Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Published in Taking Stock of German Studies in the United States: The New Millennium, edited by Rachel J. Halverson and Carol Anne Costabile-Heming (Camden House), pp. 137–154.


Copyright © 2015 Aleidine J. Moeller and Sheri Hurlbut.


In this chapter we would like to address the impact visionary leadership can have on a field of research. Through forward-looking ideas and projects, an organizational leader’s influence on those who test, research, and inquire into issues that build and deepen the knowledge base in second language acquisition and foreign language education is illustrated through an innovative professional development program that was developed during Helene Zimmer-Loew’s tenure as executive director of the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG). The ripple effect of progressive leadership that inspires others to contribute actively to the well-being of a profession, or an organization, can be felt far and wide. The research studies described below provide substantial evidence of the powerful impact of an organization’s forward-thinking leadership on classroom instruction and student learning.