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ERIC Number: EJ865007
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 16
ISSN: ISSN-0729-4360
Threshold Concepts in Research Education and Evidence of Threshold Crossing
Kiley, Margaret; Wisker, Gina
Higher Education Research and Development, v28 n4 p431-441 Aug 2009
Most work on threshold concepts has hitherto related to discipline-specific undergraduate education, however, the idea of generic doctoral-level threshold concepts appeared to us to provide a strong and useful framework to support research learning and teaching at the graduate level. The early work regarding research-level threshold concepts is further developed and reported in this paper using research carried out with supervisors into their identification of threshold concepts and research students' crossing of these thresholds. The research was conducted in two stages involving 65 experienced research supervisors across six countries (Australia, England, Jamaica, Malaysia, New Zealand and Trinidad) and across Humanities, Social Sciences, Engineering and IT and the Sciences. The first stage involved written responses from 26 experienced supervisors related to the learning challenges experienced by research students and their supervisors. The second stage of the research involved in-depth interviews with 39 supervisors regarding student learning challenges and successes at the research level. Responses were analysed, resulting in the identification of six possible generic research threshold concepts, which evidence themselves in the quality and level of the students' work at different stages in that work: argument; theorising; framework; knowledge creation; analysis and interpretation; and paradigm. The data analysis also suggests a number of indicators that signal when learners have crossed conceptual thresholds to gain, articulate and put into practice one or more of these threshold concepts in their research learning. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; Jamaica; Malaysia; New Zealand; Trinidad and Tobago; United Kingdom (England)