Preparations for authentic learning #change11

I'm reading Preparations for authentic learning #change11 and wondering how we recognize which of the theories in education are trustworthy and helpful.  And I'm wondering if we need to "recognize the right theory" to begin with.  

I'm wondering if recognizing how we plan, implement, and reflect on a class in terms of established or emerging theories (plural) is enough.  

So the question is, do we try to find the right theory for our educational context, then speculate?  Or do we interpret the actions that occur in the classroom in terms of the various theories that exist...a kind of theory eclectic?