Dr. James Richard Pelech

Curriculum Vitae

  • jim@pelechactiveprocessing.com

Dr. James Pelech’s career spanned over 48 1/2 years, and during this time he has taught at the high school and college levels; additionally, he instituted partnerships with elementary schools and this included co-teaching at one school. His experience in education includes being President of the Board of one of the partnership schools. This Board received a national award for its excellence in service.

​He has conducted professional development for these partnership schools and was a Fulbright specialist to Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. This two week in-person experience included a virtual seminar between Doctoral students in Prague and Dr. Pelech’s students and a virtual one-day research conference the following year.

Dr. Pelech is a member of the Board for the Institute for Learning Centered Education and has conducted professional development for their summer conferences. He is past president of the Association for Constructivist Teaching and still serves as a Board member. He has applied his Constructivist philosophy in areas outside of the education field. Dr.Pelech served in the Army Reserves for over 20 years and this included being activated for Operation Joint Endeavor. In this capacity he worked as a senior logistical officer.

​Though he has retired from teaching he is still active in education. Dr. Pelech is working on his fourth book and other research projects such as critical thinking and using high school math in aviation. 

​He and his wife, Gwen, live in Joliet, Illinois. They have an adult son and a cat.

MAJOR AREAS OF INTEREST and RESEARCH:

Active Processing of Knowledge
Applications of Constructivism in the Classroom
The Integrated Curriculum
Critical Thinking
The Effects of Problem-Based Learning (PBL)
The Effects of Cooperative Learning
Action Research

EDUCATION:

Ed.D.
Curriculum and Social Inquiry, 2005
National Louis University, Chicago, IL
Dissertation title: “Benedictine Pedagogy Through a Constructivist Lens: Curricular Theorizing of a High School Math Teacher Turned College Professor.”

CAS
Mathematics Education, 1999
Concordia University, River Forest, IL

MBA
Business Administration, 1987
Governors State University, University Park, Illinois

BA
Mathematics, 1973
Saint Norbert College, De Pere, WI

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS:

  • Army Transportation Museum Foundation (Board)
  • Association for Constructivist Teaching (ACT) (Board and Past President)
  • Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)
  • Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics (ICTM)
  • Institute for Learning Centered Education (ILCE) (Board and Current Board President)
  • National Association for Alternative Certification (NAAC) (2004-2010)
  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:

University Level

Benedictine University

  • Professor, School of Education, Summer 2003-December 2021
  • Department Chair, School of Education, September 2019-December 2021

Prior Professional Appointments

  • Adjunct Faculty, Joliet Junior College 2001-2002
  • Adjunct Faculty, Saint Xavier University 1993
  • Adjunct Faculty, University of Saint Francis 1989-1991

Secondary School Level

  • Full-time Community High School District 218 H.L. Richards High School, Oak Lawn, IL.1979-2003
  • Full-time Mundelein High School, Mundelein, IL. 1976-1979
  • Full-time- Marist High School, Chicago, Illinois, 1975-1976
  • Permanent Substitute, Evergreen Park High School, Evergreen Park, Illinois, November 1973-1974

Middle School Level

  • Co-teaching middle school Math and Language Arts at Saint Ethelreda School 2005 to 2021

TEACHING EXPERIENCE AT BENEDICTINE UNIVERSITY

  • IDS 204 Catholic/Benedictine Intellectual Traditions: The Mortality of Man
  • EDUC 300 Professional Seminar
  • EDUC 310 Measurement and Evaluation
  • EDUC 315 Methods of Teaching Mathematics-Elementary
  • EDUC 335/531 Methods of Teaching Middle/Junior and High School Mathematics
  • EDUC 350 Preclinical-Middle/Junior and High School
  • EDUC 371 Student Teaching- Middle/Junior and High School
  • EDUC 525 Teaching Mathematics:  An Interactive Process
  • EDUC 640 Assessment Measures
  • EDUC 665 Alternative Certification (Summer)
  • EDUC 675 Alternative Certification (Fall and Spring)

TEACHING EXCELLENCE

Action Research

  • The Metacognition of Middle School Math Students (2008)
  • The Reading Strategies of College Students (2009)
  • Time Management of College Students (2010)
  • The effectiveness of Co-Teaching (2014-2015)
  • Quizzes as Learning Devices (2017)
  • Flipping the Classroom (2017)

Classroom Teaching

  • Develop a pedagogy based on Constructivism
  • Developed a document outlining a unique Benedictine pedagogy
  • Integrated Problem-based Learning into pedagogy
  • Integrated cross-curricular teaching into pedagogy
  • Developed and modeled Constructivist practices for Saint Ethelreda School
  • Integrated time management strategies into pedagogy
  • Integrated reading strategies into pedagogy

Curriculum

  • Developed and taught a course for the Masters in Integrative Physiology: Global Challenges for the Health Services Professional: Using a Critical Reflection Platform
  • Developed and taught an undergraduate Interdisciplinary course: IDS 303 Human Dignity/ Common Good: Advancing Global Wellness
  • Part of team that developed the Mathematics Curriculum for the Alternative Certification Program
  • Developed coursework for Middle School Math Mathematics for Science Majors enrolled in the Alternative Certification Program
  • Developed Curriculum Mapping document for Saint Ethelreda School
  • Developed Curriculum for the Summer Sleuths Math/Science Camp
  • Member of National Louis Advisory Board for Masters Degree Program
  • Part of team that developed the initiative for the partnership between the Alternative Certification Program and local community colleges

