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The wicked and complex in education: developing a transdisciplinary perspective for policy formulation, implementation and professional practice

Bore, Anne; Wright, Nigel

Authors

Anne Bore



Abstract

The concept of 'wicked issues', originally developed in the field of urban planning, has been taken up by design educators, architects and public health academics where the means for handling 'wicked issues' has been developed through 'reflective practice'. In the education of teachers, whilst reflective practice has been a significant feature of professional education, the problems to which this has been applied are principally 'tame' ones. In this paper, the authors argue that there has been a lack of crossover between two parallel literatures. The literature on 'wicked issues' does not fully recognise the difficulties with reflective practice and that in education which extols reflective practice, is not aware of the 'wicked' nature of the problems which confront teachers and schools. The paper argues for a fresh understanding of the underlying nature of problems in education so that more appropriate approaches can be devised for their resolution. This is particularly important at a time when the government in England is planning to make teaching a masters level profession, briefly defined by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) benchmark statement as 'Decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations'. The paper begins by locating the argument and analysis of 'wicked problems' within the nature of social complexity and chaos. The second part of the paper explores implications for those involved in policy formation, implementation and service provision. Given the range of stakeholders in education, the paper argues for a trans-disciplinary approach recognising the multiple perspectives and methodologies leading to the acquisition of reticulist skills and knowledge necessary to boundary cross. © 2009 Taylor & Francis.

Citation

Bore, A., & Wright, N. (2009). The wicked and complex in education: developing a transdisciplinary perspective for policy formulation, implementation and professional practice. Journal of education for teaching : JET, 35(3), 241-256. https://doi.org/10.1080/02607470903091286

Acceptance Date May 8, 2009
Online Publication Date Aug 19, 2009
Publication Date 2009-08
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Publicly Available Date Nov 13, 2014
Journal Journal of education for teaching
Print ISSN 0260-7476
Electronic ISSN 1360-0540
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 35
Issue 3
Pages 241-256
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/02607470903091286
Keywords Education
Public URL https://hull-repository.worktribe.com/output/462604
Publisher URL http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02607470903091286
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Education for Teaching on 19 Aug 2009, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02607470903091286

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