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Karen Beard

Associate Professor, Department of Educational Studies
Program Chair, Department of Educational Studies

Program Areas:

  • Educational Administration
  • Educational Policy

(614) 688-1384
beard.46@osu.edu

Personal Website

Biography

Karen Stansberry Beard, Ph.D., is an associate professor and chair of Educational Administration and an Educational Policy affiliate at The Ohio State University where she teaches Positive Psychology in Educational Administration. She also teaches Leadership, Inquiry and Ethics, The Social and Political Context of Education and School and Community Relations. Her previous teaching include: Organizational theory, School Culture, Climate and Change, Educational Administration, Supervision, and Curriculum Leadership for Principals. 

Karen’s research focuses on educational administration and leadership development with the intentional exploration of positive psychology and related constructs (e.g., flow PERMA(H) and academic optimism) relative to educational administration and organizational leadership. She explores the impact of positive psychology on teaching and learning, as well as the implementation of policy supportive of cross cultural understanding and reducing gaps in achievement. African American student achievement and civil rights legislation are central to her interests. These foci undergird her publications as well as her presentation activities across the United Stated and internationally.

As a parent, former teacher, and principal, she pursues “best practices” and predictors of effective organizational leadership and conditions supportive of teacher and student well-being. She is among the first scholars to introduce Positive Psychology into the work of educational administration and policy implementation and the first known scholar to introduce flow theory into the Educational Administration literature.

Education

  • PhD, Educational Administration, The Ohio State University, 2008
  • MA, Educational Administration, The Ohio State University, 1989
  • BS, Elementary Education, K-8, The Ohio State University, 1983

Research Interests

Research Summary

Karen’s research interests include Educational Administration, Organizational Leadership development, and Positive Psychology related constructs (e.g., flow, PERMA(H), and academic optimism). Educational policy implementation supportive of cross-cultural understanding, achievement gap reduction, and civil rights legislation are central to her educational policy interests. Using a critical race lens, her research has explored parent, teacher, principal, and superintendent perspectives at the crossroads of school administration, academic achievement, and marginalized populations (emphasizing African American school experiences). 

Karen has found Positive Psychology useful in rejecting deficit narratives pertaining to intelligence and individuals. It also helps to reframe and balance the critical perspectives she explores to inform policy with best practices, predictors of effective organizational leadership, and environmental conditions supportive of student and teacher well-being. As such, Karen is the first known scholar to introduce flow theory into the Educational Administration literature and is among the first to introduce Positive Psychology into Educational Administration and Educational Policy literature. She independently developed two theories: Flow Under Threat, and a Theory or Engaged Leadership and created a framework for ethical decision making. She has worked with colleagues and students in the development of several scales. Her research has been recognized both nationally and internationally. http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=Ci0VaDcAAAAJ&hl=en.

Honors

  • 2020 The Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership Paula Silver Case Award
  • 2020 The Roudine Bishop Award Recipient for The College of Education and Human Ecology Diversity Enhancement Award
  • 2018 The Ohio State Education and Human Ecology College Teaching Award
  • 2016 The Journal of Urban Education’s Outstanding Service Award
  • 2010 Miami University of Ohio University Teaching Award
  • 2009 William Loadman Research Award for Educational Administration – Best Dissertation

