change in the world, and we will observe how Canada has joined in the challenges posed by the Cold War, peacekeeping, and global issues like climate change and poverty.

Learners engage with Social Studies 11 through extensive use of opinion forums, historical film footage, as well as reflective and evaluative questions. The larger events of the 20th century are examined through the lens of Canadian citizens who struggle to uphold a set of home-made values in a world often not receptive to them.

Note: This course contains a SD Exam and a Ministry Final Exam.

Related Courses:

Mark-McGivern

Course Mentor: Mark McGivern

Bio coming soon!

Janell-Sklapsky

Course Mentor: Janell Sklapsky

Janell has taught in both public and Waldorf schools and in addition to her role as a SelfDesign High mentor, is currently a substitute teacher on Vancouver Island. Janell is a lover of life, and looks for the positive and a lesson in everything. Though her interests are wide, Janell’s true passion lies in the humanities – both teaching and learning about people, places, and their stories. She is also a lover of literature and writing as well as being active outdoors dirt biking, skydiving, paddle boarding, running, and camping. Janell is grateful to be a mentor with SelfDesign High, and for the opportunity to learn alongside and support youth growing toward their unique potential.

Spanish

Spanish 11

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Intermediate Spanish (Spanish 11)! This course will review the basics of the Spanish language and introduce new and more elaborate sentence structure and tenses. Learners will engage in a variety of multimedia learning activities to build on their Spanish pronunciation, conversation, grammar, vocabulary, reading, and writing skills. Learners are also invited to deepen their exploration of Latin American and Spanish culture and appreciate its richness, diversity, and vibrance. During this course, learners will engage in a variety of multimedia learning activities while communicating regularly with the course mentor.

Related Courses:

Miguel Rodrigues

Course Mentor: Miguel Rodriguez

Born in Madrid, Spain, Miguel found that his passion for studying went beyond what conventional academic settings could offer. He unknowingly started on a path of independent scholarship that pushed him towards the main fields of the humanities: religion, philosophy, literature, theology, political theory, history, law. He has written many books (in Spanish), two of which have been published: on the relationship between poetry and philosophy, and on the history of Buddhist philosophy. He has translated two books of political theory into English (with the University Press of America), and plans to soon self-publish his poetry in ten small volumes.

Studio Arts 11: Street Art

Since ancient times, humans have written on walls to express themselves, chronicle their lives, and tell stories.
What is the difference between seeing art in a gallery or experiencing it in the streets?
What is it like to come across a piece of street art? Is graffiti art? Is tagging art?
Why do artists choose to paint on the streets?
This course explores these questions amongst others, inviting discussion and exploration of diverse styles of visual arts that come alive on the streets. Explore and experiment with techniques including graffiti, murals, wheatpasting, and more. Discover the history, cultures, ideologies, and intentions behind artwork in the streets, while developing your personal skills and style and participating in our online forum. This course gives you the opportunity to investigate the role art plays in communities and how it can build community. Bring your curiosity and creativity to this course!

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Course Description:
  • Format

Art Foundation 12: Built Landscapes

Coming Winter 2016

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Totem pole against blue sky in Vancouver, Canada

BC First Nations Studies 12

This course explores several key themes relating to the history and experiences of the BC First Nations peoples. Learners will examine the impact of contact, religion, and colonialism on the social structures, economies, and education of BC First Nations. Learners will investigate the resistance of First Nations peoples to colonialism and land encroachment, and consider the First Nations concept of land stewardship and how it is embedded in cultural traditions and practices. Where possible, learners will connect with First Nations peoples and interview community members to learn about their historical developments and changes, and local realities. During the final phase of the course, learners will explore 20th century efforts made by First Nations to navigate the challenges they face in creative, resourceful, and proactive ways. This course addresses a very important part of BC history and provides a conceptual foundation for all learners to develop an appreciation and respect for the similarities among, and differences between, the diverse cultures of our world.

Note: This course contains a SD Exam as well as a Ministry Final Exam.

