|“The idea of threshold concepts emerged from a UK national research project into the possible characteristics of strong teaching and learning environments in the disciplines for undergraduate education (Enhancing Teaching-Learning Environments in Undergraduate Courses). In pursuing this research in the field of economics, it became clear to Erik Meyer and Ray Land [1-7], that certain concepts were held by economists to be central to the mastery of their subject. These concepts, Meyer and Land argued, could be described as ‘threshold’ ones because they have certain features in common.”|
|Glynis Cousin, An introduction to threshold concepts|
Over the past decade this concept has been embraced by many disciplines outside economics; indeed the above quote is from Glynis Cousin’s excellent short introduction to the concept written for earth scientists. The threshold concept has been seen as a valuable tool, not only in facilitating students’ understanding of their subject, but in aiding the rational development of curricula in rapidly expanding arenas where there is a strong tendency to overload the curriculum (Cousin, [2008, 2006]). This web page will describe, briefly, the characteristics of a threshold concept and list selected references to the work of those examining its value in a broad range of disciplines.