PDK International - The Professional Association in Education
Phi Delta Kappa - Chapter 85, University of Toronto


History of PDK International and Chapter 85, University of Toronto

Founded in the United States in 1906, Phi Delta Kappa is an association of educators dedicated to the promotion of quality education, with particular emphasis on publicly supported education. There are over l00, 000 members in 660 chapters throughout the United States, Canada and twelve other countries. Members are encouraged to undertake leadership roles and to become involved in research and service in education. New categories have opened memberships to other supporters of public education.

The KAPPAN magazine is the major publication for people involved in research of current trends in education. Chapter meetings allow members, including classroom teachers, school administrators, college and university professors and educational specialists of many types to exchange ideas, listen to presentations, enjoy fellowship and reaffirm the ideals of the organization.

On October 22, 1955, the University of Toronto Chapter was established as the first chapter outside the United States, thus making Phi Delta Kappa truly an international association. The founding president, Henry Jackman, served for many years on the executive. There is an award for teachers enrolled in Ontario education programs, including graduate programs, in his honour.

Past presidents have come from all levels of the education community and represent a diversity of expertise. Other members have gone on to leadership roles such as Deputy Minister of Education, directors of several Boards of Education in the Greater Toronto Area, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Royal Ontario Museum, Chairman of the Board of Governors of a Community College, etc.

The University of Toronto Chapter has contributed widely to Phi Delta Kappa and has been directly responsible in the establishment of both the Niagara and London Chapters. In 1967, the chapter, in co-operation with O.I.S.E., sponsored the symposium on "How Children Learn". Phi Delta Kappa, University of Toronto Chapter, initiated a Writing Institute in 1979. The first Biennial Conference of Phi Delta Kappa International to be held outside the United States was held in Toronto in October 1985, with over 1,000 delegates helping to celebrate the University of Toronto Chapter's 30th Anniversary. Three Lieutenant Governors, their Honours, Lincoln Alexander, Hal Jackman, and James Bartleman, hosted receptions for the 35th, 40th, and 50th anniversaries at Queen's Park.

Some recipients of the Outstanding Educator Award, which is given annually to people who are making outstanding contributions to education, are Ken Leithwood, Fiona Nelson, Debra Pepler, Lieutenant Governor James Bartleman, and Heather-jane Robertson. In the changing political climate, members and guests have the opportunity to listen to and question members of the Provincial Government. Our chapter continues to be a most worthwhile organization to challenge and inform educators.

Crest Explained

PDK Crest

The Phi Delta Kappa Coat of Arms incorporates the following symbolism: The three original organizations, Phi Kappa Mu, Phi Delta Kappa, and Nu Rho Beta, are represented by three keystones. The three stars represent the student, the home, and the school. Research is symbolized by the burning lamp and the book, Service by the flaming torch, and Leadership by the upraised hand and sword. Surrounding the shield are acanthus leaves which signify learning.

Chapter 85 was established in 1955 as the first international chapter of PDK. Building on our chapter's history, we continue to be an advocate for public education and to provide "Research", "Service" and "Leadership" to the educational community. These three values are symbolized in our Crest.

55th Anniversary

Co-chaired by Ed and Jocelyn Badovinac, our 55th Anniversary held October 28, 2010 commemorated research, leadership and service provided by the University of Toronto Chapter of PDK since 1955. We celebrated the significant events that have occurred since our 50th anniversary. The 55th Anniversary Dinner was held in Hart House’s Great Hall. The evening began with a reception by the Lieutenant Governor, The Honourable David Onley, at Queen’s Park.

The keynote speaker was Craig Kielburger one of the co-founders of MetoWe and Free the Children.  Craig Kielburger was honoured as the inaugural recipient for the Anniversary Education Award, dedicated to those creating a better world through education.

50th Anniversary

University of Toronto Chapter Phi Delta Kappa celebrated its 50th anniversary on Wednesday October 19, 2005, in the Great Hall of Hart House, University of Toronto.

The Honourable James K. Bartleman, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, hosted a reception in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Phi Delta Kappa from 4:00 to 5:00 on October 19th.

Ontario Lietenant Governor James K. Bartleman