Principled Innovation 

Children born today will be shaped by accelerating change in technology, demography and our physical and social environments. The speed and convergence of change across so many dimensions of human experience will shape life in ways that are as profound as they are unpredictable.

For educators and education systems, these facts demand principled innovation that delivers positive social value and prepares children to thrive as individuals and as citizens at local, national and global levels.

Principled Innovation is the core value that inspires all activities at ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College: our academic programs; our strategic initiatives; how we teach and learn; and how we engage with one another and with the communities we serve.

 with us 




Through our core value of principled innovation, we believe that education should answer to three imperatives:

An equity imperative

We need to deliver excellence in education to all learners regardless of any human characteristics that might lead to unfairness or discrimination in learning opportunities.

An economic imperative

We need to prepare learners for the next economy and equip them for success in the workforce of the future.

A democratic imperative

We need to prepare learners to be caring, responsible citizens capable of balancing individual ambition and the public good.


Principled Innovation asks, “We can innovate, but should we?” This places values and ethical understandings — our own character — at the core of any innovative idea, decision or solution we might pursue.

Through principled innovation, we hold ourselves accountable to design and deliver excellent learning opportunities for all learners, preparing them to be innovative and ethical contributors to the future of education, their communities, and a thriving civil society.

Read more in our framework, Principled Innovation in the Systems of Educator and Leader Preparation. This document shares our human-centered framework for innovation and decision-making, guided by four character assets.

Framework   Practices


Find resources and tools to help you imagine new concepts, catalyze ideas and form solutions, guided by principles that create positive change for humanity.

For educators

What is principled innovation? How can educators and education leaders practice principled innovation in their learning environments and influential roles? The following resources provide an overview of principled innovation, a deeper dive into the framework that underlies this work, and a card deck designed to help you encourage reflection and conversations around change, innovation and designed solutions. You’ll also find a matrix that demonstrates how you can begin to integrate principled innovation into decision making through the use of generative and reflective questions.

One-page overview   Framework   Card deck   Decision-making matrix

For MLFTC faculty and staff

By enacting the practices of principled innovation within MLFTC, our innovations are more likely to create positive change for humanity. Learn how and where to start with the PI Jumpstart, a website with modules dedicated to each practice of principled innovation. You’ll find generative and reflective questions to start conversations with students or your team, videos mapped with each practice, and activities to use in meetings or your classroom.

We’ve developed an additional resource for staff members, the EDGE Conversation tool, which can be used to guide employee reflection prior to quarterly conversations with their supervisors.

PI Jumpstart   EDGE Conversation tool

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Learn more about how and why MLFTC developed its core value. This work is supported by a generous donation from the Kern Family Foundation.



 Meet the Principled Innovation team 

Cristy Filloon
Director, Principled Innovation

Charmaine Farber
Product Manager

Hannah Jennewein
Program Coordinator Sr

Eoline Cary
Clinical Professional (FSC)

Courtney Wielgus
Project Manager

Mikayla Madjidi
Administrative Specialist, Principled Innovation