This paper uses Rittel and Webber’s categorisation of wicked problems in order to interrupt discourses around school behaviour. Each of the 10 characteristics suggested by Rittel and Webber are examined using the English education system as a vehicle by which to consider and interrogate their complexity. This endeavour is crucial as although the characteristics of wicked problems naturally overlap, the cannot, and should not, be conflated if we wish to understand how different facets of a wicked problem shed light, and create shadows, that impact on all members of a school community. That school communities can be wicked settings adds nuance to the complexity of the problems that we face when educating students whose behaviours challenge the norms of their educational environment.
- Wicked problems