PISA Creative Problem Solving – who does best?

Following on from the PISA 2012 Results, the OECD have published “Creative Problem Solving – Students’ skills in tackling real-life problems.” This looks at the ability of 15-year-olds to solve problems that they have never encountered before and for which a routine solution has not been learned. The findings show English students score above the OECD average.

Comment from Professor Alan Smithers, Centre for Education and Employment Research, University of Buckingham:

“England does much better in problem-solving than its performance in maths, science and reading led us to suppose. Eleventh out of 44 we are significantly above the OECD average.

The top performers again are Singapore, Korea and Japan giving the lie to the charge that their excellent performance in the PISA subject tests is due to drilling. But those who suspect Shanghai’s astounding performance in the subject tests will not be surprised that its performance in problem-solving is massively down. Boys do better than girls in 19 of the top 20 countries including England. This is in marked contrast to the GCSE results (PISA tests at age 15), which raises the question of whether the exam is unfair to boys.”

 

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