Framework for Teaching

A research-validated evaluation instrument that supports educator growth through constructive conversations about teaching practice


The Framework for Teaching provides a common language and a shared understanding of effective teaching practice. This common understanding promotes deep professional conversation about teaching that is ultimately reflected in student learning.Charlotte Danielson

The Framework for Teaching Evaluation Instrument, 2013 Edition, provides educators with a deep, shared understanding of what great teaching looks like and builds confidence in the observation process.

A significant refinement of previous editions (2011, 2007), it is designed to provide practitioners the most practical and easy to use tool to accurately observe teaching.

By using a common language of effective teaching, teachers and observers have more constructive conversations that lead to professional growth.

Advancing teaching effectiveness

Charlotte Danielson and Teachscape first teamed together during the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project in 2009. Working with Educational Testing Service (ETS) and Charlotte, Teachscape developed a rater training and certification system for over 500 raters nationwide to reliably score over 23,000 classroom lessons captured on video.

It became clear that schools and districts had a great need for the kinds of tools developed for the MET project. So Teachscape, Charlotte Danielson, and ETS leveraged our experience to jointly develop:

Teachscape Focus
An observation training and assessment system used to train and assess educators on using the Framework for Teaching Evaluation Instrument. Focus helps build confidence in evaluations by preparing teachers and observers for fair, accurate observations and professional conversations about teaching practice.

Teachscape Reflect
An observation and evaluation management system used for customized evaluations, in-classroom and video-based observations, and walkthroughs.

Available exclusively through Teachscape

Because of Teachscape’s commitment to providing a tool set that faithfully implements the Framework as part of a constructive, reflective evaluation process, Charlotte Danielson granted us exclusive digital rights to the Framework for Teaching Evaluation Instrument, 2011 and 2013 Editions.

While any version of the Framework For Teaching Evaluation Instrument may be freely downloaded and printed for use in paper form, this exclusive license grant means that Teachscape’s software products are the only ones authorized for use with the Evaluation Instrument.

Teachscape is honored to join with Charlotte Danielson in this important work, and is committed to this important work to enhance teaching practice.

Charlotte Danielson

It was impossible to train observers to adequate levels of accuracy and inter-rater agreement on the 2007…version of the framework.Charlotte Danielson

As an economist living in Washington, D.C., Charlotte Danielson got to know the children in her neighborhood and saw firsthand how her local schools struggled. She began working toward her teaching credential at night, and soon left her research position to teach in the District's public school system.

Later, after serving as a staff developer and curriculum director in the school system, Charlotte worked with ETS to develop an assessment to license new teachers, which led to her development of the Framework for Teaching in 1996.

Architect of a common language

With a solid research-based foundation, the Framework for Teaching quickly gained acceptance among educators across the country and overseas as a comprehensive description of teaching practice.

Now an internationally recognized expert in designing improvement-focused teacher evaluation systems, Charlotte Danielson has incorporated years of research and feedback from educators to develop the Framework for Teaching Evaluation Instrument.

This practical tool is designed to adapt to changing needs and the Common Core while remaining true to its original structure. The Evaluation Instrument is used not just for evaluations but also for mentoring, coaching, and professional development.


The continued evolution of defining what great teaching looks like

When Charlotte Danielson first created the Framework for Teaching in 1996 to assess teaching practice for licensing purposes, educators quickly recognized the Framework as a comprehensive description of good teaching, regardless of experience level.

After participating in several large research studies, including the Measures of Effective Teaching project, Charlotte discovered that it was impossible to train observers to adequate levels of accuracy and inter-rater agreement using the updated 2007 and 2008 versions of the Framework.

It became clear that educators needed an evaluation framework that was not only successful in describing good teaching practice but also provided additional clarity around levels of teaching performance. Thus the Framework was enhanced in 2011 to become an Evaluation Instrument with further refinements in the 2013 version.

The 2013 enhancements include:

  • Clearer language for ease of use and scoring/accuracy in assessment
  • More precise feedback for teachers
  • Critical attributes and possible examples for each component and each level of performance
  • Explicit links to the Common Core State Standards

The enhanced Framework for Teaching Evaluation Instrument builds on the strength and stability of the original Framework to create the most practical tool for administrators to use when evaluating teaching practice and providing effective feedback to support educator growth.


Hear from Charlotte Danielson as she explains the evolution of the Framework for Teaching

A Partnership Forged in the MET Project

Integrating the Common Core State Standards


Since 1996 when Charlotte Danielson first created the Framework for Teaching, several large research studies (and many other smaller ones) have shown the Framework to be valid and reliable—high performance on the Framework as a whole is consistently predictive of high levels of student learning.

A few of these studies are highlighted below. Visit the Danielson Group's website for more information.

  • Classroom Observations Improve the Reliability of Evaluations

    Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the three-year Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project studied ways of measuring teaching practice to help identify great teachers. Using a set of measures that included classroom observation, student achievement growth, and student perception surveys, the MET project found:

    • Great teaching can be identified through a combination of specific measures.
    • Classroom observations contribute to the reliability of evaluation measures.
    • Using the Framework for Teaching to score classroom observations helps evaluators provide clear, timely, and reliable feedback on teaching.
    • This focused feedback helps shed light on the specific areas teachers need to improve their practice and increase student achievement.

    Read more about the MET study and download the full reports here.

  • A Valid and Reliable Tool for More Reflective Evaluations

    This report from the University of Chicago Consortium of Chicago School Research (CCSR) is one of the first to provide evidence that teacher observation tools such as the Framework for Teaching promote better feedback in areas that are the most important to student learning. Summarizing findings from a two-year study of Chicago’s Excellence in Teaching Pilot, the report shows:

    • Classroom observation ratings based on the Framework for Teaching were valid and reliable measures of teaching practice.
    • Principals and teachers said conferences were more reflective and objective than in the past, and more focused on instructional practice and improvement.
    • Over half of principals were highly engaged in the new evaluation system.

    Visit CCSR's website to read more and download the study.

  • Classroom Observations Can Identify Effective Teaching Practices

    Teachscape Reflect includes a powerful tool for conducting and managing classroom walkthroughs. With the Walkthrough Tool, school systems can:

    • Capture focused “snapshots” of instructional practice
    • Measure the impact of specific practices on teaching and learning
    • Gauge progress toward overall instructional goals
    • Shed light on where to focus improvement efforts
    • Engage communities of practice in reflective, constructive dialogue
    • Foster a growth mindset among educators
We are all about creating a transparent, learning-focused environment, and Teachscape helps us achieve this.Adam Hartley Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction
Swartz County Community Schools

Newport | KY

Calibrating observer practices yields robust teacher evaluations


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