Proposal Title

More juggling with less struggling: Troublesome concepts ACROSS the sciences

Session Type

Workshop

Room

PAB 117

Start Date

9-7-2013 11:00 AM

Keywords

troublesome concepts, sciences, novice-to-expert, transfer, integrative

Primary Threads

Teaching and Learning Science

Abstract

Threshold concepts, first proposed by Meyer and Land in 2003, are considered to be those troublesome concepts that are barriers to progress when learning within a discipline; once mastered, these concepts change our way of thinking in that discipline, and cannot be unlearned. These concepts are also integrative and allow us to link apparently disparate ideas within the field.

Our conversations around teaching and learning in different scientific disciplines have led us to consider the possible existence of threshold concepts that transcend the sciences rather than residing within a single discipline. In this session we will examine a number of these underlying concepts that, until mastered, can present significant hurdles for students’ learning within the sciences. Participants are invited to evaluate some possible threshold concepts for student learning in the sciences from the perspective of their own areas of scientific work, including, but not limited to: identifying contextual constraints; visualizing data and interpreting a variety of visual representations, including diagrams, photos, 3-D representations, maps, and graphs; the notion of randomness; the nature and significance of scale; transitional boundaries; and identifying and making use of evidence. In the process, we hope that additional key concepts will emerge from our discussion. We will then explore what these concepts, and the notion of threshold concepts more generally, might mean for our teaching and for how and what we evaluate.

This document is currently not available here.


Share

COinS
 
Jul 9th, 11:00 AM

More juggling with less struggling: Troublesome concepts ACROSS the sciences

PAB 117

Threshold concepts, first proposed by Meyer and Land in 2003, are considered to be those troublesome concepts that are barriers to progress when learning within a discipline; once mastered, these concepts change our way of thinking in that discipline, and cannot be unlearned. These concepts are also integrative and allow us to link apparently disparate ideas within the field.

Our conversations around teaching and learning in different scientific disciplines have led us to consider the possible existence of threshold concepts that transcend the sciences rather than residing within a single discipline. In this session we will examine a number of these underlying concepts that, until mastered, can present significant hurdles for students’ learning within the sciences. Participants are invited to evaluate some possible threshold concepts for student learning in the sciences from the perspective of their own areas of scientific work, including, but not limited to: identifying contextual constraints; visualizing data and interpreting a variety of visual representations, including diagrams, photos, 3-D representations, maps, and graphs; the notion of randomness; the nature and significance of scale; transitional boundaries; and identifying and making use of evidence. In the process, we hope that additional key concepts will emerge from our discussion. We will then explore what these concepts, and the notion of threshold concepts more generally, might mean for our teaching and for how and what we evaluate.