The team really enjoyed discussing our preliminary findings with colleagues at the recent University Learning and Teaching Conference and meeting more people who are interested in wicked problems. We will be getting in touch and adding people to our mailing list soon.
We got lots of useful ideas about what competences students might need to be good at dealing with wicked problems. People suggested:
capacity to engage in ethical debates
being able to cope with ambiguity
being willing to engage when you are not sure you are right
group work skills
appreciation of diverse perspectives
confidence and willingness to take risks
being able to take an evidence based approach
being able to do interdisciplinary work
being able to draw on perspectives from the humanities
… and more.
What a great list!
We are currently analysing the first batch of our interviews to present at the University of Edinburgh Learning and Teaching Conference next week. One thing we have been looking at is what the academics we have interviewed do to help students engage with wicked problems. There are lots of rich examples of exciting teaching methods.
Quite a few of our teachers talked about learning experiences where students learn to value diverse perspectives. So valuing other students’ perspectives, perspectives from other academic disciplines and perspectives from outside academia.
There was also lots of emphasis on ‘authentic’ learning experiences where students worked together on real world messy problems.
Our discussions with these teachers also brought up their consideration for students’ feelings. They talked about helping students stay hopeful or supporting students to come to terms with their feelings about wicked problems.