Teacher Response to Module #4: Theory as Disciplinary Infrastructure

Grades on Blackboard, as per the norm.

If you have learned one thing: Theory helps a field understand itself

A photo of a famous philosopher in front of a tax form
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The real purpose of theory, as I have tried to explain in this class, is to help a field understand itself. Theory is what we use when we’re trying to figure out who we are as a discipline, in other words.

Are we writers? Empirical researchers? Professionals? Project managers? Designers? What kinds of objects do we write about and research? Do we build things? If so, what?

A healthy discipline keeps asking these questions over and over again in collegial conversation. There are rules of discourse, but the rules shouldn’t squelch new ideas, and they should always be up for debate.

I think we have something to learn about the latter point in TPC, but I think we do a pretty good job of asking questions.