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Teacher evaluations play a huge role in ensuring that our children have the best education possible for their future career endeavors. Our communities and local workforce both benefit from our schools having the best administrators and educators in our school districts and this is made possible by evaluating teachers on a regular basis. The feedback from evaluations, combined with the opportunity for professional development is the perfect equation for producing superior educators.

One of the most popular teacher evaluation rubrics is the Danielson Teacher Evaluation Rubric. Created in 2003, the Danielson Group is a non-profit organization formed to promote educational policies and strengthen professional practices that elevate teacher development and leadership.

The Danielson Group works with school systems, districts, state agencies, and universities in 46 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to create professional learning programs and policies for support throughout a teacher’s career path. Their partnership helps to ensure that all students acquire a deep understanding of important content.

One way the Danielson Group works to help students and teachers is the Danielson Teacher Evaluation Model, a popular teacher evaluation rubric used in a variety of educational institutions.

What is the Danielson Teacher Evaluation Model?

The Danielson Teacher Evaluation Model uses a more expansive approach to teacher evaluations that uses the Framework for Teaching (FFT), a common language created for teachers which emphasizes their vision of instructional excellence. This popular evaluation rubric offers an effective way for teachers to formulate lesson plans that help both educators and students be successful. The FFT has been used for over 25 years and is a valuable instructional resource that provides guidelines for effective teaching methods.

The Danielson Teacher Evaluation Model divides the career of teaching into 22 components and 76 elements of success which utilize FFT Clusters that are organized into Four Domains of Teaching Responsibility: Planning and Preparation, Classroom Environment, Instruction, and Professional Responsibilities.

What Are the Framework for Teaching Clusters?

The Danielson Group created FFT Clusters to reorganize the 22 components of success of the FFT by focusing on the big ideas that support student learning which includes approaches to teacher growth with components like self-assessment and reflection, coaching, professional learning communities, and more. These Clusters are based on an understanding of human learning and represent skills demonstrated by educators that result in high student performance levels. The FFT Clusters are measured by state assessments and empirical studies and have been verified to be predictive of student learning.

These are the four domains included in the Danielson Framework for Teaching model:

Four Domains of the Danielson Framework for Teaching Model

  1. Domain One: Planning and Preparation – This domain demonstrates the teachers’ knowledge of content and pedagogy. It also covers their knowledge of students, assists in setting instructional outcomes, accesses their knowledge of resources, and includes designing coherent instruction as well as student assessments.
  2. Domain Two: The Classroom Environment – Domain two includes emphasis on how to create an environment of respect and gain a rapport with students. It also helps educators establish a culture for learning, direct classroom procedures, manage student behavior, and organize the classroom area.
  3. Domain Three: Instruction – The third domain incorporates effectively communicating with students, question, and discussion techniques for the classroom, how to engage students and get their attention, the use of assessment in teaching, and working on being flexible and responsive in the classroom.
  4. Domain Four: Professional Responsibilities – Domain four reflects on teaching methods, accurate recordkeeping, family communication, projecting a professional image, ongoing and professional growth, and career development for educators.

Of the four domains, Instruction is probably the most important. The Instruction Domain gives teachers a guide of things to use while teaching, but it allows them to be more flexible and responsive for the best experience for students. This instruction structure allows educators to reach each student, which is the ultimate goal of teaching.

While the FFT is used for a variety of purposes, the most popular application is when it is used by practitioners for professional conversations to enhance their teaching skills. The FFT may be utilized as the foundation of many school programs including coaching, professional development, and teacher evaluations, which all combine to help create more successful professionals.

What Do the Scores Measure On the Danielson Teacher Evaluation Model?

The Danielson Teacher Evaluation Model scores include accessing goal setting, performance, and teacher growth via a mid-year review and final evaluation components each year. The FFT instrument contains rubrics that use observation as well as the collection of artifacts to assess a teacher’s performance in each of the four Domains.

The Danielson Teacher Evaluation assesses classroom performance using teacher’s artifacts for Domains one and four, observation of professional practice in Domains two and three, as well as student growth goals for each school each year. The final evaluation score includes 50% of the measuring of student growth and 50% of the measuring of teacher performance.

How has the Danielson Rubric Changed by Year?

The Danielson Group made improvements on the 2007 edition of the FFT, the company’s first, to include more accuracy. The 2011 edition, which was created solely as an evaluation tool, included more specific language for assessments. Then in 2013, the edition was updated to spotlight more enhancements that included embedding the language of the university/college as well as career-ready student learning standards. This upgrade also brought about revised rubric language to include examples that should be met for each level of performance, along with critical attributes that would be helpful to bring more clarity to the language of the rubrics.

Standard for Success’ Evaluation Software Supports Danielson Framework for Teaching Evaluation

Standard For Success Evaluation Software is our first and most popular product. Used in thousands of schools worldwide, the data-driven teacher evaluation management tool works with any rubric, including the Danielson Teacher Evaluation Rubric.

The FFT has evolved over the years to reflect new learning opportunities in the field as well as the ever-changing landscape of teaching and the needs of today’s modern classrooms. From pre-service teacher preparation through top leadership positions in the educational field, the FFT supports professional teacher learning and advancement.

Standard For Success’ Evaluation Software supports the Danielson Framework for Teaching Evaluation 2007, 2011, and 2013 editions as well as The Framework for Teaching Clusters and The Framework for Remote Teaching. This gives you the tools needed to make your evaluation process easier and peer related professional conversations about teaching as a profession.

Interested In Taking Your Evaluations To The Next Level?

If you’re ready to implement the Danielson rubric in your school or district, we’re here to help. Contact us today to request a FREE demo to learn more about how our software can help you quickly and simply get started with Danielson.


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