The problem of practice in a learning environment is a specific issue, the addressing of which is necessary to make learners better prepared for life as workers. In my opinion, the first step in determining the problem of practice in the case study should be the division of the problem into dimensions to understand how to approach solving it properly. For instance, Boscardin (2019) speaks about the problem containing five main dimensions.
First of all, the problem is to be focused on instructional issues – that is, those involving the interaction between teachers, learners, and content. Secondly, it is directly observable: while many problems are theoretical in nature, that is not the case – theory can only be used in examining the problem of practice. Moreover, it has to be actionable – that is, capable of being improved in real time. Additionally, the problem of practice must be connected to a broader system of improvement of school education – and to its action plan. These system improvement strategies might help in defining the specific issues of practice. Finally, it is high-leverage – that is, able to make a significant difference.
When it comes to completing a needs assessment on the issue of practice, I believe that the alteration of the currently existing system is to be placed on the shoulders of educational leaders. Mintrop and Zumpe (2019) state that, in order to do that, they must primarily change their own mind-set – leaders have been reported to resort to the so-called guardrail of standard curriculum. It means ensuring that a plan for each lesson is ready prevails over ensuring its content – moreover, a plan for a lesson usually includes series of activities. This type of approach is currently becoming obsolete – nowadays learning must be based not on the ‘what’ but on ‘how’. Therefore, the way children actually learn is to guide the modernized educational practice and, therefore, make them better prepared for solving the most difficult problems in the outside world.
Boscardin, M. L. (2019). CEC Tackling Problems of Practice: Providing Solutions to Our Practitioners. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 52(2), 62-64. Web.
Mintrop, R., & Zumpe, E. (2019). Solving real-life problems of practice and education leaders’ school improvement mind-set. American Journal of Education, 125(3), 295-344. Web.