The construction of frameworks in learners’ thinking: conceptual change and threshold concepts in economics

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This review examines the value of the Framework Theory of Conceptual Change for making sense of teaching and learning in economics. This theory encourages us to consider learning economics as a process of changing from naïve to disciplinary conceptions. The paper reviews evidence of the nature of naïve conceptions in economics and the challenges that learners face when trying to construct more sophisticated ways of thinking. The review identifies synergies between the framework theory of conceptual change and the literature on threshold concepts which can provide a useful theoretical basis for curriculum design and teaching.


Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Review of Economics Education
Early online date30 Jul 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Jul 2018


  • conceptual change, threshold concepts, learning economics, hybrid conceptions