The new grade 10 learning at SelfDesign innovates the personalized learning landscape for high school in British Columbia, offering course-free theme-based interdisciplinary learning in a quarterly workshop format.
If you decide to enrol in SelfDesign, here are the first steps in the new grade 10 experience.
Each youth enrolled in grade 10 learning works one-on-one with a learning consultant – an educator to guide them through the SelfDesign experience and validate their learning for academic credit. All learning consultants are BC-certified educators and specialists in the SelfDesign approach. The learning consultant offers insights, resources, and support both to learners and their parents. To provide the best possible educator/family pairing, learners and their parents select several choices from a diverse pool of candidates, and SelfDesign completes the match.
With input and support from parents, youth work with learning consultants to create a personalized learning plan. This plan maps a youth’s interests and curiosities, specifying resources and activities that will be used to facilitate learning and meet BC educational requirements – including those needed to satisfy requirements for the BC Dogwood high school diploma.
Part of the new grade 10 learning at SelfDesign includes framing the learning year in theme-based quarters, developed from the most popular topics of interest surveyed from youth. From ‘Eco-agriculture’ to ‘What’s in a Story’ to ‘Life: Gamified’ to ‘STEM’ (science, technology, engineering, and math), theme-based sessions are structured so that learners can develop curricular competencies in interdisciplinary settings, providing the opportunity to focus on topics that inspire and enliven.
The learning consultant coaches the youth and parents in how to observe daily activities, assisting them in noticing learning as it unfolds in everyday moments. At SelfDesign, we call this Observing for Learning. Parents and youth collaborate with the learning consultant in the Observing for Learning process, and as youth mature they gradually take on more of the responsibility themselves – building a deepened awareness of their own integrated learning.
Weekly Observings for Learning are central to SelfDesign’s grade 10 learning. Each week learners submit a reflection to their educator about the learning observed – with the option to also include videos, images, or sound files. The learning consultant then provides a written response, including insights, recommendations, questions, and resources to clarify and deepen the reflection. The Observing for Learning reflections provide evidence of learning that is validated by the learning consultant for academic credit, and they create rich documentation for the youth and family about the breadth of learning that has occurred over the year.
This optional online course guides parents through weekly explorations about the fundamental ideas of SelfDesign. A SelfDesigning Path is highly recommended for parents new to SelfDesign. The online interface blends imagery, video, audio clips, and journaling that draws parents into self-reflection. There is also a facilitated, online conference that connects parents to one another and to a facilitator for the course.
In grade 10, parents often find themselves stepping back a little as they support their youth in building new learning relationships both with peers and with adult mentors. At SelfDesign, we support this emerging independence through encouragement for learners to form more direct relationships with their learning consultants, through learner participation online – and occasionally through in-person group learning experiences. Parents and learners alike are also invited to participate in the online “Village of Conversations”.
Learners in BC, a province with a rich Indigenous history and culture, experience potentially new ways of understanding the world and all its relations through a framework of Indigenous wisdom and philosophy, gaining insights into their own physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual lives and wellbeing.