Karen Bevis, Ed.D., is the Chair of the School of education’s Secondary Education, Early College/Dual Credit program, Catholic School Education Preparation program, ACTION, and the Nativity Miguel Network of Schools. She came to Marian University as the MBT program’s university supervisor. Her career in education spans the distance from classroom teaching to school administration and development.
Karen has been an educator for 22 years. She has taught third and sixth grades, but finds that her teaching style works best in the middle school. She has been the principal of two schools — one inner city and one urban. She has taught in a higher education setting before, at Indiana State University. She has also coordinated a new school from its inception and served as its director.
Karen’s motivation for working in a higher education setting is her desire to share what she has learned with future teachers. She believes that, “Teaching is not about the teacher, it is about the students. Bringing this reality to Marian students gives me the assurance that our future teachers will put out their best efforts for the children in their own classrooms.” She adds that working in higher education still allows her to work in schools and see the children from a different perspective. She was attracted to Marian by its roots in the Catholic tradition. Her classroom and principal work were in the Indianapolis Archdiocese. “I believe in the work of the Catholic Church and find a comfort which allows me to do my best work.”
Karen’s philosophy of teaching has undergone change throughout her career. But the cornerstone of her philosophy remains firm: that the needs of the student should dictate the educator’s work. “Teaching is a profession that does not center on the person performing the task, but the recipients of the work.” Karen admits that resources differ in every educational environment, but that that is not an excuse — it is an opportunity for teachers to use their enthusiasm and their own love of learning to put those resources to work in the best way. Karen’s advice to new teachers is to not “get caught up in everything and don’t try and do it all your first year — one year at a time, one class at a time, one individual child at a time.”
Philosophy of Education
Revised May 2005
All children and young adults have the right to an excellent education. As an educator, I believe it is my job to make sure that right is met. Students should be treated equally. Each student is to have access to the same materials, excellent educators and opportunities.
Learning is the basis for personal growth and teaching is one of the best ways to learn. One of the best ways a teacher can learn is from students, recognizing that every child has a unique view of the world. A true educator uses that view to drive the learning process. Teaching works best when learning is truly reciprocated.
The classroom environment has great bearing on how well children learn. In order to create this positive learning environment, I believe in using the methodology of Harry Wong. His plan for creating a learning environment is based on what effective teachers do in the classroom. Having procedures in place allows for the classroom’s emphasis to be on learning. This effective classroom lends itself to allowing students to accept a greater amount of responsibility and becoming more active in their own education. The students ultimately learn more and retain more.
As an educator of children and adults, I find it important to vary my teaching style. Lectures tend to be too passive. Students of all ages will learn more when allowed to be actively involved. Learning styles do not change just because people get older and progress to high school and college levels. Therefore, hands-on learning, as well as real life learning, is something that I strive to continually make present in the classroom.
It is the responsibility of a dedicated teacher to challenge students each day. High expectations and challenges are a reality of life. Posing questions at the higher level of Bloom’s Taxonomy allows children to, and gives them permission to, think and answer at the higher levels. It is imperative that students learn to think and solve at these higher levels.
Because I believe so deeply in education and am passionate about acquiring knowledge, it is important that I share that passion with all of my students. It is my goal that each student begins to develop that same value for learning. My goal is for each one to realize that what will be learned in the classroom will have a direct link outside the classroom. Learning is a life time process that takes commitment. When the students see their own success based in their own learning, they strive for more. This is the time in which they realize that education is a gift they give themselves.
My own teaching beliefs are based on various educational strategies. I believe in an integrated curriculum so that there is a clear understanding of how learning is not segregated by subjects; rather that in the real world, knowledge and learning are intertwined. I also see the value of having a clear understanding of how each student in the classroom learns. Which of Gardner’s Seven Intelligences influence how the students learn? Knowing this provides direction in my teaching and direction for learning.
My teaching beliefs are also based on problem solving approaches and incorporating various strategies to help students grasp new concepts. It is my ultimate goal to teach students, no matter what the age, how to learn instead of what to learn. Students need to know much about themselves and the way they learn. It is important that they know how to incorporate themselves into their own learning and learning environment. Using concrete experiences they will remember these concepts and build other concepts and understanding upon them. I do not expect the students to match my teaching style; rather, it is my position that I should find ways to teach to their styles. Teaching is a wonderful opportunity for students and teachers to grow in their own learning.
Awards and Accomplishments
- Who's Who Among America's Teachers
- Recognition for service in the Archdiocese as teacher and principal
- Completion of Indiana Catholic Principal Institute