I feel that theory and practice can be the same, and especially that theory derives from practice. People often become too isolated in their own fields and exclusive about their influences, and don’t realize how much bodily and mental activities create knowledge. Many people shrug off not knowing how to see, as many feel about math. But learning how to represent should be requisite in learning how to think.
The way people think when they've always been about symbol manipulation, and don't think so much about the visual foundation of text, excludes a whole system of thought that may undermine so many biases. The more everyone knows the process of coordination and self-examination involved in visual art, the better – and the more about anything and everything that artists know, the better.
I am continuously learning something new, and part of what I want to teach is that everything artists find interesting is relevant to their thinking and their art: music, culture, the material everyday. Each person is their own universe and I want to encourage my students to keep their universes as open as possible. An ability to communicate and persuade is more critical in society and it’s important to connect it to visual rhetoric, although one of the major changes occurring is a proliferation and acceptance of non-verbal media.
When you've seen how differently everyone in a class depicts something you get a much more explicit illustration of how differently people process sense-input. That is something I aim to have my students recognize.