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Dichotomy Between Theory And Practice In Education

1118 words - 4 pages

The interaction between “theory” and “practice” in education is a dichotomy that people have been trying to understand for over 2,000 years. The relationship between theorists and practitioners is very complicated because there are issues that surround the pace of change in theory and practice. The debates that have occurred continue to occur through today in an array of perspectives about the purpose of education and about how to encourage learning. Practical knowledge can be defined as knowledge inhibited through practice, action, or experience. Theoretical knowledge is an idea that is a logical explanation of a set of relationships that has been experimented with plenty of research. Theorists are people who carry out in-depth research and analysis of detailed topics to arrive at answers to particular behaviors and practices and practitioners are those who actively practice a profession. Practical knowledge and theoretical knowledge draw to mind much familiar oppositions- thought and action, belief and desire, rationale and passion, and so on. Professionals in the field of education have identified many factors that have caused this dichotomy, identified the relation of theory to practice, and identified strategies for bridging the gap between theory and practice.
Educational technology professionals are concerned that their classroom practice doesn’t relate to the latest theories. There are many reasons that may perhaps have brought about this distinction between theory and practice. People have been trying to understand learning for over thousands of years. Learning theorists have carried out a debate on how people learn that began during the time of Greek philosophers, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. The debates that occurred back then occur throughout today in a range of perspectives about practice and theory in education. One factor contributing to the division between theory and practice is that educators do not understand them as principles that have been tested and that have some power to explain how things work across different circumstances and contexts. Classroom practices are influenced by many different factors, and no particular theory gives an explanation as to how they will all come together under different circumstances. The educational technology professionals have very difficult jobs, having to consider the various kinds of knowledge and theory that exist, taking into account the very particular classroom situation and students they are facing, and determining how and when a theory can enlighten their classroom practice. The debate between theory and practice is also influenced by the fact that every student brings his or her individual, unique personality to the classroom. Educators have to recognize theses differences and build on the students’ prior knowledge and experience. For these reasons there is a dichotomy that exists between theory and practice.
The fact of the matter is that all practice, in education as...

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