Public lecture by Associate Professor Michael Henderson
What would happen if we stopped pretending that technologies were solutions to teaching or learning?
Education is a ‘wicked problem’, that is, something that resists any simple intervention. Technologies simply add to the ‘wicked’ complexity. While satisfying one need, another pops up. Any leadership strategy, educational development initiative, or teaching approach that adopts a ‘silicon bullet’ model inevitably misses the target entirely. Digital technologies are often talked about as solutions - artefacts and practices - that can be simply parachuted from one classroom to the next to solve problems or improve outcomes. However, these are rarely achieved without considerable skill and orchestration by educators who can adapt to the ripples of complexity caused by inserting new technologies and practices. Every day, in schools and in higher education, we are faced with the ‘wicked problem’ of bringing together the potentiality of technology with the complexity of education, not least the diversity of students, teachers, schools and policy.
In this lecture I will talk about the wicked problem we face, in schools and in higher education, and propose how we might borrow from design thinking to simultaneously engage in discussions of critical, optimistic and pragmatic futures. In addition, I will talk about the risk of design thinking and how playfulness might hold the key - for teaching, learning and even school reform.
Find out more about Dean’s Lecture Series at http://www.monash.edu/education/events/deans-lecture-series