Patience Sowa is an expert in language and literacy who plays a key role in our international education projects. Born in Ghana, West Africa, she has lived and worked in multilingual and multicultural contexts in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and North America. Her experience includes teacher education accreditation, program management and coordination, and the development of strategies to improve educational outcomes. Dr. Sowa is passionate about strengthening research in and developing forms of bilingual teaching and learning for school children in low- and middle-income countries particularly as they transition from mother tongue education in the early grades to education in international languages of teaching and learning in the upper primary grades. She is also enthusiastic about exploring innovative ways of preparing preservice teachers for schools.
Dr. Sowa provides various kinds of technical leadership and support to RTI in-country experts. This includes assisting in the development of teacher professional learning communities for USAID Tusome Pamoja, and Advancing Basic Education in the Philippines (ABC+) projects, collaborating to develop teacher and school head training under the USAID ABC+ project, and textbook revision and evaluation. She spearheaded the International Education Division’s strategic initiative for the upper primary grades in low- and middle-income countries.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Sowa has collaborated with RTI project staff to pivot away from face-to-face school head and teacher training, to develop radio and interactive voice response scripts, online training environments and self-paced learning modules.
Prior to joining RTI in 2016, Dr. Sowa was an associate professor of education, teaching graduate and undergraduate language and literacy courses in university teacher education settings. She has also been a consultant for literacy and language at the upper primary level, as well as a university lecturer of English and a teacher of English and French.
She is a certified Trainer of Trainers for the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) and a member of the American Education Research Association, the Literacy Research Association, and the Comparative and International Education Society. She serves as an International Editorial Board Member for the Teaching and Teacher Education Journal and an Editorial Review Board Member for The Reading Teacher.