The Threshold Project
The Threshold Project is a community of practice dedicated to bringing together community college and university colleagues to re-envision the alignment of our curriculum and pedagogy through a focus on discipline-specific “threshold concepts.”
Participating in our community of practice helps educators develop a strong understanding of Threshold Concepts in a long-term collaborative cohort to identify threshold concepts in one's discipline and to design appropriate teaching techniques and assignments for them.
Threshold Concepts (TC)
In every discipline, there are core concepts that are epistemological and conceptual gateways to understanding disciplinary thinking that transform our ways of thinking.
Threshold concepts in any discipline have been described as:
In the classroom, Threshold Concepts (TC) become an equity practice because the allow instructors to present, illuminate and guide students to stronger understanding of disciplinary ways of thinking and doing. As scholars, disciplinary educators acquire TC as part of their training and expertise; Over many years of intensive reading, writing, and discussion with experts TC become obvious and automatic, conceptualizing links, relationships, and schema of the structure and depth of disciplinary knowledge.
College students, on the other hand, enter classrooms without these epistemological aides and are expected to master content based solely on textbooks, lectures and their novice thinking. TC are troublesome for students because it often necessitates traversing the epistemological landscape of their previous knowledge and experience to arrive at disciplinary understandings that may seem unintuitive, contrary and inconceivable. To be successful, students must grapple with TC in a messy, recursive, and liminal process, where students benefit from repeated, sustained attention to TC over the course of their education. Success in the discipline is dependent on mastery of TC to make progress and to possess deep learning transferable to new challenges and contexts.