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Professional Standards Board

Statutory Authority: 14 Delaware Code, Section 1205(b) (14 Del.C. §1205(b))
14 DE Admin. Code 1597



1597 Delaware Professional Teaching Standards


The Professional Standards Board, acting in cooperation and collaboration with the Department of Education, seeks the consent of the State Board of Education to amend regulation 14 DE Admin. Code 1597 Delaware Professional Teaching Standards shall serve as the common principles and foundations of teaching practice for Delaware public school educators in accordance with 14 Del.C. §§1201 and 1205 (b). The standards outline what educators should know and be able to do to ensure every K-12 student reaches the goal of being ready to enter college or the workforce in today’s world. Delaware Professional Teaching Standards would reflect the Council of Chief State School Officers’ Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium Model Core Teaching Standards.

Notice of the proposed amendment of the regulation was published in the Delaware Register of Regulations on May 1, 2012. The notice invited written comments, but none were received.


The Professional Standards Board and the State Board of Education find that it is appropriate to amend this regulation to comply with changes in statute.


For the foregoing reasons, the Professional Standards Board and the State Board of Education conclude that it is appropriate to amend the regulation. Therefore, pursuant to 14 Del.C. §1205(b), the regulation attached hereto as Exhibit “A” is hereby amended. Pursuant to the provision of 14 Del.C. §122(e), the regulation hereby amended shall be in effect for a period of five years from the effective date of this order as set forth in Section V. below.


The text of the regulation amended shall be in the form attached hereto as Exhibit “A”, and said regulation shall be cited as 14 DE Admin. Code 1597 of the Administrative Code of Regulations of the Professional Standards Board.


The effective date of this Order shall be ten (10) days from the date this Order is published in the Delaware Register of Regulations.


Kathleen Thomas, Chair

Lori Hudson

Michael Casson

Chris Kenton

Joanne Christian

David Kohan

Samtra Devard

Jill Lewandowski

Stephanie DeWitt

Wendy Murray

Marilyn Dollard

Whitney Price

Karen Gordon

Shelley Rouser

Cristy Greaves

Jacque Wisnauskas

IT IS SO ORDERED the 21st day of June, 2012.

Department of Education

Michael Murphy, Secretary of Education

Approved this 21st day of June, 2012

State Board of Education

Teri Quinn Gray, Ph.D., President

Gregory Coverdale

Jorge L. Melendez, Vice President

Terry M. Whittaker, Ed.D.

G. Patrick Heffernan

Randall L. Hughes

Barbara B. Rutt

1597 Delaware Professional Teaching Standards

1.0 Content

The Delaware Professional Teaching Standards establish a common set of knowledge, skills, and attributes expected of Delaware's teachers. In accordance with 14 Del.C. §1205, this regulation shall be applied to all teachers employed within the public schools and charter schools of the State of Delaware.

7 DE Reg. 75 (7/1/03)
12 DE Reg. 1208 (03/01/09)
2.0 Definitions

The following words and terms, when used in this regulation, shall have the following meaning unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Alignment of Assessment" means the ability to determine what students know and are able to do with respect to the curriculum is dependent upon how well the assessment methods and tasks are aligned with, or in agreement with, the curriculum. Assessments should be aligned with the content of the curriculum, consistent with the instructional approaches, and address the range of topics as weighted in the curriculum.

"Authentic Experiences" means the use of performances, or "authentic activities", such as writing a letter, solving a real world mathematics problem, or investigating a question in science, as a way to teach and to assess student learning.

"Culturally or Linguistically Diverse" means students and families who come to schools with cultural and/or language backgrounds that differ from the predominant experience of monolingual English speakers. The term calls attention to the range of geographic background, cultural heritage, and level of English proficiency found among students in schools.

"Codes of Conduct" mean codes of conduct adopted by professional educational organizations that establish the ethical parameters that guide professional behavior. The codes range from general guides for teachers (NEA) to more specific guidelines for teachers of certain subject area.

