Purely hypothetically speaking, how might you introduce undergraduate students to the existence of theory? (oops, sorry: Theory.) I'm not talking about a theory survey or methodology class or senior thesis group that would be primarily focused on Theory, but bringing it into a "regular" course in small and managable doses. How do we spend at least a small amount of time making students aware of theory in a way that would help them navigate future courses and critical articles and writing research papers or even (god forbid) thinking about grad school? How might you give students a "heads up" or some ideas that might prepare them for a theory survey? Or heck, I have this friend (cough) who is teaching the first course of a three-quarter sequence which might be called Critical Analysis-Theory-Methodology. It's not in a literature department. What should this teacher teach to help students move into the Theory course? What do students need to know or be able to do by the time they hit a Theory course? What should they do to prepare?
I'd love to hear your suggestions, ideas, funny anecdotes, representative assignments, citations of education articles --- just anything that might get a lively conversation going here about Theory in all its theoretical-ness or practical handling. (We may or may not want to take note of types of theory and what types of disciplines we are working in.)
You know, I think discovering theory and grappling wth it, along with its many specialized languages, is a major part of the struggle --- the agon, even --- in transforming from an undergraduate to a graduate student. And I certainly didn't feel like I got much help or guidance about what to read or how much to know, so I'll be revisiting this off and on at both the graduate and undergraduate level for the next few weeks.