Threshold Concepts: Enabling Open Dialogue on Teaching and Learning within and across Traditional Boundaries?

Anne Graham Cagney, Jacequeline Potter

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

    Abstract

    Entwistle (2003) identified one of the outputs of the UK ETL research project as developing more precise ways of thinking about university teaching and learning. An important outcome of this research project has been the development of a set of concepts in respect of the quality of learning, particularly focusing on the pedagogical concepts of troublesome knowledge, threshold concepts and delayed understanding. Meyer and Land (2005) suggest that within each discipline, field or profession there are threshold concepts which integrate and define the scope of the academic community with which a student is engaging. These threshold concepts can be 'considered akin to passing through a portal, or conceptual gateway, thus opening up a new and previously inaccessible way of thinking about something' (Meyer and Land, 2003). Such concepts lead to a transformed way of understanding, or viewing something that may represent how people 'think' in a particular discipline, or how they perceive, apprehend or experience particular phenomena within a discipline. These concepts usually have five attributes: they are transformative, irreversible, integrative, bounded and troublesome. Threshold concepts have potential to encourage students towards deep rather than surface learning. The workshop will introduce some of the international current research on threshold concepts. It will focus on their application both as an analytical framework for understanding the student learning journey and for developing and evaluating curriculum and assessment in Higher Education. The workshop will be a forum for discussion with classroom practitioners and educational researchers on the potential for threshold concepts to be an enabler and energiser of open dialogue and inquiry into teaching and learning within and across traditional institution and disciplinary boundaries.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusSubmitted - 2008
    EventNAIRTL 2nd Annual Conference. Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Challenging Assumptions - Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford Institute of Technology
    Duration: 03 Jan 0001 → …
    http://www.nairtl.ie/index.php?pageid=20&eventid=24

    Conference

    ConferenceNAIRTL 2nd Annual Conference. Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Challenging Assumptions
    CityWaterford Institute of Technology
    Period03/01/0001 → …
    Internet address

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