Threshold Concepts in Practice

  • Ray Land
  • Jan H. F. Meyer
  • Michael T. Flanagan

Part of the Educational Futures book series (EDUFUT)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxxv
  2. Theoretical Directions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Peter Felten
      Pages 3-9
    3. Ray Land
      Pages 11-24
    4. Jan H. F. Meyer, Julie A. Timmermans
      Pages 25-38
    5. Beth A. White, Taimi Olsen, David Schumann
      Pages 53-63
  3. Negotiating Liminality

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 65-65
    2. Julie Rattray
      Pages 67-76
    3. Ahmad Thamrini F. Syed Mohamed, Ray Land, Julie Rattray
      Pages 77-91
    4. Terje Berg, Morten Erichsen, Leif M. Hokstad
      Pages 107-118
  4. Threshold Concepts and Interdisciplinarity

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 119-119
    2. Jason Davies
      Pages 121-134
    3. Aminul Huq, Marcia D. Nichols, Bijaya Aryal
      Pages 135-151
  5. The Doctoral Journey

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 153-153
    2. Michelle Salmona, Dan Kaczynski, Leigh N. Wood
      Pages 155-164
  6. Threshold Concepts in Professional Practice

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 177-177
    2. Anthony Parker, Daniel Mcgill
      Pages 179-193
    3. Jan H. F. Meyer, David B. Knight, Tom E. Baldock, David P. Callaghan, Julie Mccredden, Liza O’Moore
      Pages 195-209
    4. Anna-Karin Carstensen, Jonte Bernhard
      Pages 211-222
    5. Andy Wearn, Anne O’Callaghan, Mark Barrow
      Pages 223-238
    6. Linda Martindale, Ray Land, Julie Rattray, Lorraine Anderson
      Pages 239-251
    7. Dermot Shinners-Kennedy
      Pages 253-267
    8. Bert Zwaneveld, Jacob Perrenet, Roel Bloo
      Pages 269-284
    9. Marianne Dickie, Ilona Van Galen
      Pages 285-297
    10. David Moroney, Eugene Mckendry, Ann Devitt
      Pages 309-319
    11. Leif M. Hokstad, Gro Rødne, Bjørn Otto Braaten, Steffen Wellinger, Fredrik Shetelig
      Pages 321-333
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 335-361

About this book


"Threshold Concepts in Practice brings together fifty researchers from sixteen countries and a wide variety of disciplines to analyse their teaching practice, and the learning experiences of their students, through the lens of the Threshold Concepts Framework. 

In any discipline, there are certain concepts – the ‘jewels in the curriculum’ – whose acquisition is akin to passing through a portal. Learners enter new conceptual (and often affective) territory. Previously inaccessible ways of thinking or practising come into view, without which they cannot progress, and which offer a transformed internal view of subject landscape, or even world view.

These conceptual gateways are integrative, exposing the previously hidden interrelatedness of ideas, and are irreversible. However they frequently present troublesome knowledge and are often points at which students become stuck.  Difficulty in understanding may leave the learner in a ‘liminal’ state of transition, a ‘betwixt and between’ space of knowing and not knowing, where understanding can approximate to a form of mimicry. Learners navigating such spaces report a sense of uncertainty, ambiguity, paradox, anxiety, even chaos. The liminal space may equally be one of awe and wonderment. Thresholds research identifies these spaces as key transformational points, crucial to the learner’s development but where they can oscillate and remain for considerable periods. These spaces require not only conceptual but ontological and discursive shifts.    

This volume, the fourth in a tetralogy on Threshold Concepts, discusses student experiences, and the curriculum interventions of their teachers, in a range of disciplines and professional practices including medicine, law, engineering, architecture and military education. 

Cover image: Detail from ‘Eve offering the apple to Adam in the Garden of Eden and the serpent’ c.1520–25. Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472–1553). Bridgeman Images. All rights reserved. 


Threshold concepts Troublesome knowledge Liminality Ontological shift Disciplines

Editors and affiliations

  • Ray Land
    • 1
  • Jan H. F. Meyer
    • 2
  • Michael T. Flanagan
    • 3
  1. 1.Durham UniversityUK
  2. 2.The University of QueenslandAustralia
  3. 3.University College LondonUK

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information SensePublishers-Rotterdam, The Netherlands 2016
  • Publisher Name SensePublishers, Rotterdam
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Online ISBN 978-94-6300-512-8
  • Series Print ISSN 2214-9864
  • Series Online ISSN 2214-9872
  • Buy this book on publisher's site