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Margareta M. Thomson

Associate Professor of Educational Psychology

602 L Poe Hall



Dr. Thomson has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Learning Systems from Florida State University. Her professional experience includes teaching at the K-12 and college level, both in the United States and Romania. She also worked in research for the Learning Systems Institute (LSI), and Center for Integrating Research and Learning (CIRL) at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, FL. Dr. Thomson is currently teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in Educational Psychology in the College of Education at North Carolina State University. In addition to her teaching, she is involved in research exploring teachers’ motivations, expectations, values and classroom practices using primarily a mixed-methods approach. Her research particularly investigates teachers’ motivations and beliefs applied to STEM learning and professional development.

Research Description

Dr. Thomson's research aims at investigating teacher development and teaching quality, with a focus on understanding how preservice and in-service teachers’ motivations, beliefs and knowledge impact teaching practices. The research methodology is primarily mixed-methods, although she also designs solely quantitative or qualitative studies.Her work investigates primarily in two major research areas:

  1. Preservice teachers’ motivations and beliefs-research in this area investigates the relationship between preservice teachers’ motivations and teaching beliefs, and how these variables influence teacher candidates’ planned instructional choices;
  2. Teacher professional development- research in this area investigates teachers’ development (i.e., knowledge, motivations, efficacy and practices), especially in STEM area associated with teachers’ professional development.

Curriculum Vitae


Selected Scholarly Publications

  • Thomson, M.M. (2017). A mixed-methods investigation: Involvement in a Research Experiences for Teachers' (RET) professional development programme. SAGE Research Methods Cases Education, London, England: Sage Publications.
  • Thomson, M.M., DiFrancesca, D., Carrier, S., & Lee, C. (2016). Teaching efficacy: Exploring relationships between mathematics and science self-efficacy beliefs, PCK and domain knowledge among preservice teachers from the United States. Teacher Development, DOI: 10.1080/13664530.2016.1204355.
  • Thomson, M.M. (2016). Metaphorical images of schooling: Beliefs about teaching and learning among prospective teachers from United States displaying different motivational profiles. Educational Psychology, 36 (3), 502-525.
  • Thomson, M.M., & Nietfeld, J. (2016). Beliefs systems and classroom practices: Identified typologies of elementary school teachers from the United States. The Journal of Educational Research, 109 (4), 360-374.
  • Thomson, M. M., & Turner, J.E. (2015). Teaching motivations, characteristics and professional growth: Results from the Great Expectations (GE) programme in the United States. Educational Psychology, 35 (5), 578-597.
  • Lee, J., Turner, J.E., & Thomson, M.M. (2015). A structural equation model of pre-service teachers’ perceptions of future goals and current course-related motivation. Japanese Psychological Research, 57 (3), 231-241.
  • Thomson, M.M. & Palermo, C. (2014). Preservice teachers’ understanding of their professional goal: Case studies from three different typologies. Teaching and Teacher Education,44, 56–68.
  • Carrier, S., Thomson, M. M., & Tugurian, L.P., & Tate Stevenson, K. (2014). Stakeholder views of elementary science, outdoors, and environmental education: Students’ gender and ethnic differences. International Journal of Science Education, 36 (13), 2195-2220.
  • Thomson, M. M., & McIntyre, E. (2013). Teachers’ professional goals: An examination of different teachers’ typologies with respect to motivations and beliefs about teaching. Teacher Development, 17(4),409-430.
  • Carrier, S., Tugurian, L. & Thomson, M.M. (2013). Elementary science indoors and out: teachers, times and testing. Research in Science Education, 43(5), 2059-208.
  • Thomson, M.M., & Gregory, B. (2013). Elementary teachers' classroom practices and beliefs in relation to US science education reform: Reflections from within. International Journal of Science Education, 35(11), 1800-1823.
  • Thomson, M. M., Turner, J.E., & Nietfeld, J. (2012). A typological approach to investigate motivation for teaching and beliefs about teaching of preservice teacher candidates. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28, 324-335.

Courses Taught

  • EDP 304 Educational Psychology (undergraduate course)
  • ELM 350 Assessment of Learning and Behavior (undergraduate course)
  • EDP 370 Child Development (undergraduate course)
  • EDP 504 Advanced Educational Psychology (graduate course)
  • ED 507 Principles of Developing and Interpreting Assessment (graduate course)
  • ELM 654 Internship in Elementary Education (graduate course)
  • ECI 709 Qualitative Analysis in Educational Psychology (graduate course)
  • ECI 709 Motivation in Education (graduate course)
  • EDP 723 Motivation in Education (graduate course)
  • ED 730 Introduction to Qualitative Research in Education (graduate course)

Honors and Awards

  • Co-PI on Project ATOMS: Accomplished Elementary Teachers of Mathematics and Science.NSF Program, (5 year, $3,200,000 Research project). North Carolina State University, 2011-2016.
  • Co-PI on Project ATOMS: Accomplished Elementary Teachers of Mathematics and Science.NSF Program, (1 year supplement funds, $55, 000 Research project). North Carolina State University, 2013.
  • Teaching Nomination for the Thank a Teacher Program, Office of Faculty Development, North Carolina State University, 2013.
  • Educational Teaching Funds (ETF), College of Education, North Carolina State University, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017.
  • Faculty Research Professional Development Grant (FRPD), College of Education, North Carolina State University, 2009.

Editorial Boards

  • Educational Psychology, Consulting Editor, Editorial board member, 2016-2018
  • Sage Open, Section Editor, 2014

Services and Engagements

  • Educational Psychology, Manuscript Reviewer, 2016
  • International Journal of Science Education, Manuscript Reviewer, 2016
  • Journal of Research in Education, Manuscript Reviewer, 2013
  • The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, Manuscript Reviewer, 2012
  • Teacher and Teaching Education, Manuscript Reviewer, 2011-2016
  • Educational Review, Manuscript Reviewer, 2011
  • Journal of Teacher Education, Manuscript Reviewer, 2010-2011, 2016
  • Urban Education, Manuscript Reviewer, 2008-2011
  • Textbook Reviewer for McGraw-Hill Higher Education (Classroom Assessment for Teachers: A Practical Approach)
  • Conference Reviewer, American Psychological Association (APA) International Conference
  • Conference Reviewer, Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE) International Conference
  • Conference Reviewer, National Association of Research in Science Teaching (NARST), International Conference
  • Conference Reviewer, American Educational Research Association (AERA) International Conference

Research Areas