Senior Education Specialist
RTI International - RTP, NC
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RTI is supporting education around the world by strengthening policy, management and practice in order to achieve measurable improvements in teaching and learning. From our well-established reputation in education system strengthening to our innovative work in early grade assessment and learning, RTI is improving education quality, relevance and efficiency through implementation of projects funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Bank, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and other donors and clients. Our experience in supporting systems and learning improvement extends throughout Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.
RTI s Education Policy and Systems (EPS) group is seeking a Senior Education Specialist with a Ph.D. in education and extensive experience in multiple contexts and/or countries working to improve teaching and learning in primary (elementary) grades, preferably on USAID-funded projects. S/he will have expertise in the design, development, implementation and evaluation of project and programs that improve teaching and learning, particularly literacy and numeracy. Under the supervision of the Team Leader for Teaching and Learning, the Senior Education Specialist will be based in either Washington, DC or Research Triangle Park, NC (RTI headquarters) and will be expected to travel internationally approximately 25% of the time.
The Senior Education Specialist will strengthen RTI s standing in teacher professional development; develop evidenced-based approaches to improving classroom instruction; provide support to teaching and learning intervention work; support proposal and business development in terms of teacher training and literacy/numeracy interventions; mentor RTI staff and assist them in accessing the latest knowledge and research on teaching and learning; and spearhead RTI initiatives around these issues.
The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate through work products and reference feedback the following: an exceptional ability to plan, organize and lead technical assistance work in support of complex objectives; demonstrated capacity and interest in authoring reports and publications and interpreting data; and follow through on commitments while maintaining a positive and productive attitude with team members in a fast-paced and demanding environment. S/he must be energetic, solutions-oriented and be willing to share knowledge, collaborate with and mentor less experienced staff.
Specific Responsibilities (numbers in parentheses indicate estimated share of time dedicated to specific task):
General program and project support (60%)
Act as a thought leader for RTI s work in teaching and learning.
Promote and support a community of practice linked to a broader knowledge base on teaching and learning, with a particular emphasis on early grade instruction.
Absorb and generalize lessons learned from RTI s work in reading and math assessment and improvement across a number of completed and ongoing programs.
Bring knowledge of lessons learned and best practices from US and other developed-countries remediation approaches , and developing countries as appropriate, to inform learning improvement programs in countries targeted for education funding.
Document and develop norms/best practices for intervention approaches, particularly across common languages (e.g. Spanish or French) where various activities have been independently implemented.
Further the relationship between external and classroom-based assessment and teacher professional development through rigorous impact evaluation, with emphasis on best practices of teacher training to sustain improvements in classroom practice.
Lead teams in assisting ministry and project staff in developing, adapting and administering early grade reading and mathematics assessments and interventions and analyzing and using the results to continuously inform instructional practice.
Carry out short-term technical assistance and, as appropriate, provide back-stopping for EPS s portfolio of projects.
Communicate complex research findings in a clear and practical manner to clients and counterparts.
Proposal support and business development (20%):
Support business development work (e.g. technical presentations to clients, development of briefs and marketing materials) related to teaching and learning, including early grade assessment and instruction.
Contribute to proposals as a reviewer and by drafting technical sections.
Scientific stature and publications support (20%):
Author and publish work in collaboration with EPS staff on teaching and learning, including early grade reading and math assessment and improvement in developing countries.
Lead presentations, seminars and workshops on teaching and learning, including both assessment and instruction.
Ph.D. or Ed.D. in education, with at least 12 years experience.
Strong oral and written communication skills. Ability to collaborate effectively with local country counterparts, RTI staff, consultants and other partners.
Excellent organizational skills, process and systems-oriented, with a strong attention to detail.
Ability to meet deadlines under pressure.
Expertise in early reading instructional practice, assessment or research on teaching and learning; expertise in mathematics teaching and learning a plus.
Proficiency in French, Arabic or Spanish is desirable.
Experience in low-income countries (field research and implementation experience preferred).
Demonstrated expertise in teacher professional development practices and adult learning methods.
Experience teaching in the primary (elementary) grades preferred.
Prior experience working with donor-funded projects, particularly USAID, a plus.
RTI International is an independent, nonprofit institute that provides research, development and technical services to government and commercial clients worldwide. With a global staff of more than 4,000 people, RTI s mission is to improve the human condition by turning knowledge into practice.
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