Related Courses:

Alison Talbot Kelly

Course Mentor: Alison Talbot Kelly

Alison came to Nelson from Montreal where she was a teacher at college level for 8 years in the Humanities, Philosophy and Religion departments. She has degrees in Philosophy (McGill) and Religious Studies and a Master’s in Anthropology/Religious Studies (McMaster). Along with sporadic engagements teaching at Selkirk College Alison has been involved with SelfDesign High developing curriculum and administration. The questions lurking behind much of what interests Alison are “What do we need to know?” and “What influences how we know?”

biology

Biology 12

“You will enrich your life immeasurably if you approach it with a sense of wonder and discovery, and always challenge yourself to try new things.”
Nate Berkus

Why is blood in your veins blue? Where does food go after it reaches your stomach? What controls your reflex actions and where are hormones made? Biology has much to tell us about the human body. Every part of our being is affected by what we eat, the air we breath, and even the thoughts we choose. The science within Biology 12 can teach us to maintain health in our lives and to understand how our bodily systems work best.

Learners consider the inner workings of the human body through an exploration of its systems, their interrelationships, and how they create and support homeostasis. Genetic Theory and Cell Theory are also examined in this course. Learners complete 9 sections on the micro and macro human body systems, each with lessons, exercises, notes, assignments, and quizzes. The 9 sections include: Chemicals, Cells, Genes, Eating, Breathing, Blood and the Vascular System, The Urinary System, The Nervous System, and The Reproductive System. Learners create and explore with respect to human anatomy, physiology, and medicine.

Note: This course contains a SelfDesign end of course exam.

Related Courses:

Sarah-Bresnahan

Course Mentor: Sarah Bresnahan

Sarah’s career has involved numerous projects in environmental experiential education. She has worked in the outdoor leadership field for many years guiding canoe and kayak trips, as well as exploring nature with youth of all ages. Sarah is an outdoor enthusiast and likes to stay active, whether its paddling, biking, climbing, skiing, sailing or running on the trails around Nelson. She enjoys teaching weekly yoga classes to balance out all of the activity. Sarah brings her deep love of learning and sensitivity of different learning styles to her work with learners.

Course Mentor: Malcolm Coupe

Course Mentor: Patricia Collins

Megan-Allen

Course Mentor: Megan Allen

Megan spoke French as a child, but after moving to Victoria she had forgotten what she had learned. A cultural exchange to Quebec and Africa as a teenager, revitalized her love of French and expanded her knowledge of both French and Arabic. Megan has since studied Arabic culture at the University of Montreal and travelled to Paris for a month for work as an engineer. Now with over 20 years speaking French, Megan is passionate about the rich, bold French culture that is found all over the world.

Ink and Water

Calculus 12

The goal of this course is to provide learners with the mathematical understandings and critical-thinking skills identified for post-secondary studies that require the study of theoretical calculus, and for learners passionate about math. Continuing on from Principles 12 and Pre-Calc 12, this course builds a foundation in functions, graphs, and limits before moving on to cover derivatives, integrals, and their applications. Topics are explored through quizzes, exercises, and assignments, preparing the learner for the end of course exam which is worth 20% of the final grade.

Note: This course contains a SelfDesign end of course exam.

Related Courses:

Course Mentor: Dan Hyde

tetrahedron molecule structure glass white

Chemistry 12

Chemistry is all around us; it is used to cook delicious food, clean our clothes, prepare clean drinking water, and power our vehicles. This course elaborates on the basic chemistry topics explored in Chemistry 11 covering concepts such as: types of reactions, equilibria, solubility, acids, bases and salts, and electrochemistry. Learners will perform experiments in their kitchens and present their findings through audio, text, and video. This course combines experiential and conceptual methods of exploring chemistry with diverse evaluation techniques to engage learners with varied learning styles. Mentors are available for support through a variety of means. This course prepares learners for a future in sciences and university-level chemistry courses.

Note: This course contains a SelfDesign end of course exam.

Related Courses:

Megan-Allen

Course Mentor: Megan Allen

Megan spoke French as a child, but after moving to Victoria she had forgotten what she had learned. A cultural exchange to Quebec and Africa as a teenager, revitalized her love of French and expanded her knowledge of both French and Arabic. Megan has since studied Arabic culture at the University of Montreal and travelled to Paris for a month for work as an engineer. Now with over 20 years speaking French, Megan is passionate about the rich, bold French culture that is found all over the world.

