What is culture?
This is a big question and we have seen many cultures come and go, in organisation, networks, communities and society.
Take for instance climate change debate. We once have an interest in understanding climate change and how and what we could do to change the world, in saving the world.
What emerged out of this climate change are solutions based on sustainable work practices.
We are now implementing these Sustainability in Higher Education. But what happens to Higher Education?
Having a culture is great, but should culture be able to embrace change? A change that supports sustainability.
It takes me awhile to re-conceptualise what educational changes there are, and what MOOC is trying to achieve.
I re-examine the tenets of wicked problems:
Wicked problems, according to Horst and Webber, have ten characteristics:
- There is no definitive formulation of a wicked problem.
- Wicked problems have no stopping rule.
- Solutions to wicked problems are not true-or-false but good-or-bad.
- There is no immediate and no ultimate test of a solution to a wicked problem.
- Every implemented solution to a wicked problem has consequences.
- Wicked problems do not have a well-described set of potential solutions.
- Every wicked problem is essentially unique.
- Every wicked problem can be considered a symptom of another problem.
- The causes of a wicked problem can be explained in numerous ways.
- The planner (designer) has no right to be wrong.
What kind of problems are wicked problems? Here are some examples:
- Locating a new freeway or homeless shelter.
- Optimizing all the features on a new model car.
- Deciding on the best way to re-engineer a business process.
Wicked problems arise when an organization must deal with something new, with change, and when multiple stakeholders have different ideas about how the change should take place.
So, if the problem is deciding on the best way to re-engineer higher education, surely this is a WICKED PROBLEM that we are all facing. This post summarises some of the problems of higher education well – like rising tuition fees and the perception of inferiority of online education as compared to face to face education in the past. You might come up with a symptom of another problem behind higher education.
I hope this is my last post on Higher Education in 2012.
Let’s bring hope to 2013, and resolve all those wicked problems.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Postscript: A good reference on wicked problems
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