Lunder School of Education

Pamela Thompson Ph.D.

Professor, Early Childhood Education


Dr. Thompson has enjoyed a 31year career as an educator, serving at all levels, pre-school, elementary, secondary, and college and university teaching. She has held faculty and administrative positions across five institutions of higher education, to include Thomas. She has been an owner of a small business, which provided a uniquely customized set of tutoring services in the content areas of mathematics and writing. She has also been a freelance contributor to a Maine based publication for women authors. Currently Dr. Thompson, serves on the Kennebec Valley Community Action Program Board, the Maine Association for the Education of the Young Child Public Policy Committee and on the National Head Start Work Circle for Rethinking Credentials in Washington, D.C. Her current research and publications have been across the intersections of XR technologies in higher education instruction and assessment; XR-360 Teaching and Social Emotional Learning; Creativity and Virtual Realities, Montessori Education, and Re-envisioning Teacher Education. Growing up on a family farm, Dr. Thompson developed an early connection to the natural beauty of Maine. In her free time, you may find her walking/hiking woodland trails, painting in oils, writing, blogging on her professional website, reading a good mystery novel, or just taking a walk along our amazing state’s coastline and beaches! Hometown: Wells, Maine.

Teaching Philosophy/Value Statement:

My thoughts on teaching and learning blend ideas from constructivism (learners construct their own knowledge); many of my classes have an arts based theme running through them (using the arts as a partner to teach content areas); and I believe that teaching is creative work that is as much science as art, meaning that teaching is a craft, and one that not “anyone can just jump in and do”. By the same token, the science of teaching would tell us that we also need to pay close attention to the learner. What can they do? What interests them? What will be of use to them? In this way, I am very much a developmental constructivist, you can not teach what your students are not ready to learn, at any age. So, as an educator, you set the table and provide some background and context and hope the invitation to learn will be accepted so the magic of the teaching-learning relationship can become. The purpose of education, in my opinion after all is to invite change, growth, to push boundaries, and to work towards a more humane reality for all. If we wanted to maintain the status quo, why would we invite anyone to think in the first place?

Areas of Expertise and Interest:

Leadership in Higher Education XR Technologies in Higher Education Teaching and Assessment XR-360 Technologies for Social Emotional Learning Creativity and Virtual Realities


  • Ph.D. (Curriculum and Instruction, Neuroscience and Learning), University of Denver, Denver, CO
  • M.Ed. (Educational Leadership, Advanced Study) Wright State University, Dayton, OH
  • B.S. (Elementary Education K-3, Concentration: Fine Arts) University of Southern Maine, Portland-Gorham, ME

Professional Affiliations:

  • Educare of Central Maine Lab School
  • Kennebec Valley Community Action Program, Board Member
  • Maine Association for the Education of the Young Child, Public Policy Committee
  • National Association for the Education of the Young Child
  • National Head Start Work Circle: Rethinking Credentials, Washington, D.C.
  • Educators in VR
  • Consortium of XR in Higher Education
  • New England Education Research Organization

Presentations and Conferences:

  • Transcending the Lectern: Effective Applications and Evaluation of Mixed Realities in the College Classroom, Paper, Presented at the New England Educational Research Organization, Portsmouth, NH. April 2022
  • eXploring realities: A Conversation about AR, VR and 360 Immersion, Webinar, Thomas College March 2022
  • eXtending the conversation: An Invitation to eXchange Ideas for Instruction, Webinar, Thomas College, March 2022