Eric.ed.gov – Threshold Concepts: From Personal Practice to Communities of Practice. Proceedings of the National Academy’s Sixth Annual Conference and the Fourth Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference [E-publication] (Dublin, Ireland, June 27-29, 2012)

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The 6th Annual Conference of the National Academy for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL) and the 4th Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference was held at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, on June 27-29, 2012. The NAIRTL is a collaborative initiative between University College Cork, Cork Institute of Technology, National University of Ireland Galway, Trinity College Dublin, and Waterford Institute of Technology. It is supported by the Higher Education Authority under the Strategic Innovation Fund. The proceedings from the 2012 NAIRTL conference bring together “key insights” on the topic of Threshold Concepts. This publication includes a selection of papers from the conference. The papers provide insights into how to apply the Threshold Concepts idea to gain a deeper understanding of how students learn, and also how to gain new ways of looking at disciplines that involve education. Following a foreword by Bettie Higgs, the proceedings are divided into seven parts. Part I, Keynote Speakers, contains the following papers: (1) A Closer Look at Liminality: Incorrigibles and Threshold Capital (Ray Land, Julie Rattray, and Peter Vivian); (2) Threshold Concepts: Navigating the Route (Bettie Higgs); (3) Threshold Concepts as an Analytical Tool for Researching Higher Education Pedagogy (Glynis Cousin); and (4) From This Curriculum to That Which Is to Come: Threshold Concepts, Complexity and Change (Patrick Carmichael). Part II, Engaging Students with Threshold Concepts, contains the following papers: (5) Creativity as Threshold–Learning and Teaching in a Liminal Space (Belinda Allen); (6) “Doing” History: What May Liminal Space and Transition Time Expose During the Process (James Cronin); (7) Novel Threshold Concepts in the Mathematical Sciences (David Easdown and Leigh Wood); (8) Engineering Problem Solving: Uncovering a Threshold Experience and Triggering a Meta-Learning Response (Brian Foley); (9) The Hero’s Journey: Uncovering Threshold Barriers, Dispositions and Practices among Occupational Therapy Students (Tracy Fortune, Priscilla Ennals, and Mary Kennedy-Jones); (10) Students’ Perceptions of Travel Through the Liminal Space: Lessons for Teaching (Ann Harlow, Mira Peter, Jonathan Scott, and Bronwen Cowie); (11) The Role of Design Projects in Assisting Engineering Students from Liminality to Understanding (Donal Holland, Garet J. Bennett, and Conor Walsh); (12) Now I Know Why I Have Been Knocking My Head against a Brick Wall: Doctoral Candidates and Stuck Places (Margaret Kiley); (13) Towards a Role-Reversal Model of Threshold Concept Pedagogy (Marina Orsini-Jones ); and (14) Using a Mixed Methods Approach to Explore Student Understanding of Hypotheses in Biology (Charlotte Taylor, Vicky Tzioumis, J. H. F. Meyer, Pauline Ross). Part III, Interdisciplinary Threshold Concepts, contains the following papers: (15) Interdisciplinarity and Information Literacy Instruction: A Threshold Concepts Approach (Korey Brunetti, Amy Hofer, and Lori Townsend); (16) “How Do You Know?” The Threshold Concept, Multi-Disciplinary Approaches and the Age of Uncertainty (Brendan Hall); and (17) Seeing Deeply in Space and through Time: Interdisciplinarity Meets Threshold Concepts in Earth and Environmental Science (Anne Marie Ryan). Part IV, New Developments in Threshold Concepts, contains the following papers: (18) The “Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities”, A US National Initiative Linking Sciences, Public Issues and Threshold Concepts (Monica Devanas); (19) Towards a TCT-Inspired Electronics Concept Inventory (Jonathan Scott, Ann Harlow, and Mira Peter); (20) Threshold Concepts and Decoding the Humanities: A Case Study of a Threshold Concept in Art History (Brad Wuetherick, and Elizabeth Loeffler); and (21) Student Understanding of the Critical Features of an Hypothesis: Variation across Epistemic and Heuristic Dimensions (Kirsten Zimbardi, J. H. F. Meyer, P. Chunduri, L. J. Lluka, C. E. Taylor, P. M. Ross, and V. Tziournis). Part V, Threshold Concepts in Professional Development, contains the following papers: (22) Threshold Concepts and Practices in Teacher Education: Professional, Educator and Student Perspectives (Ann Devitt, Marita Kerin, and Helen O’Sullivan); (23) A