Learning Thresholds

Recent research in education says that there are probably some crucial concepts that are
Thresholds to a discipline.

They tend to be troublesome (difficult to learn) but also irreversible (once you have them they seem easy).

Think about riding a bike! Or here is a clip about someone learning languages  (it is a bit slow at the start).

Why should you care? Well, if you have trouble with these things it is nice to know that you are not alone!

While you are working through this you may feel uncomfortable and insecure, but if you persist  you will cross a ‘threshold’ that will tie together all your learning and take you to the next level.

The main one in Computing is probably programming, and within that there are crucial aspects.

Here are a few possibilities for Thresholds in computing:

  • addresses, references and pointers
  • objects interacting with other objects
  • recursion
  • self-directed learning
  • the fact that programming requires practice
  • …. what for you?

Here are some suggestions for further information:

  • The specific computing page of research papers on Threshold Concepts.
  • A link to a paper Lynda Thomas and colleagues wrote about this.