"Communication Theory" means an understanding of the principles of communication theory (e.g., productive and receptive communication, cultural context of language, metacommunication) as they apply in practice in the classroom.

"Community" means the school community and includes teachers, administrators, students, parents, guardians and Relative Caregivers. However, the schools are a part of a larger community (i.e., neighborhood, town, city) that supports the school and the students will live.

"Disciplines" means academic disciplines which include the arts, humanities, languages, mathematics, and natural and social sciences that provide the basis of the subjects taught in schools.

"Discourse" means to both the writing and speaking in the classroom that teachers and students engage in as they seek ways to represent ideas, concepts and their thinking. It is the ways in which they discuss agree and disagree, and explore the discipline.

"Diverse Learners" means students are individuals who differ in the ways in which they learn. They have different learning styles, modalities, interests, talents and personalities, all of which affect the ways in which teachers design instruction.

"Domains" means the broad areas of human development, intellectual, social, emotional, and physical, that influence learning.

"Educational Technology" means the use of any technology (e.g., word processing, data retrieval, electronic mail) as a set of skills that can be learned and used to support learning in the classroom.

"Habits of Mind" mean mental habits influence what students do and how they learn. The development of habits of mind, like perseverance, confidence, a willingness to explore new ideas and experiment, seeking feedback from others, valuing accuracy and precision, avoiding impulsivity, are a part of the teaching and learning process.

"Health" means health issues that can affect learning range from cerebral palsy, Downs Syndrome, and other severe disabilities to less pronounced and not easily detected concerns such as diabetes or asthma or nutrition. An awareness of these conditions and how they affect learning furthers a teacher's ability to meet the needs of students.

"Instructional Technology" means the use of specific technologies that are integrated with content to enhance learning within the disciplines (e.g., graphing calculators in mathematics, accounting or tax software in business, editing software for writing).

"Learning Theory" means an understanding of the principles of learning theory (e.g., behaviorism, constructivism, transmission of knowledge) as they apply in practice in the classroom.

"Meaningful (to students)" means to convey a sense of purpose to students for their learning. The content takes on significance because of the connections that are made between the learning and students' lives. It helps students make sense out of what they are learning.

"Measurement Theory" means an understanding of the principles of measurement theory (e.g., validity, reliability, bias in testing, test construction, interpretation of tests) as they apply in practice in the classroom.

"Media Communication" means the use of technologies that document events (e.g., audiotape, videotape, electronic transfer of information through computer programs) as a means of communicating information.

"Methods (Process) of Inquiry" means the process through which students make new discoveries, extend their knowledge, or deepen their understandings of things they already know. Students need to be able to create, observe, compare, question, record and interpret data, evaluate and revise, search resources, and share information.

"Multicultural" means diverse cultural backgrounds of students and their families and school personnel, with an emphasis on their ethnicity, race, religion, gender, socio-economic status, and family structures. The term takes on importance in the development of teachers as they learn to recognize the importance of these factors in the education process.

"Multiple Assessments" means decisions about what students know and are able to do should be based on an analysis of information obtained from a variety of sources of evidence. Assessments should be conducted in a variety of formats (e.g., written and oral tests, observations, performances) and address the full range of content.

"Multiple Intelligences" means based on the writing of Howard Gardner, the identification of seven abilities (i.e., linguistic, logical, mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily kinesthetic, inter personal, intra personal) that describe distinct aspects of "intelligent."

"Nonverbal Communication" means communication through means other than the use of words (e.g., facial expressions, body position, action).

"Pedagogical Knowledge" means the knowledge of how to teach the knowledge of instructional methods.

"Performance" means carrying out or completing an activity or production which displays a student's knowledge and ability through demonstration.

"Performance Modes" means the range of ways in which students can demonstrate what they know and are able to do (e.g., writing, speaking, visual works, videotapes, enacting).

