Using Threshold Concepts as a vehicle for academic development.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


This interactive paper will explore Threshold Concepts within the context of a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education and how they serve a dual role in shaping the curriculum. In the initial module, Student-Centred Learning, participants are introduced to the fundamentals of Threshold Concepts. They are asked to explore the notion and to discuss with colleagues, within a multi-disciplinary context, how this relates to their own practice at this early stage of their career. The authors have noted that both within these discussions and in subsequent assignments, a significant number of participants have used Threshold Concepts to inform and structure their own curriculum/teaching. Some follow-up research has been conducted with these participants, one year hence and this will be presented for discussion. Participants have been asked for their views on issues including initial reactions to the notion of Threshold Concepts, its relevance for their discipline and student learning, and areas of troublesome knowledge that students struggle with.

In addition, it has been apparent that the notion of Threshold Concepts has resonated with participants, providing them with a positive perception of the usefulness of pedagogic theory in explaining and supporting their emergent understanding of the sometimes opaque area of student learning. This links to another interesting aspect of the duality of Threshold Concepts, as the participants, in their own role as learners have identified Threshold Concepts and areas of troublesome knowledge around the study of higher education practice/academic development. It would appear that learning about Threshold Concepts has enabled our learners to access and address their own Threshold Concepts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Threshold Concepts Conference
Place of PublicationDublin
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2012
EventInternational Threshold Concepts Conference - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 28 Jun 201229 Jun 2012


ConferenceInternational Threshold Concepts Conference
Internet address


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