Richard Paxton, PhD

Berglund Hall 258

Richard J. Paxton is a Professor in the College of Education at Pacific University. He has published numerous articles on the Teaching and Learning of History, most notably his innovative research into the influence of authorial voice on students’ comprehension of historical texts. Recently, his research has focused on how the historical knowledge children glean from commercial motion pictures and video games cognitively interacts with the more formal historical narrative provided in school. A former high school World History teacher, Paxton was named a Wisconsin Teaching Fellow in 2001, and received the Thompson Distinguished Professorship at Pacific University in 2008. He earned his doctorate from the University of Washington, holds a master’s from the University of Tulsa and a bachelor’s from the University of Oregon.

Born and raised in Oregon, Paxton enjoys skiing, mountain biking, and hiking the mountains of the Great Northwest with his dog.


PhD, University of Washington

MA, University of Tulsa

BS, University of Oregon

Recent Publications

Marcus, A., Paxton, R.J., & Meyerson, P.M. (in-press). “The reality of it all:” History students read the movies. Theory and Research in Social Education.

Meyerson, P.M. & Paxton, R.J. (2007). Stronger than the classroom: Movies, texts and conceptual change (or lack thereof) amidst sociocultural groups. In A. Marcus (Ed.), Celluloid Blackboard: Teaching History with Film. Information Age Publishing.

Paxton, R.J. (2005). The illusion of knowledge: Editorial perspectives on the teaching and learning of history. In M.S. Crocco (Ed.) Social Studies and the Press: Keeping the Beast at Bay. Information Age Publishers.

Paxton, R.J. (2003). Don’t know much about history: Never did. Phi Delta Kappan, v. 85, n. 4, 264-273.