Professional Development Specialist

Position Title:          Professional Development Specialist

Job Status:               Full Time/Exempt; Salaried Position

Division:                   Science Learning Division

Department:          Teacher Professional Development Group (TPDG)

Director:                  Liesl Chatman

Reports to:              Erin Strauss, Project Lead; Teacher Professional Development Group

Start Date:              September 1, 2013


General Description:

Professional Development (PD) Specialists implement SMM professional development programs in Access and Equity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Education.  Audiences include K-12 teachers and leaders, college faculty, and museum educators. PD programs are designed around the novel MUSE Framework for Access and Equity in STEM Education.  Developed by SMM’s Teacher Professional Development Group (TPDG) with NSF funding, the Framework is organized around five lenses:  (1) Disparities and Inequities, focused on STEM educational outcomes, expectations, and policies; (2) Curriculum and Pedagogy, focused on culturally relevant STEM pedagogy and curriculum;  (3) Reconstructing the Nature and Culture of STEM, focused on the epistemologies of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and societal/cultural values and beliefs in STEM;  (4) Identity, focused on the relationship between students’ identity formation and STEM learning; and  (5) Community Leadership, focused on distributed community leadership in institutional transformation. The TPDG values diversity, distributed leadership and expertise, teamwork and collaboration, community-building, systems-perspectives, creativity, and compassion.


Job Responsibilities:

This Specialist will provide particular expertise in Culturally Relevant Pedagogy.  Specialists’ primary responsibilities are to:  1) serve as a member of a facilitation team for professional development programs, 2) support Science House (a lending library of hands-on STEM materials) and other TPDG unit-wide activities; and 3) participate in regional dissemination efforts.  Secondary responsibilities are to support associated program evaluation and research, to contribute to grants and reports, and to participate in national dissemination efforts. Activities include:

  1. Team-teaching professional development programs that are based on the MUSE Framework and address achievement disparities in STEM.
  2. Co-designing professional development components based on the Framework and relevant research.
  3. Providing on-going informal consultation to participants.
  4. Staffing Science House, the SMM Teacher Resource Center.
  5. Recruiting and developing relationships with individuals, schools, and districts.
  6. Communicating with both participants and fellow team members on an on-going basis.
  7. Contributing to progress reports and project documents.
  8. Performing various administrative duties.

General Job Requirements:

  1. Undergraduate degree; graduate degree preferred.  In addition to education, highly desirable fields include African American Studies, Chicano Studies, Gender Studies, Educational Sociology, and/or related social sciences fields.   Desirable fields include mathematics education, research and evaluation, and/or teaching in STEM disciplines.
  2. In-depth experience in one or more of the following areas: K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering, and/or Mathematics education, cultural studies, educational research, K-12 classroom teaching, professional development for teachers, preservice teacher education, and/or community engagement.
  3. Experience working directly with culturally diverse populations at many levels.
  4. Willingness and capacity to work year-round and a flexible schedule, including state and national travel and extended hours during periods of intense activity.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  1. Expertise in Culturally Relevant or Critical Pedagogy.
  2. Strong written and oral communication skills.
  3. Effective organizational ability and excellent interpersonal skills.
  4. Demonstrated ability to work with both teachers and district leaders.
  5. Self-motivation and teamwork.
  6. In-depth knowledge of national and state education reform efforts.
  7. Ability to prioritize tasks, to engage in long- and short-term planning, and to handle a variety of demands simultaneously.
  8. The following attributes, experiences, and knowledge are essential: creativity and curiosity, passion and enthusiasm, integrity and empathy, a sense of humor, sound judgment, and a strong professional ethic.
  9. Desirable: experience with state, federal, and/or private grants; knowledge of databases, web design; and/or fluency in a second language.



Application Process

1.     Applications need to be submitted online.  Go to

2.     Please include a cover letter and resume/cv

3.     The application deadline is Friday, May 17th.

Candidates will be interviewed the weeks of May 20th and 27th and we anticipate making an offer for the position in early June.  The position, however, will start September 3, 2013.

St. Paul, Minnesota
Science Museum of Minnesota
Human Resources