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Research Foundation

The Early Childhood Video Project has rested on the foundation of a research study in Illinois schools. This is the first study to examine the use of the Danielson Framework for Teaching in PreK-3rd grade classrooms.

Validation of Framework: Staff in CSEP received grant funding for a validation study of the 2013 Danielson Framework for Teaching for PreK-3rd grade teachers. This study began in fall 2014 and took place in seven districts and a community-based early childhood centers across Illinois (Northern, Central, Southern Illinois, and Chicago) involving teachers in grades PreK-3.

Conducting a validation study of the Framework had three purposes:

  1. To ensure that the framework provides accurate and reliable data that PreK-3rd grade teachers and their supervisors can use to identify strengths and weaknesses, and use that data to identify appropriate professional development mechanisms to promote teachers’ growth.
  2. To ensure that the data from the Framework’s observations correlates with student growth data so that higher levels of teacher performance are correlated to higher levels of student growth and learning.
  3. To enable early childhood teachers and their supervisors to grow a shared vision of effective teaching practices and classroom environments and work together collaboratively using data from the Danielson Framework to grow teachers’ practice.

The research was guided by the following research questions:

  1. Is the Danielson Framework for Teaching a valid teacher observation instrument in early childhood classrooms (Prek through 3rd grade)?
    1. Does the observation data and subsequent ratings match with indicators of student achievement?
  2. Is the Danielson Framework for Teaching a reliable teacher observation instrument?
    1. Are there consistencies in the evidence and ratings identified across observers?
    2. Where are there common areas of agreement regarding effective teaching practice? Where are there potential areas of misinterpretation or disagreement?

Summary of the findings:

More information about the research and the findings can be found in the following Research Summary found here


Other Studies of the Danielson Framework for Teaching in Teacher Evaluation Systems:

The PreK-3rd Grade Danielson Validation Study was informed by previous studies of teacher evaluation systems that have included a study of the Danielson Framework for Teaching. Information about these studies can be found below.

MET Project: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded the Measures of Effective Teaching Project to identify effective evaluation methods for teacher evaluation processes. The Danielson Framework for Teaching was one of the observation tools used to score teacher instruction videos to test the validity and reliability of observation tools and evaluation processes. Project publications and resources can be found at:  http://k12education.gatesfoundation.org/blog/measures-of-effective-teaching-project-faqs/

REACH Project: The University of Chicago Consortium on School Research has been studying the Chicago Public School teacher evaluation system they call REACH since the 2016-17 school year. The purpose of the study is to identify the value of the system for improving teachers’ instruction. Project information and publications can be found here: https://consortium.uchicago.edu/page/teacher-evaluation

Teaching to the Core: This research report is primarily written to inform Teaching the Core (TtC) project stakeholder of findings from the research, specifically to support the Danielson Group in making decisions about modifications to the Framework for Teaching (FfT) in order to incorporate Common Core

State Standards (CCSS). This research effort was specifically tasked with exploring issues around aligning the Framework for Teaching (FfT) with Common Core State Standards (CCSS) from the bottom up, hearing directly from practitioners as they use instruments (FfT and IPG) in the current climate of

widespread reform of student standards and teacher evaluation. Project publications and resources can be found at: Teaching to the Core: Practitioner Perspectives about the Intersection of Teacher Evaluation using the Danielson Framework for Teaching and Common Core State Standards