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REL Pacific
Improvement of Teaching

Implementing High-Quality Professional Learning Designs in Kosrae


REL Pacific is working collaboratively with Partnership members in Kosrae in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) to design high-quality professional learning experiences for teachers. The Partnership's goals include developing a clearer model of effective instruction within the region, improving professional learning opportunities, and developing pre-service teacher preparation that is better aligned with the content knowledge, attitude, and skills that are required for effective teaching in the FSM. The Partnership is focusing on examining the alignment of preservice learning and training to ongoing professional development efforts in Kosrae, and the efficacy of existing opportunities for in-service teachers.

High-Leverage Need

Implementation of high-quality professional learning experiences can increase teachers' knowledge, support their ability to improve their practice, help them to better engage diverse learners, and ultimately, influence student achievement and student outcomes.1 Therefore, the design of high-quality professional learning experiences to increase teacher capacity is paramount.2 Research suggests that the following characteristics of high-quality professional learning support teacher learning and lead to improved student outcomes.

  1. Alignment with school goals, state and district standards and assessments, and other professional learning activities, including formative teacher evaluation;
  2. Focus on core content and modeling of teaching strategies for the content;
  3. Inclusion of opportunities for learning of new strategies;
  4. Provision of opportunities for collaboration among teachers;
  5. And, inclusion of embedded follow-up and continuous feedback.2
Each of these characteristics align to Learning Forward's Standards for Professional Learning 3 research, which, along with other evidence-based strategies, informs REL Pacific's work within the region.

REL Pacific Project Support

Through a series of training and coaching sessions, REL Pacific is supporting stakeholders in Kosrae as they work to design high-quality professional learning activities that are more likely to support teacher growth, increase institutional knowledge, and better support student achievement and future outcomes. This project introduces participants to the key design elements of high-quality professional learning, provides opportunities to reflect upon implementation of these design elements, and offers opportunities to identify next steps and applications to Kosrae's own context. In addition, stakeholders in Kosrae are developing short- and long-term improvement goals related to creating and/or redesigning effective professional learning opportunities, including the alignment of preservice learning and training at the College of Micronesia to ongoing professional development efforts at the state level and the efficacy of existing professional learning opportunities for in-service teachers.


Kent Davis

Kent Davis, managing consultant, conducts workshops and training for K–12 teachers and administrators on research-based leadership and instructional practices, including principal and teacher evaluation. Kent also works with school leadership teams on implementing researched-based practices to improve student learning. Kent holds a doctorate in Educational Administration and Supervision from Arizona State University, and a Master of Education and Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of Arizona. Contact Kent at or call 1.303.632.5537.

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1 Kennedy, M. (2016). “How Does Professional Development Improve Teaching?” Review of Educational Research, vol 86(4), pp. 945–980. Retrieved from

2 Archibald, S., Coggshall, J., Croft, A., & Goe, L. (2011, January 31). High-Quality Professional Development for All Teachers: Effectively Allocating Resources. Research & Policy Brief. Retrieved April 5, 2019, from

3 Standards of Professional Learning. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2019 from