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Collaborative problem solving - Key findings

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PISA 2015 Results (Volume V): Collaborative Problem Solving, is one of five volumes that present the results of the PISA 2015 survey, the sixth round of the triennial assessment. It examines students’ ability to work with two or more people to try to solve a problem. The volume provides the rationale for assessing this particular skill and describes performance within and across countries. In addition, it highlights the relative strengths and weaknesses of each school system and examines how they are related to individual student characteristics, such as gender, immigrant background and socio-economic status. The volume also explores the role of education in building young people’s skills in solving problems collaboratively.

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Collaborative problem solving - Key findings

  1. 1. Collaborative problem solving Key findings Andreas Schleicher Director for Education and Skills
  2. 2. Why collaborative problem-solving matters Knowledge and skills for tomorrow
  3. 3. The kind of things that are easy to teach are now easy to automate, digitize or outsource 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2006 2009 Routine manual Nonroutine manual Routine cognitive Nonroutine analytic Nonroutine interpersonal Mean task input in percentiles of 1960 task
  4. 4. Collaborative problem-solving skills vary across countries, and are not an automatic by product of disciplinary knowledge Individual skills explain less than two-thirds of the variation in student performance on the PISA collaborative problem-solving scale; and only three quarters of the performance differences among countries on this measure are explained by the relative standing of countries on the 2012 PISA assessment of individual problem-solving skills.
  5. 5. Singapore Japan Hong Kong (China)Korea EstoniaCanada FinlandMacao (China) New Zealand Australia Chinese Taipei Germany United StatesDenmark United Kingdom Netherlands Sweden Austria Norway Slovenia Belgium Czech RepublicIceland PortugalB-S-J-G (China) Spain France Luxembourg Latvia Italy CroatiaRussia Hungary Israel Lithuania Slovak Republic GreeceChile Bulgaria Uruguay Costa Rica Thailand United Arab Emirates Mexico Colombia Turkey Peru MontenegroBrazil Tunisia380 400 420 440 460 480 500 520 540 560 Mean score Figure V.3.3 Mean performance on the PISA collaborative problem-solving scale PISA 2015 defines collaborative problem-solving competency as the capacity of an individual to effectively engage in a process whereby two or more agents attempt to solve a problem by sharing the understanding and effort required to come to a solution and pooling their knowledge, skills and efforts to reach that solution.
  6. 6. -25 -20 -15 -10 -5 0 5 10 15 20 25 Japan552 Australia531 UnitedStates520 NewZealand533 Korea538 Singapore561 Iceland499 HongKong(China)541 Denmark520 Germany525 Austria509 UnitedKingdom519 Macao(China)534 Canada535 Sweden510 Estonia535 Netherlands518 Finland534 ChineseTaipei527 CostaRica441 OECDaverage500 CzechRepublic499 Luxembourg491 Thailand436 Peru418 Mexico433 Spain496 Chile457 Belgium501 Colombia429 Norway502 Portugal498 Uruguay443 France494 SlovakRepublic463 Brazil412 Latvia485 Bulgaria444 Hungary472 Slovenia502 Greece459 Israel469 Italy478 Croatia473 UnitedArabEmirates435 Lithuania467 B-S-J-G(China)496 Tunisia382 Montenegro416 Turkey422 Russia473 Score-pointdifference Statistically significantly above the OECD average Not statistically significantly different from the OECD average Statistically significantly below the OECD average Performance in collaborative problem solving relative to performance in reading, mathematics and science Figure V.3.9
  7. 7. All countries can make headway The share of top performers is limited
  8. 8. Percentage of low-achieving students and top performers in collaborative problem solving Table V.3.1 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Singapore NewZealand Canada Australia Finland Japan UnitedStates HongKong(China) Germany Estonia UnitedKingdom Macao(China) Korea Netherlands ChineseTaipei Sweden Austria Denmark OECDaverage Belgium Norway Luxembourg France Iceland B-S-J-G(China) Slovenia Israel CzechRepublic Portugal Spain Italy Latvia Russia Hungary SlovakRepublic Lithuania Croatia Bulgaria Greece UnitedArabEmirates Uruguay Chile Thailand Brazil Colombia CostaRica Peru Mexico Montenegro Turkey Tunisia Students at Level 4 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Students below Level 2 % % An average of only 8% students can solve problem-solving tasks with fairly high collaboration complexity, maintaining awareness of group dynamics and taking initiative to overcome obstacles and resolve disagreements and conflicts Students below Level 2 can at best complete tasks with low problem difficulty and limited collaboration complexity. They tend to focus on their individual role within the group, but with support from team members.
  9. 9. Boys are lagging behind When individual problem-solving skills were at the centre of PISA in 2012, boys scored higher in most countries. In contrast, on the 2015 assessment of collaborative problem- solving girls outperformed boys in in every country
