Wicked Problem – Rethinking Education

Wicked Solution

This proposed solution is directed at the wicked problem of rethinking education. Learners today are different than 50 years ago. The premise of the US educational system is to prepare students for the workforce, the assembly line workforce. This does not exist today. As Will Richardson shares in his TED Talk, “We can no longer prepare students for traditional expectations more than a century old.“ Today the US educational system needs to prepare students for a workforce that is yet to be determined. Reading, writing, and arithmetic skills of yesterday have morphed into problem solving, critical and creative thinking, and working in a collaborative environment. No longer is the teacher in the classroom the only source of knowledge. Learners have the world available to them.

The NMC Horizon Report for K-12 education confirms the fact that Personal Learning Environments are here and moving into the K-12 world quickly. It is anticipated that in the next 2-3 years a PLE will be a mainstay for learners. Teachers need to be actively engaged in their own personal learning environments in order to effectively guide their learners and to demonstrate the power of collaborative learning. Learners will have a personalized experience based on their connected space, the people they network with. “The essential idea behind personal learning environments is that students are put in charge of the learning process, with a focus on how they can support their own needs and preferences” (Johnson, Adams, and Cummins, 2012, p. 24).

My proposed solution is to instruct K – 12 educators about creating personal learning environments. I hope to create a conversation about doing things differently, learning in different ways – Personal Learning Environments. I will propose they engaged in learning from the experts, develop a community that provides content for you and you provide for them. We need to see education as something that we create and share, not as something that is simply handed to someone through a worksheet. Downes (2010) shared “we have to stop thinking of an education as something that is delivered to us and instead see it as something we create for ourselves.”


Downes, S. (2010, Oct 18). A world to change. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-downes/a-world-to-change_b_762738.html

Johnson, L., Adams, S., and Cummins, M. (2012). NMC Horizon Report: 2012 K-12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium

Richardson, W. (2012). Why school?: How education must change when learning and information are everywhere. (p. 51). TED Conferences.

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