Selected Publications

  1. Beard, K. S., Thompson, S. I. (2021). Breaking Barriers: District and School Administrators Engaging Family, and Community as a Key Determinant of Student Success. Urban Education. DOI:10.1177/0042085920987284
  2. Zhan, X. Anthony, A.B., Goddard, R. Beard, K. S. (2020). Development, Factor Structure, and Reliability of the Shared Instructional Leadership Scale in Public Secondary Schools. Educational Management Administration & Leadership. 
  3. Watkins, S., Anthony, A. B. & Beard, K. S. (2020) Principals’ Sensemaking of Leading Under Accountability And Innovation Policies, Leadership and Policy in Schools. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 1-21.
  4. Beard, K. S. (2019). Getting on track: Aligning the achievement gap conversation with ethical educational practice. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 22 (1), 30-54.
  5. Beard, K. S. , Gates, S. (2019). Providing a passport to the future for foster youth: A case for educational leadership and policy. 
  6. Beard, K. S. (2018). Toward a theory of Engaged School Leadership: Positive psychology and principal candidates’ sense of engagement and their preparedness to lead engagement. The Psychology of Educational Leadership. Special Edition of The Journal of School Leadership 28(6), 742-771.
  7. Beard, K. S., Arnold, N. W., Douglas, T. (2018). Special Issue Introduction: The Psychology of Educational Leadership. Journal of School Leadership 28 (6), 712-117.
  8. Beard, K. S. (2018). Standing in the gap: Theory and practice impacting educational opportunity and achievement gaps. Urban Education, 53 (5), 668-696. Solo authored. 2018 impact factor: 2.1. (5 year – 2.867).
  9. Beard, K. S. , Adeeko, O. (2018). Charter School Authorization: A New Gateway to Excellence and Equity. Journal of Transformative Leadership and Policy Studies, 7 (1), 15-26.
  10. Beard, K. S . (2017). Promises kept or opportunities lost: A wicked problem in educational leadership. Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership, 20 (3), 86-103.
  11. Beard, K. S. (2015). Theoretically Speaking: An Interview with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on Flow Theory Development and Its Usefulness in Addressing Contemporary Challenges in Education. Educational Psychology Review, 27(2), 353-364. Solo Authored.
  12. Beard, K. S. (2013). Character in action: A case of authentic educational leadership that advanced equity and excellence. Journal of School Leadership, 23 (6), 1015-1046.
  13. Beard, K. S. (2012). Making the case for the outlier: Researcher reflections of an African American female deputy superintendent who decided to close the achievement gap. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 25 (1), 57-71.
  14. Beard, K. S., Hoy, W.K. (2010). The nature, meaning, and measure of teacher flow in elementary schools: A test of rival hypotheses. Educational Administration Quarterly, 46 (3), 426-458.
  15. Beard, K. S., Hoy, W. K., & Woolfolk Hoy, A. (2010). Academic optimism of individual teachers: Confirming a new construct. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26 (5), 1136-1144.
  16. Beard, K. S., Brown, K.M. (2008).‘Trusting schools to meet the academic needs of African American students?’ Suburban mothers’ perspectives. The International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 21 (5), 471-485.

