A Vision Of Excellence

The Framework is a vision of instructional excellence, a roadmap for pursuing it, and a set of discrete practices that describe it.

The Framework for Teaching provides a common language for instructional practice, as well as a philosophical approach to understanding and promoting great teaching and learning. It is a vision of instructional excellence, a roadmap for pursuing it, and a set of discrete practices that describe it.The Framework was developed as a common language and comprehensive approach to teacher professional learning across the career continuum – from pre-service teacher preparation through teacher leadership and beyond. This approach is grounded in a specific conceptualization of the profession, recognizes its complexity, and supports the pursuit of great teaching at every level.

The Framework for Teaching

Danielson initially organized the instructional practice into four domains: Planning and Preparation, The Classroom Environment, Instruction, and Professional Responsibilities. Over the last 23 years the Framework has evolved to reflect new learning in the field and important shifts, such as the adoption of more rigorous college- and career-ready standards across the United States and the increasing availability of high-quality instructional materials. It has also been extensively studied and validated as an accurate measure of connections between teacher performance and student learning.

The Framework Clusters

After years of use and feedback, Danielson distilled the big ideas of the Framework into a new tool: The Framework For Teaching Clusters (FFT Clusters). The FFT Clusters provide a more user-friendly breakdown of components articulated in The Framework. This tool anchors comprehensive approaches to teacher growth including coaching, professional learning communities, self-assessment and reflection, and other essential practices. 

The Common Themes

Although the common language of the Framework is articulated in the domains and components, it is the Common Themes that describe a philosophical approach. These aspects of the craft are not discrete, observable practices but rather beliefs, mindsets, and approaches evident in how teachers engage in those practices. The Common Themes are embedded throughout practices identified in the Framework and are fundamental in our efforts to propel teacher growth.