NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1106970
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1474-0222
Transforming Conceptual Space into a Creative Learning Place: Crossing a Threshold
Moffat, Kirstine; McKim, Anne
Arts and Humanities in Higher Education: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, v15 n3-4 p414-431 Jul-Oct 2016
This article describes, discusses and reflects on a teaching and learning experiment in a first year BA course. Students were led out of the lecture room to a different space, the New Place Theatre. While this move out of the usual teaching space was appropriate for the text being studied, William Shakespeare's "The Tempest", the strategy aimed to develop students' grasp of a critical concept we had identified as troublesome to students who had encountered it in the past: subjective interpretation. For us the concept of subjective interpretation shared the transformative and integrative, as well as the troublesome, characteristics of "threshold concepts". According to threshold concept theory, threshold concepts are critical points where students may get "stuck" before making "learning leaps" as they journey towards a "new conceptual space and enter…a postliminal state in which both the learner and the learning are transformed" (Land et al., 2010: ix). Students first participated in a collective exercise, creating the storm which opens the play through movement and vocalisation, and were then invited to intervene in a performance of the opening act, supporting the characters with whom they sympathised. Student feedback confirmed that this teaching strategy not only assisted them to grasp the concept of subjective interpretation, but also promoted transformative shifts in understanding through their active learning. A key factor in the resulting student engagement was movement to a different physical space, and a fresh, creative learning place.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A