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The Debate on the Uses of Practical Theory Continues


Let me begin by thanking Professor Hickson for his comments on the article I published in the 1996 issue of the Basic Communication Course Annual (Hickson, 1996; Spano, 1996). I consider it a compliment that my ideas about practical theory interested him enough to write a rejoinder. More importantly, Hickson’s response provides us with an opportunity to “continue the conversation” on the role of theory in the basic course. It might be useful here to provide some background on how this conversation started.

In 1995 I presented a paper on practical theory on a SCA program sponsored by the Basic Course Commission. Soon after, I submitted a revised version of the SCA paper for publication in the Annual. The final version of the essay, the one that appeared in the last issue of the Annual, thus evolved through a series of conversations between myself and a program respondent, a journal editor, three members of the editorial board, and a few other colleagues who took the time to read the article and talk to me about it.