Course Mentor: Lisa Walwork

Choose A Course

Click “Choose a course” above to select a course from the drop down menu and to view the course description, course mentor bios and related courses.

Additionally, learners have three choices – IDesign, Independent Studies, and Personal Project – with increasing options for personalized learning and self-authorship of their studies. This table provides an overview of these choices.

Register for Courses
Already know which courses you’re interested in? Register here!

Learn year-round, at your own pace
To get the most out of your learning you can slow down, leap ahead, start any time, and take as long as you need. While our September to June schedule ensures the best integration with provincial education, summer courses are also available for learning 12 months a year. We have found that learners who complete a course within three to four months are typically those most satisfied with their experience.

Related Courses:

pointing to complex mixture of social media and communication modes

Communications 12

Humans are communicating all the time. In this multifaceted and image-saturated world of social media, billboards, marketing strategies and new technologies, the modern world is packed with communications competing for our attention.

Questions arise: How do we decode all this and, how do we make our communications heard? What is effective and why and for which audience?

Understanding how we are influenced by this cluttered world of human communication will strengthen our capacities to respond to it – effectively. Understanding the values and agenda behind the use of and rapid changes in technology and what is being aggressively promoted to youth is vital and empowering. The goal of Communications 12 is for learners to explore how they can harness the variety of communication technologies surrounding us in ways to positively affect the unfolding human story. We want youth to feel empowered by these technologies and not overwhelmed or determined by them: this way learners can be powerful shapers of their world.

In this course learners will explore and develop the critical tools and confidence to deepen their understanding of our myriad communication options and when which ones serve which situations better.

Please note: This course will not be offered again until February 2016.

Related Courses:

John Lydon

Course Mentor: John Lydon

John earned his B.A. in English Literature and Psychology at the University of Victoria, and has diplomas in TOEFL, Adult and Continuing Education. Currently he is completing his Masters of Arts in Learning and Technology at Royal Roads University. With 15 years of experience teaching English as a second language John brings a wealth of knowledge and skills in helping international learners succeed. Having studied both French in Quebec, where he lived for two years, and Spanish in Mexico and Guatemala, where he worked on social justice issues for ten years, John understands the challenges involved studying and living in another culture. Focused on a deep engagement with learning, John strives to build a supportive environment that engages individual learners. As an avid cook, he also loves to try recipes from his learners’ cultures!

“I like to be useful to learners, to help nurture their individual growth, to make manifest the wonder of learning”

Alison Talbot Kelly

Course Mentor: Alison Talbot Kelly

Alison came to Nelson from Montreal where she was a teacher at college level for 8 years in the Humanities, Philosophy and Religion departments. She has degrees in Philosophy (McGill) and Religious Studies and a Master’s in Anthropology/Religious Studies (McMaster). Along with sporadic engagements teaching at Selkirk College Alison has been involved with SelfDesign High developing curriculum and administration. The questions lurking behind much of what interests Alison are “What do we need to know?” and “What influences how we know?”

Comparative Civilizations

Comparative Civilizations 12

What is a “civilization”? This inquiry will initiate the course and spark a discussion about the working definitions of the term, and the critiques and alternatives. Learners will then survey their friends and family to explore the meaning of “civilization” and share their findings through multi-media assignments. This course examines one particular encounter between two civilizations at different stages of their economic and technological development, namely the Spanish conquest of the Aztec and Incan empires in the Americas. Finally, learners will investigate the art, science, technology and politics of a few large civilizations (China, India, Rome) and their unique features, and learners will be invited to discuss and compare two other civilizations of their choice.

Related Courses:

Heather-Keczan

Course Mentor: Heather Keczan

Heather is excited to be working with Social Studies 10. She studied History and Human Rights at Carleton University in Ottawa, then on to the University of Toronto for teachers college, and now her learning journey has just brought her to Nelson! Heather and her partner enjoy a simple life where they love to dig in the garden, ride their bikes, eat good food, drink homemade Kombucha, and take care of their sweet two year old girl Willow.

