Courses for educational alternatives

Education Alternatives

Self-Directed Learning course – Facilitated by Caprice Thorsen

$95 – 10 classes

Caprice leads innovation and project implementation for the SelfDesign Learning Foundation in British Columbia. Caprice is founder of Zonetropy, an entrepreneurship program for ages 14+ that helps young people gain economic literacy, entrepreneurship skills, and a network to fund self-employment, travel, or college. She is honored to be guiding her two daughters, ages 10 and 14, on their self-directed learning journey.

Caprice believes we can transform our world by designing education and work in a different way. Her work with companies and educational programs has emerged from the understanding that people, no matter their age or stage, need autonomy as they develop mastery by doing meaningful work.

Her experience in education includes co-founding a Sudbury school, creating a homeschool enrichment center, overseeing program innovation and implementation for SelfDesign, starting an international Parent Coaching program for SelfDesign, and winning federal start-up grants of $500,000 to start two charter schools in California.

Caprice has an MBA in finance from Carnegie Mellon University and a BA in Cultural Anthropology and International Relations from University of Virginia. She is certified as a Personal and Professional Coach by the Newfield Network. She is on the board of the SelfDesign Foundation that oversees the SelfDesign Graduate Institute.


In this course, Self Directed Learning we will examine and discuss many elements of the self-directed learning process, including: learners and relationships, expanding choices, honoring the rights of children, learning to learn, observing for learning and self-reflection, goal setting and tracking, viewing life and learning through a developmental lens, and the role of mentors and facilitators.

Learning is understood to be an inner process that is unique to each individual. Children are naturally curious, interested and enthusiastic learners. Why do they often dislike school and are bored and disruptive? When children can have the opportunity to direct and manage their own learning they are emotionally invested and engaged.

This course will use guiding questions and a curation of resources to explore why would we favor self-directed learning over other forms of learning.

Some of the guiding questions include:

  • What is worth learning?
  • How can a child’s choice of focus areas and/or projects be an expression of their life purpose?
  • Can we trust the child or are we fearful that they will miss something or won’t learn “the basics”
  • Is there a place for direct instruction in self-directed learning?

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