NC State College of Education Education Associate Professor Margareta Thomson began her outreach and research engagements with education faculty, K-12 teachers and educators in Romania as part of her work as a U.S. Core Fulbright Scholar recipient for the 2018-2019 academic year.
Authentic Research Experiences for All
Before leaving for Romania, Thomson kicked off the first of a series of immersive research experiences for science teachers working in high-poverty North Carolina schools. The experiences are part of a National Institutes of Health-funded project that builds scientific research skills in an authentic environment by pairing teachers with mentor scientists for an eight-week professional development program. “Teachers’ newly acquired specialized knowledge and research skills have the potential to improve instruction, positively impact student science learning, and promote interest and readiness for STEM careers,” says Thomson.
She presented her Fulbright research project “Fostering Academic Motivation and a STEM Growth Mindset in High-Poverty Schools through Authentic Research Experiences” and served as a keynote speaker at the 4th International Nonformal Education Conference in Sancraiu de Mures, Romania, earlier this month.
While at INEC, Thomson also participated in workshops and seminars alongside Romania’s educators to develop new avenues for K-12 teachers to enhance nonformal education.
Currently, she is collaborating with faculty from the Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu to organize the 19th Biennial Conference of International Study Association on Teachers and Teaching. The conference theme, “Education Beyond the Crisis: New Skills, Children’s Rights and Teaching Contexts,” aims at drawing a wide range of researchers and practitioners from different countries to “debate, challenge and reappraise long-held beliefs, attitudes and ways of educating children.”
Additionally, Thomson presented her Fulbright project to psychology and educational sciences faculty at Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Babes-Bolyai University is Romania’s largest institution of higher education and is designated as an advanced research and education university by the country’s Ministry of Education.