English 12

English 12

English is used to communicate and interact with culture, environments, and each other. We read, view, respond, and speak into our world, each in our unique way. In this course, learners explore the full range of contexts and purposes for language. Learners will research, read, and write works of fiction and poetry, as well as observe interactions in and with their communities, and view a variety of media for contemplation and discussion. Through this course, learners are empowered to analyze the world and confidently express his/her voice, all the while, developing critical and analytical thinking and written response skills.

Note: This course contains a SD Exam and a Ministry Final Exam.

Related Courses:

Megan-Allen

Course Mentor: Megan Allen

Megan spoke French as a child, but after moving to Victoria she had forgotten what she had learned. A cultural exchange to Quebec and Africa as a teenager, revitalized her love of French and expanded her knowledge of both French and Arabic. Megan has since studied Arabic culture at the University of Montreal and travelled to Paris for a month for work as an engineer. Now with over 20 years speaking French, Megan is passionate about the rich, bold French culture that is found all over the world.

Jana-Russell-Lowen

Course Mentor: Jana Russell-Lowen

Despite having been raised on the prairies and traveling all over the world in her early teaching career, Jana feels most at home in the Kootenays. Inspiration surrounds her here in the form of mountains, lakes, trees, a vibrant community and the sounds of nature. Jana loves to hike, ski, camp and canoe, especially when it is with people she loves (such as her witty husband and ridiculously cute son). At least three or four good books are always scattered around her house just waiting for her to pick up and read. Her growing practice of yoga is impacting her ever-evolving theory of lifelong learning, and she believes each moment and every thought can be a teacher when we recognize ourselves in others and connect with our inner wisdom, joy, peace and love. She feels honoured to mentor learners and feels grateful for the opportunity to learn from them.

Alison Talbot Kelly

Course Mentor: Alison Talbot Kelly

Alison came to Nelson from Montreal where she was a teacher at college level for 8 years in the Humanities, Philosophy and Religion departments. She has degrees in Philosophy (McGill) and Religious Studies and a Master’s in Anthropology/Religious Studies (McMaster). Along with sporadic engagements teaching at Selkirk College Alison has been involved with SelfDesign High developing curriculum and administration. The questions lurking behind much of what interests Alison are “What do we need to know?” and “What influences how we know?”

John Lydon

Course Mentor: John Lydon

John earned his B.A. in English Literature and Psychology at the University of Victoria, and has diplomas in TOEFL, Adult and Continuing Education. Currently he is completing his Masters of Arts in Learning and Technology at Royal Roads University. With 15 years of experience teaching English as a second language John brings a wealth of knowledge and skills in helping international learners succeed. Having studied both French in Quebec, where he lived for two years, and Spanish in Mexico and Guatemala, where he worked on social justice issues for ten years, John understands the challenges involved studying and living in another culture. Focused on a deep engagement with learning, John strives to build a supportive environment that engages individual learners. As an avid cook, he also loves to try recipes from his learners’ cultures!

“I like to be useful to learners, to help nurture their individual growth, to make manifest the wonder of learning”

Sheila-Harrington

Course Mentor: Sheila Harrington

Sheila has degrees in both Fine Arts and Education. She has taught junior and senior high school students English, Art, and Theatre. She has also worked as a set designer and props person professionally on several films and theatre productions. She has edited and written several books including (The Islands in the Salish Sea, and Giving the Land a Voice). Her real love is communicating about the importance of nature and helping young people effectively communicate their dreams, wishes, ideas and artistic visions.

Janell-Sklapsky

Course Mentor: Janell Sklapsky

Janell has taught in both public and Waldorf schools and in addition to her role as a SelfDesign High mentor, is currently a substitute teacher on Vancouver Island. Janell is a lover of life, and looks for the positive and a lesson in everything. Though her interests are wide, Janell’s true passion lies in the humanities – both teaching and learning about people, places, and their stories. She is also a lover of literature and writing as well as being active outdoors dirt biking, skydiving, paddle boarding, running, and camping. Janell is grateful to be a mentor with SelfDesign High, and for the opportunity to learn alongside and support youth growing toward their unique potential.

