Monday, March 26, 2012


Question: Why is theory important?

Answer/Quote: “Theory has become a bad word among classroom teachers. In our minds it often is associated with ‘the ivory tower,’ naïve idealism, superciliousness, condescension, and the domination of high school teachers by their privileged university colleagues. We sniff when we speak of ‘theorists,’ as if we had gotten a whiff of a bad odor. But all reading and all teaching are grounded in theory. The only question is the extent to which one is aware or unaware of one’s theoretical base.” P. 100.

Comment: A recurring theme in articles in professional education journals is the degree to which teachers are aware of the theories under which they operate in the classroom. Ever take the time to analyze the theories that operate in your teaching of reading, grammar, writing and literature? Sure, you might use the occasion to justify your practices, but you’ll just be hiding the theories under which you really do operate. Time for an honest assessment. What are the theories that dictate your teaching? How do your theories differ from the school’s official practices? RayS.

Title: “Job and His Friends.” Ben F Nelms. English Journal (November 1992), 100.

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