Symposium explores how Benedictine model for education transforms teaching, learning

May 5, 2014

Lisle, Illinois ~ Public and private K-12 teachers from all academic disciplines and school administrators throughout Northern Illinois are invited to attend the “Benedictine Vision for 21st Century Education Symposium” on Wednesday-Thursday, June 18-19 on the second floor of the Krasa Student Center at Benedictine’s main campus in Lisle.

The symposium will feature panel discussions on the new Common Core State Standards and examine how the Benedictine model for education can transform teaching and learning. Educators will have an opportunity to discuss current issues in education and learn innovative instructional methods, theories and practices from Benedictine University alumni who have risen to prominence in the field.

“This symposium brings Benedictine alumni who are making an impact in K-12 education in both the public and private school settings together to present scholarship on how the Benedictine Hallmarks can form the pedagogical basis for teaching excellence,” said Vince Gaddis, Ph.D., a symposium organizer and professor of History at Benedictine.

Attendees will gain new insights that they can integrate in their profession and classrooms. A maximum of 12 Continuing Professional Development Units (CPDU) may be awarded to teachers who attend.

The Benedictine model for education is steeped in history, beginning in the sixth century with St. Benedict’s founding of Monte Cassino, a monastery known throughout Europe for preserving early works of literature and promoting education as a virtue. The monastery eventually led to the development of monastic schools, which greatly influenced education throughout Europe and the Western world for hundreds of years. Benedictine University harnesses this history and teaching methodology to enhance student learning while developing the whole person.

Wednesday’s schedule includes a meet and greet with hors d’oeuvres starting at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and a keynote presentation from Anthony Gonzalez, a social studies and economics teacher at Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park, Ill. Gonzalez earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from Benedictine in 2008.

The Thursday session begins at 8:00 a.m. with a continental breakfast followed by a panel discussion, “Benedictine Hallmarks and Pedagogical Excellence,” from 9:00-11:30 a.m. Lunch is from 12:00-1:15 p.m. and will include a keynote presentation by Joseph Gust, Ed.D., assistant regional superintendent for the DuPage Regional Office of Education.

Gust began his career in special education at Carl Sandburg High School in Orland Park in 1997. In 2000, he became dean of students and community education director at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire. He earned a Master of Education from Benedictine University in 1999.

A second panel discussion, “Benedictine Hallmarks and the Common Core: A Critical Analysis,” will be held from 1:30-4:00 p.m., followed by a closing reception from 4:00-6:00 p.m.

Admission for those who register by Sunday, June 1 is $75 per person if a member of a group of five or more from the same institution or $125 for individuals. After this date, admission is $125 per person if a member of a group of five or more from the same institution or $175 for individuals.

To RSVP, visit For more information, contact Vince Gaddis at or (630) 829-6593.

The symposium is sponsored by Benedictine’s Center for Mission and Identity (CMI). As the vehicle for reinforcing the Catholic and intellectual tradition on campus, CMI works to further the University’s mission by honoring the legacy of the Benedictine monks of St. Procopius Abbey (the University’s founders) and providing programming that deepens, enriches and invigorates the faith of the University’s Catholic community, while nurturing an environment for the integration of Catholic and Benedictine values into all aspects of campus life.

For more information on CMI, visit


Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois and Mesa, Arizona. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 55 undergraduate majors and 17 graduate and four doctoral programs. Benedictine University is ranked No. 1 among the country’s fastest-growing campuses between 2001-2011 in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s list of private nonprofit research institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among “America’s Top Colleges” for the third consecutive year in 2013. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fifth largest in the Chicago area in 2013.

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