Shared Values Catalyze Collective Impact

The greatest benefit of an association is the collective effort of its members to identify and then advance shared values. In the 2016 Harvard Business Review article “The Ecosystem of Shared Value,” the authors describe collective impact as a movement that successfully brings together various actors in their ecosystems to catalyze change. In the ecosystem of educator preparation, every individual AACTE member plays a critical role in creating a collective voice that impacts American education today and beyond. Through members’ active engagement, AACTE is empowered to achieve successes beneficial to our entire professional community and the students we serve.

Leading into this academic year, I have been highlighting AACTE’s core principles as they reflect members’ shared values and the driving force of our work. This month, I celebrate AACTE’s core values around scholarship and knowledge production, which represent your commitment to high research standards and to producing scholarship that contributes to educational practice. AACTE, its members, and its collaborative partners stand ready as a collective voice to effect educational and social change.

Identifying and disseminating innovative solutions to real problems of practice is a hallmark of AACTE’s work; I and the AACTE team are proud representatives of the educator preparation field, where the spirit of innovation pervades all that we do. Educator preparation continually adjusts to changes in policy demands and market conditions, seeks evidence of its impact, develops its knowledge base, and collaborates with practitioners in schools. I believe greater success lies ahead as we move toward treating societal challenges as business opportunities. I do not minimize the challenges we face, as they are real. AACTE members grapple with low enrollment, teacher shortages, inequitable assessments, misperceptions of teaching, and lack of funding, to name a few. Yet the pathway for advancing forward lies within our collective impact – strengthening our shared values and creating a competitive advantage. As the saying goes, the whole really is greater than the sum of its parts.

Each member of the AACTE community has an essential role to play. I invite you to engage with AACTE this month, throughout this academic year, and all through your professional career. Take advantage of AACTE’s year-round lineup of professional development and networking activities, advocacy work, programs and services, tools and resources, volunteer positions, and awards and recognition opportunities. Our 70th Annual Meeting promises to be the best yet, as we celebrate our anniversary in historic Baltimore, Maryland. Make sure your institutional membership is up to date – I’d hate to miss seeing you in Baltimore, where a record number of exceptional and interactive sessions will foster engagement and the collective voice of AACTE. We need you to be part of the AACTE collective!

Learn more about ways to renew your membership by the January deadline in this article.

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Lynn M. Gangone

President and CEO, AACTE