Die verhouding tussen teorie en praktyk: hedendaagse perspektiewe.
Die dispuut oor die verhouding tussen teorie en praktyk is een van die duursame
strydvrae wat voortvloei uit die eeu oue polariteit tussen ken en kan of die spanning
tussen teoretiese en praktiese wysheid. Om hierdie twee vorme van wysheid in
opposisie tot mekaar te sien of om die superioriteit van die een bo die ander te
proklameer, is om in 'n oordrewe dualisme te verval en om besig te wees met 'n
besonder onproduktiewe aktiwiteit. Rigiede polarisasie tussen toerie en praktyk dien
geen doel nie; wel die beklemtoning van vennootskap tussen twee gelykwaardige en
ewe waardevolle ondernemings wat kan lei tot 'n integrasie van ken en kan (denke en
The relationship between theory and practice: a contemporary perspective.
The dispute about the relationship between theory and practice emanates from the
age-old polarity between knowing and being able; from the tension between theoretical
and practical wisdom. To consider these two forms of wisdom as opposites, or to
proclaim the one as superior to the other, is to succumb to an exaggerated dualism.
The rigid polarization of theory and practice serves no purpose. However, the
emphasis on a partnership between the two can lead to an integration of knowing and
being able (thought and doing).
2.DEFINING OF THE CONCEPT THEORY
A theory is:
(1)A unit of assumptions which is necessary for active and illuminative reflection on
situations (practice) where something is taking place.
(2)All the means of evaluation and comparison to determine the authenticity of a
practice and its realisation.
(3)A systematically organized whole of expressions in terms of which pronouncements
about events can be made.
(4)An entirety of illuminative thinking aids through which a practice is made
comprehensible because its authentic meaning is revealed.
3.THE OUTCOME OF THE ABSENCE OF A THEORY
The absence of a theory leads to:
Unwillingness to think, naive prejudice, insufficient light, garrulous talk, superficiality,
triviality, negativeness, ambiguity, lack of alertness.
4.THEORY AS A FRAMEWORK OF CONCEPTS AND DECISION-MAKING
An essence blind or absent theory interferes with the practitioner's decision-making. A
theory can be a means for making grounded decisions in a practice and in respect of
a practice. Such decisions then do not occur on the spur of the moment. The point at
issue is the controlling of events in practice through decisions.
5.A FEW REASONS FOR THE GAP BETWEEN THEORY AND PRACTICE
The following are possible reasons for the gap between theory and practice:
(1)Differences in aims, values and priorities.
(2)Many practitioners' inherent resistance to change.
(3)Not enough opportunities for the exchange of ideas and experience between
theorists and practitioners.
(4)Incomprehensible terminology, thus a problem to communicate.
The following are possible solutions:
(1)Provide dialogue between theorists and practitioners in the form of short sessions.
(2)The implementation of new ideas and practices must be awarded.
(3)Promote the involvement of the theorists and practitioners in decision-making
(4)Develop cooperative (respectively team) research in which theorists as well as
practitioners can participate.
(5)Provide opportunities for theorists to gain practical experience.
It must be remembered that the conflict exists between theorists and practitioners and
not between theory and practice.
One solution is to get practitioners involved in the research process, not to build walls
between the gatekeepers of theory and the champions of practice.