Karen Buchanan

Karen Buchanan, EdD

Chair, Doctor of Education Program

Professor of Education



Karen Buchanan came to George Fox University in 2004 as a member of the Undergraduate Teacher Education Department. She chaired that department for a number of years and joined with her dean to lead the School of Education effort to obtain its first national accreditation through NCATE.

In 2010, she joined the academic affairs office at George Fox in the role of dean of instruction. Her duties included faculty development and Northwest accreditation. Karen now serves on the doctor of educational leadership faculty.


Educational Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction (2002), Seattle Pacific University. Research focused on the assessment literacy of classroom teachers and yielded a manuscript: Buchanan, K. (2002). The development and preliminary examination of the psychometric properties of the Classroom Assessment Practices Survery (CAPS). Dissertation.

Master of Arts in Teaching (1997), emphasis in language and literacy, Lewis & Clark College

Bachelor of Arts (1982), elementary education, Columbia Christian College

Work Experience and Research Interests

Prior to her work in higher education, Karen taught primary grades and talented and gifted students (K-6) in Oregon public schools. Her research interests include pre-service teacher education assessment, assessment literacy of in-service teachers, higher education faculty development, and family engagement in early childhood settings.

Selected Publications and Presentations

Buchanan, K. & Buchanan, T. (2014).  A visit to the Kilns: a formative experience for two teacher educators.  ICCTE Journal.

Buchanan, K. (2014). What fitness bands can teach us about classroom assessment. Teaching Professor, 28(2).

National Association of the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Professional Development Conference.  Building Bridges: how 21st century tools are being used to support family and community relationships. Minneapolis, MN, June 2014.

Lily Conference on College & University Teaching. Illuminating a target to improve teaching and learning. Washington, D.C. June 2012.

Buchanan, K. and Johnson, M. (2010). Contextualizing the teacher work sample: An evolving early childhood perspective.  In Brodsky and Rosselli (Eds.). Connecting teaching and learning, history, evolution and case studies of teacher work sample methodology. Lanham, MD: Roman and Littlefield Publishing.

National Association of the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) 18th National Institute for Early childhood Professional Development Conference. Investigating the application of developmentally appropriate practices within early childhood teacher work samples. Charlotte, North Carolina. June 2009.

The Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) Annual Conference. One size doesn’t necessarily fit all: retooling the teacher work sample for specialty competence. Dallas, Texas. February 2009.

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education Annual Conference. Table of specifications: a useful travel guide to assist teacher candidates in the alignment of goals, instruction, and assessment. New York, New York. February 2007.

Buchanan, K and Johnson, M. (2006) Incorporating national professional standards into teacher work sample assessments, Quality Teaching:  NCATE publication.

Outside the Classroom

Karen’s family is definitely the “love of her life.” She has been married to Tom, her best friend and fellow educator, for more than 30 years. Karen and Tom have two grown children – a son who is a computer engineer and a daughter whose social work degree has her working in a behavioral school as a social skills and transition specialist.