New Resource — The Framework for Teaching: Intellectual Engagement Guide is Now Available!

Frequently Asked Questions

About The DG

The Danielson Group (DG) is a non-profit organization founded by Charlotte Danielson to strengthen professional practice and promote educational policies that elevate teacher development and leadership in service of student learning. Our team works with school systems, districts, state agencies,education networks, and universities across the country to bring out the best in teachers by creating professional learning programs and policies that provide the right levels of support all along a teacher’s career path. Our vision is that each educator and student experiences a learning environment that promotes joyful inquiry, efficacy, intellectual rigor, and reflection grounded in the Framework for Teaching (FFT). Danielson developed the FFT to promote clear and meaningful conversations about effective teaching practice.

Since its founding in 2003, The Danielson Group (DG) has worked to advance the principles of the FFT by partnering with tens of thousands educators and policy leaders, as well as thousands of schools across the United States and abroad to enhance their practice—ensuring that each student can acquire deep understanding of important, complex content. 

Visit the Our Team web page to learn more about the talented and passionate professionals that make up the DG.

Our mission is to create a just and flourishing society by promoting teaching that is joyful, humanizing, and focused on equity. We believe in education for the development of identity, intellect, and character, and in professional learning that honors the power, wisdom, and moral leadership of teachers.

  • Our vision, mission, and work are grounded in three simple but powerful core beliefs about teaching, learning, and the purpose of education:
    • Equity – Each and every student deserves access to quality teaching.
    • Engaged Learning – Learning is done by the learner through an active, intellectual process.
    • Principled Teaching – Excellent teachers take wise and deliberate action on behalf of students.

The Danielson Group (DG)’s work is grounded in the Framework for Teaching (FFT), a common language for teachers and a vision of instructional excellence. The FFT is an evolving instructional resource that provides a roadmap for effective teaching. It outlines 22 components and elements of success organized into Four Domains of Teaching Responsibility. Over time, the FFT has evolved to reflect new learning in the field and to meet the needs of today’s classrooms and students. The FFT and our other resources support teacher professional learning across the career continuum – from pre-service teacher preparation through teacher leadership and beyond.

The Framework for Teaching (FFT) was developed by Charlotte Danielson in 1996.  The FFT has been used for over 25 years, 2021 marking the 25th anniversary. The Framework has evolved to reflect the changing landscape of teaching and learning and what research has shown us over time about what positively impacts student learning.

  • The Danielson Group (DG) has partnered with over 1,500 organizations worldwide.
  • Our organization has directly supported educators in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 
  • We have worked in over 15 countries to date including schools and ministries in Canada, Lebanon, Colombia, Mexico, Jamaica, among others.

    We are proud and honored to work across incredibly diverse settings with partners who are dedicated to building more equitable and just classrooms and schools. Explore more about DG partners and their stories on Our Partners page.

About The Framework for Teaching (FFT)

The Framework for Teaching (FFT) was first developed by Charlotte Danielson in 1996. In 2007, the 2nd edition of the Framework for Teaching was released with updated components, elements, and rubrics and, in 2013, the Danielson Group (DG) published the FFT Evaluation Instrument.  In a continued commitment to reflect learning and research in the professional field, the latest version by the Danielson Group (DG) contributors is scheduled to be released in early 2022.

Charlotte Danielson is the author of the Framework for Teaching (FFT),  an acclaimed educator and author, in addition to being the founder and board chair of The Danielson Group (DG). She began her career in education over 50 years ago as a teacher in a multi-age (1st and 2nd grade) classroom in Washington, D.C. From her first year in the classroom, she recognized the importance of encouraging students’ natural intellectual curiosity and creating the conditions that allow them to engage with important concepts and content. Twenty-five years later (and almost 25 years ago), after working as a teacher, curriculum director, staff development director, and assessment designer, she put pen to paper and wrote Enhancing Professional Practice: A Framework for Teaching.  The Danielson Framework, as it has come to be called, has become the most widely used instructional framework in the United States. Charlotte is an internationally-recognized expert in the area of teacher effectiveness. She advises State Education Departments and National Ministries and Departments of Education. Read more about her on Our Team page.

The Framework for Teaching (FFT) is an evolving instructional resource that provides a roadmap for effective teaching. The FFT is divided into four Domains of Teaching Responsibility that outline 22 components and 76 elements. It is important to note that, over time, the FFT has evolved to reflect new learning in the field and to meet the needs of today’s classrooms and students.

Educators—including pre-service teachers, novice teachers, experienced teachers, instructional coaches, university faculty, school administrators, professional development directors, and human resources administrators—use the Framework for Teaching (FFT). The FFT is used for many purposes, but its full value is realized as the foundation for professional conversations among practitioners as they seek to enhance their skill in the complex task of teaching. The FFT may be used as the foundation of a school or district’s mentoring, coaching, professional development, and teacher evaluation processes, thus linking all those activities together and helping teachers become more thoughtful practitioners.

The DG developed the Framework for Teaching Clusters (FFT Clusters) to reorganize the 22 components of the FFT by drawing attention to the big ideas that support student learning. This tool anchors comprehensive approaches to teacher growth including coaching, professional learning communities, self-assessment and reflection, and other essential practices. The FFT Clusters describe skills demonstrated by teachers promoting high levels of student performance and are grounded in an understanding of the nature of human learning. The FFT Clusters are an outgrowth of the Framework for Teaching (FFT), which has been validated through empirical studies as predictive of student learning as measured by state assessments. Learn more about each cluster here.

