Professor of Education
Department of Education
Ph.D. in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies – Loyola University Chicago 2005
M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction – Loyola University Chicago 2000
M.A. in Systematic Theology – University of Notre Dame 1997
B.A. in Political Science – University of Notre Dame 1992
Kevin Gary is a Professor and Chair of the Education Department. He has a Ph.D. in cultural and educational policy studies from Loyola University Chicago with a focus in the philosophy of education and an M.A. in systematic theology from the University of Notre Dame. His teaching experience includes 10 years of teaching theology at Loyola Academy High School in Wilmette, Illinois.; seven years as professor of education and philosophy at Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana; 5 years as professor of education at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana; and one year as faculty director of Goshen College’s international studies program in Lima, Perú.
Dr. Gary’s research is primarily in philosophy of education. He is currently writing a book on boredom and education, under contract with Cambridge University Press titled, Why Boredom Matters: Education and the Quest for a Meaningful Life. K-12 educators (and often parents) face bored students every day. Drawing on multiple disciplines Dr. Gary makes a case for teachers guiding students to engage with boredom constructively, steering clear of restless boredom avoidance on the one hand, or passive submission to boredom on the other.
Dr. Gary has published in multiple journals, including Educational Theory, the Journal of Philosophy of Education, and Studies in Philosophy and Education. Sample publications include:
- “Leisure, Freedom, and Liberal Education,” (2006), Educational Theory
- “Boredom, Contemplation, and Liberation,” (2013), Philosophy of Education
- “Pragmatic Standards versus Saturated Phenomenon: Cultivating a Love of Learning,” (2019), Journal of Philosophy of Education
Dr. Gary is one of the founding executives for the North American Association for Philosophy and Education (NAAPE), launched in 2018. NAAPE provides an international forum for scholars working at the intersection of philosophy and educational thought, where disciplines such as ethics, political philosophy, epistemology, philosophical anthropology, history, and others meet the practical challenges of teaching and learning.
Dr. Gary is passionate about K–12 teacher preparation, especially within the context of a Christian liberal arts university. Working in schools is demanding and extraordinary work. It requires practical wisdom, compassion, and a Renaissance spirit — the very qualities a liberal arts education is uniquely equipped to impart.