Director of Curriculum Design

Buck Institute for Education - Remote - Full time

Organization Summary

Buck Institute for Education (BIE), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Novato, California, is the industry leader in providing professional development, products, and resources related to Project Based Learning (PBL). At BIE, our vision is for all students no matter where they live or what their background to have access to quality PBL instruction to deepen their learning and achieve success in college, career, and life.

Buck Institute for Education is launching an exciting new division, called PBLNow. The new division will create K-12 centered Open Educational Resource (OER) PBL units that teachers can use to achieve impact and equity for all students, especially Black and Brown students. These Gold Standard PBL OER units will first be focused on science/STEM and organized by themes such as racial, social, and environmental justice. Offering high-quality and ready-made PBL curriculum to educators at no charge will increase access to high-quality PBL curriculum and increase the likelihood that teachers implement high-quality projects, and increase the impact for all students, especially Black and Brown students. PBLNow curriculum units will work seamlessly with PBLWorks professional learning services to support teachers, schools, and districts in enacting high-quality PBL experiences.

Position Summary

This role is a unique opportunity to collaborate on the initial designs for curriculum materials to be developed by PBLNow, determining the focus, structures, and approaches to materials design that will be used to build a comprehensive library of PBL materials for all subjects and grade levels.

The Director of Curriculum Design is responsible for leading the design, creation, and revision of high-quality curriculum materials to support teachers in the implementation of Project Based Learning. The position includes the design, development, and refinement of the PBLWorks curriculum, tools, and resources and ensuring alignment across all products, services, and publications. It also involves training the PBLWorks National Faculty and other internal facilitators to use those materials effectively.

The first set of curriculum materials will focus on K-12 science and STEM topics, organized into units of 4-5 weeks of instruction, and focusing on topics of social, environmental, and racial justice. The materials will be supplemental, interdisciplinary, and open educational resources (OER). In subsequent projects, the Director will manage the design and development of different grade levels, subject areas, and topics.

Key Responsibilities:

Curriculum Development

Lead the development of an overall design for curriculum materials at PBLNow, to include pedagogical strategies, structure, length, topic selection, and other factors in alignment with best practices for PBL defined by BIE and the broader field.

Contribute to the development of a long-term strategy for curriculum materials at PBLNow. Organize plans and projects to ensure the achievement of our strategic goals.

Lead the development and writing of teacher and student materials, curriculum units, lesson plans, support materials, and other resources related to classroom implementation of PBL practices.

Select, revise and/or refine existing student and teacher materials in order to strengthen alignment to outcomes, improve teacher PBL practice and implementation, and advance the organizational racial equity imperative.

Work closely with PBLWorks partners to advise on teacher workshop materials aligned to the curriculum.

Contribute to decision-making about content management systems, technology platforms, content partnerships, and strategic direction of PBLNow.

Project Management

Develop and manage project plans for all assigned projects, including management of timelines, budgets, and coordination of multiple stakeholders, team members, and organizational priorities.

Manage budgets across multiple years and multiple projects, including collaborating with the finance and operations teams

Manage external curriculum writers, including choosing the right team of writers, giving good direction for the work, and maintaining quality standards

Design and lead curriculum pilots and assist with professional development pilots in partner school districts.

Collect and analyze data from pilots to inform the development and revision of curriculum materials.

Lead the OER curriculum training of National Faculty, the PBLWorks Sales team, and Directors of District and School Leadership to use resources and understand, communicate about, and/or facilitate curriculum implementation.

People Management

Manage a team of 1-4 direct reports across multiple projects and goals.

Give and receive regular feedback to direct reports, complete annual reviews, and performance management plans as needed.

Attract, develop, coach, and retain high-performance team members, empowering them to elevate their level of responsibility, span of control, and performance. Mentor and develop staff using a supportive and collaborative approach aligned with BIE's mission and culture.

Contribute to our progress toward becoming a multicultural organization and support our racial equity goals.

Lead, with the Executive Director, PBLNow the creation and implementation of staffing and contractor plans for existing and new projects.

Contribution to Buck Institute for Educations Mission, Vision, and Racial Equity Imperative

Work with other BIE team members to further our mission, vision, core values, racial equity imperative, and strategic plan.

As a collaborative team player, support BIE colleagues and contribute to the full breadth of the organizations work and culture.

Engage in ongoing individual and collective learning about how to advance racial equity through Project Based Learning for all students, especially Black and Brown students

Attend Novato-based or centrally located meetings as needed, at least two times/year

Travel 10-20% of the time for school visits and meetings.

Other duties as assigned.

Ideal Experience, Skills, and Attributes

The successful candidate will bring this experience to the role:

Experience as a curriculum developer, experience with performance and portfolio assessment, and experience with online learning.

Five or more years of experience leading teams of writers and curriculum designers to develop online and in-person content and resources for teachers and students.

Experience across print and digital curriculum systems, including common learning management systems and interactive tools.

Experience with open educational resources, management, and compliance with copyright.

Deep knowledge of Project Based Learning, preferably gained through first-hand experience as a PBL teacher, coach, or leader.

Three or more years of K-12 classroom teaching experience is preferred.

The successful candidate will possess these skills and abilities:

Commitment to advancing racial equity and bringing high-quality Project Based Learning to all students, especially Black and Brown students.

Outstanding verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills.

Exceptional organizational and multitasking skills.

Ability to work effectively in virtual environments with staff and consultants.

Self-starter, able to work without close supervision.

A collaborator who enjoys working across teams to achieve a common goal.

Competent with Word, Excel, and Google Apps, and willing to learn additional technology tools adopted by the organization.

A mission-driven individual who is excited about supporting a community of professionals to impact students around the world.

The successful candidate will reflect these attributes:

Integrity, a positive attitude, and self-direction.

A team player who can work effectively with peers and other associates within a collegial, yet demanding, work environment.

Strong work ethic and a passion for PBLWorks' mission and commitment to working collaboratively with a management team of senior professionals.


This position is a remote assignment. Some travel (when it is safe to travel) will be required (up to 10-20%).

Compensation & Benefits

The Director Curriculum Design role is a full-time, exempt position with full health benefits (including medical, vision, and dental), generous benefits including 403(b) contribution of 6-12%, and life and disability insurance. BIE offers a competitive salary (commensurate with experience) and a generous benefits package.

This role is funded through contracts and philanthropic grants. We have secured funding through 2024 and are actively seeking funding to extend beyond that date.

Application Process

This position is open until filled. To be included in the first round of application review, submit your application by May 23, 2022.

Vaccination Requirements

BIE requires COVID-19 vaccines for all employees and guests entering BIE offices. We will be using Clears Digital Vaccine Card and state-sponsored vaccine passports to verify proof of vaccine. Accommodations or exceptions can be requested for medical or religious reasons.

As a company, we celebrate and embrace diversity. We actively seek a diverse pool of candidates in every hiring process. BIE is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, veteran status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, or disability (in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act). PBLNow (dba Buck Institute for Education) participates in E-Verify and will provide the federal government with your Form I-9 information to confirm that you are authorized to work in the U.S. We will only use E-Verify once a newly hired employee has accepted a job offer and completed the Form I-9.

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Curriculum Design

Experience Level

Mid Level

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