Theory is often viewed as separate from practice. I argue though that theory is always imbricated with practice. This is an idea that helps guide my instruction with students who sometimes have difficulty understanding and translating the things they learn in their university classes to other “real world” experiences. Although thinking with theory is an important way to consider, reflect, and enact in practice, the reading of theory is often difficult and dense.
When I started reading theory in my master’s program, I struggled to any find resources that introduced theoretical concepts in simple and understandable ways. I remember calling my mother and having a *slight* freakout because my first assigned reading contained about 3 words in the title that I had never heard before. Through conversations with countless graduate students and faculty across institutional contexts, I now understand that I was not alone in this frustration or experience. Many people that I speak with are intimidated by reading high-level theory, though they often acknowledge its importance for informing and thinking about practice.
To help fill this simple information void, two colleagues (Erin & Beth) and I started a YouTube video series called Three Minute Theory. In this video series, we provide short primers on complex ideas. These videos are not meant to be all encompassing of the concept, but are intended simply as a starting point – for those times when Wikipedia feels too complex! I hope that after viewers watch the videos, they are able to go to other sources where the concept is used and have some idea of what it means.
Our videos have covered some of the terms we encountered often in our graduate programs and initially found superduper difficult. We have several other video scripts in the works and hope to release more Three Minute Theory videos in the future.