Work With Us
We are hiring a Curriculum Developer for a short-term project. Apply by July 31, 2018.
Dida Academy is an innovative self-directed learning center for ages 11-18. We help students connect their interests to learning experiences. With the guidance of mentors, students map their own goals and create passion projects to gain academic, career, and life skills.
Dida is not a school. We do not offer diplomas, credits, or grades. We serve as an alternative to conventional school for teens seeking a meaningful education, leveraging homeschooling laws to allow maximum flexibility and customization for the middle and high school years. We work with the whole family (students and parents) as a team to set quarterly learning goals and co-create personalized roadmaps, definitions of success, and accountability systems.
Dida Academy seeks an experienced Curriculum Developer to work with our team on a 4-6 week curriculum development project. The project entails creating innovative, self-directed, phenomenon-based, interdisciplinary curriculum for students age 11-14. The curriculum will be in the form of “Unit Studies,” with each Unit being comprised of approximately 6 individual “modules.” Each Unit will cover a specific phenomenon (e.g., War). Each Module is designed to be completable within a 60-minute “Power Hour,” which is a quiet hour each day when students apply their focus and attention to the student’s Unit of choice. The anticipated scope of this project is to create five Units, each consisting of six Modules (total is approximately 30 hour-long Modules). The curriculum will be used by students who attend our learning center in Brooklyn, NY. The Modules are delivered via computer or tablet and are designed to lead the student through a set of activities, including a mix of "consumptive” learning activities (e.g., reading a text, viewing a work of art, or watching an educational video) and “active” learning activities (e.g., writing, drawing, creating an art piece). The Modules are designed to be completable with minimal facilitator instruction or assistance. We plan to use Trello as the Module interface, allowing students to access instructions and links to content, add written responses, and track task completion.
Our learning center is a unique alternative to conventional school for middle and high school students seeking a personalized, Self-Directed Education. Dida Academy is committed to creating a learning community where young people can be truly self-directed. To us, a self-directed learning center must avoid coercion; students always have a choice in their learning and activities. In response to our families’ request for more academic offerings, we are implementing a structured academic component to our program this upcoming year (2018-2019). We want our students to engage with the curriculum because they are genuinely interested in learning about the phenomenon discussed in the Unit - not because they are forced or required to do so. Therefore, it is imperative that each unit is fascinating and enjoyable.
The Unit topics will be selected based on the stated interests of Dida’s students. For example, many of our students are interested in war (weapons, aircrafts, specific wars and battles, fighting scenes, etc.), so our first Unit will be “War.” The goal of each Unit is not to give a complete and thorough treatment of the subject. Rather, the objective is to present students with best-in-class content on an area of interest, and allow them to develop important critical thinking and communication skills (through writing and other expression). In our modern world, we do not believe the goal of education should be to ingest and memorize a set of dry facts. Instead, Dida seeks to help students discover “how to learn,” how to conduct research and investigate areas of interest to build meaningful understanding and connection between disciplines. The learning objective is to help our students become self-directed lifelong learners, who are passionate and capable contributors to society.
This project will be a collaborative effort between the Curriculum Developer and our Dida team (Learning Director, Executive Director, and Strategy Director). The Dida team will make the final determination of topic for each Unit. Input from the Curriculum Developer is welcome regarding the Unit and Module topics. Dida Academy will provide the Curriculum Developer with a prototype Module to use as a model. The role of the Curriculum Developer will be to: (i) determine learning objectives for each Module, (ii) locate and curate resources (e.g., texts of appropriate reading level, works of art, and educational videos), and (iii) create active learning tasks (e.g., short or long response questions for student to answer). The Curriculum Developer will also assist in creating metrics to evaluate student engagement and learning.
Qualified applicants will be contacted for an interview. Prior to the interview, Dida will share the Module prototype we created, for discussion in the interview.
The project will commence with a scope of work being shared and agreed upon. We will create a weekly schedule of work sharing and phone call check-ins to facilitate a collaborative and iterative design process.
2+ years experience developing curriculum for middle and/or high school students. We prefer curriculum experience in a progressive or self-directed education setting.
Experience with building and implementing quantitative and qualitative metrics (middle/high school education metrics experience preferred).
Knowledge of and experience with Self-Directed Education, Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio, or other Progressive Education.
Compensation is offered on a project basis for work completed. Please send your project rate proposal with your application. You may provide an explanation or breakdown of the proposed rate (optional).
Project Timeline and Location (Work Remotely):
The project work must be completed between August 1 - August 31, 2018. The project work will be completed remotely (offsite).
The deadline to apply is July 31, 2018. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
To apply, please email your application package to Danielle Levine, Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The application package should consist of:
- Cover letter
- Project rate proposal
- Curriculum sample
PDF or Word format is preferred for application materials.
The cover letter should address the applicant’s experience with creating innovative curriculum and the personal interest in this particular project. We prefer curriculum samples that are interdisciplinary, phenenomenon-based, and/or self-directed/self-paced. The curriculum sample must have been created by the applicant (collaborative effort on the curriculum sample is allowed; please specify your contribution to the curriculum sample).
Email Danielle Levine (Executive Director) at email@example.com.
We also hire part-time facilitators throughout the year. You can apply for a facilitator role at any time.
We are currently accepting volunteers who would love to share their interests and enable the love of learning for these topics:
- World History
- Graphic Design
- Game Design
- Product Design
- Film Production
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your resume and tell us how you would like to get involved!