Neither teacher-centred nor student-centred: threshold concepts and research partnerships

Glynis Cousin


In this paper I argue that pedagogic research organised around the investigation of threshold concepts offers a fresh way of thinking about research collaboration with students, academics and educational developers. I will first introduce the basic ideas about threshold concepts, briefly contrasting it with the phenomenographic tradition. I suggest that threshold concept inquiry effects a turn from this tradition by: a) encouraging partnerships with educationalists, students and subject specialists; and b) by a focus on the difficulty of the subject rather than on general education theory.


threshold concepts; partnerships with students; partnerships with subject specialists; research methods

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ISSN: 1759-667X