Dr. Thomson has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Learning Systems from Florida State University and is currently teaching courses in Educational Psychology and related areas at North Carolina State University. In her research, Dr. Thomson is exploring teachers’ and students' motivations, particularly applied to STEM domain. Since 2008, when Dr. Thomson started her academic career at NC State University, she progressively established a national and international presence with her work. She is involved in major research projects funded by prestigious agencies like National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and published her work in high impact research journals. Additionally, she is the recipient of distinguished awards, such as the U.S. Core Fulbright Scholar Award and the NC State University Faculty Scholars Award.
Dr. Thomson's research investigates broadly motivational aspects related to teacher and student development with the aim of improving teaching quality and student outcomes, particularly in STEM areas. The research methodology is primarily mixed-methods, although she also designs solely quantitative or qualitative studies. Her work investigates primarily two major research strands:
- Motivations and beliefs: research in this area investigates the relationship between motivations and beliefs, and how these variables influence instructional outcomes.
- Student and teacher development: research in this area investigates how students and teachers develop in certain areas (i.e., knowledge, motivations, efficacy and practices), especially in STEM area.
Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Learning Systems from Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL, USA) in 2004-2008
Professional Credentials in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education from University of South Carolina (Sumter, SC, USA) in 2003-2004
M.A. in Educational Consulting from Babes-Bolyai University (Cluj-Napoca, Romania) in 1995-1996
B.A. in Educational Sciences and Psychology from Babes-Bolyai University (Cluj-Napoca, Romania) in 1990-1995
Selected Scholarly Publications
- SELECTED PUBLICATIONS
- Thomson, M.M., Walkowiak, T. & Whitehead, A., & Huggins, E. (2020). Mathematics teaching efficacy and developmental trajectories: A mixed-methods investigation of novice K-5 teachers. Teaching and Teacher Education, 87, 1-14.
- Thomson, M.M., Huggins, E. & Williams, W. (2019). Developmental science efficacy trajectories of novice teachers from a STEM-focused program: A longitudinal mixed-methods investigation. Teaching and Teacher Education, 77, 253-265.
- Palermo, C., Thomson, M.M. (2019). Classroom applications of automated writing evaluation. In Bailey, L. (Ed.), Educational technology and the new world of persistent learning (pp. 145-175). Hershey, PA: IGI Global Publishing.
- Ramsden, C., Thomson, M.M. (2019). Cultivating a growth mindset to enhance leadership skills: Implications for principal preparation programs. In Storey, V. (Ed.), Leading in change: Implications of school diversification for school leadership preparation in England and the United States (pp. 227-241). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
- Thomson, M.M., Zakaria, Z. & Radut-Taciu, R. (2019). Perceptions of scientists and stereotypes through the eyes of young school children. Education Research International, 1-13.
- Palermo, C., & Thomson M.M. (2018). Teacher implementation of self-regulated strategy development with an automated writing evaluation system: Effects on the Argumentative writing performance of middle school students. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 54, 255-270.
- Thomson, M.M. (2018). Identifying and examining motivational profiles: Distinct typologies with blended motives. In M. Gill (Ed.), SAGE research methods psychology (pp. 1-13). London, UK: Sage Publications.
- Spencer, D. A., Thomson, M.M., & Jones, J. (2018). Changes in enhancing socially-shared metacognition among undergraduate students during an online introductory geology course. In Fitzgerald, C., Laurian-Fitzgerald, S. & Popa, C. (Ed.), Handbook of research on student-centered strategies in online adult learning environments (pp. 406-439). Hershey, PA: IGI Global Publishing.
- Palermo, C., & Thomson M.M. (2018). Large-scale assessment as professional development: teachers’ motivations, ability beliefs and values. Teacher Development, 23, 192-212.
- Thomson, M.M., & Palermo, C. (2018). Using an expectancy-value model to understand teaching motivation among nontraditional preservice teachers: A phenomenological study approach. Action in Teacher Education, 40 (2),151-168.
- Thomson, M.M., DiFrancesca, D., Carrier, S., Lee, C. &, Walkowiak, T. (2018). Changes in teaching efficacy beliefs among elementary preservice teachers from a STEM-focused Program: Case study analysis. Journal of Interdisciplinary Teacher Leadership, 2 (1), 29-43.
- Thomson, M.M. (2017). A mixed-methods investigation: Involvement in a Research Experiences for Teachers' (RET) professional development programme. In M. Gill (Ed.), SAGE research methods cases education (pp. 1-13). London, UK: Sage Publications.
- Carrier, S.J., Whitehead, A.N., Luginbuhl, S.C., Walkowiak, T.A., & Thomson, M.M. (2017). The development of elementary teacher identities as teachers of science. International Journal of Science Education, 39 (13), 1733-1754.
- Thomson, M.M., & Nietfeld, J. L. (2017). Knowledge, monitoring, and beliefs: A comparative analysis among preservice teachers from three different STEM-focused program. Journal of Interdisciplinary Teacher Leadership, 1 (2), 19-27.
- Thomson, M.M., DiFrancesca, D., Carrier, S., & Lee, C. (2017). Teaching efficacy: Exploring relationships between mathematics and science self-efficacy beliefs, PCK and domain knowledge among preservice teachers from the United States. Teacher Development, 21 (1), 1-20.
- 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.
- 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
- U.S. Core Fulbright Scholar Award, U.S. Department of State
- University Faculty Scholars Award, North Carolina State University
- Research Peace Award, International Journal for Research Under Literal Access
- PI on Project EHRE: Environmental health research experiences for teachers in high-poverty schools: A professional development program (5-year, $500, 000). National Institutes of Health (NIH). Federal funding, 2018-2023.
- Co-PI on Project ATOMS: Accomplished Elementary Teachers of Mathematics and Science (5-year, $3,200,000). National Science Foundation (NSF). Federal funding, 2011-2018.
- Faculty Research Professional Development Award (FRPD), North Carolina State University, 2009
- Professional Commitment to Excellence in College Teaching Award, Program for Instructional Excellence (PIE), Florida State University, 2006, 2007