Our Story

We promote a comprehensive approach to instructional improvement grounded in a shared vision of instructional excellence and student success.

Dedicated to the Pursuit of Great Teaching

We believe students everywhere deserve world-class teaching. 

Each student and educator should experience a safe and inclusive learning environment that promotes joyful inquiry, efficacy, intellectual rigor, and reflection. With the Framework for Teaching, this environment can exist in every school, every grade, and every class.

Driven By Three Core Beliefs

Our work at the Danielson Group is grounded in three simple but powerful beliefs: 

Each and every student deserves access to quality teaching.

1. Each and every student deserves access to quality teaching.

“A commitment to excellence is not complete without a commitment to equity.” 
Learning is done by the learner through an active, intellectual process. 

2. Learning is done by the learner through an active, intellectual process. 

“For all human beings - adults as well as children - it is the learner who does the learning.”
Teaching is incredibly complex work

3. Teaching is incredibly complex work. 

“The Framework gives voice to what all educators know: that teaching is incredibly complex work. It’s a thinking person’s job.”

Evolution of the Framework

Developed by Charlotte Danielson over two decades ago, the Framework for Teaching (FFT) is a research-based tool that describes components of effective instruction. The complex activity of teaching is divided into 22 components (and 76 more discrete elements) clustered into four domains of teaching responsibility: Planning & Preparation, Classroom Environment, Instruction, and Professional Responsibilities.

The FFT has long been the gold standard and most widely used definition of teaching practice in the U.S. — a description of teaching that has withstood the test of time and influenced countless other frameworks, evaluation rubrics, and human capital policies. Educators have long been drawn to the FFT because it provides a clear, comprehensive language for describing teaching. Teachers can see themselves in its levels of performance and, more importantly, see where they have the potential to grow. The FFT has been applied in a variety of contexts and has evolved to align to new standards, been updated to include content-specific applications, and has the potential to be applied to countless strategic priorities, instructional approaches, and innovations.


First Published in 1996, The Framework for teaching was developed by Charlotte Danielson as a means to promote clear and meaningful conversations about effective teaching practices.


In 2011, an extensive study of the implementation of the FFT in Chicago Public Schools released by the University of Chicago's Consortium on School Research found a strong relationship between classroom observation ratings on the FFT and student learning in reading and math.


Researchers with the Measures of Effective Teaching study published by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (2012) found that the FFT was connected to student achievement growth on state tests, tests of conceptual understanding, and students' evaluation of their learning experiences.


The Framework for Teaching Evaluation Instrument was released in 2013 in response to instructional implications of the Common Core State Standards. The standards require the kind of active, engaged learning by students that is also at the heart of the Framework. Some specific additions were made to the rubric language of the Framework to make these connections more explicit and highlight the philosophical alignment of the two.


In 2017, Danielson published The Framework for Teaching Clusters, including content-specific versions for Math and English Language Arts, to further promote the professional growth of teachers through reflection and conversation. The Clusters can serve as the foundation for a comprehensive professional learning system.