Saturday, December 2, 2017

Student Collaborative Problem Solving – Compared by Nationality

Results from a PISA 2015 survey reported in a 2017 report by PISA, also known as the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment, assessed studentsabilities to work with two or more people to try to solve a problem. The study provides the rationale for assessing this particular skill and describes performance within and across countries. The volume also explores the role of education in building young peoples collaborative problem solving skills.

Key findings:

-       American teenagers performed above the international average in a new test of collaborative problem-solving.
-       Across 52 countries and economies that participated, only a small number of students scored at the highest level of collaborative problem solving, which requires them to not only identify paths and monitor progress towards solving a problem, but also staying aware of group dynamics, ensuring they and other team members fulfill their roles, and settle disagreements during the process. 
-       On average, U.S. teenagers could volunteer information and ask for clarification from team members, and sometimes suggest the next logical step to solve a problem, but they were less likely to be able to handle complex teamwork, group conflicts, or to evaluate the quality of information from different team members.
-       Across all countries, girls significantly outperformed boys on collaborative problem-solving.

-       These results may back up prior research which has shown students are rarely taught explicit collaboration strategies when they are paired up in school, and that without such instruction, they often don't really collaborate. 

OECD (2017). PISA 2015 results (Volume V): Collaborative problem solving. Paris, France: OECD.

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