NC State College of Education Associate Professor Margareta Thomson has received the 2018-2019 U.S. Core Fulbright Scholar Award for her proposed project “Fostering Academic Motivation and a STEM Growth Mindset in High Poverty Schools through Authentic Research Experiences.” She plans to conduct her research in Romania.
The project is a collaborative research project with Babes-Bolyai University (UBB). Located in Cluj-Napoca, UBB is Romania’s largest and highest ranked higher education institution. The university, a consistently strong performer in national and international rankings, is classified as an advanced research and education university by Romania’s Ministry of Education.
Thomson’s Fulbright research study will investigate motivational aspects and the impact of a school-wide STEM mentorship program for teachers and students at the elementary level. The project will provide opportunities for elementary school teachers and students from high poverty schools to engage in authentic STEM research experiences in a cognitive apprenticeship model. Providing teachers and students with authentic research experiences and mentorship from STEM specialists will improve not just their STEM literacy, but will foster domain identification, motivation, and a growth mindset for STEM.
The U.S. Fulbright Commission or the Council for International Exchange of Scholars funds teaching and research projects in over 125 countries around the world. The Fulbright Program aims to increase collaborations between the U.S. and other countries and is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government.
Thomson received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Learning Systems from Florida State University in 2008 and joined the NC State College of Education faculty in the same year. Her research focuses on investigating teachers’ and students’ motivations and beliefs, teacher development, and STEM learning. Work from her research has been published in major peer-review journals, and is currently funded by prestigious funding agencies, such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).