"Professional Growth" means the process in which teachers examine the relationship between what they and their students are doing and what their students are learning. This process involves self reflection and feedback from students and colleagues and an exploration of the findings from research, as well as the use of this information as the basis for improving personal practice in the future.

"Structures" means the structures of disciplines which provide the overall framework which both connects and transcends the skills and content of the discipline. The big picture or outline of the discipline helps students understand the commonalties and the interrelationships of concepts within a discipline. An understanding of the structure of a discipline allows students to see connections as they acquire new knowledge.

"Technology" means the use of the word technology is meant to encompass both educational and instructional technology within this document unless one of these terms is used specifically.

"Theory" means the knowledge of the principles and methods of a science (e.g., learning, measurement) as contrasted with its application.

7 DE Reg. 75 (7/1/03)
12 DE Reg. 1208 (03/01/09)
3.0 Content Knowledge

The teacher understands the core concepts and structure(s) of the discipline(s) and their related content standards and creates learning experiences that make the content meaningful to students.

3.1 Knowledge Components

3.1.1 Understands major concepts, principles, and theories that are central to the discipline

3.1.2 Understands the dynamic and complex nature of the content of the discipline

3.1.3 Understands the processes of inquiry central to the discipline

3.1.4 Understands the relationship of knowledge within the discipline to other content areas and to life applications

3.2 Performance Indicators

3.2.1 Uses a variety of explanations and multiple representations of concepts to help develop conceptual understanding

3.2.2 Anticipates and adjusts for common misunderstandings that impede learning within the discipline

3.2.3 Engages students in generating and testing knowledge according to the processes of inquiry of the discipline

3.2.4 Creates learning experiences that make connections to other content areas and to life experiences

7 DE Reg. 75 (7/1/03)
12 DE Reg. 1208 (03/01/09)
4.0 Human Development and Learning

The teacher understands how children develop and learn and provides learning opportunities that support the intellectual, social, emotional and physical development of each learner.

4.1 Knowledge Components

4.1.1 Understands learning theory, including how students construct knowledge, acquire skills, and develop habits of mind

4.1.2 Understands human development, including the ranges of individual variation within each domain

4.1.3 Understands the interaction between student development and learning

4.2 Performance Indicators

4.2.1 Chooses developmentally appropriate instructional strategies that promote student learning

4.2.2 Develops concepts and principles at different levels of complexity so that they are meaningful to students at varying levels of development

7 DE Reg. 75 (7/1/03)
12 DE Reg. 1208 (03/01/09)
5.0 Diverse Learners

The teacher understands how students differ and adapts instruction for diverse learners.

5.1 Knowledge Components

5.1.1 Understands how student learning is influenced by individual experiences, talents, and prior learning, as well as language, culture, gender, health, family, and community

5.1.2 Understands differences in approaches to learning and performance, including learning styles, multiple intelligences, and performance modes

5.1.3 Understands cultural diversity and how to incorporate multicultural experiences into instruction

5.1.4 Understands areas of exceptionality in learning, including talented and gifted and special needs, and how to access strategies to accommodate individual differences

5.1.5 Understands the process of second language acquisition and how to access strategies to support learning for students whose first language is not English

5.1.6 Understands the needs of culturally or linguistically diverse students

5.1.7 Understands when and how to access appropriate resources or services to meet special learning needs

5.1.8 Understands the major principles and parameters of federal and state disability legislation and regulation.

5.2 Performance Indicators

5.2.1 Accepts and values all students

5.2.2 Treats all students equitably

5.2.3 Respects students as individuals with differing experiences, skills, talents, and interests

5.2.4 Uses cultural diversity and individual student experiences to enrich instruction

5.2.5 Designs instructional activities that address the range of student learning styles, multiple intelligences and performance modes

5.2.6 Makes appropriate provisions for individual students who have particular learning differences or needs

7 DE Reg. 75 (7/1/03)
12 DE Reg. 1208 (03/01/09)
6.0 Communication

The teacher understands and uses effective communication.

