Wicked Problems

What exactly is a good wicked problem for Design Thinking in a classroom context ?

D esign thinking is about solving “wicked problems”  that are centred on a person or a group of people.  What exactly is a good wicked problem for Design Thinking in a classroom context ?  There are few articles here and here.  The question I have is how does an educator select problems for a students? What are the criteria that makes it uniquely a wicked problem and not a project or problem based curriculum.

 

Classroom Constraints to selecting a problem:

  • curriculum and provincial or state learning outcomes
  • time
  • cognitive and social development of students
  • available partners to collaborate with
  • a student’s knowledge of DT skills.
  • ‘grading’ monster that whispers in your ear… but I need something for ‘marks’

You might classroom friendly wicked problem if… 

  • to solve the problem you need to empathize with a a person
  • a solution is not clear.
  • a first solution might reveal more problems (domino like effect)
  • people have many different needs
  • the conflicts are value based
  • it might be uncomfortable to talk about
  • there doesn’t seem to be a true ‘right’ answer
  • attempts to solve the problem have failed or remain ‘messy’
  • it is a wicked problem if it is “messy”
  • there are many potential unknown solutions
  • there are systems involved.

As always, this my posts are organic and subject to change, updates and edits.   linkback www.bonniejeansonne.net

 

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