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Educational Research for Social Change

versão On-line ISSN 2221-4070


ROWE, Nicholas. Threshold concept theory and nonformal education: Community-based arts learning in Palestine. Educ. res. soc. change [online]. 2016, vol.5, n.1, pp.94-106. ISSN 2221-4070.

Arts learning forums can provide a crucial opportunity for communities undergoing massive social upheaval to gather, reimagine, and exchange ideas. By providing multimodal expressive environments in which to explore, process, create, and share, a community arts education programme might be considered central to the sustenance of community during periods of collective trauma. Arts education programmes similarly maintain a capacity to disassemble communities, leading to greater exclusion, alienation, and dependence on foreign aid. This article critically reflects on the design of the Our Kids' Teachers programme in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, which provided workshop training in arts education methodologies to over a thousand teachers and youth leaders in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Central to this design was an application of transformative, experiential learning, which might be posited as a practical example of threshold concept theory (Land, Meyer, & Smith, 2008). While scholarly research into threshold concept learning has predominantly focused on curricula within formal education, there is a clear relevance of this educational theory to community learning forums. Moreover, when contextualised within a community arts education process, it suggests ways of designing programmes to support a humanising pedagogy.

Palavras-chave : arts; community; education; threshold concepts; humanising pedagogy.

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