However, as I've looked for something different for our new staff members, I happened upon Bryan Goodwin and Elizabeth Ross Hubbell's "12 Touchstones of Good Teaching." The authors present 12
teaching everyday teaching practices that keep teaching and learning on what matters most based on research, framed around 3 principles: Be Demanding, Be Supportive, and Be Intentional.
I have found this to be a very accessible and simple (but not simplistic) guide to what teachers should focus on. I really love their concise treatments of grading, standards, engagement, and the importance of connecting with students. The authors provide the 12 touchstones, and further break each of them down into more specific subparts. If I'm counting right, there are 56 subparts providing clarity to the 12 Touchstones. It's actually prefect for new staff and veteran staff alike. The 12 Touchstones are:
|Item 1. I use standards to guide every learning opportunity|
|Item 2. I ensure students set personal learning objectives for each lesson|
|Item 3: I peel back the curtain and make my performance expectations clear|
|Item 4: I measure understanding against high expectations|
|Item 5: I engage student interest with every lesson|
|Item 6: I interact meaningfully with every student|
|Item 7: I use feedback to encourage effort|
|Item 8: I create an oasis of safety and respect in my classroom|
|Item 9: I make the most of every minute|
|Item 10: I help students develop deep knowledge|
|Item 11: I coach students to mastery|
|Item 12: I help students do something with their learning|
I haven't listed the subparts (for lack of a better term, I'll call them SubStones), but if you look at just the list of 12 Touchstones, you may notice significant overlap with Danielson's 4 Domains and 22 Components. For example, "Setting personal learning objectives" and "Setting Instructional Objectives" are pretty close to a direct match. Engagement, designing instruction, assessment: it's all here. I suppose since both of these models purport to be "research based," it's a good thing that they're quite consistent.
As we've just finished our first year using Danielson as the basis of our new evaluation plan, I think we can do a better job of being specific about what each of the Danielson components mean and how they look in practice. As an exercise, I decided to do a quick and dirty crosswalk of Danielson and Goodwin & Hubbell.
You can access the full crosswalk here.
For example, one of the 7 SubStones of "I use standards to guide every learning opportunity" is "I unpack standards to clarify what students must learn." I tagged this as falling under Danielson's "Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy." Keep in mind: my interpretation of the SubStones and Danielson is certainly up for debate. Also, many of the SubStones could fall into several Danielson Components. For example, I tagged "I clearly communicate and remind students of their learning objectives" as Danielson's Component 3a: Communicating with Students." There's certainly a case to be made the this should also fall under 1c: Setting Instructional Objectives.
Tagging the TouchstonesSo, being a data nerd with an inappropriate affinity for pivot tables, I did a quick pivot table summary of how often each of the Danielson components was tagged in the 56 SubStones. I hoped that this would illustrate which of the components are most important (at least using the lens of Goodwin and Hubbell). By the way, this only really applied to Danielson's first 3 Domains; "Domain 4: Professional Responsibilities" did not really apply.
Here's what the overall count looked like:
|Danielson Component||Count of Appearances in "12 Touchstones" and SubStones|
|1a. Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy||3|
|1b: Knowledge of Students||1|
|1c: Setting Instructional Outcomes||5|
|1e: Designing Coherent Instruction||5|
|1f: Desgning Student Assessments||1|
|2a: Creating an Environment of Respect and Rapport||4|
|2b: Establishing a Culture for Learning||4|
|2c: Managing Classroom Procedures||1|
|2d: Managing Student Behavior||3|
|3a: Communicating with Students||4|
|3b: Using Questioning and Discussion Techniques||1|
|3c: Engagement in Learning||9|
|3d: Using Assessment in Instruction||14|
|3e: Flexibility and Responsiveness||1|
IF you are to buy into the premise of this crosswalk and IF you agree with how I did it, the most frequently cited of Danielson's Components were:
3d: Using Assessment in Instruction (Tagged 14 times). This number surprised me, although it probably shouldn't have. The importance of effective formative assessment has been shown to be incredibly powerful over and over again.
3c: Engagement in Learning (Tagged 9 times). Not surprising. It has been suggested that "Engagement" is really the key to the entire Danielson Framework.
1c: Setting Instructional Outcomes (Tagged 5 times, although the use of goals and instructional objectives is mentioned many more times in the 12 Touchstones. I tagged some of the others differently)
1e: Designing Coherent Instruction (Tagged 5 times)
Getting More Specific with Danielson: Another use of the crosswalk
As noted, I think we can do a better job of giving examples of how certain Danielson components translate into practice. Using this spreadsheet, I was able to filter on a particular Component, and see which of the Touchstones match up. For example, when I filter "Danielson Components" on 1c Setting Instructional Outcomes, here's what comes up:
|I ensure students set personal learning objectives for each lesson||1c: Setting Instructional Outcomes|
|I help students set learning goals||1c: Setting Instructional Outcomes|
|I ensure students set long term goals||1c: Setting Instructional Outcomes|
|I translate standards into specific learning objectives for students||1c: Setting Instructional Outcomes|
|I help students personalize learning objectives||1c: Setting Instructional Outcomes|
As another example, when I filter on 3c: Engagement in Learning, here's what I get:
|I use standards as a platform for creativity||3c: Engagement in Learning|
|I hook student interest as I launch my lessons||3c: Engagement in Learning|
|I mix things up during my lessons||3c: Engagement in Learning|
|I offer learning choices to students||3c: Engagement in Learning|
|I build my lessons around mysteries and puzzles (generating and testing hypotheses)||3c: Engagement in Learning|
|I help students concentrate their thinking on deep knowledge||3c: Engagement in Learning|
|I use writing assignments to help students extend learning||3c: Engagement in Learning|
|I use projects to help students apply knowledge||3c: Engagement in Learning|
|I provide students with heuristic problems to solve||3c: Engagement in Learning|
Tis has certainly helped me frame the discussion I plan to have with our new staff, and it may carry into what we're planning for the full staff next year.
Note: If you want to do any sorting or filtering, you can make a copy of your own. I've only given viewing rights to my spreadsheet, and you'll need full edit rights to manipulate the data.