Researching the researchers

Within the CPsquare community there is an ongoing Research and Dissertation series where members are asked to share their research, either completed or in progress, with the community.  This week Jeffrey Keefer is sharing his research. The title of his research is Educational Research and (Virtual) Identity in Postmodernity.

Jeffrey is discussing this with CPsquare members, but also on his blog ‘Silence and Voice’ and today has made a post about what constitutes the ‘A-Ha’ moment in learning, what is a transformative learning experience, what is a threshold concept?

In thinking about this on a personal level, I realise that I like the fact that Jeffrey has used an energy saving light bulb as an image on his blog post. These bulbs as you will know don’t instantaneously give us a bright light. My experience is that transformative experiences are not instantaneous, but take place over time. Sometimes it takes a while to know that something has changed or been learned.

So what is a threshold concept and where does the ‘A-Ha’ moment fit in? According to Meyer and Land

“A threshold concept can be considered as akin to a portal, opening up a new and previously inaccessible way of thinking about something. It represents a transformed way of understanding, or interpreting, or viewing something without which the learner cannot progress.” (Meyer and Land, 2006:3)

Read more at Introduction to Threshold Concepts and Erik Meyer and Ray Land’s develop Occasional Paper 4: Threshold Concepts and Troublesome Knowledge

A brief look at this paper by Meyer and Land has made me wonder which comes first, the A-Ha moment, the threshold concept or the transformational experience and also to question how much control does the learner have over these experiences.

I’m looking forward to hearing more about how Jeffrey approaches his research and what he is finding about the relationship between transformation learning experiences and identity formation.

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