The relationship between a family and a learning consultant is one of the most important, impactful aspects of participation in the SelfDesign Learning Community. Each individual relationship is unique, adding to a family’s experience in different ways.

Each week a SelfDesign family creates a reflection on their observing for learning and shares it with their learning consultant through the SelfDesign Learning Platform. In return the learning consultant shares feedback and observations with the family.

Unlike a traditional “teacher”, the learning consultant does not provide traditional instruction or assessments like tests and quizzes. Instead, the learning consultant acts as a guide, mentor, and independent observer.


No matter what a family is experiencing, seeking, learning, doing, or wanting, their learning consultant is there offering resources and supports. Sometimes this comes in the form of “curricular” resources – recommendations for online subscriptions, courses, and tools for reading, writing, math, science, and more. Other times it may come with suggestions for topics of conversation, tools or toys, or experiences. With each interaction the learning consultant guides the family back to center – to see the learning as it happens, to remember their goals and values, and to rekindle their passions.


Our BC-certified educators are experienced in the SelfDesign Observing for Learning approach, understanding the value of the everyday, integrated experiences that shape lifelong learning. The learning consultant supports parents and learners to gain confidence in recognizing the validity of such learning. In this way the learning consultant seeks to mentor and advise rather than instruct – building the skills for families and learners to observe for their own learning.


One of the most important things families tell us they value in the SelfDesign experience is the perspective of an outside observer, as offered by the learning consultant. Using the weekly reflection of the parent or learner as the starting point for dialogue, the learning consultant reflects back what is seen from an observer viewpoint, widening the scope of consideration and possibility through commentary, encouragement, and ideas or resources for deepening the learning. Standing independently as an experienced educator, the learning consultant can also ‘translate’ activities and experiences into the learning standards and competencies recognized by the Ministry of Education, completing a circle that in SelfDesign always holds the learner at centre.

Each year, families new to SelfDesign go through the process of “educator matching”. Through this process educators and families alike craft profiles that highlight their preferences, values, and goals. Each family selects a handful of preferred learning consultants that they feel embody their learning needs and desires from among the many SelfDesign educators, and only when an educator feels they can truly serve a family’s passions, interests, desires, and goals, is a “match” made. Many of these partnerships last not just for a learning year, but for multiple years as the family grows and changes. The deepening, co-creative relationships between educator and family live at the centre of the SelfDesign model.

If you’re interested in developing a relationship with a SelfDesign educator for your family, click here to learn more about the SelfDesign Learning Community.