- learn about the conceptual framework Hodges' model. A tool that can help integrate HEALTH and SOCIAL CARE, INFORMATICS and EDUCATION. The model is situated, facilitates person-centredness, integrated - holistic care and reflective practice. A new site using Drupal is an ongoing aim - the creation of a reflective workbench. Email: h2cmng @ yahoo.co.uk Welcome

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Inaugural Scottish Threshold Concepts Conference: TCs in Action [i]

Never having been to Dundee but being keen on Threshold Concepts for reasons to follow, I headed North stopping off at Glasgow the day before.

Some thought had clearly gone into the 'conference pack' which included a local comic , marmalade and a caramel biscuit (appreciatively consumed while writing this!).

[Earlier in the week, on twitter someone had pointed to the paper and pens laid on all the chairs in Manchester it appeared - questioning the sustainability. The organisers duly took note and a message for all.]

The first keynote was:

Threshold Concepts on the Edge by
Emeritus Professor Ray Land, Durham University and subtitled: 'Learning, risk and difficulty'.

As an initial co-author of the work on Threshold Concepts, Prof. Land is engaging and facilitating further research. The references flowed and were absorbed by a ready audience taking photos and notes. Next time, if there is one, I may rely on notes more. The presentations should be made available. The etymology of our language(s), liminality, complexity the experience of learning negotiated through variously safe and unsafe spaces were explored. As a concept itself threshold might indicate edge(s) and boundaries, referring also to knowl-edge. The presentation brought home the need for balance in education. Balance that in a way cannot be attained if learning is to occur? What should students be exposed to - in drama, literature as preparation for a [health] career, a life?

Through Timmermans (2010, Changing Our Minds) Prof. Land highlighted how even knowing something presents limits. I read this as the context internal or external calling into question this knowing. Complexity and chaos were inevitably added to this mix.

I thought of lacuna here. There are gaps in knowledge, but a nearby concept might just afford a stepping stone. This ability to 'step' begs a question. In what can become the domestic chaos of  unsupported care for people with dementia, I frequently have to empathise with the carers, relatives and close friends. These individuals will encounter 'gaps' appearing in their world. How they perceive, experience, interact and recall it. I temper this account depending on the situation. The changes to perception it is thought can be quite marked and disturbing, contributing to agitation. This is an edge fragmenting.

'Edges' are evident in Hodges' model:

Most obviously where the model's axes demarcate the care (knowledge) domains and additionally:

Sciences: Skin, touch, (surgical-knife) edge, cognitive map (home, locality), location - built environment, scientific thresholds as in blood tests, visual - auditory ... cues*
Intra- Interpersonally: identity, personal belief systems and schema, personal ethics, biases and prejudices (which may go 'unchallenged'), empathy - rapport, transference, *triggers perceived, incisive argument.
Sociology: Personal space, (Second...) language skills, breaking bad news, intimacy, nuclear - extended families.
Political: Negotiation, cross-party, consensus, debt, criminal activity, public disorder

I've some reflections on the image below to follow.

The citations of Waldrop (1992, p.12) and Zygmunt Bauman (2000) dissolving, turbulence and 'liquid modernity', prompts me to think of students [ and others ;-) ] getting stuck in minima and recall the work of Serres on Lucretius and non-linear dynamics. Prof. Land noted much more - supplantive and lost learning. We learn that the safety of education is unsurprisingly related to education (and its systems) becoming stronger. As it does there is a price, since learning involves weakness (Gert Biesta, 2013). The active debate on trigger-warnings, safe spaces and deplatforming gives me further reason to champion #h2cm. The model provides a blank, agnostic space, that can address all forms of truth, reality and if the situation requires disturbed experiences of reality.

I can clearly envision how student mental health nurses could find certain lectures challenging. Prof. Land weaves the point (Barnett, 2004) that we cannot reduce uncertainty for new students through a 'predictable' form of curriculum. For the MH students to learn they must be challenged personally. If not it is education that is failing them. Linking his themes it seems we can equate weakness with uncertainty but education must learn to appropriate and be comfortable with this. Contrasting uncertainty v. ambiguity I can see how Hodges' model can assist in understanding these relations and relationships from the lived - situated - experience - of a person, to the interpretation by several people, or the same person through time (frames of Hodges' model).

This was a marvellous start to the conference, about which more to follow.

See also:

Pihl, O. V. (2015). Hidden realities inside PBL design processes: Is consensus design an impossible clash of interest between the individual and the collective, and is architecture its first victim? . Journal of Problem Based Learning in Higher Education, 3(1), 20-45. https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.jpblhe.v3i1.1201

- and on W2tQ: