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Margareta M. Thomson

Professor of Educational Psychology

University Faculty Scholar

Poe Hall 620

View CV 


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.

Selected Scholarly Publications

  • Refereed Books
  • Thomson, M.M. (2024). Motivation and engagement in various learning environments: Interdisciplinary perspectives (Ed). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing. ISBN 979-8-88730-538-7.
  • Mara, D. & Thomson, M.M. (2021). Theoretical and practical approaches to non-formal education (Eds). Irvine, CA: BrownWalker Press, Inc. ISBN 9781599426129.
  • Refereed Book Chapters
  • Thomson, M.M. (2024). Research experiences for teachers in a cognitive apprenticeship program: Motivations, emotions, and instructional changes. In Thomson, M.M. (Ed) Motivation and engagement in various learning environments: Interdisciplinary perspectives (pp.161-180). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
  • Thomson, M.M., Pop-Pacurar, I., Negru-Subtirica, O. (2024). A Fulbright research project: Interdisciplinary approaches to developing STEM motivation for students in a mentorship program intervention. In Thomson, M.M. (Ed) Motivation and engagement in various learning environments: Interdisciplinary perspectives (pp.1-18). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
  • Smith, Q., & Thomson, M.M. (2024). Examining motivation among elementary-aged African American students: A review of Socio-Cognitive and Expectancy-Value constructs. In Thomson, M.M. (Ed) Motivation and engagement in various learning environments: Interdisciplinary perspectives (pp. 147-160). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
  • 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.
  • Refereed Journal Articles
  • Thomson M.M, Zakaria, Z., & Berger, J-L. (2023). Motivational typologies among teachers and differences within. International Journal on Studies in Education, 5(2), 177-192.
  • Thomson, M.M., Gray, D., Walkowiak, T. & Alnizami, R. (2022). Developmental trajectories for elementary novice teachers: Teaching efficacy and mathematics knowledge. Journal of Teacher Education, 73(4), 338-351.
  • Thomson, M.M., Huggins, E, Carrier, S.J., & Gray, D. (2022). Developmental trajectories for elementary novice teachers: Teaching efficacy, instructional beliefs, and domain knowledge. International Journal of Science Education, 44 (8), 1277-1298.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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

  • U.S. Core Fulbright Scholar Award, U.S. Department of State
  • Fulbright Pathfinder Award, Office for Faculty Excellence, North Carolina State University
  • 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, 2018-2024.
  • 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


Ph.D. Educational Psychology and Learning Systems Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL, USA) 2004-2008

Professional Credentials Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education University of South Carolina (Sumter, SC, USA) 2003-2004

M.A. Educational Consulting Babes-Bolyai University (Cluj-Napoca, Romania) 1995-1996

B.A. Educational Sciences and Psychology Babes-Bolyai University (Cluj-Napoca, Romania) 1990-1995

Area(s) of Expertise

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:
1. Motivations and beliefs: research in this area investigates the relationship between motivations and beliefs, and how these variables influence instructional outcomes.
2. 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.