Debunking Danielson

Daneilson….Charlotte Danielson…heard of her?  If you haven’t and your in education, it is pretty safe to assume you will – SOON.  Her research and subsequent methodology is in many ways the “new way” in which many states are looking at as a research based way to rate teacher effectiveness. In New York, it seems that her word is quickly becoming scripture.  But with all the hype in how we rate teachers in an effort to smoke out the bad ones and elevate the good ones to saint like status, the power of the Danielson framework may be a step in the right direction in terms of creating a common language for school administration to provide meaningful feedback in turn directly impacting instruction. So what is the framework and what are the implications and why now?  All questions I have been uncovering answers  for as my school becomes part of the year two pilot across the country.


I could very easily fill a blog post and then some on who Charlotte Danielson as she has a wealth of knowledge and experience behind her, but in a nut shell she is an expert in the field of curriculum development and instruction having worked with school across the country and the world in this field.


While this one I am still discovering myself, her theories behind effective teaching lie in 6 domains of which there are 22 competencies.  The range in engaging student learning, to questioning, to management, to assessment.  You name it, she has covered it and then some.  For NYC, it means 6 of the competencies in three of the domains.


While I have yet to meet the teacher that has mastered education according to Danielson, I have quickly seen that in order to be effective chalk and talk is out.  The students need to talk, to engage with one anther, to think rather then be told, to inquiry.  The lower you ask the students to think and comprehend on  Bloom’s and DoK the less likely you will feel successful on the framework.

All that aside, in an age where the test is the be all end all to a students success, the implementation of the Danielson framework seems to pull back from the one test and puts more of  the focus on the classrooms and what is happening during instruction time.  That does not mean assessments don’t count, on the contrary, they count and some, but it is multiple measures of assessment, over the course of the year, combined with instruction, that paint a picture of effectiveness or ineffectiveness.

Am I 100% sold on this model for teacher effectiveness – not yet – but I like the direction it is heading it.  It is about time we let the children inquiry and learn rather than just kill and drill to pass some exam that changes as often as the wind.


One thought on “Debunking Danielson”

  1. We are in on the Ohio pilot evaluation this year, which is based on Danielson’s work and Ohio’s standards for the teaching profession. I think there’s a lot of value in revising the evaluation systems we currently use, but I still think they need to be clarified at the local level. What an effective teacher looks like in one district may not be the same in another circumstance. I’ll be interested in following these developing evaluations.

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