Understanding a threshold concept may entail a shift in learner subjectivity, which is implied through the transformative and discursive aspects already noted. Such reconstitution is, perhaps, more likely to be recognised initially by others, and also to take place over time.
                                                                                              Jan Smith (2006)
Within the liminal state an integration of new knowledge occurs which requires a reconfiguring of the learner’s prior conceptual schema and a letting go or discarding of any earlier conceptual stance. This reconfiguration occasions an ontological and an epistemic shift. The integration/reconfiguration and accompanying ontological/epistemic shift can be seen as reconstitutive features of the threshold concept:

liminality diagram

We would not, however, wish to imply that this relational view has an overly rigid sequential nature. It has been emphasised elsewhere (Land et al, 2005) that the acquisition of threshold concepts often involves a degree of recursiveness, and of oscillation, which would need to be layered across this simple diagram [move the cursor across the above figure].
                                                    Ray Land, Erik Meyer and Caroline Baillie (2010)
In short, there is no simple passage in learning from ‘easy’ to ‘difficult’; mastery of a threshold concept often involves messy journeys back, forth and across conceptual terrain
                                                                                              Glynis Cousin (2006)

Cousin, G. (2006), An introduction to threshold concepts,
Planet No 17, December 2006, pp 4-5.
[   last accessed 25 June 2008]

Land, R., Meyer, J.H.F. and Baillie, C. (2010) Editors’ Preface: Threshold Concepts and Transformational Learning,
in: Threshold Concepts and Transformational Learning, Land, R., Meyer, J.H.F. and Baillie, C., (eds), Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, pp. ix-xlii,   [book details].

Land, R., Cousin, G., Meyer, J.H.F. and Davies, P. (2005), Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge (3): implications for course design and evaluation,
In: C. Rust (ed.), Improving Student Learning - diversity and inclusivity, Proceedings of the 12th Improving Student Learning Conference. Oxford: Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development (OCSLD), pp 53-64.
[   last accessed 10 August 2009]

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

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