Benjamin G.S. Paxton

Benjamin G.S. Paxton

  • Instructor


Ben Paxton is an educational philosopher and ethicist. He currently teaches courses in philosophy of education, ethics and education, and history of American education. Previously, he taught or co-taught courses in social foundations of education, ethics and education policy, and ethical and legal issues in school counseling.

Paxton has served as a representative to the UVA Education Council, chair of the council’s Academic Affairs Committee, and president of the Social Foundations Student Association. He also served on the Committee on New Courses and Programs, the B.S.Ed. Development Committee, the Standing Committee on Curriculum and Program Review, and was an active member of SEEDs for Change. While a graduate student at Yale University, Paxton served as Yale Divinity School community life coordinator, co-chair of the Community Life Committee, and chair of the Yale Committee for Social Justice.

Paxton is the current chair of the Ethics SIG for the Philosophy of Education Society (PES), and former chair of the Policy and Advocacy Committee for the Pennsylvania Alliance for Social and Emotional Learning (SEL4PA). He is an active consultant and facilitator for the Justice in Schools and EdEthics programs at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.

Paxton has presented and published numerous works aimed at addressing the need for ethics in education, including the development of ethical pedagogical skills and interventions, the fostering of ethical school climates, and the necessity for ethical education policy development. His most current work focuses on the various dimensions of ethical teaching and the need for ethics courses and training to be included as a standard part of education schools’ curricula. 


Ph.D., University of Virginia, 2013
M.A., Yale University, 2003
M.Div., Yale University, 2002
B.A., Middlebury College, 1995


  • Professional ethics for educators
  • Ethical pedagogies
  • Ethical education policy and reform
  • Ethical schools and classrooms
  • Social justice education
  • Critical historical analysis