Full time | Location: Greater Boston
ABOUT WPS AND ITS PROGRAMS
WPS is a non-profit education start-up grounded in the belief that teaching and learning are the most transformative of human endeavors. The organization was founded on a humanistic view of what it means to be educated - one that extends beyond traditional markers of achievement. Our programs center around two complementary endeavors that we will continuously develop and refine: the learning and development of educators and the students they serve. Throughout everything we do, we maintain a strong focus on recognizing and investing in educators that serve our country’s highest need communities. WPS is in the process of developing a 25-acre campus in the Boston area to support its programming and mission.
At the core of WPS sits the EducatorInstitute, a center of professional learning that deploys a range of adult learning pedagogies to meaningfully deepen educator practice. Teachers and school leaders (“educators”) from across the country participate in rigorous, research-based inductive learning experiences. Foundational programs ground educators in a cohort-based examination of central questions related to content, pedagogy, and leadership while exposing participants to a range of approaches that collectively seek to model transformational learning. More specialized programs allow educators to engage in a deeper exploration of specific disciplines, content areas, or pedagogies.
A set of learning principles guides the design and execution of all programs. WPS believes that learning is most powerful when it is:
- Participant-Centered: Learning experiences are based on theory that places learners at the center, playing an active role rather than being presented to and requires participants to share their perspectives, engage in activities, and be accountable to their peers by fully engaging.
- Inductive: Learners draw inferences and make meaning for themselves based on analysis of problems, moving from the specific to the generalized principles “organically,” which strengthens the connection between lived experience and theory.
- Intensive in Peer-to-Peer-Exchange: Learners clarify their thinking by interrogating their perspectives, beliefs, and assumptions through deliberate debate and exchange of ideas across lines of difference.
- Metacognitive & Mindset Shifting: Intentionally creates space and process for self-reflection and analysis of one’s thinking and learning, rather than just ‘doing;’ allows for participants to make meaning of a given learning experience.
- At the Nexus of Theory and Practice: Program design and pedagogical approaches should be grounded in academic research across a range of disciplines and sectors; learning experiences should be designed in ways that allow learners to better understand the principles/theory/research that undergird the content or skills they are exploring.
- Able to move the“Heart and Mind’: Attends to social, emotional and cognitive development, such that participants are transformed in how they view themselves, their practice, and the world around them.
WPS utilizes a set of pedagogies with both teachers and students that reflect the above learning principles, including: the case study method, experiential-based learning, hands-on learning, discourse-based approaches, field-based research projects.
ABOUT THE ROLE
WPS seeks a Director of Program to join its small and growing team. The Director of Program will manage the design and delivery of immersive and transformative learning experiences for educators that build upon essential pedagogical principles. This role is ideal for an experienced designer of learning experiences who excels at big picture programmatic thinking and enjoys guiding a team to create and deliver meaningful and thoughtful professional learning for educators. All candidates should be excited by the prospect of working closely as part of a founding team to create programs for educators that are both innovative and build on time-tested approaches to learning. The Director of Program reports directly to the Chief Program Officer.
Program Design and Delivery
- In close partnership with the Chief Program Officer, lead the vision, ideation and design of WPS educator-facing programs
- Translate design ideas into clear and compelling plans of action that encompass finalizing program designs, scheduling programs, developing content, programs staffing and operations, and program delivery
- Provide oversight for all aspects of program delivery for Educator Institute programs, including in-person and remote programs
- In close partnership with the Chief Program Officer and staff, define, codify, apply, and iterate WPS’ process to design, staff, and deliver WPS educator programs
- Assist in overseeing WPS staff engaged in content development to support WPS educator programs and related support of teachers, school leaders and schools
- In close partnership with the Chief Program Officer and staff, define, codify, apply, and iterate WPS’s process to staff, research, develop and distribute WPS content to support a range of programs at increasing scale
- Guide and provide ongoing feedback to content designers and ensure their work is completed to WPS standards on agreed to timeline
- Manage plan to ensure timely and robust content creation
- Undertake content development by conducting research and literature reviews to identify best-in-class researchers, academics, and other experts in a range of fields and disciplines related to the domains of teaching and learning and of influencing and leading
- Collaborate with these educational experts and conduct field work to determine appropriate content
- Design and shape a pedagogically-aligned curriculum, including case studies of problems of practice that educators can analyze through distinct frameworks and curated research
- Facilitate educator learning sessions using a range of inductive, discourse-based, experiential and peer-to-peer methods
- Manage a variety of design-focused initiatives and projects, including multi-year endeavors and initiatives that involve internal and external stakeholders, as the organization grows
- Curate articles for programs and co-design and manage case development process with writers
- In close partnership with the Chief Program Officer, identify external stakeholders and organizations with whom to co-develop programs
- Assess potential partners’ capacity, specialized knowledge, and alignment to WPS’ learning principles
- In close partnership with the Chief Program Officer and staff, define, codify, apply, and iterate WPS’ approach to identifying, assessing, and collaborating with a range of external program partners at increasing scale
- Collaborate and coordinate with other WPS staff on a range of work streams, projects, planning that relates to and supports WPS’ educator programs
- Take on additional responsibilities based on interest and need as the organization grows and evolves its programmatic focus over time
- Holds deep knowledge of and respect for teacher leaders and a strong belief in the power of educators to create transformative learning experiences for students in greatest need of support
- Demonstrates passion for learning that is learner-driven and centered, inductive, inquiry-based, cross-disciplinary, experiential, project-based, and interdisciplinary
- Embraces engaging in varied work that ranges from being highly generative and conceptual to execution and operationally focused
- Enjoys and embraces collaboration, thought-partnership, and working with highly committed colleagues in a professional learning community
- Exhibits strong individual and team management
- Gives incisive feedback constructively; embraces the feedback loop, including differing perspectives and learning from others
- Exercises comfort, flexibility, and adaptivity in a highly fluid start-up environment that requires team members to take on a range of responsibilities and contribute on multiple fronts
- Embraces the use of research and technology to strengthen teaching and learning endeavors
- Displays an open-minded, creative, and intellectually curious approach to work
- Exhibits open-mindedness, flexibility, and creativity in thinking about constructing powerful learning experiences
- Possesses strong task management skills and ability to manage development of multiple programs and sessions simultaneously)
- Displays strong interpersonal skills and ability to navigate partnership relationships
Desired Experience and Qualifications
- Have 10+ years of experience, including:
- Experiencing managing and leading program or learning design for professionals
- Experience identifying and applying high-quality research to the development and execution of learning activities
- Experience in and command of high quality, meaningful curriculum, program, and content design for teachers and students
- Experience managing others in internal and external settings
- Hold a Bachelor’s degree or advanced degree in related field (preferred)
- Possess deep content and pedagogical expertise
- Evidences strong written and verbal communication skills
- Exhibits self-initiative and an ability to work independently to progress against work plans; thoughtfully produce work product in a short time-frame, to high standards
WPS is an equal-opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status.