Wicked Solutions for Wicked Problems: Teaching Complex Thinking.

After reading the 2015 Horizon Report and with Berger’s (2014) beautiful questions in mind, my think tank was tasked with finding a solution to the WICKED problem of teaching complex thinking.

Wicked didn’t even begin to describe this problem.  For starters, there wasn’t even an agreed upon definition of complex thinking!  How do you know if you teach it if you don’t even know what it is?!

So we took it slow and used the principles of design thinking.  Starting with questioning and research, and then moving into a visible thinking circle of viewpoints discussion we gradually began to build an understanding of the problem.  Once we thought we knew the problem, we solicited feedback from our CoPs (Communities of Practice) and then took Pariser’s (2011) advice in examining our filter bubbles to expand our PLNs (professional learning networks.

Armed with larger view of the problem and with data in hand we then began to piece together a wicked solution to this wicked problem – one that would be unique to each educator/school’s situation: the creation of a PLC (professional learning community) that would include all parties involved in empowering learners to break through barriers of rote memorization and standardized testing to reach a level of understanding that will allow them to question the world around them, collaborate across cultural and physical boundaries, and generate innovative solutions to address the complex problems that they will face in the 21st century.

Check out all of the details on our Weebly!


Berger, W. (2014). A more beautiful question: The power of inquiry to spark breakthrough ideas. New York, NY: Bloomsbury USA.

Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., and Freeman, A. (2015). NMC Horizon Report: 2015 K-12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.

Pariser, E. (2011, May). Beware online “filter bubbles”. [Video file].  Retrieved from https://youtu.be/B8ofWFx525s

Welcome to the virtual crash course in design thinking (n.d.). Retrieved from http://dschool.stanford.edu/dgift/.


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