Since late 1996, hundreds of teacher preparation programs, schools and school districts, and government agencies (both in the United States and in other countries) have found the framework for teaching to be a useful tool in defining good teaching. Educators have discovered that by having clear standards of practice and descriptions of how those standards are manifested in various contexts, they are able to be increasingly thoughtful and reflective about their work. This chapter describes the different uses of the framework for teaching and offers some suggestions based on the experience of thousands of educators.
The most powerful use of the framework—and one that should accompany any other use—is for reflection and self-assessment. Research has clearly demonstrated that reflection on practice improves teaching. Using a framework to guide such reflection enhances the value of the activity and makes teaching more purposeful, thoughtful, and rewarding.
Reflection and self-assessment are, first of all, individual activities, conducted in the privacy of a teacher's own classroom or home. Although the results of