As teachers, we constantly are faced with problems that must be tackled in order to promote student achievement. Some of our problems range from how teachers can teach a content area in an engaging way to providing strategies to students to cope with test anxiety. Sometimes our problems in the classroom stem from much more wicked problems.
This week, my teammates and I engaged in a discussion surrounding our wicked problem: the achievement gap. As part of the empathize mode of design thinking, we each generated fifteen questions we had in relation to the achievement gap using our background experiences as educators, our new learning from preliminary research about the achievement gap, and through the lenses of other stakeholders such as parents, students, teachers, and policy makers. During our discussion, we examined the questions we each had written and narrowed them to 3 that we would like to use to frame the rest of our wicked problem project. Our questions include:
- Why does the achievement gap impact the following subgroups: race, gender, ses, ethnicity?
- Why can TPACK narrow the achievement gap?
- Why does the achievement gap vary among schools within districts, states, etc?
The inforgraphic below provides an overview of our wicked problem, addresses the above questions, and highlights our early stages of research related to the achievement gap.