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Threshold Moments Outside of the Classroom

Brooke Kelly's picture

A couple weeks ago in class, we discussed the idea of "threshold concepts" and the ways these moments of clarity function in the classroom. Esteniolla described her definition of these moments and added that one of her partners in the project studies the occurance of these moments in the classroom, but puts less emphasis on theshold moments outside of the classroom. My natural interest tends to lead me in the other direction. Since this class, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on "aha-moments" that I have had, and although it is possible to pinpoint a few instances in the classroom, I am even more fascinated by the threshold concepts that I have mastered outside of the walls of the classroom. At the end of my past season, I was elected captain of the Haverford field hockey team, and although I was honored, I have also been anxious and struggling to understand what kind of leader I should be. Last week, I attended a leadership seminar, along with the other Haverford College teams’ sophomores. The topic of this seminar was core values. Each attendee was given a list of twenty values and we were asked to number our top ten in order. After we had each done so, we began to discuss our choices, and the leaders of the seminar began to evaluate “Integrity” as a value. I had noticed integrity on the list, but I had not put it in my top ten. Perhaps this was because I did not fully understand its meaning. They defined integrity of being the person you say you are, and eliminated dissonance between what you say and what you do. Here was my “aha-moment.” Although this seems different than the definition we established in class of threshold concepts, this was an important moment for me in having a clarifying and insightful moment into the kind of leader I wanted to be.


alesnick's picture

This is a powerful instance

This is a powerful instance of "ah hah!"  It's interesting that the act of definition was illuminating.  I am struck by the definition, too.