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You can’t measure success without a clear picture and understanding of what it looks like. Nor if it’s a moving target, changing without warning or meaning different things to different people.

How do we define success in the classroom? Is it raising students’ grades? Is it getting them to participate and apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to real-world scenarios?

Which components or activities matter most, and which are wasteful time-suckers?

The Danielson Framework for Teaching seeks to answer these questions and establish a clear definition of excellence in teaching.

You’ve probably heard of it: It’s been widely adopted by school districts, some entire states and even entire countries as their official definition of good teaching and a proven recipe for improving student learning.

The Danielson Framework breaks down teaching activities into 22 components, organized into four domains of teaching responsibility:

Domain 1: Planning and Preparation

  • Demonstrating knowledge of content and pedagogy
  • Demonstrating knowledge of students
  • Setting instructional outcomes
  • Demonstrating knowledge of resources
  • Designing coherent instruction
  • Designing student assessments

Domain 2: Classroom Environment

  • Creating an environment of respect and rapport
  • Establishing a culture for learning
  • Managing classroom procedures
  • Managing student behavior
  • Organizing physical space

Domain 3: Instruction

  • Communicating with students
  • Using questioning and discussion techniques
  • Engaging students in learning
  • Using assessment in instruction
  • Demonstrating flexibility and responsiveness

Domain 4: Professional Responsibilities

  • Reflecting on teaching
  • Maintaining accurate records
  • Communicating with families
  • Participating in the professional community
  • Growing professionally
  • Showing professionalism

A shared understanding of teaching excellence ensures all educators and administrators in your organization are working toward the same goals.

And basing that shared understanding on solid research ensures your efforts are backed by data, not hunches or wishful thinking.

As former educators, we highly recommend this framework as a foundation for teachers’ professional development and evaluations.

As former educators, we highly recommend this framework as a foundation for teachers’ professional development and evaluations. Standard For Success currently has the 2007 rubric in our system and professional development resources for the 2011 and 2013 rubrics.

Learn more and access related resources at the official Danielson website.

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