Comparative Academic/Industrial Professional Development Study of Threshold Concepts in Project Management (Mick Flanagan, Gerhard Ackermann, Matthias Zimmermann, Leif Martin Hokstad, Bjorn Andersen, and Manuel Fradinho); (24) Shifting Identity in Teacher Development (Colleen P. Gilrane); (25) Up Close and Personal: Engaging Learners with Service User Knowledge (Gloria Kirwan); (26) There’s a Right Answer but Only Some Students Can Get It: Threshold Concepts in the Professional Development of Physics Laboratory Demonstrators (Ruth Mills and Anna Wilson); (27) A Broader Threshold: Including Skills as Well as Concepts in Computing Education (Lynda Thomas, Jonas Boustedt, Anna Eckerdal, Robert McCartney, Jan Erik Mostrom, Kate Sanders, and Carol Zander); and (28) Voice, Vision and Articulation: Conceptual Threshold Crossing in Academic Writing (Gina Wisker). Part VI contains posters. Part VII, E-Publication Papers, contains summaries with links to the following papers: (29) Troublesome Thresholds and Limiting Liminality: Issues in Teaching in Vocational Education (James Atherton, Peter Hadfield, and Peter Wolstencroft); (30) Addressing Diversity as Asset: Using Social Justice Vignettes for Transformational Change in Teacher Preparation (Joan Barnatt and Mary Knight-McKenna); (31) “Threshold Concept Literacy”: Helping Learners Develop Writing Skills and Acquire Threshold Concept Understanding Through Examining Associated Transformations in Discourse (Graham Barton); (32) Embedding Threshold Concepts into Hierarchical Concept Structures (Michael A. Bedek and Albert Dietrich); (33) Serious Play: Threshold Concepts, Information Engagement and Game Design (Margaret Blackmore and Pam Freeland); (34) Designing Tasks to Aid Understanding of Functions (Sinead Breen and Ann O’Shea); (35) Interdisciplinary Threshold Concepts: An Ontological and Epistemological Analysis (Monica R. Cowart); (36) Locked Doors: Threshold Concepts as Guardians (Jason Davies); (37) What Concepts Underpin Skills Training in Community Services in Vocational Education and Training (Rhonda Fuzzard and Margaret Kiley); (38) “Playing” So Hard We Fall Out of Our Heads: Threshold Concepts and Troublesome Knowledge in Experiences of Experiential Knowledge Acquisition in Higher Education Actor Training (Sam Grogan); (39) Integrating Threshold Concepts Pedagogy into a Market-Value Education System to Reduce the “Plagiarism Epidemic” (Corrine Hersey); (40) Embedding Threshold Concepts in a Student Learning Community (Jody Horn); (41) Using Language to Transform Judgemental Attitudes (Charity Johansson); (42) Don’t Fear the Engineer: Social Science Students Exploring a Liminal Space with Engineering Students (Jens Kabo and Caroline Baillie); (43) The Experience of Interdisciplinarity in Doctoral Research: Threshold Journey (Jeffrey Keefer and Gale Parchoma); (44) Crossing a Threshold Concept in Biology: Variation in Student Learning (Eileen Kennedy); (45) Threshold Concepts in Liberal Education (Bruce MacKay); (46) The Integrative Nature of Threshold Concepts in Financial Accounting–An Exploration of the Interdisciplinarity of One Threshold Concept (Sonia Magdziarz, Paul Myers, and Sheila Bellamy); (47) Threshold Theory, Action Research, and Teacher Learning: An Exploration (Sarah Noonan); (48) I Hate Maths and Maths Hate Me! Analysing the Development of Threshold Concepts and Attitudes in Preservice Mathematics Teacher Education (Maria Northcote); (49) Academic Numeracy: Challenging Thinking Dispositions to Enable Students to Enter and Cross the Liminal Space (Rebecca LeBard, Rachel Thompson, and Rosanne Quinnell); (50) Creating Optimal Distance Education Environments for the Emergence of Threshold Concepts (Kristi Archulta-Frush and Candy Sebert); and (51) Helping Students to “Think Historically” by Engaging with Threshold Concepts (Paul Sendziuk). Individual papers contain references.

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Troels Gannerup Christensen

Jeg er ansat som lektor hos Læreruddannelsen i Jelling, hvor jeg underviser i matematik, specialiseringsmodulet teknologiforståelse, praktik m.m. Jeg har tidligere været ansat som pædagogisk konsulent i matematik og tysk hos UCL ved Center for Undervisningsmidler (CFU) i Vejle og lærer i udskolingen (7.-9. klasse) på Lyshøjskolen i Kolding. Jeg er ejer af og driver bl.a. hjemmesiderne www.lærklokken.dk og www.iundervisning.dk, ggbkursus.dk og er tidligere fagredaktør på matematik på emu.dk. Jeg går ind for, at læring skal være let tilgængelig og i størst mulig omfang gratis at benytte.

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