6.1 Knowledge Components

6.1.1 Understands the general types of communication strategies and appropriate assistive technology that can be incorporated as a regular part of their instruction.

6.1.2 Understands effective oral, written, nonverbal, and media communication techniques

6.1.3 Understands the importance of audience and purpose when selecting ways to communicate ideas

6.1.4 Understands potential positive and negative effects of their verbal and non verbal messages on students with cultural, gender and ability differences.

6.2 Performance Indicators

6.2.1 Uses a variety of communication techniques

6.2.2 Communicates effectively with diverse populations

6.2.3 Models accurate and grammatically correct language

6.2.4 Creates opportunities for students to learn effective communication

7 DE Reg. 75 (7/1/03)
12 DE Reg. 1208 (03/01/09)
7.0 Learning Environment

The teacher understands individual and group behavior and creates a learning environment that fosters active engagement, self motivation, and positive social interaction.

7.1 Knowledge Components

7.1.1 Understands principles of effective classroom management

7.1.2 understands factors that influence motivation and engagement and how to help students become self motivated

7.1.3 Understands individual behavior and how individuals behave in groups

7.1.4 Understands group dynamics and how groups function within a community

7.1.5 Understands how to help students learn to participate effectively in groups

7.2 Performance Indicators

7.2.1 Establishes and maintains a classroom environment with clear expectations and standards of behavior

7.2.2 Organizes, allocates, and manages time, materials, and physical space to support learning

7.2.3 Establishes classroom practices that promote a safe environment

7.2.4 Creates a learning community which respects individual differences

7.2.5 Establishes a classroom environment which promotes positive relationships, cooperation, and purposeful learning

7.2.6 Creates a classroom environment where student thoughts and ideas are a basis for exploring and developing understanding

7.2.7 Creates a learning community in which students work independently and collaboratively

7.2.8 Encourages students to assume responsibility for their own learning and behavior

7 DE Reg. 75 (7/1/03)
12 DE Reg. 1208 (03/01/09)
8.0 Planning for Instruction

The teacher understands instructional planning and designs instruction based upon knowledge of the disciplines, students, the community, and Delaware's student content standards.

8.1 Knowledge Components

8.1.1 Understands how to incorporate learning theory, content, curriculum development, and assessment, and student development when planning

8.1.2 Understands that effective instructional planning includes the alignment of assessment and instruction prior to implementation

8.1.3 Understands how to develop short and long range plans consistent with curriculum goals, learner diversity, and learning theory

8.1.4 Understands how to make connections between student experiences and education goals

8.1.5 Understands how to maximize the participation and engagement of students with disabilities in a general or expanded curriculum.

8.2 Performance Indicators

8.2.1 Evaluates teaching resources and materials for accuracy and usefulness

8.2.2 Applies principles of scope and sequence when planning instruction

8.2.3 Creates approaches to learning that are interdisciplinary and that integrate multiple content areas

8.2.4 Creates and selects learning materials and learning experiences appropriate for the discipline and curriculum goals

8.2.5 Uses student prior knowledge and principles of effective instruction to plan learning activities relevant to students

8.2.6 Incorporates authentic experiences into instructional planning

8.2.7 Creates multiple learning activities that allow for student choice

8.2.8 Establishes and communicates expectations for student learning

8.2.9 Creates and adapts short and long range plans to achieve the expectations for student learning

8.2.10 Incorporates assessment components into instructional planning

7 DE Reg. 75 (7/1/03)
12 DE Reg. 1208 (03/01/09)
9.0 Instructional Strategies

The teacher understands a variety of instructional approaches and uses them to promote student thinking, understanding, and application of knowledge.

