Marilyn Gillespie

Marilyn Gillespie is an educational researcher and specialist in college/career readiness and literacy. Since leaving CIE, her work has focused on research, planning and evaluation of literacy education, English language learning, and workforce education.


Recent projects include the Global Reading Network, a community of practice for improving early grade reading in developing countries; revising the literacy and work readiness components of a 3-year program for Liberian youth; and developing standards for the Oregon Adult Basic Education System.


Marilyn worked for several years at Education Development Center (EDC) in Washington DC on “Growing Your Business,” an entrepreneurship training program, and “Literacy for Work,” a 9-month integrated literacy and work readiness curriculum, for Liberian youth and adults unable to complete their education during the Liberian civil war. She wrote in 2012:


What I am trying to do is develop an integrated literacy/small business/agriculture/livelihoods curriculum for youth/adults, which the MOE will eventually use country-wide. The challenge is curriculum development in such a severe post-conflict situation where there are almost no resources for teachers or learners. When 45% of the population is living in extreme poverty and 70% in significant poverty, a lot of your typical “work readiness” topics just don’t make sense.


The only options available are to eke out some small savings to invest in tiny businesses (going out to the woods and getting palm heads to make oil or burning wood to make charcoal) or making small improvements in farming. I’m trying to create a “livelihoods” curricula for this kind of population because I haven’t found anything similar, at least online, but I’m really muddling my way through, especially with the agriculture topics.


From 2000 to 2011, Marilyn was an education researcher at SRI International, also in Washington DC. Her projects at SRI included research and development of performance-based assessment tools and processes for the National Institute for Literacy's Equipped for the Future Project, design work on a multimedia CD-ROM training kit for adult literacy staff development for the U.S. Department of Education, and an evaluation of PBS' Project Connect for adult English language learners.


Marilyn currently resides in Maryland with her husband Carlos Martinez. They have two daughters, Claire and Laurel. [1/17]





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CIE Graduate