Foundations of Math 12

Foundations of Math 12

This course is jam-packed full of math insights that are relevant to the real world. Learners are invited on a learning journey that travels from probability and ends up in relations and functions. Learners become financially savvy through their exploration of interest and loans, and this course will challenge your problem-solving skills, logic, and reasoning. This course is excellent for learners looking for relevant math and/or for learners looking for a practical grade 12 math option for their post secondary portfolio. There is no final exam in this course, instead learners are invited to show their learning through assignments, exercises, quizzes and a research project on a topic of their interest.

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Geography 12

Geography 12 covers a variety of topics to help learners better understand our big, beautiful Earth. Investigate complex topics such as the earth’s four spheres and their interactions, plate tectonics, volcanoes and earthquakes, gradational processes of weathering and erosion, climate, and earth’s major biomes/ecosystems. Learners will also analyze earth’s natural resources and their human-related uses, interpret geographic data, and gain an understanding of the concept of sustainability and its application in natural resource management.

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Dan Spring

Course Mentor: Dan Spring

Dan worked for twenty years as a journalist, performing poet, and short-story writer. He earned a bachelor’s of education degree from UBC and a bachelor’s of English degree with a minor in history and an interest in philosophy from the University of Waterloo. Dan expresses his love of teaching as a natural outgrowth of his love for people and learning. “I want learners to know that I am here for them whether they want to talk about course material or about their lives. I believe that our natural, happy state is one where we are learning about things we feel passionate about. Ideally, learning is an adventure into the landscape of knowledge that surrounds us everywhere.”

Graduation Transitions

Graduation Transitions

At this pivotal juncture in your life, as you stand on the cusp of adulthood, there is no better time to begin to ask yourself important questions, such as “Who am I?” While the answer may take longer than the duration of this course to reveal itself, there is value in opening up the doors through which answers may, in time, emerge. With this objective in mind, this course challenges learners to hold and explore two more intimately tied questions: “What am I here to do?” and “What do I need to know and/or do to discover this?” These questions are explored through looking at broad topics such as personal health, community connections, and career/life transitions. Assignments and projects dig deep, inviting learners to reflect on themselves by looking backward to see where they came from, exploring all that is happening for them in this pivotal point in their lives, and then to imagine what their future engagement in the world will look like. One assignment involves interviewing an elder to learn from their perspectives what education was like for them and what these elders see as necessary learning for youth today. Learning artifacts are created through writing, art, and multimedia projects.

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Diane-Walters

Course Mentor: Diane Walters

Diane Walters is a trained Waldorf teacher who holds a BC Independent Schools Certificate and a Masters Degree in Liberal Arts with a focus on adolescent participatory learning styles. She has had a lifelong interest of geology, ecology, geography, astronomy, agriculture, education and the practical arts. Diane’s 30 year relationship with stone and clay is one she plans to share with SelfDesign High learners and community members.

Graduation Transitions 12

At this pivotal juncture in your life, as you stand on the cusp of adulthood, there is no better time to begin to ask yourself important questions, such as “Who am I?” While the answer may take longer than the duration of this course to reveal itself, there is value in opening up the doors through which answers may, in time, emerge. With this objective in mind, this course challenges learners to hold and explore two more intimately tied questions: “What am I here to do?” and “What do I need to know and/or do to discover this?” These questions are explored through looking at broad topics such as personal health, community connections, and career/life transitions.

Assignments and projects dig deep, inviting learners to reflect on themselves by looking backward to see where they came from, exploring all that is happening for them in this pivotal point in their lives, and then to imagine what their future engagement in the world will look like. One assignment involves interviewing an elder to learn from their perspective what education was like for them and what these elders see as necessary learning for youth today. Learning artifacts are created through writing, art, and multimedia projects.

Related Courses:

Diane-Walters

Course Mentor: Diane Walters

Diane Walters is a trained Waldorf teacher who holds a BC Independent Schools Certificate and a Masters Degree in Liberal Arts with a focus on adolescent participatory learning styles. She has had a lifelong interest of geology, ecology, geography, astronomy, agriculture, education and the practical arts. Diane’s 30 year relationship with stone and clay is one she plans to share with SelfDesign High learners and community members.

