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TitleThreshold Concepts and Transformational Learning
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Table of Contents
                            TABLE OF CONTENTS
Editors’ Preface: Threshold Concepts and Transformational Learning - Ray Land, Jan H.F. Meyer 
and Caroline Baillie
Foreword - David Perkins
Part I: Extending the Theory
	1. Changing Our Minds: The Developmental Potential of Threshold
Concepts - Julie A. Timmermans
	2. Transcending Disciplinary Boundaries: A Proposed Theoretical Foundation
for Threshold Concepts - Leslie Schwartzman
Document Text Contents
Page 1

E D U C A T I O N A L F U T U R E S : R E T H I N K I N G T H E O R Y A N D P R A C T I C E

Threshold Concepts and
Transformational Learning

Jan H.F. Meyer
University of Durham, UK

Ray Land
University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK


Caroline Baillie (Eds.)
University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia

Over the last decade the notion of ‘threshold concepts’ has proved infl uential 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

“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 refl ection 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.

Cover image: M.C. Escher’s “Sky and Water I” © 2009 The M.C. Escher Company-Holland.
All rights reserved.

E D U C A T I O N A L F U T U R E S : R E T H I N K I N G T H E O R Y A N D P R A C T I C E

Threshold Concepts and

ational Learning
Jan H

.F. M
eyer, R

ay Land
and Caroline B

aillie (Eds.)

Threshold Concepts
and Transformational
Jan H.F. Meyer, Ray Land and
Caroline Baillie (Eds.)

S e n s e P u b l i s h e r sS e n s e P u b l i s h e r s EDFU 42

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Leslie Schwartzman
sla @

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