Girls 'better at co-operating on problems'

Girls 'better at co-operating on problems'

Girls 'better at co-operating on problems'

The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) collaborative problem solving assessment was given in 2015 and measured students' ability to solve a problem by sharing the understanding and effort required to come to a solution, and pooling their knowledge, skills, and effort to reach that solution. Compared to last year's results for reading, maths and sciences, there was less variation between schools in the problem-solving test - in fact less than in any country besides tiny Iceland.

The Paris-based development agency introduced the new tests, taken by 15-year-olds, as part of its long-established PISA programme, which looks at performance in reading, mathematics and science.

Schools can identify students who are socially isolated and provide social activities where they can build relationships - and they can work harder to prevent bullying.

"In today's schools, students typically learn individually, and at the end of the school year, we certify their individual achievements".

Singapore students tops in problem-solving as a team

Interestingly, the test found that schools that used technology the most in the classroom had the lowest collaborative problem solving skills. The same is true across countries: top-performing countries in PISA, like Japan, Korea and Singapore in Asia, Estonia and Finland in Europe, and Canada in North America, also come out top in the collaborative problem-solving test. "Other says it is that we are not very good at using technology well".

Yet, workplaces are beginning to place a premium on sociability, and the increase in the number of jobs requiring a high level of social skills has been paralleled with an increase in wages for such jobs, it added.

Of the 52 education systems that participated in the collaborative problem-solving assessment, Singapore had the highest mean score of 561, ahead of Japan and Hong Kong.

These differences were most exaggerated in Australia, Finland, Latvia, New Zealand and Sweden, where girls score over 40 points higher than boys, on average.

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The report recommends that "students be encouraged to mingle with others from different backgrounds" and that: "One of the demographic factors related to the collaborative aspect of performance in this assessment is the concentration of immigrant students in a student's school". Boys, on the other hand, were more concerned with the instrumental benefits of teamwork, and the ways in which collaboration could work to their advantage, Schleicher said.

The component tests students on their ability to solve problems with multiple constraints, ensure team members follow through with responsibilities, and resolve conflicts.

These showed that boys tended to do better in most countries.

This was better than across OECD countries, where on average 28% of students perform below this level.

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Students in every country and economy seemed to have a generally positive attitude towards collaboration.

"Strong academic skills will not automatically also lead to strong social skills".

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