Physical Education

Physical Education 12

This is a learner-centred course that invites each individual to examine the role of physical movement in their lives and how it relates to holistic health. In this senior level course, learners engage in leadership development (related to physical health and activity) within their community. The first assignment in this course invites learners to reflect on components of the human experience; physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional. The second assignment explores why humans need to move, inviting learners to share their learning with a multimedia project. The third assignment takes a look at fitness trends, such as yoga, pilates, or zumba and invites learners to create a recreational or fitness program for themselves or someone else. The fourth assignment guides learners to look inward and create a self portrait in any medium. The final assignment is an exploration of inspiration and the learner’s personal cache of resources, explored through collage. The course is concluded with an independent project on the importance and nature of play.

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Vanessa-Kuran

Course Mentor: Vanessa Kuran

Vanessa is a trained Physical Education teacher and has been teaching PE for the past 10 years at the Nelson Waldorf School. Her love for the outdoors and active living are a good fit for her life in Nelson. Together with her partner, daughter, and 2 big dogs, Vanessa can be found swimming or paddling in the lake, hiking the local mountains, building or renovating her house, riding her bike, running and skiing the trails close to her house, or reading a good book. Vanessa feels that each and every experience we encounter, whether it is a person, a fear, a new situation, is a deep and rich opportunity for learning.

Physics 10,11,12

Physics 12

Physics is the study of how the world works. For learners who have ever wondered why the sky is blue or how electricity can make a car move, these answers can be found in physics. In this course, learners investigate phenomenons such as how Earth orbits around the Sun or how an electron orbits around the nucleus of an atom. Learners discover why one feels heavier at the bottom of a roller coaster and weightless at the top, and learn why a car is able to go around a corner or come to a stop. This course takes learners on a journey to answer a lot of the “why” questions from the real world. For example, isn’t it amazing and complex to be able to stream a music video from the internet to phones? It’s all possible because of physics. Physics is the study of matter and energy, and of their interactions. Of all the natural sciences, physics encompasses the greatest range of topics, from the properties of subatomic particles to the movement of stars and planets. Some themes explored in this course are kinematics, uniform circular energy, impulse and momentum, electromagnetism and more. Learning is shown through quizzes, observation labs, and tests in preparation for a final course exam.

Note: This course contains a SelfDesign end of course exam.

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Kevin-McCormick

Course Mentor: Kevin McCormick

Kevin is currently a full time teacher on the Lower Mainland, teaching senior Math and Physics. He spends most of his free time with his two daughters; his eldest started grade one this year, so he is experiencing the other side of schooling as a parent. Kevin holds a masters degree in Education Technology, a graduate diploma in School-Based Technology, a Bachelor of Education in Secondary Math, and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. As you can imagine, Kevin really enjoys learning (not to be confused with schooling). Kevin believes that learning is a lifelong process, and that it does not have to happen in school. He has learned a great deal from the Discovery Channel, none of which he gets school credit for, but he feels richer for the knowledge.

D'Arcy Ziprick

Course Mentor: D’Arcy Ziprick

D’Arcy earned his Bachelors of Engineering at the University of Manitoba. He has been a physics, chemistry and math teacher at high school level since 2001. D’Arcy focuses his teaching on conceptual understanding of the material for a lifelong understanding. He was a professional engineer for 11 years prior to becoming a teacher and has extensive one-on-one tutoring experience at the university level.

Pre-Calculus Math 12

Pre-Calculus 12

Pre-Calculus 12 builds on the skills acquired in Pre-Calculus 11, and prepares learners for Calculus 12. In this course learners will explore trigonometry, relations and functions, permutations, combinations, the binomial theorem, and more. Calculus is relied upon regularly in disciplines ranging from physics, to engineering and economics, statistics and medicine. The concepts of calculus also underpin the physical concepts of motion, electricity, heat, light, harmonics, acoustics, astronomy, and dynamics. In the field of chemistry, calculus can be used to predict functions such as reaction rates and radioactive decay. Meanwhile, in biology, calculus is utilized to formulate rates such as birth and death rates, demonstrating the range of applications that benefit from an understanding of this domain.

Note: This course contains a SelfDesign end of course exam.

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Psychology 12

In this course learners will explore a few more of the essential elements in the discipline of psychology, along with features from the most relevant schools of thought in the field. Some of the significant topics covered include: psychoanalysis; humanistic psychotherapy and anti-psychiatry; developmental psychology; and transpersonal psychology. Learners will use a variety of skills to approach and understand the different theories and applications involved, from therapeutic to creative to experimental. Critical examination is strongly emphasized in each module, and each unit also includes reflection time (journaling).