SCHOLARLY AND PROFESSIONAL INVOLVEMENT EXPERIENCE

Books

  • Pelech, J. (2010). The Comprehensive Handbook of Constructivist Teaching: From Theory to Practice. Information Age Publishing: Charlotte, NC.
  • Pelech, J. (2013). Guide to Transforming Teaching through Self-Inquiry. . Information Age Publishing: Charlotte, NC.
  • Pelech, J. (2021). Student Centered Research: Blending Constructivism with Action Research 

Peer-Reviewed Publications:

  • Pelech, J., & Singer, R. (2007). The bridging question strategy. Journal for the Practical Application of Constructivist Theory in Education. 2(1).
  • Pelech, J.  (2008). Delivering constructivism through PBL. Journal for the Practical Application of Constructivist Theory in Education. 2(1).
  • Pelech, J., & Singer, R. (2008). Making connection: Expanding the bridging question strategy. Journal for the Practical Application of Constructivist Theory in Education. 3(2).
  • Pelech, J., & Singer, R. (2009). Expanding the bridging question strategy (BQS) to  higher education.  Journal for the Practical Application of Constructivist Theory in Education. 4(1).
  • Pelech, J., & Singer, R. (2009). Making connections: Expanding the bridging question strategy (BQS) to sorting and logic problems.  Journal for the  Practical Application of Constructivist Theory in Education. 4(2).
  • Pelech, J. & Hibbard, S. (2011). Evaluating the effects of Reading Strategies for College Students: An Action Research Approach. Journal of Research in Education. 21(1).
  • Pelech, J. (2016). Comparing the Effectiveness of Closed-Notes Quizzes with Open-notes Quizzes: Blending Constructivist Principles with Action Research to Improve Student Learning. i.e.:Inquiry in Education

School-University Partnerships

  • Saint Ethelreda School-Benedictine Partnership. Co-Teaching with School faculty in grades 3-8. 2004-2021and President of Board
  • Saints Peter and Paul School Partnership. Administering and analyzing diagnostic tests. Created multimedia presentations to increase student learning and motivation.

Book Review

  • Pelech, J. (2007). Current Practices in Quantitative Literacy (by Rick Gillman). Mathematics Teacher. 101(2).158-159.
  • Pelech, J. (2014). Can Education Change Society? (By Michael Apple). Teachers College Record.

Advisory Council for Text Book

  • Member of Advisory Council for the book, Content Area Reading: Teaching and Learning in an Age for Multiple Literacies.

Article Review

  • Review articles for Mathematics Teacher. 2006 to 2021
  • Review articles for the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Review Chapter for Textbook

  • Requested by Sage Publications to review Educational Assessment: Tests and Measurements in the Age of Accountability.

Professional Development

  • Fulbright Specialist. Guest lecturer at Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. April 2016.
  • Team Facilitator for the Constructivist Design Conference hosted by the Institute for Learning Centered Education, 2010-2012.
  • Professional Development at Saint Ethelreda School. Middle School Mathematics, Middle School Science, and Elementary School English Language Arts.

Co-Host or Host Conferences

  • Host and director of a Virtual Research
  • Host of the Annual Meeting of the Association for Constructivist Teaching.
    Naperville, IL. October 2010. This included an Early Bird Session which will present a Panel Discussion for the Benedictine Community.
  • Co-host for Regional Meeting for the National Association for Alternative Certification, 2009.
  • Co-host of the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Alternative Certification, Chicago, 2006.
  • Host of the Annual Meeting of the Association for Constructivist Teaching, 2006

Presentations at Conferences

  • Association for Constructivist Teaching (2003, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2011)
  • Association for Core Texts and Courses (2006)
  • National Association for Alternative Certification (2005, 2006, 2007)
  • National Association for Professional Development Schools Annual Conference (April 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
  • Summer Constructivist Conference of the Institute for Learning Centered Education (2007, 2008, 20010, 2011, 2012)

Grant Administrator

  • Teachers for the 21st Century. An initiative of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and Microsoft. Leader of the cluster on Math anxiety amongst preservice elementary teachers
  • Author of position paper and Webinar leader for Teachers for the 21st Century
  • Project Connect IV. A grant worth of $300,000 intended to help small private colleges and universities improve teaching and learning through the use of the Illinois Century Network (ICN)

UNIVERSITY SERVICE

Advising

  • Advisor for approximately ninety (90) active Education Students
  • Advisor for thirty (30) Alternative Certification Students (2003-2010)
  • Advisor for Masters Thesis students
  • Dissertation Chair

Committees and Boards

  • Core
  • Honors
  • IRB
  • 2+2 Task Force
  • Library
  • UTIF

Endowed Scholarships

  • Coordinator for the School of Education Endowed Scholarships

University Initiatives

  • Center for Mission and Identity
  • Kappa Delta Pi (Education Honors Society)

“Special” Service Activities

  • President of Saint Ethelreda Board of Limited (Specified) Jurisdiction
  • Saint Joan of Arc (Key Math)
  • Saints Peter and Paul (Key Math)
  • Key Note Speaker at KDP Induction
  • Key Note Speaker at Joliet West High School National Honor Society Induction

Mentor Program

  • Mentor for New Faculty

MILITARY SERVICE

  • United States Army Reserves, 1973-1996
  • Active Duty, 1996, Operation Joint Endeavor. Senior Logistics Officer and Liaison.
  • Retired with rank of Lieutenant Colonel,1996.