Feb. 15, 2024

NDSU faculty member earns Fulbright Scholar Award

A photo of professor Florinu Salajan

Florin Salajan

Florin Salajan, NDSU professor in the School of Education, received a Fulbright Scholar Award for his research visit to Romania during the Spring 2024 semester. He will be hosted by Universitatea Babeș-Bolyai, NDSU’s partner institution in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

The primary goal of Salajan’s research project in Romania is to conduct a cross-national comparative examination of two graduate-level teacher education programs at UBB in Romania and NDSU in the United States, both considered research-intensive institutions in their respective countries. His study aims to examine how graduate-level teacher preparation programs are structured in both locations and to reveal similarities and differences between their overall organization, curricular depth, outcomes and practical benefits to graduating teacher candidates.

This project builds on Salajan’s initial research with his colleagues at UBB and represents an expansion in the scope of his comparative research to develop a comprehensive, holistic understanding of the curricular structures of the two programs. In addition, the research will provide novel, more in-depth understandings related to the multifaceted aspects of graduate teacher education in Romania, which, along with its undergraduate counterpart, has been subjected to frequent reform initiatives by successive Romanian governments. 

Salajan said the new insights will provide him with rich and extensive material to share with students in his teacher education courses at NDSU. This may also generate research interest from his faculty colleagues to conduct comparative research on teacher education in other global locales, which would increase NDSU student and faculty awareness of both the situatedness and linkages of teacher education systems around the world.

In turn, students and colleagues at UBB may benefit from the new research on their graduate teacher education program. The timing of the project coincides with UBB’s didactic master’s program transition from experimental to permanent status, in accordance with a Romanian draft bill that includes seven other participating institutions. An independent study on the structure, functioning, and benefits of this program may assist in supporting future actions UBB will take to improve it and, potentially, inform future legislative proposals to reform graduate-level teacher education in Romania.

Salajan expects to publish the findings of this research in top-tier journals in comparative and international education and/or teacher education. He also anticipates an edited volume focusing on comparative studies contrasting Romanian teacher education with teacher education systems in other countries that will include contributions from UBB colleagues as a result of the collaboration this project will generate.

About Fulbright: The Fulbright Program, the flagship international academic exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, has fostered mutual understanding between the United States and other countries since 1946. The program provides awards to approximately 8,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals each year from the United States and 160 countries. Fulbright is unique in its binationalism and noted for its merit-based selection process and academic prestige.

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