Dr. Karen Henman

Dr. Karen Henman


Assistant Professor of Education


Undergraduate Education:

Ball State University – B.S. Science Education


Graduate Education:

Indiana University – M.Ed.

Indiana State University – Ph.D.


Subject Areas Taught at Brenau:

Science Concepts

Science Methods

Classroom Management

School and Society

Content Application

Content Methods


Teaching Philosophy:

In higher education – educational excellence is a combination of all types of teaching philosophies – Traditional, Experiential, and Social. The Traditional look to the class includes determining the prior knowledge that students’ possess, along with Socratic discussions among students. More content is covered with this approach, but it is known that less long term learning will take place. Therefore, the class pace is adjusted to allow for research, presentations, project based and case based learning. Traditional subject matter is embedded in each of these approaches.

Experiential Teaching and Learning is emphasized through the inquiry-based teaching and learning methods. If pre-service teachers of science are learning about friction, they will rub their hands together. They will feel the difference when dragging a brick across a flat surface and the surface that has a layer of oil applied. They watch snippets of relevant videos to reinforce the concept.

Students design their own experiments, present them to the class, and develop independent research projects. Pre-service teachers who encourage discovery, inquiry, and project based learning activities will gain greater understanding from Elementary and Middle Grades students. Students are given an opportunity to explore these teaching tools.

The greatest gift I can give my post-secondary students is the gift of never being afraid of trying to teach or learn something new or in a new way, at least once. So many have a fear of failure ingrained in them at an early age. But failure is a natural occurrence in life. It’s only through failures that some of the greatest discoveries have been made. For example, just think if Abraham Lincoln or Barack Obama had feared failure, the U.S. would have missed out on two great political emissaries to the office of President.

One of my roles in higher education is to continue my quest to empower classroom teachers to excite their future students in their classrooms. I strive to give Brenau University students the confidence to succeed as future teachers of science. Through a greater knowledge base of science, future teachers will have the ability to integrate science into the teaching of math and language arts skills at all grade levels. Students will have the opportunity to incorporate real world learning tasks whenever possible and appropriate.


Academic and Research Interests:

Gender studies, science education, and ornithology


Academic Affiliation and Leadership Positions Held::

Environmental Education Association, Inc. – Life Member

Fair Street IB School Governance Council

Georgia Academy of Science

Georgia Science Teachers Association – Board Member

Georgia Ornithological Society

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi

Hoosier Association of Science Teachers – Life member

Indiana Audubon Society – Board of Trustees – Life Member

National Association of Research in Science Teaching

National Audubon Society

National Geographic Society

National Science Teachers Association – New Science Teacher Review Panelist

Phi Kappa Phi

Pi Lambda Theta