Wicked Problems

In my CEP 812 class the last few weeks have been focused on, what we’re calling, Wicked Problems.  These types of problems are generally very difficult or impossible to answer.  Although not all Wicked Problems are constrained to education our class focused on problems within education.  The class split up into groups to try and tackle a problem.  My group tried to come up with a way to create innovation as a learning ethic.  We thought the best bad solution to this problem would be to have schools incorporate Genius Hour (or 20% Time) into their school curriculum.  During genius hours, 2 or 3 times a week, students would be able to work on projects of their own creation and exploration.  Our project, which can be found here, incorporates a video, visual graphic, and a short paper to summarize and pitch the idea to educators.

One thought on “Wicked Problems

  1. White Paper:

    Brilliant! Reading about Genius Hour made me start to get excited about the prospect of students being more engaged. Your opening line to your white paper really got my attention! The juxtaposition between disengagement and engagement with Genius Hour is very apparent. I also love the fact that you include information about a long-term transition period to accustom students and teachers to Genius Hour! That will really help convince your stakeholders! I have a few suggestions for the white paper.
    -I would add in some kind of transition at the beginning when you discuss disengagement and then immediately switch to explaining Genius Hour. I had to go back and reread a few times to make sure that I had all of your big ideas down.
    -I also wanted to make sure that I understand your time proposal: In the beginning of your paper, you advocate for 20% of school time for Genius Hour, but at the end of the paper only 10% is mentioned. I saw that the first year of implementation would have only 10% of school time dedicated to Genius Hour, but I wanted to make sure that you were ultimately proposing 20% of school time.
    -One thing I didn’t notice was specific data that supports student achievement when Genius Hour is used in the classroom. As much as we know standardized tests do not truly measure capability, we STILL are required to have students take them. Is there data out there that specifically shows that Genius Hour improves proficiency?


    I was blown away when I started to look at your infographic. It is so informative and eye-catching! I like the fact that it not only includes the big ideas from your white paper, but it also addresses time constraints and scaffolding. Particularly, I think the scaffolding chart is a very powerful tool to help win over teachers who might be overwhelmed with such student freedom. The only question I have – and it was addressed – was if there is specific data that shows Genius Hour improving student proficiency. I think with this data, you would have an even more powerful sway over your stakeholders.


    I loved the fact that before you even dove into addressing the actual wicked problem, you showed some major obstacles that your group needed to overcome…mainly, the huge differences in times where you all live! I also liked the fact that you included the Doodle Survey for us to see how we might solve a similar time problem in the future.
    I think your action plan is spot-on: More research will help build an even more powerful argument for Genius Hour. In addition, adding that innovators LEFT school to pursue their dreams was a VERY powerful addition to your work. The only suggestion I have in regards to this is to maybe list a few well-known innovators and what made them renowned.

    Overall, very thought-provoking! You’ve made me want to research even more about Genius Hour!


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