Candidates seeking a teaching career must have a sincere desire to teach, display intellectual promise, and exhibit personal, professional and academic characteristics indicative of competent teachers.
Benedictine University is dedicated to creating effective practitioners who are committed to scholarship, lifelong inquiry, leadership and social responsibility. These enduring outcomes are developed and nurtured through the curriculum. Educators develop scholarship by acquiring a breadth and depth of knowledge in the field. As scholars, they develop lifelong inquiry by immersing themselves in a process of ongoing questioning and reflection that results in informed thinking and decision-making. They assume leadership roles in a variety of venues where they can effect change and improve practice. Their leadership is guided by a sense of social responsibility to create fair and equitable environments that support and enhance learning in order to maximize each individual’s potential.
Benedictine University’s Master of Arts in Education (M.A.Ed.) program leads to Illinois State Certification in Elementary (Type 03), Secondary (Type 09) or Special Education (Type 10) that meets the requirements for the Learning Behavior Specialist I (LBS I) certificate. Students take an active role in their own learning process and are prepared for shaping the lives of tomorrow’s generation.
The M.A.Ed. program provides opportunities for students to explore issues in education, to develop and examine enduring and innovative instructional approaches to utilize technology, and to apply knowledge in diverse educational settings. Benedictine University prepares teachers and administrators for the challenges that lie ahead.
Benedictine University and the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy have collaborated to design an accelerated program for science and mathematics professionals seeking a teaching career. The program is 12 months in duration and includes an orientation; an intensive course of study in educational theory, instructional methods and teaching practices during an eight-week summer session; and a yearlong paid internship in a middle school or high school. Successful completion of the program leads to Illinois state certification in secondary education (Type 09) and 24 hours of graduate course credit toward a Master of Arts in Education at Benedictine University.
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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..