Pi Lambda Theta
Pi Lambda Theta (ΠΛΘ) is one of three main education honor societies and professional associations for educators in the United States.
Pi Lambda Theta is an honor society and professional association for educators. As an honor society, its purpose is to recognize persons of superior scholastic achievement and high potential for professional leadership. As a professional association, its purpose is to stimulate independent-thinking educators who can ask critical questions to improve educational policies and practices.
Pi Lambda Theta's mission is to honor outstanding educators and inspire their leadership on critical education issues. As a selective organization, PLT extends membership to students majoring in education who demonstrate academic excellence, as well as to professional educators who have earned a PLT-recognized award such as certification by the National board for professional teaching standards in the United States.
PLT’s vision and mission
PLT's conferences (regional, national, international) and its quarterly journal, Educational Horizons, endeavor to help members understand complex educational policy issues. Members can contribute to PLT policy positions through its national advocacy program, Be It Resolved, and then cite those positions to support individual advocacy efforts. The Educator As Leader (TEAL) workshops can help educators implement effective action commitments. Members have access to members-only résumé-distribution service, as well as assistance through awards, research grants, and scholarships that are funded by the PLT Educational Endowment.
Membership and governance
Pi Lambda Theta has more than 15,000 active members; two-thirds of them are members at large, and one-third of them belong to locally based chapters -- sixty-three chapters nationwide. A small staff supervised by an executive director reports to a nine-member board of directors that is elected by direct vote of the members. A legislative council of chapter delegates meets every two years. PLT has no religious or political affiliation. Pi Lambda Theta, Inc. and the Pi Lambda Theta Educational Endowment, Inc. are not-for-profit corporations operating under Section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
PLT compared to other honor societies
Founded in 1910, PLT is one of three national honor societies of educators founded in the 20th century. It limits eligibility to educators and students who plan to pursue careers in education, and to professional support persons such as librarians and counselors. It has a national and international scope, and differs from multi-disciplinary organizations by focusing on the teaching profession.
PLT adheres to high standards of eligibility, both in academic excellence and objective professional accomplishments, e.g., National Board-certified teacher, National Teacher of the Year, Christa McAuliffe Fellow, Presidential Awardee in Mathematics or Science Teaching, and so forth.
Pi Lambda Theta's goal is to add value to the world's education systems rather than compete with other institutions for limited resources. It has no for-profit subsidiaries and seeks no grants; it is entirely dues-driven. Its philosophy notes that for-profit subsidiaries could lead to compromising its mission, and that seeking grants could put PLT in competition with its constituents and partners in education. In recognition of that philosophy and because of PLT’s standing in the field of education, many speakers have waived honoraria for conference presentations.