Organization: John G. Shedd Aquarium
Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Job or Internship: Job
Health, Dental, 401(k), Paid Holidays, Vacation
The Learning Specialist uses creativity, promising instructional practices and evaluation data to design, implement and authentically evaluate programs that support various levels of Shedd's learning framework. He/She utilizes learner-centered teaching strategies to encourage learners of all ages to think critically about the natural world and their place in it, actively seeks out relevant content knowledge and evaluates learning using authentic and formal assessment techniques. The Learning Specialist demonstrates ownership and autonomy in each program cycle while contributing to a culture of collaboration. He/She actively participates in reflective activities as it relates to their instructional quality. This position is primarily responsible for facilitating learning experiences at Shedd, in the field, in local communities and in online environments.
Responsibilities and Duties
Demonstrate leadership in accordance with Shedd's mission and values.
Programming & Evaluation Responsibilities:
Develop immersive programs aligned to programmatic goals and outcomes
Facilitate learner-centered programs with minimal environmental impact, engaging learners through multisensory, dynamic and authentic experiences
Research instructional strategies, content knowledge and current programmatic data to achieve program goals and outcomes
Apply a working knowledge of current models and philosophies of science and environmental education and solid content knowledge in support of Shedd's learning framework
Utilize resources such as live animals, local natural areas and technology (including data loggers, interactive whiteboards, and online software) for programming
Demonstrate flexibility and adaptability to be used in working across programmatic suites, including team projects, program development, teaching, etc.
Maintain resources, materials and programming spaces, including assisting with ordering of supplies, equipment, and materials as needed
Monitor and evaluate learning using authentic assessment tools in alignment with program evaluation plan, adapting instruction as needed. Collect evaluation data as required with the assistance of the coordinator
Participate in project related trainings to ensure preparedness to develop and implement portfolio-specific programs while insuring consistency of learning experiences
Maintain strategic relationships with collaborative partners and other pertinent organizations and facilitate strategic recruitment for program participation
Professional Development Growth
Demonstrate a commitment to professional and personal growth by initiating dialogue with colleagues, engaging in self-directed learning and focusing on professional development goals
Participate in Aquarium wide and interdepartmental teams, projects or meetings as needed
Fulfill other duties as required
1 - 2 Years Experience
Bachelor's degree in life science, environmental science, education, museum studies or a related field
Minimum 2 years teaching experience in either a formal or informal setting
Experience working in team-based environments
Excellent written and oral communication skills; fluency in Spanish desirable
Excellent organizational and time management skills
Must be able to work irregular hours including occasional evenings, weekends and overnight programs/events
Willingness to be trained to handle animals for education programs.
Willingness to implement aquatic science programs aboard research vessels and/or in wilderness settings for up to three consecutive weeks.
Must possess strong swimming skills.
Must be physically able to do heavy lifting (up to 50 lbs.) to transport equipment and facilitate program activities such as canoeing, hiking, etc.
A valid driver's license
1-2 years prior informal outdoor/science education teaching experience working with diverse audiences in urban and wilderness settings.
CPR and first aid certification (advanced wilderness/outdoor training a plus)
Technology experience beyond basic computer skills and willingness to learn new technologies.
A personal vehicle (and auto insurance) to travel to/from program sites.
Must be of legal age to rent a car.
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Lift up to 50 pounds
Outdoor activities that may include (but are not limited to): canoeing, kayaking, hiking, etc.
Animal handling (with proper training)
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
This person may be exposed to:
Exposure to the elements in an outdoor/wilderness setting