A wicked problem, according to Blackman et al. (2006) is one that is not easily defined, has many causal levels and cannot be solved by generic principles or linear heuristics. Tame problems, on the other hand, are well-defined, stable and belong to a class of problems which can be resolved generically. In contrast to wicked problems, the solutions to tame problems are easily recognised as being either right or wrong. In education and schooling, wicked problems are considered erroneously to be tame and as a result illegitimate ‘solutions’ are attempted with the result that many simply do not work.
Extracted from Anne, B. & Wright, N. (2009). The Wicked and Complex in Education: Developing a Transdisciplinary Perspective for Policy Formulation, Implementation and Professional Practice. Journal of Education for Teaching: International Research and Pedagogy, 35 (3), pp. 241-256
Wickedity, complexity… new wine in old wineskins?