John Laukaitis

Associate Professor of Education

When Dr. John J. Laukaitis was seeking a place to integrate his faith into his classes, he found the School of Education a perfect fit. “Teaching at North Park provides a unique opportunity,” says Dr. Laukaitis, “to be in the context of Chicago and be supported in faith integration.”

At North Park, Dr. Laukaitis provides opportunities for students to explore how their faith can direct them to become more effective and caring teachers. “I hope to provide a more meaningful experience for students,” says Dr. Laukaitis, “whereby they can understand the importance of having guiding principles and a strong moral foundation for their professional lives.”

As an expert in the history and philosophy of education, Dr. Laukaitis inspires students to frame their understandings of teaching and learning through a variety of perspectives and ideas from the past and present. In his courses, he guides teacher candidates to think deeply about their vocational calling and prepares them for the students they will one day serve.

For ten years, Dr. Laukaitis was a high school English teacher and administrator for District 155 in Crystal Lake, Illinois. In addition to teaching a variety of courses at North Park, Dr. Laukaitis is the faculty sponsor of the Alpha Theta Delta chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, an international honor society in education dedicated to supporting academic excellence and community service. His extensive experience and ongoing involvement with Chicago schools allow him to bridge theory and practice in his work with future educators.

Recent Publications

John J. Laukaitis, ed. Denominational Higher Education During the Vietnam War. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, under contract.

John J. Laukaitis, ed. Denominational Higher Education During World War II. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.

John J. Laukaitis. Community Self-Determination: A History of American Indian Education in Chicago, 1952–2006. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2015.

John J. Laukaitis. “Positioning the American Indian Self-Determination Movement in the Era of Civil Rights.” In Why You Can’t Teach United States History without American Indians, eds. Susan Sleeper-Smith, Juliana Barr, Jean M. O’Brien, Nancy Shoemaker, and Scott Manning Stevens. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2015.

Popular Courses

EDUC 2120: Introduction to Teaching
EDUC 3130: Intercultural and Urban Education
EDUC 3160: Instruction in Secondary Schools

Inspirations & Interests

Favorite Literature

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Kolyma Tales by Varlam Shalamov
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
The Complete Stories by Flannery O’Connor

Favorite Quotation

“But man is not made for defeat,” he said. “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.”
—Santiago in Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea