Article submitted to and accepted for the Near-East South-Asia Council of Overseas Schools (NESA) Fall Newsletter Edition 2018:
International College Adopts the Danielson Framework
Beirut, May 24, 2018
International College in Lebanon has identified the Danielson Framework as its reference for the teaching and learning experience offered at the school. Since February, the school has been progressively adopting the Framework, initially with the school leadership team, and building to an In-Service professional development day for all administrators and faculty members from both campuses (Ain Aar and Ras Beirut) on May 24. Six consultants from the Danielson Group, Margaret Leibfried, Linda Goodwin, Lynn Sawyer, Peggy Olcott, Cody Claver, and Dr. Ron Anderson, joined Charlotte Danielson on this BIG Danielson training day. Through the Framework, IC is able to enhance professional practice and autonomous, engaged student learning. As part of this initiative, Charlotte Danielson, the creator of this framework, traveled to Lebanon, leading the training on IC’s Beirut campus.
“Our aim is to find common language and shared understanding of practice which permits conversation and dialogue, whilst creating a community of learners” commented Danielson.
The Danielson Framework is segmented into four domains pertaining to planning and preparation, the classroom environment, professional responsibilities, and instruction. Through this framework, a positive learning atmosphere is created. Teachers are educators who pave the way for students’ understanding and engagement. They are not simply transmitting facts anymore, but are facilitators who help students make their own arguments and assumptions.
The seven common themes of the Framework revolve around equity, cultural sensitivity, high expectations, developmental appropriateness, accommodating individual need, the appropriate use of technology, and student assumption of responsibility. Based on the framework and the themes, educators following the Framework can measure the level of performance by four elements, unsatisfactory, basic, proficient, and distinguished. At the distinguished level of teaching, teachers would create a community of learners whereby students are deeply involved in the learning and the classroom is self-generating.
“We have chosen the Danielson Framework because it is a valid instrument supported by several large research studies. These studies showed that when teachers demonstrate high levels of proficiency on the Framework, their students show greater learning gains. Secondly, the Framework applies to all disciplines from KG levels up to 12th grade and this is based on the fact that teaching requires the same basic tasks,” explained Dr. Mahmud Shihab, Director of IC’s Educational Resources Center.
IC applies the Danielson Framework with the involvement of school parents, represented by the Parent Committee at Charlotte Danielson’s opening address on May 24. Indeed, part of the training provided is how teachers communicate with families about individual students and how to engage them in the instructional program itself.
The adoption of the Danielson Framework is just one step among many to accelerate the progression and growth of IC, both as a leading academic institution and as an engaged and thriving community. The school constantly identifies and pursues new opportunities to benefit all key stakeholders of IC and strongly believes that student learning is paramount to the success of IC as a whole.