To apply, please send resume and cover letter to:
Manager, Human Resources
John G. Shedd Aquarium
1200 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
Based on Shedd Aquarium’s commitment to the environment, electronic versions of resumes are preferred.
Title: Learning specialist
Status: full-time, regular
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 or she utilizes learner-centered teaching strategies to encourage learners to think critically about the natural world and their place in it, actively seeks 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 or she actively participates in reflective activities as they relate to instructional quality. This position is primarily responsible for facilitating learning experiences at Shedd, in the field, in local communities and in online environments.
Programming and Evaluation
• 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 with coordinator.
• 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.
• Bachelor’s degree in life science, environmental science, education, museum studies, or a related field
• Minimum two 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
• One to two 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)
• Snorkeling experience
• Technology experience beyond basic computer skills and willingness to learn new technologies
• A personal vehicle (and auto insurance) to travel to/from program sites
• Legal age to rent a car