Job Posting: Executive Director

Job Posting #: SD 0232016AD
Submit application by: September 30, 2016


Executive Director, Education Foundation

Organization: SelfDesign Learning Foundation
Position: Executive Director
Location: Virtual / Remote (ideally British Columbia)

Organizational Overview

SELFDESIGN LEARNING FOUNDATION (SDLF) is a long-standing non-profit society with the purpose of offering educational services and support consistent with the philosophy and praxis of SelfDesign, as well as to further research and develop such praxis.

SelfDesign Learning Foundation is the Board Authority for SelfDesign Learning Community (SDLC), an extensive distributed educational program delivered via the internet in British Columbia. SDLC is a Class 1 Independent School certified and funded by the British Columbia Ministry of Education. SDLC is among the largest online distributed learning schools and personalized education programs in British Columbia, Canada. SelfDesign currently contracts over 200 BC certified educators for its educational program and several hundred support providers for Special Education. Last year it served over 2500 learners between ages 5-19. The Foundation also supports a small educational program outside of BC and is currently exploring the development of related business initiatives.

The vision of SDLF is to empower educators, learners and families to create what matters to them in their lives, in a socially aware and responsible manner. To this end, SDLF empowers educators to use effective educational methods and supports all learners on an individual basis in the home and community.

Mission of the Executive Director (ED)

The Executive Director will provide the overall direction and strategy for the Foundation to meet its vision. This exciting and dynamic role also includes leadership of the development and coordination of all program areas in this rapidly growing organization.

SDLF is completing the first stage of a 3-5 year strategy plan. The ED will be expected to initially develop a deep knowledge of the organization, the community, the philosophical basis of its approach to education, its core programs and operations. Using the current strategic plan as a basis, the ED will be expected to work with the SelfDesign Foundation Leadership Team and with key stakeholders to chart and implement the next stage of the Foundation’s strategic development.

The ED is responsible and accountable to the Board for the success of the organization in fulfilling its mission.

Key Accountabilities


Key leadership and personal attributes

Our Culture:

SDLF and our educational programs are based on a philosophy of supporting learners to achieve autonomy by following their passions. We embrace the following attitudes and competencies in our SelfDesign culture:

We will be looking for the development of a deeper understanding of SelfDesign premises and approach, including our coherent learning model.  As a model for self-practice, the ED will align with and model SD philosophy and learning strategies.

For additional information see SelfDesign Learning Foundation.

To Apply

Please read SelfDesign Description: Conceptual Understandings and provide (with your resume) a summary of why your work and life experiences would qualify you for leading those engaged in this important work. Send both to (quote job number SD 0232016AD) by Sept 30, 2016.

Thank you for applying; only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Confidentiality is essential as we are an educational institution. The successful candidate must consent to a background check.

Personalized Learning: A Rapidly Rising Tide in Education

Students returning to schools across British Columbia in coming weeks may well experience new approaches to engage them more personally in learning than previously. The tack in this direction towards more personalized learning reflects the new education plan being implemented by the BC Ministry of Education.

This trend towards personalized learning – for which SelfDesign is an acknowledged leader – isn’t confined to BC, however, but marks a rapidly rising tide across North America, and other parts of the world, too.

The new direction reflects a convergence of insights from neurological science and psychology and trending breakthroughs in social media and technology.

Recently, neurological science has confirmed that each person, no matter their age, has a unique learning ‘ecosystem’, reflecting different experiences and genetics, and other factors. And psychology has confirmed that people are more enthused to learn when they have a personal interest in a subject or the learning approach matches their preferred inclinations and dispositions.

SelfDesign, which traces its origins to the mid-1980s and the Wondertree program begun by Brent Cameron,  has always shaped its program offerings around these insights, and helped thousands of children and youth experience learning breakthroughs they might never have otherwise enjoyed in conventional settings. Both Brent and myself also completed graduate-level degrees that confirmed the efficacy of supporting personalized approaches.

Elsewhere, other educators have also acknowledged the importance of personalizing learning, though implementing such approaches has proven very challenging in the face of conventional approaches in which learning achievement has been largely defined by standardized curriculum and testing.

Today, with the help of new technology options coupled with social media, there’s no denying the opportunities for all students to be supported in learning through a spectrum of personalized approaches.

The spectrum of personalized approaches includes both a ‘differentiated instruction’ model, which is oriented to helping students of differing backgrounds, competencies and dispositions reach teacher-defined curriculum goals, to a more self-directed model that supports goals based on student-declared learning interests.  

Both models may be seen in SelfDesign and offer learners more opportunities to design the what and how of their learning, to ‘dive deep’ into areas of learning interest, and also influence how their learning is assessed. In providing these opportunities learners also strengthen self-responsibility, something educational leaders across the board confirm as a vital goal of ‘21st century learning’.

With organizations like the Harvard University-supported Students At The Center creating infrastructure support for schools introducing personalized learning approaches, and the rise of global movements like ‘DIY’ and ‘Makers’ – both alive and well in SelfDesign – this new model of education has a promising future.

Written by Michael Maser, SelfDesign Learning Foundation and author of Learn Your Way! SelfDesigning the Life You Really Want

SelfDesign Description: Conceptual Understandings

Scroll through the SelfDesign Description below: