Updated Framework For Educators Helps Create Welcoming, Inclusive Classrooms To Increase Student Learning

May 4, 2022

The Danielson Group updates the Framework for Teaching to increase intellectual engagement and better support educators to create challenging and successful learning environments

CHICAGO, IL –Today, the Danielson Group (DG) is releasing an updated version of an essential resource in the growth and support of high-quality teaching. For more than 26 years, Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching (FFT) has been used by countless educators in the United States and around the world. As a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing educator practice and student success, the DG promotes flexibility in how schools and teachers use the FFT to address the unique needs of their community.

Over the last decade, research has taught us more about how effective teaching can transform student learning, especially in a rapidly changing world. The updated FFT incorporates this new research, as well as feedback from educators and our own experience in the field, placing increased emphasis on the lives and needs of students, equitable learning environments, social-emotional development, the use of high-quality curricula, and autonomy for educators to meet the needs of all students.

“Every teacher knows that context matters —that what works for some students may not be what works for each and every student. Teachers are more successful when they are empowered to teach authentically and be responsive to their communities’ needs,” said the Danielson Group Executive Director, Jim Furman. “The updated Framework for Teaching will support reflection, observation, and other forms of professional learning and ultimately help teachers build a classroom environment that values and nurtures all learners.”

Since 2003, the DG has partnered with over 1,500 organizations worldwide with over 59,000 downloads of their resources. Lessons from this work with educators in classrooms today were harnessed in creating the updated FFT. The FFT provides the necessary foundation for educators to deepen their impact on students and is most effective when used as a frame that is adapted to meet the unique needs of different school communities and educators. Rather than a prescriptive set of requirements, the FFT helps educators teach authentically and strategically. Learning improves when educators have the flexibility to analyze teaching and learning through the lens of local context and identify aligned strategies that will lead to greater success.

Specifically, the FFT provides new guidance on planning and preparation, learning environments, learning experiences, and principled teaching. It addresses topics like knowing and valuing students, responding flexibly to student needs, and engaging families and communities. By focusing on specific areas within the Framework, a teacher can begin improving learning environments for students — a continual journey that will change from year-to-year.

As one district administrator said, “[In the updated Framework for Teaching] it no longer feels like the teacher has all of the control but, there is a transfer of ownership to students in a respectful classroom and, in co-created classrooms, students have autonomy and voice.”

Intellectual engagement is intrinsically linked to students’ overall social-emotional well-being. When students feel supported by caring adults and are intellectually engaged, learning improves. They are more likely to excel academically and have a stronger sense of connection with the school. This is why building a safe and nurturing culture that invites students to utilize their minds and connect new information with prior understanding of shared topics is important in today’s classrooms. The DG’s updated Framework highlights strategies that increase students’ focus, motivate them to practice critical thinking skills, and ultimately promote meaningful learning experiences.

Information about the FFT, webinars, and supports for applying the updated Framework to a specific school’s needs are available on the Danielson Group’s website.

About the Danielson Group

The Danielson Group works with school systems across the country to bring out the best in their teachers by creating professional learning programs and policies that provide the right levels of support all along a teacher’s career path. Since its founding in 2003, the Danielson Group has worked with thousands of schools and tens of thousands of educators to advance the teaching profession in service of student learning and development.