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Miguel Rodrigues

Course Mentor: Miguel Rodriguez

Born in Madrid, Spain, Miguel found that his passion for studying went beyond what conventional academic settings could offer. He unknowingly started on a path of independent scholarship that pushed him towards the main fields of the humanities: religion, philosophy, literature, theology, political theory, history, law. He has written many books (in Spanish), two of which have been published: on the relationship between poetry and philosophy, and on the history of Buddhist philosophy. He has translated two books of political theory into English (with the University Press of America), and plans to soon self-publish his poetry in ten small volumes.

SD-R-16_Home Page

SelfDesigning GM Capstone Project 12

In this final SelfDesigning GM course, learners will bring their deepening self-awareness, agency and skill development to fruition in a personal project of their own design. They will identify a culminating global question they wish to explore through an interdisciplinary lens. The project questions might lead to anything from a research study to designing a digital social action to organizing a community project. Through co-inspirational conversation with their guiding mentor, designing their own assessment rubric and an ongoing Appreciative Inquiry approach, learners will shape their particular quest and then delineate the steps, resources, tools and communication plans they will need to bring it to expression. Learners will prepare a final presentation in the format of their choice which will link into their project template and live in their e-portfolio.

 

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World Philosophy

World Philosophy 12

Explore the ancient traditions and modern relevance of one of the oldest human activities, philosophy. Philosophy lives in and around us in the ideas and pursuits of thinkers and artists. In this course, learners are challenged to look closely at how diverse philosophical ideas are expressed and consider a variety of reflective questions about the nature of the human experience. Learners engage in a variety of assignments including reading, writing, and movie and literature reviews. This course incorporates Jostein Gaarder’s novel “Sophie’s World”, which provides a context for seeing the historical development of philosophy from ancient to medieval to modern times, and culminates in two reflections. First, learners research a person that developed a philosophy and put it to practice in the world. Finally, learners create a summation of their very own life philosophy in the context of imaging their “final hour.”

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Mark-McGivern

Course Mentor: Mark McGivern

Bio coming soon!

Miguel Rodrigues

Course Mentor: Miguel Rodriguez

Born in Madrid, Spain, Miguel found that his passion for studying went beyond what conventional academic settings could offer. He unknowingly started on a path of independent scholarship that pushed him towards the main fields of the humanities: religion, philosophy, literature, theology, political theory, history, law. He has written many books (in Spanish), two of which have been published: on the relationship between poetry and philosophy, and on the history of Buddhist philosophy. He has translated two books of political theory into English (with the University Press of America), and plans to soon self-publish his poetry in ten small volumes.

World Religions

World Religions 12

Religion continues to be a major force for both unity and division in the world. Why is this? What do religions respond to in the lives of their billions of adherents, and what, if anything, does religion provide to your life? Through this course learners will explore the extraordinary array of religious beliefs and practices from around the world which continue to inform, shape, and transform our human story. Hopefully, by introducing ourselves to some of these religious views and traditions, we can generate an understanding and respect for both their similarities and differences. In this course, learners are invited to reflect upon the diversity and richness of the human response to questions of meaning, relationships, fate, purpose, destiny, the unknown, and the unknowable.

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Alison Talbot Kelly

Course Mentor: Alison Talbot Kelly

Alison came to Nelson from Montreal where she was a teacher at college level for 8 years in the Humanities, Philosophy and Religion departments. She has degrees in Philosophy (McGill) and Religious Studies and a Master’s in Anthropology/Religious Studies (McMaster). Along with sporadic engagements teaching at Selkirk College Alison has been involved with SelfDesign High developing curriculum and administration. The questions lurking behind much of what interests Alison are “What do we need to know?” and “What influences how we know?”

