Theory. What's the Point?
I guess today's "Theory Thursday."
When you run across the word "theory" what do you think of?
I don't know about you, but I didn't always understand theory, until I took a media theory class. As a speech-language pathologist, we didn't spend a lot of time in school talking about theory. What theory we did cover related to language development and remediation...nature versus nurture...and how that pertained to the process of remediating communication difficulties.
The field of media communication has a TON of theories and as a graduate student, we spend a lot of time thinking and talking about theory. Theory isn't just something that you plug into a research article. Theory isn't just something that helps explain the phenomena being studied. Research studies are conducted in a way that contributes to the development, refinement, and application of theoretical explanations. Theories can and are supported by research.
As a speech-language pathologist, theory has helped explain some of the phenomenas that I have observed and experienced when students in educational environments use and interact with tablets, apps, and other forms of media. More on that later.
To start, I leave you with this from John T. Cacioppo. This is one of the best explanations of what theory is and isn't that I have run across. It reminds me of the importance of theory and why we should consider theory when discussing the big ideas and issues that we are confronted with today.