Threshold Concepts & Variation Theory
Have you noticed that students find some disciplinary concepts or practices more difficult to come to terms with than others? Would you like to be able to design curricula that will help your students to understand difficult concepts—disciplinary threshold concepts—that are so often misunderstood?
Every discipline contains a certain number of “threshold concepts” so called because they are transformative and integrative in nature: once understood, they transform students' views of the subject area, and even lead to a shift in the learner’s sense of identity. Threshold concepts are vital for students' ongoing personal and professional development.
It is only through coming to understand threshold concepts that students can come to think like a subject specialist and adopt a disciplinary way of thinking about the world.
Disciplinary threshold concepts
Threshold concepts identify areas of the curriculum worthy of particular attention
Phenomenographic action research
Phenomenographic research identifies common student (mis)understandings of the threshold concepts
Variation theory & curriculum design
The variation theory of learning guides curriculum design to explicitly address student (mis)understandings
Support for this project website has been provided by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council Ltd, an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.
The views expressed in the project do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Learning and Teaching Council.