Where can students encounter "liminal states"?

Photo by  frank mckenna  on  Unsplash

Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash



  1. Relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.
  2. Occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.

In "The Threshold Concept Framework Can Lead to Transformative Learning," a must-read article from Independent School Magazine, Sarah Doenmez writes,

“Deep learning is not only a matter of acquiring information but of altering identity; facing cognitive challenges that require a student to deconstruct and reconstruct their identity involves a journey through a liminal state.”

At the risk of stating the obvious, learners cannot journey through that liminal state if educators do not create such conditions.

If "school" is all about problem sets, essay prompts, multiple choice quizzes, and the like, then learners lack opportunities to journey into the unknown. How else will they come to know who they really are... or who they really could be?


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