Wicked Problem of Practice

A Bostonian had to have come up with the term “wicked problem,” right? I do love Boston. But I digress even before I begin…

Let’s start over and begin by quoting the brilliant Albert Einstein, who said “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” That quote encompasses and explains the concept of the Wicked Problem.

The reading explained how standard problem-solving approaches can contribute to great wickedness and I think this makes perfect sense. It also brings to mind what has been repeated throughout our face to face time. We must “think like there is no box.” We need creative and innovative troubleshooting skills as we work to improve those nasty wicked problems.

I feel like this “good enough” idea is becoming more and more prevalent in our education system, an area that is in dire need for must improvement. “Good enough” adds to the problem and in some ways is the reason why the problems continue to exist. Doesn’t “good enough” suggest that something is adequate for the circumstance? Is that what we are looking for in education? Adequate? I know that we can’t solve the Wicked Problems but I look at it in the same way I look at New Years Resolutions – you work towards something and you are better off at the end than when you began. Improvement. Isn’t that what we are all striving for?

It was/is a challenge for me to  think about a Wicked Problem I want to tackle. Without having a classroom to call home or to have much experience under my belt, most of my Wicked Problems are theoretical and there isn’t much for the practical understanding of the problem.

Wicked Problem: Raising awareness and teaching moral development, character education, and positive psychology.

Explanation

So many teachers have said that students are progressively getting worse in terms of morality and respect.  They show disregard for other people and things that do not belong to them. Student lack of respect for authority, their peers, and even for themselves seem to be escalating. This does not seem unique to the students and parents, teachers, administration all play a part. Somewhere along the way we lost the importance of being civic-minded, moral, healthy, respectful, and virtuous individuals who engage in community.

Key Emphasis

Maybe I should outline my ideas based on TPACK to make things easier and more concrete.

Technology

  • analyzing how technology is currently being used to promote or hinder moral practices
  • generating ideas and practicing how technology can be used to promote moral practices
  • using technology as a way to demonstrate real life instances
  • using technology as a way to practice and spread the word of right moral practices [making a difference]
  • creating and implementing a school campaign on a moral cause utilizing technology

Pedagogy

  • Higher-Order Thinking [transforming information and ideas]
  • Substantive Conversation [dialoguing, synthesizing, etc]
  • Student-Directed as well as practicing inclusivity & group identity
  • Active Citizenship [connecting students to their community]
  • Problem-Based Learning [illustrating -> teaching -> practicing -> reflecting] – school & community projects

Content

  • readings and excerpts about moral psychology/character education/positive psychology
  • information texts about non-profit organizations & engaged citizenship
  • videos, music, media scrutiny about their message

My concerns and how you can assist me…

As I write all this down, it feels like a lesson plan. There are so many great ideas swimming around in my head and I feel like because this is an area that I am really passionate about, I am getting a little lost and maybe getting overly zealous. The outcome I would like to have with this is to instill respect, ownership, and the belief that one person can make a difference in each student. Practically speaking I know that this problem will not go away and that it will be met with resistance, but that again is what a Wicker Problem is, correct? We can do something to try and make things a little bit better and that is where we start.

Thoughts? Ideas? Concerns? Hesitations? Anything will help! Thank you everyone!

______________________________________________________________________________

So after having some tough discussions, I came to the realization that my original idea was more of an opinion and that it would be wiser for me to go in a different direction. I thought about what I was all about as an educator and what I believed in to shape the focus on my wicked problem. My PLN has directed and guided me through my frustrations with technology along with my frustrations of wording things correctly. I am very proud of the work of my new and improved Wicked Problem.

The Wicked Problem

The Wicked Solution

One response to “Wicked Problem of Practice

  1. HI Annie – I just had the pleasure of reviewing your WPP. WOW! I know this “journey” was not easy, and that you had to reframe your thinking based on feedback – and because of that I am very impressed. You were able to critically think about what you were passionate about, and then share that throughout your problem, and proposed solutions. You can find more detailed feedback in your evaluation rubric. Great job!

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