9.1 Knowledge Components

9.1.1 Understands principles and techniques of a broad range of instructional approaches, including questioning, problem solving, discourse, activation of prior knowledge, and student reflection on learning

9.1.2 Understands the relationship between instructional approaches, assessment, and the types of learning promoted

9.1.3 Understands how instructional materials and educational technologies enhance learning

9.2 Performance Indicators

9.2.1 Uses a range of instructional approaches that allows students to explore concepts and develop an in depth understanding of content

9.2.2 Designs lessons that routinely engage students in activities that develop problem solving and critical thinking skills

9.2.3 Designs instructional activities that provide opportunities for students to apply knowledge

9.2.4 Uses a variety of materials and educational technologies to enhance student thinking and further conceptual understanding

9.2.5 Assumes different roles in the instructional process based on the content and purposes of instruction

9.2.6 Uses a range of questioning techniques to promote different levels of understanding

9.2.7 Emphasizes communication as a vehicle for learning, through the use of discussion, listening, collaboration, and responding to the ideas of others

9.2.8 Links new concepts to student prior knowledge

9.2.9 Promotes student awareness of their own thought processes and how to use reflection to build new understandings

9.2.10 Incorporates assessment components into instructional delivery

7 DE Reg. 75 (7/1/03)
12 DE Reg. 1208 (03/01/09)
10.0 Assessment

The teacher understands multiple assessment strategies and uses them for the continuous development of students.

10.1 Knowledge Components

10.1.1 Understands measurement theory, including principles of testing and assessment (e.g., design, validity, reliability, and bias)

10.1.2 Understands assessment as a means of collecting information about student progress

10.1.3 Understands the purposes and characteristics of different kinds of assessments

10.1.4 Understands how to select, construct, and use assessment strategies and instruments for diagnosis and evaluation of learning

10.1.5 Understands how to use the results of assessment to reflect on and modify teaching

10.2 Performance Indicators

10.2.1 Uses assessment to diagnose student learning needs as a basis for designing instruction

10.2.2 Uses a variety of assessment modes and multiple measures to evaluate student learning

10.2.3 Uses both formal and informal assessment strategies to monitor and evaluate student understanding, progress, and performance

10.2.4 Aligns assessment with instruction

10.2.5 Maintains accurate records and communicates student progress

10.2.6 Involves students in self assessment to help them become aware of their strengths and needs

10.2.7 Encourages students to establish personal goals for learning based on self-assessment and assessment results

10.2.8 Modifies instruction based on assessment results

7 DE Reg. 75 (7/1/03)
12 DE Reg. 1208 (03/01/09)
11.0 Professional Growth

The teacher understands the importance of continuous learning and pursues opportunities to improve teaching.

11.1 Knowledge Components

11.1.1 Understands that reflection on teaching is an integral part of professional growth

11.1.2 Understands the implications of educational research for teaching

11.1.3 Understands methods of inquiry that provide for a variety of self assessment and problem solving strategies for reflecting on practice

11.2 Performance Indicators

11.2.1 Engages in continuous learning

11.2.2 Participates in professional discourse about educational issues

11.2.3 Uses classroom observation, information about students, pedagogical knowledge, and research as sources for active reflection, evaluation, and revision of practice

11.2.4 Collaborates with other professionals as resources for problem solving, generating new ideas, sharing experiences, and seeking and giving feedback

7 DE Reg. 75 (7/1/03)
12 DE Reg. 1208 (03/01/09)
12.0 Professional Relationships

The teacher understands the role of the school in the community and collaborates with colleagues, parents, guardians or Relative Caregivers, and other members of the community to support student learning and well being.

12.1 Knowledge Components

12.1.1 Understands how schools are organized and operate

12.1.2 Understands schools as organizations within the larger community context

12.1.3 Understands the importance of community school interaction

12.1.4 Understands the importance of collaboration in education

12.2 Performance Indicators

12.2.1 Cooperates with colleagues to develop an effective learning climate within the school

12.2.2 Collaborates with other professionals to solve problems and make decisions to promote student success

12.2.3 Develops relationships with parents, guardians and Relative Caregivers to acquire an understanding of the students' lives outside of the school

12.2.4 Works effectively with parents, guardians, Relative Caregivers and other members of the community to advocate for student need and to promote learning

12.2.5 Identifies and uses community resources to enhance student learning and to provide opportunities for students to explore career opportunities

12 DE Reg. 1208 (03/01/09)

13.0 Educational Technology

The teacher understands the role of educational technology in learning and uses educational technology as an instructional and management tool.

