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Threshold Concepts and Transformational Learning

2010 - 490 pages

Jan H. F. Meyer (University of Durham, UK), Ray Land (University of Strathclyde, UK) and Caroline Baillie (University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia) (Eds.)

ISBN Paperback: 9789460912054 ($ 54.00)
ISBN Hardcover: 9789460912061 ($ 99.00)
ISBN E-Book: 9789460912078

Subject: Educational Theory

Number 42 of the series: Educational Futures: Rethinking Theory and Practice

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Threshold Concepts and Transformational Learning

Over the last decade the notion of ‘threshold concepts’ has proved influential around the world as a powerful means of exploring and discussing the key points of transformation that students experience in their higher education courses and the ‘troublesome knowledge’ that these often present. Threshold concepts provoke in the learner a state of 'liminality' in which transformation takes place, requiring the integration of new understanding and the letting go of previous learning stances. Insights gained by learners as they cross thresholds can be exhilarating but might also be unsettling, requiring an uncomfortable shift in identity, or, paradoxically, a sense of loss. The liminal space can be a suspended state of partial understanding, or 'stuck place', in which understanding approximates to a kind of 'mimicry'. Threshold Concepts and Transformational Learning substantially increases the empirical evidence for threshold concepts across a large number of disciplinary contexts and from the higher education sectors of many countries. This new volume develops further theoretical perspectives and provides fresh pedagogical directions. It will be of interest to teachers, practitioners and managers in all disciplines as well as to educational researchers. “This volume and its predecessors give ample evidence that threshold concepts entrance – they entrance scholars and teachers concerned with the nature and challenges of learning in the disciplines. Discourse around threshold concepts has proven to offer something of a common language, provoke reflection on the structure of disciplinary knowledge, and inspire investigations of learners’ typical hang-ups and ways to help”. David Perkins, Senior Professor of Education, Harvard University.
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Threshold Concepts and Transformational Learning