Questions about the evaluation of Domains 1 and 4

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How do teachers demonstrate their skill in Domains 1 and 4?

Domains 1 and 4 represent the “behind the scenes” work of teaching: essential for accomplished practice but not visible in the classroom. This means that a teacher’s skill in these domains must be demonstrated through artifacts, planning documents for Domain 1 and artifacts reflecting a teacher’s professionalism for Domain 4.

What artifacts should teachers collect to demonstrate their skill in Domains 1 and 4?

In the book The Handbook for Enhancing Professional Practice: Using the Framework for Teaching in Your School (ASCD, 2008) I described, in considerable detail, the sources of evidence for each of the components in the FFT (pp 13-16), and offered sample directions and “scoring guides” for artifacts that could serve to provide evidence for Domain 1 and 4. (pp. 144-165.) But it’s important to bear in mind that while the components in Domain 4 are quite distinct from one another, and thus need to be demonstrated separately, those in Domain 1 are highly intertwined. Therefore, for Domain 1, teachers can submit a single document, for example a Unit Plan, depending on its level of detail, and provide evidence of all of the components of Domain 1.

How often should Domains 1 and 4 be evaluated?

Many of the components of Domain 1 (particularly 1c,1e, and 1f) can be assessed for a single lesson, and demonstrated through a lesson plan and a pre observation (planning) conference. Naturally, this applies only to a formal, announced observation, since an unannounced observation does not include a pre observation conference. However, to include the evaluation of Domain 1 in every observation adds an unnecessary burden, for both the teacher and the evaluator; therefore, I recommend that Domain 1 be assessed annually. The same is true for Domain 4, but for slightly different reasons. Teachers don’t “demonstrate” Domain 4 in the context of each lesson – with the possible exception of 4a, which is revealed in a post observation (reflection) conference – so I recommend an annual conference between a teacher and the evaluator to examine the artifacts that the teacher has assembled as evidence of Domain 4 (examples of record keeping systems, communication with families, professional development activities, involvement with colleagues, etc.) Planning documents (for example, a unit plan) can be examined at the same time.

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