John Lydon

Course Mentor: John Lydon

John earned his B.A. in English Literature and Psychology at the University of Victoria, and has diplomas in TOEFL, Adult and Continuing Education. Currently he is completing his Masters of Arts in Learning and Technology at Royal Roads University. With 15 years of experience teaching English as a second language John brings a wealth of knowledge and skills in helping international learners succeed. Having studied both French in Quebec, where he lived for two years, and Spanish in Mexico and Guatemala, where he worked on social justice issues for ten years, John understands the challenges involved studying and living in another culture. Focused on a deep engagement with learning, John strives to build a supportive environment that engages individual learners. As an avid cook, he also loves to try recipes from his learners’ cultures!

“I like to be useful to learners, to help nurture their individual growth, to make manifest the wonder of learning”

Miguel Rodrigues

Course Mentor: Miguel Rodriguez

Born in Madrid, Spain, Miguel found that his passion for studying went beyond what conventional academic settings could offer. He unknowingly started on a path of independent scholarship that pushed him towards the main fields of the humanities: religion, philosophy, literature, theology, political theory, history, law. He has written many books (in Spanish), two of which have been published: on the relationship between poetry and philosophy, and on the history of Buddhist philosophy. He has translated two books of political theory into English (with the University Press of America), and plans to soon self-publish his poetry in ten small volumes.

Writing 12: Journalism

This course opens with a fun look at fake news, who writes it and why. From there, the act of writing will be explored as a platform to explore what journalism is becoming. The course is designed with a great deal of flexibility, from multiple options for each assignment, to a final project which will allow you to explore the journalism of your choice, be that television, radio, Twitter, blogging, or another exciting, emerging platform. Multiple perspectives will also be considered. For example, how is it that journalism can be described as both a government institution and a revolution of the people? One thing is for sure, journalism isn’t dead, rather it’s evolving into something entirely different from what it was in the past.

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Dan Spring

Course Mentor: Dan Spring

Dan worked for twenty years as a journalist, performing poet, and short-story writer. He earned a bachelor’s of education degree from UBC and a bachelor’s of English degree with a minor in history and an interest in philosophy from the University of Waterloo. Dan expresses his love of teaching as a natural outgrowth of his love for people and learning. “I want learners to know that I am here for them whether they want to talk about course material or about their lives. I believe that our natural, happy state is one where we are learning about things we feel passionate about. Ideally, learning is an adventure into the landscape of knowledge that surrounds us everywhere.”

Course Description:
  • Format

Choose IDesign

Learners who are keen to pursue learning in a self-directed style may be interested in choosing from the list of broad, exploratory subjects (all elective courses) formatted as IDesign. IDesign courses provide an expansive survey of the subject with the enhanced flexibility of the course being more directed by the learner, while providing some structure to identify the learning materials and assessment processes. IDesign are 4 credit courses which cover all the learning outcomes identified for the course within the BC curriculum. Choose IDesign courses from this list of pre-approved electives.

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Course Description:
  • Format

Choose Independent Directed Studies (IDS)

Independent Study courses (IDS) give SelfDesign learners the greatest freedom and choice in personalizing their learning. With these courses, youth pursue their interests or follow their passion by identifying a topic to explore and (with the support of a SelfDesign educator) develop a learning plan that provides direction for the processes they will follow. Learners include a selection of one or more Approaches to Learning that they envision facilitating their engagement in the topic, and a celebration of their learning in a portfolio.

Self-initiated and designed by each learner, Independent Studies 10, 11 and 12 are available as two or four credit courses (comprising of 60 or 120 hours of documented learning respectively). Educational support, mentorship and ongoing co-assessment is provided throughout.

Youth may already have a tutor, teacher, or coach that they have been working with, who can continue their role in guiding the youth, alongside a SelfDesign mentor who will support the IDS learning plan and engage with the youth in their Independent Study assessment processes.

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Other ways to earn credits

Talk with us about applying for prior learning assessment to earn credits for learning you’re already doing or have completed.

Available to full time learners only, prior learning assessment has three categories:

  • BC Ministry of Education approved external credits, for example: Royal Academy of Music, Red Cross, PADI diving certificates, etc.
  • Equivalency: courses taken elsewhere
  • Course Challenge: learning you’ve done in your life activities that could qualify for high school credit

The BC Ministry of Education website provides guidelines of how to receive credit for courses of equivalency.

For more information, go to our Guidance & Support Centre or submit a support request. (Note: to access these you will need to be registered with SelfDesign and logged in).

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