theory and practice

Currently reading countless scholarly articles, peer-reviewed journals, and books. Many of them discuss the nuances between theory and practice.

My thinking: the distinction between theory and practice is a wonderfully descriptive metaphor for life.

"Measure twice—cut once" works in theory, but... theory, everything works. In practice, things fall apart. And, then it becomes a cycle. Practice sometimes fails. When it does, we theorize.

Measure three times. 

Cut twice. 

Return to Home Depot.

We ask questions to understand outcomes and clarify. Sometimes, those questions are framed in the simplest terms. 

Standing in the lumber aisle at Home Depot, with the question "What went wrong?" begging for an answer. Eventually, if we ask enough questions, or the right questions, we arrive an new theories...that are put back into practice.

best practice

If everyone is doing it, "best practice" is only mediocre. 

The phrase "best practice" has resurfaced again. At least, in the circles I travel the phrase seems to be cropping up with regularity. This surprises me, since I thought it had dies a slow death.  

Best practice had its glory days a few years ago. It was all over twitter, and it haunted every public school PD session I attended. I wondered where it originated, but a Google search wasn't much help. As a former dot-com employee, the phrase seemed like something shouted across the cubicle farms and communal dining centers. There was always a phrase of the week/month that dotcom managers liked to promote...and best practice sure sounded familiar. 

I was delighted to see that wikipedia includes a critique of the phrase. It comforts me to know that I'm not alone in despising the phrase best practice. That entry even offers a more intelligent alternative: contextual practice

This makes sense to me, because every situation is different. Every classroom is different. Most importantly, every student is different. Let's put this into context. See what I did there?