Education Specialist - Mathematics

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RTI International
United States | United States
Apply by 11 December 2012
Mid-level , Full-time staff position
Posted on 12 October 2012

Job Description

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 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 International Education Division is seeking an Education Specialist with experience in multiple contexts and/or countries working to improve teaching and learning in primary (elementary) grades, with an emphasis in mathematics education. The Education Specialist will contribute to the development of evidence-based approaches to improving classroom instruction; provide support to teaching and learning intervention work in both mathematics and reading; support proposal and business development in terms of teacher training and literacy/numeracy interventions; and contribute to the design, development, implementation and evaluation of projects and programs that improve teaching and learning, particularly numeracy and literacy. Under the supervision of the Team Leader for Teaching and Learning, the 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 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 each area of work):

Program and project support (70%)

  • Support and eventually lead technical assistance to support ministry counterparts and projects to develop, adapt and carry out early grade mathematics and reading improvement programs and assessments, analyzing and using evidence-based data to continuously inform instructional practice.
  • Promote and support a community of practice linked to a broader knowledge base on teaching and learning, with a particular emphasis on early grade mathematics.
  • Absorb and generalize lessons learned from RTI’s work in math and reading improvement and assessment across a number of completed and ongoing programs.
  • Contribute to the compilation of lessons learned and best practices from remediation approaches in mathematics and reading, in both developed and developing countries, in order to inform RTI’s work in mathematics education.
  • Contribute to the documentation and development of norms/best practices for intervention and assessment approaches, where various activities have been independently implemented.
  • Further the relationship between external and classroom-based assessment and teacher professional development, with emphasis on best practices of teacher training to sustain improvements in classroom practice.
  • Carry out short-term technical assistance assignments and provide backstopping for RTI’s portfolio of international education projects.
  • Communicate complex research findings in a clear and practical manner to clients and counterparts.

Proposal support and business development (20%):

  • Contribute to proposals by participating on proposal teams, as appropriate as a proposal leader, writer, contributor and reviewer.
  • 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.

Outreach and scientific stature (10%):

  • Lead presentations, seminars and workshops on instruction and assessment.
  • Collaborate to author and publish work on international education, in particular on early grade math and reading improvement and assessment in developing countries.


  • Master’s-level or higher academic qualifications in education, mathematics or related field. PhD and specialization in Mathematics Education preferred.
  • Ten years’ experience overall, with at least five years’ experience in mathematics instructional practice and assessment; experience in reading instruction or English as a second language teaching and learning a plus.
  • Knowledge/experience in teacher professional development practices and adult learning methods.
  • 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.
  • Proficiency in French strongly preferred. Arabic or Spanish a plus.
  • Experience implementing education development programs in low-income countries preferred.
  • Experience teaching in the primary (elementary) grades preferred.
  • Prior experience working with donor-funded projects, particularly USAID, a plus