For the Love of Learning – The Many Facets of SelfDesign – Epi#42

For the Love of Learning Episode 42


Show Title:

For the Love of Learning Episode 42

The Many Facets of SelfDesign

Monday December 7, 2015  8:00 pm – 10:00 pm EST
Tuesday December 8, 2015 1:00 am – 3:00 am GMT

Special Guests:

Clarissa Tufts
River Meyer
David Marshak
Monica Cochran


“All children are born geniuses, but are swiftly de-geniused by their elder’s harsh or dull dismissal of the child’s intuitive sense of what could be relevant. Children spontaneously weigh all information from their immediate experience and try to relate it to other experiences of some time before. The incipient geniuses must somehow weather, year after year, the barrage of admonitions to ignore what they spontaneously think, instead of only paying attention to what others think and are trying to teach.”

~Buckminster Fuller

What is SelfDesign and how does it work?

SelfDesign is centered on the understanding that everyone has the capacity to author their own lives from a place of resourcefulness, creativity, and possibility. SelfDesign reverses the approach that traditional education takes. SelfDesign starts with the learner and focuses on what the learner wishes to learn rather than what the educator believes the student should learn. SelfDesign creates the foundation to support the learner in ways they learn most efficiently focusing on the “why” and “how” versus the content.

Bios of Tonight’s Guests:

Clarissa Tufts

Clarissa Tufts, MA in SelfDesign

ClarissaProgram Coordinator & Family Liaison, SelfDesign Learning Community
Since joining the SelfDesign community in 2006, Clarissa has worked as a Learning Consultant and program coordinator in the areas of teacher and program evaluation, professional development and family support services. She is inspired by and honoured to continue working with colleagues and home-learning families in the support of a natural unfolding of each child’s potential. Clarissa explores this concept daily with her husband and 9 year-old daughter.
Working one-on-one with ESL students in 2000 set Clarissa on the path of wanting to support children and youth as they explore their own unique learning journey. Since then, and after completing a teaching degree in 2003 from UBC, Clarissa has worked in a variety of educational settings both in British Columbia and in Zacatecas, Mexico. Experience teaching and assisting in various subject areas, age groups and methodological settings, and most recently completing her Masters of Arts in SelfDesign from the SelfDesign Graduate Institute in August, 2015, allows Clarissa to draw from eclectic experiences, mentors and resources in her work with families in SDLC.

River Meyer

River Meyer, M.A.
Executive Coordinator of Learning Relationships, Family & Learner Community Development, Vision of SelfDesign

RiverRiver has been a SelfDesign Learning Community educational consultant for contractors and families since 2004, with a current focus as coordinator of vision, learning relationships, family & community development for the SelfDesign Learning Foundation (BC). She co-authored the SelfDesign book with Brent Cameron, founder of SelfDesign, and she is the creator of A SelfDesigning Path (webcourse) and A Learning Journey for Parents of Children with Special Needs (webcourse). Presently she is a board member of the SelfDesign Foundation (US) and is on the faculty of the SelfDesign Graduate Institute. She brings forty years experience in family support services related to child development, special needs children and their families, abuse/neglect work, court advocacy and custody determinations for minors, therapeutic family work, and mediation.

River currently lives in Nelson, BC. She is the parent of Lia, a delightful 19-year-old who has graduated from SelfDesign and is currently designing her life from a place of passion and curiosity, as many selfdesigners do.

David Marshak

David Marshak
President, SelfDesign Graduate Institute

davidmarshakDavid Marshak is the founding president of the SelfDesign Graduate Institute. David helped to found an independent high school, taught in a public high school, developed curriculum for the Unitarian Universalist Association, and helped to lead a public school district in Vermont. He taught at Seattle University for 14 years and is an emeritus professor there. He is the author of many books and articles, including The Common Vision: Parenting and Educating for Wholeness and Evolutionary Parenting.

Monica Cochran

Monica Cochran M.Ed.

Director of SelfDesign Global Learning Programs & Learning Circles

MonicaMonica has served in many different roles since joining SelfDesign in 2007. Along with her work with SelfDesign Global, she is currently also a Special Ed Administrator for SelfDesign Learning Community and involved in a few pilot projects. She has worked with children and adults of all ages in a variety of educational and business settings for over 40 years. She worked in and served on the boards of a number of alternative schools her children attended. Also, she home-educated two of her own children and worked with other home educating families at Clonlara School of Ann Arbor, Michigan for more than 10 years. Monica loves to help people discover how they learn best to become lifelong learners. She consults with those who have special needs, to help them make the transition into adult learning settings. She has vast experience in helping people of all ages enjoy learning.

Monica earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh in child development and early childhood education, a Master’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in special education, and Montessori Certification from the American Montessori Society. Since 1997, following her youngest son’s auto accident, she has also been active in helping him and other survivors of traumatic brain injuries redesign their lives.





Lainie Liberti

As always, you can find out more about your host, Lainie Liberti at her website and the alternative education & world schooling project she runs with her teenage son at: You can also connect with her on twitter @ilainie & facebook.

For full archives of this show and programming schedule, please visit: 

Find us on facebook: For-the-Love-of-Learning-Voices-of-the-Alternative-Education-Movement

For comments, questions, suggestions or if you’d like to be guest on the show, please contact us here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *