Education association seeks new members

February 13, 2018
Cory Hare, ATA News Managing Editor

Members of the University of Alberta chapter of Phi Delta Kappa listen to a speaker at a recent meeting. The chapter is currently seeking new members.

If you’re interested in improving education at the system and provincial levels, maintaining your knowledge of education issues, improving your practice and advancing your career, the University of Alberta chapter of Phi Delta Kappa International (PDK) would like to hear from you.

The organization is one of the largest education associations in the world, boasting more than 600 international chapters. Founded in 1963, the U of A chapter has members who are practicing teachers, school and system leaders, staff of education faculties, education students and Alberta Education officials.

“It’s a unique opportunity to bring together all of these divergent perspectives on education and it makes for some pretty rich discussion at the tables,” says past president Bob Garneau.

With many of the chapter’s members now retired, membership has been slipping, so the executive is trying to attract new members, particularly practicing teachers and system leaders, Garneau said.

PDK’s mission is to promote high-quality education, particularly publicly supported education, as essential to the development and maintenance of a democratic way of life. Service, research and leadership are the three basic tenets that guide the association’s work.

The Edmonton-based chapter holds meetings four times a year at the University of Alberta Faculty Club, with dinner and a presentation by international, national and local experts and discussion on critical education issues. Although this has been the format for years, the chapter is open to change.

“We’re trying to bring some new blood into it and new perspectives,” Garneau said. “It’s the only chapter left in Western Canada and we want to keep it alive.”

In addition to local programs and activities, PDK arranges international conferences, provides travel opportunities for members to study other education systems, and publishes Kappan, a professional journal for educators. ❚

More information

Information on the U of A chapter’s recent activities is available at www.pdkualberta.com. Membership applicants are asked to contact membership director Charlotte Rode at charrode@shaw.ca for further information.