3.2 Your Learning—What Does “Theory” Offer?

Figure 3.3 Theory isn’t just found in books—it stems from real life experiences
Figure 3.3 Theory isn’t just found in books—it stems from real life experiences

The previous section of this unit focused on using feedback to enhance what you already know about your qualities, skills, and knowledge. This section explores how you might draw on theory in the same way.

So, what do we mean by the term “theory?” A dictionary definition of theory is: “a supposition or system of ideas intended to explain something … a set of principles on which the practice of an activity is based” (New Oxford Dictionary, 1998, p. 1922). Using a general dictionary can be useful for clarifying the meaning of words used in academic work, but it can also have its drawbacks, especially if the key word is being used in a specialized way. However, in this case, the definition ties in well with what we hope you will do with theory. We hope that you will use theory to guide what you do (your practice). In this unit, the practice that we focus on is your learning.

3.1.7 Changing your Johari Window by Getting Feedback

3.2.1 Why Theory Might be Useful