Selected Presentations

Keynote or Invited

  1. Beard, K. S. (2021, September) Invited (James Moore). Work. Life. Balance?: Reflections on Centering. A Presentation for the Faculty Professional Development Retreat Work/Life Balance Presentation. The Ohio State University.
  2. Beard, K. S. (2021, September) Invited (Barbara Boone). Trust Matters in Leading Family Engagement. The Ohio Family Engagement Center Leadership Summit. The Ohio State University.
  3. Beard, K. S. (2021, May) Invited (Natasha Speer and Courtney Howard) Getting on Track: Real Talk About Math, Equity, Ethics and Quality of Life Trajectory. Launch Years Designing Mathematics Pathways for Equity Conference – Policies and Structures to Build and Support Equitable Pathways. The University of Texas at Austin - Charles A. Dana Center
  4. Beard, K. S. (2021, April) Invited (Colette Dollarhide). Lecture for Professional School Counseling, The Ohio State University.
  5. Beard, K. S. (2020, Sept.) Invited (Lisa Bass). Keeping Perspective in Unprecedented Times: A Time of Opportunity. A Presentation for the College of Education Committee on Multiculturalism and Diversity (COMID). North Carolina State University.
  6. Beard, K. S. ( 2020, November) Invited (Keely Pratt). Presentation on Preparing Your Teaching Statement for the 2019-2021 Postdoc Cohort. 
  7. Beard, K. S. (2020, January) Invited (Noelle Arnold) Teaching for Impact: Support for the Success Trifecta for the EHE 2019-2021 Postdoc Cohort.
  8. Beard, K. S. (2020, March) Invited (Colette Dollarhide). Lecturer for Professional School Counseling, The Ohio State University
  9. Beard, K. S. (2019). Positive Education.  Invited Session Chair (Shari Young-Kuchenbecker, Ph.D.) 4th Western Positive Psychology Association Conference. Claremont Graduate University Claremont, CA 
  10. Beard, K. S. (2019, February). PhD/Doctoral Boot Camp. Invited (Vice Provost James Moore) Coach and Mentor (3 doctoral students). The Ohio State University. Deer Creek State Lodge – Mt. Sterling, OH
  11. Beard, K. S. (2018, November). Writing as Practice: Basic Planning and Preparing for Academic Submission. Invited (Matthew Beard) Speaker for the Jones Hall Faculty Engagement Program. The Ohio State University. Columbus, OH
  12. Beard, K. S. (2018, November). The Roads I’ve Traveled: Navigating the Job Market & Sustaining Your Career. Invited (James Moore) Speaker for the Preparing for the Professorate Armed for the Academy Retreat. The Ohio State University. Deer Creek State Lodge - Mt. Sterling, OH
  13. Beard, K. S. (2018, February).  Empowering Engineering Student Success Through the Exploration of Positive Psychology, Flow Theory and Engagement. Invited (David Delaine) Guest Lecturer for the “Changing the EED Through Student Empowerment” themed Engineering Education Doctoral Professional Seminar (20) students. The Ohio State University. Columbus, OH
  14. Beard, K. S. (2018, January). Leading Through Change: Answering the Call. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Alpha Sigma Omega Chapter Officers and Committee Chairmen Training. Keynote Presentation and Workshop (45) women in leadership positions for the sorority chapter. 100% Authorship. Invited (Shannon Teague, Basileus)
  15. Beard, K. S.  (2016, November) 2016 ICERI Invited (ICERI2016 Organizing Committee). ICERI is a (Peer Reviewed) conference organized by The International Academy of Technology, Education and Development. Seville, Spain 
  16. Beard, K. S. (2016, October) Answering the Call: Informing the front line through research of the impact of marginalization experiences. Invited (Bob Thomas, OCTEO Conference Coordinator) Keynote Speaker for the 2016 Ohio Confederation of Teacher Education Organizations Conference. Dublin Ohio, United States. 
  17. Beard, K. S. (2015, June). Leading with purpose: Administration and policy implementation using positive psychology. Battelle For Kids Educators Connect for Success Conference. Columbus, Ohio, United States. Solo Presentation. Invited (Denise Snowden).
  18. Beard, K. S. (2014, July). Leading Schools: Using School, Parent and Community Relations to promote student engagement and well-being while implementing Educational Policy. Invited (Aimin Wang) Presenter and Workshop Lecturer (10 lectures) for 90 Chinese educators of the Fengtai Education Bureau, Beijing China
  19. Beard, K. S. (2014, February). Theoretically Speaking: Contemporary Theory Addressing Historical Challenges. The University of Alabama 7th Annual Educational Administration Research Conference. Invited (John Tartar) Keynote. University of Alabama. Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States. The conference audience included peers within the field but the talk was for student researchers.