Yes, during the 2020-21 school year, the DG team developed the Framework for <Remote> Teaching, identifying eight essential components from the FFT and a pathway that prioritizes student wellbeing, equity, and racial justice. The Framework is applicable in many learning environments and can be used flexibly to address the multiple ways in which we must deliver quality instruction. The components of the FFT can support teachers to develop practices and approaches that meet the needs of their unique school contexts.

Partnering With The DG

The Framework for Teaching (FFT) and a partnership with the DG supports teacher professional learning across the career continuum – from pre-service teacher preparation through teacher leadership and beyond. The FFT provides the foundation for instructional practice, as well as a philosophical approach to understanding and promoting great teaching and learning. It has the potential to serve as the foundation of a comprehensive professional learning system. Reach out to our team at contact@danielsongroup.org to discuss partnership options and explore our online course offerings today. If you and your school community are new to the Framework for Teaching (FFT) or need a refresher,  consider getting your team started with our online course: The Framework for Teaching: A Common Vision of Instructional Excellence. Get in touch today!

In addition to customized training and programs based on the Framework for Teaching (FFT) for school districts and organizations, the DG offers interactive online workshops and self-paced courses designed to help teachers and those who support them put the FFT to work in their classrooms and schools. Explore course opportunities in our course catalog today.

If you and your school district or organization is interested in partnering with the DG, please complete the contact form on our website. Fusing our expertise with yours and the educators and school leaders in your community, we work to support our partners in providing equitable learning environments and experiences.  Please do not hesitate to reach out directly at contact@danielsongroup.org with any questions so that we can find the right fit for you and your school community.

Merging our expertise with yours and the educators and school leaders in your community, we work to support our partners in providing equitable learning environments and experiences. The Framework for Teaching (FFT) and our supporting resources have been used in millions of classrooms worldwide. We are proud and honored to work across incredibly diverse settings with partners who are dedicated to building more equitable and just classrooms and schools. Our partners include schools, districts, state agencies, universities, and others who use the FFT and have worked with us to strengthen professional practice, elevate great teaching, and inspire a shift from evaluation toward growth. Our partnerships range from initial adoption of the FFT, to building capacity within districts and schools, to completely designing (or redesigning) systems of professional learning and support. The network of FFT users continues to grow, and we make our core resources freely available beyond our direct partnerships. Through our course and workshop offerings, we strive to facilitate relevant, holistic professional learning.

The Danielson Group (DG) can customize our support to meet your needs and strongly encourage you and your school leaders to plan with us to determine ways to best support you and your community from the beginning through full implementation.  Below are a few helpful tips to prepare for a partnership with us:

  • Visit our website to explore additional resources and information as well as learn more about any upcoming webinars to attend.
  • Reflect on your own practice and see how the components of the Framework for Teaching (FFT) play out in your own practice. The Framework is a tool to support self-reflection.
  • Engage in discussions with colleagues to determine more possible examples for each component.
  • Consider ways that you can design a system that keeps the emphasis on professional growth and student learning.
  • Keep asking questions and write them down. 


We like to maintain an ongoing relationship with our partners and the DG offers a variety of online, blended, and face-to-face support to supplement our work together.

All current course offerings can be found in our course catalog  which is accessible via the main menu bar under “What We Do” on the “Online Courses” web page or by clicking the purple “Course Catalog” button at the top of our homepage.

Once you decide which course in the DG’s online course catalog is the right fit for you, click the “Get this course” button on the course description web page to get started. You will then be promoted to “login” or “Sign Up” within our learning management system (LMS) to purchase the course and get access to all course materials.

Yes, the Danielson Group (DG) works with our partners to offer courses, workshops, and consultative services in the way that best fits you and your school community; this includes virtual and online offerings. Our team works closely with you to find the right fit for you and your school community. We know many educators and school leaders find the Framework for Teaching (FFT) to be a valuable resource in the classroom: this is why the DG strives to facilitate professional learning so teachers feel heard, inspired, and empowered to meet the needs of students, resulting in a strategic transformation in practice.

Yes, the Danielson Group (DG) specializes in customized trainings and workshops to support partner needs and goals.  In our pursuit to support our partners in providing equitable learning environments and experiences, our team works with you personally to find the right fit for you and your school community. There are many ways we can utilize our time together and configure professional learning offerings that focus on areas that support your school wide priorities.

Educators in the field have conducted research on various areas of the teaching profession as it relates to the Framework for Teaching (FFT) and its approaches and recommendations. You can find recent research and empirical studies that validate the FFT as predictive of student learning on the Danielson Group (DG)’s blog under the “Research on the Framework” section.

The Danielson Group (DG) certifies Framework Specialists (FSs) through a competitive application process. Certified Framework Specialists can conduct training on behalf of the DG, within their own districts, and independently. If you are interested in joining a Cohort of FSs for future training, please reach out to contact@danielsongroup.org and let us know your name, email address, role/position, and organization.

The Danielson Group (DG) makes our core resources freely available beyond our direct partnerships. All DG resources and publications can be found in the Resources section of the website which is accessible via the main menu bar or by clicking the purple Resource button at the top of our homepage.

How To Connect With The DG & Stay Updated

The Danielson Group (DG) sends out a monthly newsletter with the latest details on opportunities, upcoming events, and course offerings: subscribe at our website today. Additionally, please keep in touch and follow us on our social media platforms like Twitter (@danielson_group) and LinkedIn (The Danielson Group).

Please complete the form on our Contact page if you are interested in workshops, consultative services, and/or appearances and feel free to contact us directly at contact@danielsongroup.org with any specific questions regarding courses, requests for partnership information, or general questions.

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