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REL Pacific
Improvement of Teaching

Designing High-Quality Professional Learning Experiences in Palau

Summary

REL Pacific is working closely with the Palau Partnership for the Improvement of Teaching to design better support systems for teacher preparation, induction, retention, and instruction. Education leaders in Palau seek to improve the design of professional learning opportunities for both in-service and pre-service teachers. Through these intentionally designed teacher training efforts, the Partnership aims to improve student outcomes within Palau. The overall goal of the project is to develop informed and contextually relevant approaches to incorporating and designing high-quality professional learning in Palau.

High-Leverage Need

Students in Palau are consistently showing low test scores, for example, on the Palau English Reading Assessment (PERA), the average score of students in grade 4 in 2016 was 45.8 percent, and the average grade 8 score was even lower, at 44.2 percent.1 To address the high-leverage need of improving student outcomes in Palau, the Partnership is focusing on creating professional learning experiences to better prepare educators to improve student outcomes in school. Through collaboration among the Partnership members engaging in these system improvement efforts, the Partnership aims to improve students' average score on PERA post-assessments as a measure of success, as well as educators' sense of efficacy.

REL Pacific Project Support

REL Pacific is supporting the Ministry of Education (MOE) in the development of a coherent and effective program of professional learning for teachers and leaders that will better prepare them for effective implementation of the MOE's instructional program. Through a series of trainings and coaching sessions with REL Pacific, the Partnership is not only working to align professional learning activities with the state strategic plan and desired student outcomes, but also design rapid-cycle improvement strategies to support the implementation of professional learning opportunities. Trainings include topics such as survey design for teacher feedback and evaluation, and research-based high-quality professional learning standards and implementation methods. It is expected that improved professional learning experiences in Palau can ultimately increase the quality of instruction that students routinely experience and develop desired student outcomes in school, with special consideration given to outcomes in the English language arts.

Contact

Ben Cronkright

Ben Cronkright, consultant, provides support for REL Pacific research studies and project planning through coaching, guidance, and needs-sensing efforts in leadership development and systems improvement. Ben holds an M.A. in Educational Leadership and a B.A. in History/English from Saginaw Valley State University. Contact Ben at bcronkright@mcrel.org or call 1.303.632.5521.

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Resources

Footnotes:

1 Vila, C. T., (2016, June). CMI degrees awarded and graduates 2011–2016. Graduates Database. Retrieved from https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0x PsDFPa_IzakhtQURkaGdTVkE/view.