Threshold Concepts within the Disciplines brings together leading writers from various disciplines and national contexts in an important and readable volume for all those concerned with teaching and learning in higher education.
The foundational principle of threshold concepts is that there are, in each discipline, ‘conceptual gateways’ or ‘portals’ that must be negotiated to arrive at important new understandings. In crossing the portal, transformation occurs, both in knowledge and subjectivity. Such transformation involves troublesome knowledge, a key concern for contributors to this book, who identify threshold concepts in their own fields and suggest how to deal with them.
Part One extends and enhances the threshold concept framework, containing chapters that articulate its qualities, its links to other social theories of learning and other traditions in educational research.
Part Two encompasses the disciplinary heart of the book with contributions from a diversity of areas including computing, engineering, biology, design, modern languages, education and economics. In the many empirical case studies educators show how they have used the threshold concept framework to inform and evaluate their teaching contexts. Other chapters emphasise the equally important ‘being and becoming’ dimension of learning.
Part Three suggests pedagogic directions for those at the centre of the education project with contributions focusing on the socialisation of academics and their continuing quest to be effective teachers.
The book will be of interest to disciplinary teachers, educational researchers and educational developers. It also is of relevance to issues in quality assurance and professional accreditation.