Learning Specialist

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Deadline to Apply:

Monday, July 31, 2017, 12:00am


Boston, MA
United States

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Job Description:


The Learning Specialist with be at the center of one of the most ambitious Outward Bound initiatives in decades.  Launched with funding from the Stephen D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation, the Outward Bound Professional Learning Lab (the Lab) will convene the most experienced practitioners from the regional Outward Bound Schools (Adult Practice Leaders) with leading national research and curriculum consultants.  In the fall of 2017, the Learning Specialists will participate in two 2-day retreats and three 1-week learning tours across the Outward Bound system.  In partnership with the regional Adult Practice Leaders, researchers and our curriculum consultant, the team will identify instructional practice most critical to student success.  The Learning Specialists will then author, test, refine and train others in the delivery of professional learning modules that focus on those critical instructional practices.  They will also be trained in the use of a research-based observational tool for measuring implementation of those practices. They will participate in monthly peer reviews of program sites, using the observational tool in partnership with Adult Practice Leaders and researchers.



  • Author 3-hour professional learning modules (3-4 modules in first two years) using the framework and process of the Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS).  Attend 1-week institute at LHS for training Aug. ’17.
  • Pilot and field test the learning modules at regional Schools and revise and rewrite in response to systematic feedback from users of the materials.
  • Train regional School staff across all 11 Schools to deliver the modules independently
  • Participate in monthly peer reviews of regional program sites, using a research-based observational tool to measure instructional practice.  Engage with regional Adult Practice Leaders to interpret results.
  • In partnership with Adult Practice Leaders and researchers, developing coaching protocols for use with the observational tool to reinforce and extend the lessons of the professional learning modules.
  • Institutionalize the development of subsequent learning modules and the implementation of ongoing peer reviews in partnership with Adult Practice Leaders and research partners.



This position reports to the Director of the Lab.  This position works closely with the Adult Practice Leaders in each of the regional Schools to test and revise professional learning modules and then train regional staff in their use.  Also works with regional Schools to execute peer reviews and interpret data from observational tools and student outcome measurement.  For the first two years, works closely with our curriculum consultant, the Lawrence Hall of Science, to be trained and to master their framework and process for creating professional learning modules.



A degree in education is not necessary, but strongly encouraged. Curiosity about and willingness to stay current with the literature on research on teaching and learning is required.  Essential for this position is the ability to write curriculum, revise work multiple times in response to structured feedback, be highly organized, handle administrative tasks, complete time bound goals, and provide appropriate and timely feedback to the Director, regional Adult Practice Leaders, research partners and others working with the Lab.  Qualifications include:

  • Field experience in an outdoor education program and/or classroom teaching
  • Experience writing curriculum
  • Exceptionally strong written and oral communication skills
  • Minimum educational requirement of 4 year undergraduate degree
  • Experience working with adults in an educational setting or as a trainer is desirable
  • Master’s in Education or comparable degree desirable
  • Competency with computers including word-processing and Excel
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Good sense of humor, flexibility, tenacity and compassion
  • Willingness to accept and promote core values and mission of the organization
  • Ability to coordinate multiple tasks in high stress environment



Individuals in this position will be embedded in any existing Outward Bound School across the country so that there is at least weekly exposure to working Outward Bound practitioners. From August through December of 2017, travel will include a minimum of one 1-week training institute, two 2-day retreats and three 1-week learning tours across the country.  Through June 2018 will be an intense period of deploying new tools into all 11 Outward Bound Schools and beginning the process of monthly 2-3 day peer reviews (site visits) to program sites.  Travel during this period is likely to average 1 to 1.5 weeks per month.  July 2018 and beyond travel is likely to average 2 to 4 days per month.



This role will require a lot of sedentary time in front of a computer and/or reviewing paper copy materials. Required of this position is included: the ability to read from a computer screen; use hands to type; intellectualize materials and articulate edits/finding as pertaining to the essential functions of this position.  The position will also require site visits to remote locations in all weather conditions prevalent in North America.  Ability to adapt to various outdoor activities, carry a 50 lb pack and be physically active for long hours is required.



The individual filling this position is a full time employee of Outward Bound USA. Competitive salary, commensurate with experience. Employer sponsored health insurance with the option to select between two comprehensive, valuable plans. Dental and vision plans also available.  Ability to participate in a 403(b) retirement plan. Generous paid time off (PTO) including holidays.  Flexible scheduling, pursuant to position. This is an exempt position and currently grant funded for three years, with the potential for continuing employment following the grant period.  

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