A to Z of Teaching

threshold concept

A core idea which, when understood, transforms a student’s understanding of a subject.

Threshold concepts may be particularly difficult for learners to grasp, given the transformation in perspective they allow. The transformation may be sudden or gradual.

Threshold concepts differ from core concepts, which are important to a subject and so must be understood by students, but will not necessarily transform their understanding of it.

Synonyms:
threshold knowledge
Categories: Learning theory

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