Threshold concepts in finance: student perspectives

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Journal Article
International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 2015, 46 (7), pp. 1004 - 1020
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© 2015 Taylor & Francis. Finance threshold concepts are the essential conceptual knowledge that underpin well-developed financial capabilities and are central to the mastery of finance. In this paper we investigate threshold concepts in finance from the point of view of students, by establishing the extent to which students are aware of threshold concepts identified by finance academics. In addition, we investigate the potential of a framework of different types of knowledge to differentiate the delivery of the finance curriculum and the role of modelling in finance. Our purpose is to identify ways to improve curriculum design and delivery, leading to better student outcomes. Whilst we find that there is significant overlap between what students identify as important in finance and the threshold concepts identified by academics, much of this overlap is expressed by indirect reference to the concepts. Further, whilst different types of knowledge are apparent in the student data, there is evidence that students do not necessarily distinguish conceptual from other types of knowledge. As well as investigating the finance curriculum, the research demonstrates the use of threshold concepts to compare and contrast student and academic perceptions of a discipline and, as such, is of interest to researchers in education and other disciplines.
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