National

  1. Beard, K. S. (April, 2019). Getting on track: Aligning the achievement gap conversation with ethical educational practice. A paper presentation for The American Education Research Association (AERA) Toronto, Canada
  2. Thomson, S., Beard, K. S. (April 2019).Positive Parent and Community Engagement:  A Case Study of an Urban District and Student Well-being. A paper presentation for The American Education Research Association (AERA). Toronto, Canada
  3. Beard, K. S. (January, 2019). Flow Under Threat:Lessons Learned from Becoming Marginalized and Organizational Leadership for Principal Preparation. A paper presentation for the Western Positive Psychology Association (WPPA). Claremont CA.
  4. Commodore, L., Beard, K. S. (January, 2019) The Nature, Meaning and Measure of Collective Grit: A Test of Elementary School Teachers’ Collective Grit, Teacher Efficacy and Academic Achievement. A paper presentation for the Western Positive Psychology Association (WPPA). Claremont, CA.
  5. Bass, L., Beard, K. Israel, M.(November, 2018). Developing Ethical Educational Leaders: A Mini-Workshop featuring UCEA’s new PSEL Textbook 32nd annual University Council of Education Administration (UCEA), Houston, TX.
  6. Adeeko, O., Beard, K. S. (April, 2018). Charter School Authorization Practices: Two Models of Governance. A roundtable paper presentation for The American Education Research Association (AERA). New York, NY
  7. Thomson, S., Beard, K. S. (April, 2018). Positive Parent and Community Engagement: An Exploratory Case Study of an Urban Minority-Majority School District, PERMA(H) and Student Well-being. A roundtable paper presentation for The International Network on School, Family and Community Partnerships (INET). New York, NY
  8. Beard, K. S., and representatives from each state of the United States (November, 2017). What is Your State’s Plan for School Leadership? A Cross- State Analysis of ESSA. A Special Session Roundtable on ESSA at the 31st annual University Council of Education Administration (UCEA) annual conference, Denver, CO. 
  9. Adeeko, O., Beard, K. S., (2017, November). Charter school authorization: A gateway to school equity, parent choice, and community engagement. (Peer Reviewed) University Council of Educational Administration UCEA annual conference.  Authorship: 50%
  10. Adeeko, O., Beard, K. S. (2017, November) Examining Charter School Authorizer Effectiveness: What Matters Most? In Principal Behaviors and the Market’s Role in Education and Leadership. Ignite session presentation for the Graduate Student Summit at the 31st annual University Council of Education Administration (UCEA) annual conference, Denver, CO. Authorship: 20%
  11. Marshall, J., Beard, K. S. (2016, April). Work-life balance and educational leadership faculty: Themes and strategies. American Education Research Association (Peer Reviewed). Washington, United States, DC. 50% Authorship: Coding, analysis and poster design
  12. Watkins, S., Anthony, A., Beard, K. S. (2016, November). Innovating Under Pressure: Perceptions of innovative public school principals working in a high stakes policy context. University Council of Educational Administration (Peer Reviewed). Detroit, Michigan, United States.15% Authorship: Assisted in framing policy context, contributed to literature and editing reviews
  13. Beard, K. S. (April, 2015). Becoming Marginalized: A Study of Educational Administration Student Discourse in the Experience of Marginalization. A paper presentation for the 2015 AERA Annual Convention (Peer Reviewed), Chicago IL. Solo presentation of research 
  14. Beard, K. S. (2015, November). Beyond the great wall: Preparing leaders to reimagine policy implementation to enhance student engagement and well-being. University Council of Educational Administration (Peer Reviewed). San Diego, California, United States. Solo presentation of research
  15. Beard, K. S. (2015, November). Integrating spirituality, work, and not-work in educational leadership: A critical conversation. University Council of Educational Administration (Peer Reviewed). San Diego, California, United States. 25% Authorship
  16. Beard, K. S. (2014, April). Developing engaged school leaders: An assessment study of an innovative principal preparation program. American Education Research Association (Peer Reviewed). Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Solo presentation of research
  17. Beard, K. S. (2014, November). A window seat: Exploring the interplay between law, policy and community engagement through the remedy of forced busing found in Keyes, Milliken and Penick. Paper presented on the Special Topic Symposium: A Wrong Without a Remedy?: 40 Years Post-Milliken in the Struggle to Right Educational Inequities. The Annual Convention of the (Peer Reviewed) University Council for Educational Administration, Washington D.C.
  18. Beard, K. S., Radd, S. I. (2014, November). Becoming marginalized: Preparing school leaders to understand the impact of marginalization in intellectual spaces. University Council of Educational Administration (Peer Reviewed) Convention. Washington, District of Columbia, United States. 
  19. Beard, K. S. (2014, November). Exploring the Faith and Work of Education Faculty: Running with the wolves to care for the sheep. 2014 University Council for Educational Administration Annual Convention (Peer Reviewed). Washington D.C., District of Columbia, United States. A panel presentation.
  20. Peters-Hawkins, A., Beard, K., & Reed, L. (2013, November). From Theory to Classroom to Practice: Preparing Students to Lead Schools in Diverse Contexts. University Council for Educational Administration Conference (Peer Reviewed). Indianapolis, Indiana, United States.
  21. Beard, K. S. (2013, November). The Politics of Policy: Consideration of Practice Promoting Social Justice in K-12 and Higher Education. Critical Conversation/Dialogue presentation for the Annual Convention of the University Council for Educational Administration Conference (Peer Reviewed), Indianapolis, IN


International

  1. Beard, K. S. (2016, November) Engaged leadership: An international qualitative study linking effective school leadership with flow theory research, Conference Proceeding-Paper presented at the 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research, and Innovation (Peer Reviewed), Seville, Spain November, 2016. 100%
  2. Xi Zahn, Anthony, A.B., Goddard, R., Beard, K. S. (2016, November). Development, Factor Structure and Reliability of the Shared Instructional Leadership Scale (SILS). International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (Peer Reviewed). Seville, Spain. 5%
  3. Beard, K. S. (2013, July). Theoretically Speaking: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi speaks on the development of flow theory and its usefulness in educational administration. International Positive Psychology Conference (Peer Reviewed). Los Angeles, California, United States. Poster Presentation. Solo presentation of research