Today's schools are in critical need of effective teachers. Between 2012-2022, over 18.5% growth in the need for teachers is expected. Of the nearly 211,000 teaching positions, roughly 93,000 will be K-12 areas (Illinois Department of Employment Security, 2014).Benedictine's state approved K-12 Education programs are dedicated to meeting that challenge consistent with state and national standards.
With demand growing at a rapid rate, having a degree in special education prepares candidates to teach students in kindergarten through high school with cognitive, emotional, multiple, physical, and learning disabilities, and other health impairments.
We currently offer a major and a minor in Spanish, with an array of courses that stimulate students' intellectual and personal growth and broaden their perspective, thus enabling them to become responsible citizens and leaders in the world community. In addition to developing and polishing their language skills in our programs, students can combine a major or minor in Spanish with degree programs in education.
The Bachelor of Arts in Music Education is a comprehensive program of study that fulfills the requirements needed for licensure as a K-12 music educator in the state of Illinois. In addition to completing required coursework in music and education, students pursuing a degree in music education are required to perform a music jury each semester.
The Physical Education program at Benedictine University imparts an understanding of the positive impact of a healthy lifestyle and an appreciation for daily physical activity. It addresses the significant health problems young people face today in the area of exercise, obesity, nutrition and knowledge of healthful living. In addition, Benedictine University also offers a program in Exercise and Sports Studies for students pursuing health and fitness professional careers. For more information about the Exercise and Sports Studies program click here.
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After a thirty-year career as a high school math teacher, Dr. James Pelech joined the school of education in June of 2003. Dr. Pelted has earned a Doctorate in Curriculum and Social Inquiry from National Louis University, a Certificate of Advanced Studies from Concordia University, a Masters of Business Administration from Governors State University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Saint Norbert College.
As a mathematics teacher at Richards High School in Oak Lawn, Illinois, he was instrumental in working with the writing across the curriculum initiative and the new teacher mentoring program. He was the first mathematics teacher at the school to participate and complete the “Content Area Reading Program.” Additionally, Dr. Pelted initiated cross-curriculum activities in which he worked with pilots to demonstrate how mathematics is used in flying and navigating a plane. This resulted in receiving a grant to enhance this program, and also led to the introduction of Problem-Based Learning in all of his classes. He was a member of the school’s North Central Accreditation Team, and in 2003 was Richards High School’s nominee for the “Excellence in Education Award.”
Here at Benedictine, Dr. Pelech is using action research to enhance student learning, including the application of the Constructivist philosophy in his classes. He has had two books published by Information Age Publishing. The first one, The Comprehensive Handbook of Constructivist Teaching: From Theory to Practice, examines how to incorporate the Constructivist philosophy into one’s daily teaching. The second book, Guide to Transforming Teaching Through Self-Inquiry, examines the use of the Constructivist theory to monitor such teacher activities as personal journal writing, research, and professional development. He has had articles published in the Mathematics Teacher, the Journal for the Practical Application of Constructivist Theory in Education, and the Journal for Research in Education. He also serves as a peer reviewer for numerous professional journals.
In terms of professional development, Dr. Pelech is very involved in a wide range of professional activities and organizations. He is President of the Association for Constructivist Teaching, an international organization comprised of teachers, administrators, and researches from America, Mexico, Poland, and China. He has presented at conferences across America and in Mexico. He has worked as a professional developer with teachers from California and upstate New York. He was one of the founding members of the Benedictine/Saint Ethelreda partnership. In this capacity he works with teachers to improve their teaching; this includes co-teaching at different grade levels. He is also President of the Saint Ethelreda School Board, this past year the National Catholic Education Association awarded the Saint Ethelreda Board the "Outstanding Board" Award..