13.1 Knowledge Components

13.1.1 Understands how to use various educational technological tools to access and manage information

13.1.2 Understands how to integrate educational technology into classroom instruction

13.1.3 Understands how to review and evaluate educational technologies to determine instructional value

13.1.4 Understands the uses of instructional technology to address student needs

13.2 Performance Indicators

13.2.1 Designs instruction to promote student skills in the use of educational technologies to access and manage information

13.2.2 Uses a wide range of instructional technologies to enhance student learning and problem solving

13.2.3 Uses technological advances in communication to enrich discourse in the classroom

13.2.4 Uses appropriate educational technology to create and maintain data bases for monitoring student progress

12 DE Reg. 1208 (03/01/09)

14.0 Professional Conduct

The teacher understands and maintains standards of professional conduct guided by legal and ethical principles.

14.1 Knowledge Components

14.1.1 Understands school policies and procedures

14.1.2 Understands legal issues in education

14.1.3 Understands the codes of conduct of professional education organizations

14.2 Performance Indicators

14.2.1 Acts in the best interests of students

14.2.2 Follows school policies and procedures, respecting the boundaries of professional responsibilities, when working with students, colleagues, and families

14.2.3 Follows local, state, and federal law pertaining to educational and instructional issues, including regulations related to student rights and teacher responsibilities

14.2.4 Interacts with students, colleagues, parents, and others in a professional manner

14.2.5 Follows codes of professional conduct adopted by the Delaware Professional Standards Board.

7 DE Reg. 75 (7/1/03)
Renumbered effective 6/1/07 (see Conversion Table)
12 DE Reg. 1208 (03/01/09)

Non-regulatory note: Approval of Teacher Education programs is governed by 14 DE Admin. Code 290 Approval of Educator Preparation Programs. Teacher evaluations are governed by 14 DE Admin. Code 106A Teacher Appraisal Process Delaware Performance Appraisal System (DPAS II) Revised.

1.0 Content

1.1 The Delaware Professional Teaching Standards shall serve as the common principles and foundations of teaching practice for Delaware public school educators in accordance with 14 Del.C. §§1201 and 1205(b).

1.2 The Council of Chief State School Officers’ (CCSSO) Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) Model Core Teaching Standards outline what educators should know and be able to do to ensure every K-12 student reaches the goal of being ready to enter college or the workforce in today’s world.

1.3 In accordance with 14 Del.C. §§1201 and 1205 (b), the InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards (CCSSO, 2011) are hereby incorporated by reference and adopted as Delaware's Professional Teaching Standards. InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards outline the common principles and foundations of teaching practice that cut across all subject areas and grade levels and that are necessary to improve student achievement.

1.4 An overview of the Standards are set forth within. In-depth descriptions, contextual explanations, examples and more specific criteria and guidance is provided in the complete set of standards as published in the InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards (CCSSO, 2011).

2.0 Learner Development

The teacher understands how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.

3.0 Learning Differences

The teacher uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.

4.0 Learning Environments

The teacher works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self motivation.

5.0 Content Knowledge

The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.

6.0 Application of Content

The teacher understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.

7.0 Assessment

The teacher understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher's and learner's decision making.

8.0 Planning for Instruction

The teacher plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.

9.0 Instructional Strategies

The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.

10.0 Professional Learning and Ethical Practice

The teacher engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.

11.0 Leadership and Collaboration

The teacher seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.

7 DE Reg. 75 (7/1/03)
Renumbered effective 6/1/07 (see Conversion Table)
12 DE Reg. 1208 (03/01/09)
16 DE Reg. 70 (07/01/12) (Final)