KATHLEEN SMITH MCILWAIN

Technical Advisor, Reading 

 

GETTING TO KNOW KATHLEEN

Kathleen Smith McIlwain is a Reading Technical Advisor. In this role, she contributes to the development of international proposals focused on early grade literacy and numeracy, literacy and numeracy for in and out-of-school youth and education in conflict.

Beyond your job title, please explain your role at Creative.

As technical advisor in the Division of Education, I contribute to the development of international proposals focused on early grade literacy and numeracy, literacy and numeracy for in and out-of-school youth, and education in conflict. I collaborate with other technical advisors to integrate social emotional learning and psychosocial support into teaching and learning materials and teacher trainings. To provide technical advice that is both current and relevant, I spend a lot of time researching target countries to gain context and knowledge of challenges and areas of strength. I also offer technical support to project directors and their field teams and represent Creative at international events.

Do you have a favorite, unique or fascinating story about your work in development?

I remember visiting schools in southern Africa. During one such visit a first-grade teacher grabbed me by the arm and took me to her classroom. Clearly there was something she wanted me to see. When I stood in the doorway, I saw a sea of faces – 300 first graders in one class. The teacher looked at me and asked, “How can one teacher teach so many?”

  • EXPERTISE:

    Teaching, teacher training, coaching, curriculum development, materials development, program implementation, project management. 

  • EDUCATION:

    University of North Carolina at Greensboro: Curriculum and Instruction

    Salem College, Winston-Salem, NC: Master of Arts in Teaching

    Emory & Henry College: BA in English and French

  • DEVELOPMENT EXPERIENCE:

    I served as the Senior Technical Advisor to a USAID-funded, nationwide literacy program for early grades in Chichewa and English in Malawi. I served on the Board of Directors of a Boston-based NGO sponsoring secondary education for girls in Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya.

  • LANGUAGES:

    English, French, Basic Chichewa

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