A threshold concept will probably delineate a particular conceptual space, serving a specific and limited purpose (Jan Smith 2006).
Our discussions with practitioners in a range of disciplinary areas have led us to conclude that a threshold concept, across a range of subject contexts, is likely to be:
. . . . .
d) Possibly often (though not necessarily always) bounded in that any conceptual space will have terminal frontiers, bordering with thresholds into new conceptual areas. Siân Bayne suggests that such boundedness may in certain instances serve to constitute the demarcation between disciplinary areas, to define academic territories.

                                                                    Erik Meyer and Ray Land (2005)
guedalla quote
Boundedness may be associated with a discipline’s special language:
The notion of boundedness may best be illustrated by the use of specialist terminology that acquires a meaning in one subject that clashes with everyday usage. One such as example, relating to computing, is the term ‘deprecate’. Whilst common usage imbues this word with negative connotations, in computing it simply means to let an aspect of programming gently wither away, e.g. the retention of an outdated method along with its replacements for many revisions and updates of a programming language.
                                                                    Mick Flanagan and Jan Smith (2008)
hamlet quote References

Meyer, J.H.F. and Land, R. (2003), Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge: linkages to ways of thinking and practising,
In: Rust, C. (ed.), Improving Student Learning - Theory and Practice Ten Years On. Oxford: Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development (OCSLD), pp 412-424.
[See also for an on-line version: Enhancing Teaching-Learning Environments in Undergraduate Courses, ETL Project, Occasional Report 4, May 2003   last accessed 25 June 2008]

Flanagan, M. T. and Smith, J. (2008), From playing to understanding: the transformative potential of discourse versus syntax in learning to program,
in: Threshold Concepts within the Disciplines, Land, R., Meyer, J.H.F. and Smith, J., (eds), Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, pp 91-104,   [book details].

Smith, J. (2006) Lost in translation: Staff and students negotiating liminal spaces,
SEDA Annual Conference, Liverpool, 2006.

If you did not access this page from
the Thresholds Concept main page
click here for the main page.