Employment Opportunity

Interim Program Director – Natural Curiosity
One year maternity leave coverage contract (this job posting is now closed)

 

Natural Curiosity was developed by the Laboratory School at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study, which is part of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto. Established under the leadership of Dr. William Blatz in 1925, the Laboratory School is a Nursery to Grade 6 elementary school dedicated to exploring what is possible in education, operating in conjunction with an MA in Child Study and Education teacher certification program and the Dr. R.G.N. Laidlaw Centre for multidisciplinary research in child development. The Lab School philosophy emerged from three foundations: an understanding of the unique development of children; Dr. Blatz’s theories about the critical role of security in children’s education; and John Dewey’s ideas for child-centred inquiry. Today at the Lab School, these beliefs remain central to our program, while we continue to expand our understanding of what these guiding principles might mean for school communities in this century.

Since its initial launch, Natural Curiosity has gained widespread implementation in schools, school boards, and ministries of education across the country and internationally. The driving motivation for a second edition was the burning need, in the wake of strong and unequivocal recommendations by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2015), to bring Indigenous perspectives into the heart of Canadian educational settings and curricula, most notably in connection with environmental issues. Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition: The Importance of Indigenous Perspectives in Children’s Environmental Inquiry is currently being disseminated and used widely across Turtle Island at publically and federally funded schools, school boards, Faculties of Education, educational institutes, and informal educational settings such as outdoor education centres and camps.

At this time, we are looking to hire someone to step into the role of Interim Program Director to facilitate, manage, and oversee the following responsibilities, along with others as required. This is a wonderful opportunity for an outstanding educator to join our team and contribute to the continuing development of exemplary policy, models and practices within education.

 

Key Responsibilities include:

Natural Curiosity Resource

  • Continue to drive and oversee the sales of the English and French editions of the resource Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition
  • Continue to procure and document teacher stories of inquiry-based environmental education and Indigenous education for publication on our website, newsletter, and in other social media related outlets to act as inspiration for other teachers and to maintain a consistent presence in the world of education
  • Find new and creative ways to publicize and garner support for the current resource
  • Maintain and build strong relationships with educators, advisors, and Elders involved in the creation, dissemination, and use of the new resource

Professional Development

  • Develop content, workshops, and seminars to introduce experienced teachers and teacher candidates to inquiry-based teaching and learning that is both dynamic and engaging
  • Manage large group discourse, reflective practice, and facilitate knowledge building discussions to help teachers gain understanding and insight into their own practice and questions surrounding environmental inquiry and related Indigenous perspectives
  • Maintain a positive and collaborative relationships with professional development partners, and be comfortable working with a team of facilitators across Ontario and beyond
  • Build and maintains responsive, professional, and positive relationships with all educators

Fundraising

  • Reporting to the Principal of the Laboratory School, is responsible for the operations fundraising and management of a yearly budget totaling $100,000+
  • Complete and develop materials to submit to granting and other funding organizations
  • Develop and implement strategies to encourage new and/or increased contributions to the program
  • Develop and maintain ongoing relationships with current and possible donors

Management

  • Maintain a supervisory role for the Natural Curiosity Program Coordinator, Program Consultant, and Work-Study Students
  • Demonstrate a professional approach by maintaining currency in areas related to the field of Inquiry, Environmental Education, and Indigenous Education
  • Monitor and organize the annual awards program that feature three different awards for teachers and pre-service teachers surrounding environmental inquiry and the importance of Indigenous perspectives
  • Collaborates with team members to share expertise and practical knowledge
  • Facilitates environmental education committee meetings and attends weekly Laboratory School staff meetings (when available)
  • Ensures all social media accounts are being kept up to date are providing high quality information
  • Performs other related duties as assigned

We seek applicants with the following professional qualifications and experience:

  • Minimum 2 years of formal/informal teaching or facilitation experience
  • Experience in a directorial role strongly preferred
  • BEd. and/or MEd/MT/MA qualifications beneficial but not necessary
  • ECE/OCT Certified beneficial but not necessary
  • Experience or a strong interest/background in inquiry-based teaching and learning, environmental education, and Indigenous education
  • Commitment to diversity and equity

 

Qualified applicants are asked to submit a complete application including: a CV, 2 references, and a cover letter addressing the above requirements by Monday, June 17th, 2019. Please email your application to naturalcuriosity@utoronto.ca. This position will begin in July 2019.

The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups, and others who may contribute the further diversification of ideas. All candidate are encouraged to apply, however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.