  10. 10. -50 -45 -40 -35 -30 -25 -20 -15 -10 -5 0 Finland Sweden Australia NewZealand Latvia Canada Macao(China) UnitedArabEmirates Slovenia HongKong(China) Thailand UnitedKingdom Korea Bulgaria Greece Norway SlovakRepublic Germany OECDaverage France Lithuania ChineseTaipei Netherlands Iceland Croatia Estonia Japan Montenegro CzechRepublic UnitedStates Hungary Russia Luxembourg Belgium Austria Italy Turkey Spain Israel B-S-J-G(China) Denmark Singapore Portugal Brazil Uruguay Chile Mexico Tunisia Colombia CostaRica Peru Score-pointdifference Gender differences in collaborative problem-solving performance (boys minus girls) Figure V.4.3 Girls perform better in all countries and economies
  11. 11. -50 -45 -40 -35 -30 -25 -20 -15 -10 -5 0 NewZealand Germany Australia Italy Canada Austria UnitedKingdom Belgium CzechRepublic Japan Finland HongKong(China) UnitedStates Sweden Estonia B-S-J-G(China) OECDaverage France Latvia Thailand Luxembourg Israel Norway ChineseTaipei Slovenia Hungary Croatia Macao(China) Spain Netherlands Denmark Russia SlovakRepublic Chile Greece Uruguay Lithuania Singapore Portugal Montenegro Korea Turkey Colombia Mexico Brazil Malaysia UnitedArabEmirates Iceland Tunisia Bulgaria CostaRica Peru Score-pointdifference Gender differences in collaborative problem solving (boys minus girls) after considering performance in the science, reading and math Figure V.4.6 Girls perform better in collaborative problem solving, even after accounting for performance in science, reading and mathematics
  12. 12. 350 400 450 500 550 600 Singapore Japan HongKong(China) Korea Estonia Canada Macao(China) ChineseTaipei NewZealand Australia Finland Germany Denmark UnitedStates Netherlands UnitedKingdom Austria Sweden Portugal Belgium Norway CzechRepublic B-S-J-G(China) OECDaverage Iceland Spain Slovenia France Luxembourg Italy Latvia Russia Hungary Croatia Israel Lithuania Chile SlovakRepublic Greece CostaRica Uruguay Bulgaria Mexico Colombia nitedArabEmirates Thailand Peru Turkey Montenegro Brazil Tunisia Meanscore Girls Boys …but boys in some countries do far better than girls in others Figure V.4.3
  13. 13. Gender differences in performance are mirrored in attitudes towards collaboration Girls report more positive attitudes towards relationships, meaning that they tend to be interested in others’ opinions and want others to succeed. Boys, on the other hand, are more likely to see the instrumental benefits of teamwork and how collaboration can help them work more effectively and efficiently
  14. 14. -6 -4 -2 0 2 4 6 I am a good listener I enjoy seeing my classmates be successful I take into account what others are interested in I enjoy considering different perspectives I prefer working as part of a team to working alone I find that teams make better decisions than individuals I find that teamwork raises my own efficiency I enjoy co- operating with peers Percentage-pointdifference (boysminusgirls)Gender differences in attitudes towards collaboration Figure V.5.5 Items comprising the index of valuing relationships Items comprising the index of valuing teamwork Boys are more likely to value teamwork Girls are more likely to value relationships
  15. 15. Attitudes towards collaboration vary across countries too If schools foster boys’ appreciation of others and their interpersonal friendships and relationships, then they may also see better outcomes among boys in collaborative problem-solving
  16. 16. -0.60 -0.40 -0.20 0.00 0.20 0.40 0.60 Latvia SlovakRepublic CzechRepublic Japan Russia Poland Italy Netherlands Finland Montenegro Slovenia Belgium Croatia Peru France UnitedKingdom Macao(China) Bulgaria Hungary Ireland Estonia Iceland Turkey NewZealand OECDaverage Luxembourg Denmark HongKong(China) Norway Greece Colombia Brazil Sweden Korea Chile B-S-J-G(China) Australia Germany Switzerland Lithuania Canada Austria Tunisia Qatar Uruguay Mexico Thailand UnitedStates Israel Spain ChineseTaipei DominicanRepublic UnitedArabEmirates Portugal CostaRica Singapore Meanindex Boys Girls Index of valuing relationships, by gender Table V.5.4aValuerelationshipsmore Girls are more likely to value relationships
  17. 17. -0.40 -0.30 -0.20 -0.10 0.00 0.10 0.20 0.30 0.40 0.50 0.60 Netherlands Norway Finland Russia Iceland SlovakRepublic Montenegro Latvia Sweden Japan Estonia Israel Belgium Denmark Bulgaria Turkey Poland UnitedKingdom Macao(China) Hungary CzechRepublic Luxembourg Slovenia OECDaverage Ireland HongKong(China) Italy Australia Canada Peru France NewZealand UnitedStates Spain Germany Greece Qatar Austria Korea Brazil Uruguay Colombia Switzerland Chile Croatia Mexico Singapore Portugal Lithuania CostaRica B-S-J-G(China) ChineseTaipei Thailand Tunisia UnitedArabEmirates DominicanRepublic Meanindex Boys Girls Index of valuing teamwork, by gender Table V.5.4bValueteamworkmore Boys are more likely to value teamwork
  18. 18. Attitudes towards collaboration and performance in collaboration
  19. 19. 0 5 10 I am a good listener I take into account what others are interested in I enjoy considering different perspectives I enjoy seeing my classmates be successful I find that teams make better decisions than individuals I enjoy co- operating with peers I prefer working as part of a team to working alone I find that teamwork raises my own efficiency Score-pointdifference After accounting for gender and students' and schools' socio-economic profile Before accounting for gender and students' and schools' socio-economic profile Attitudes towards collaboration and relative performance in collaborative problem solving Figure V.5.8 Higher performance among students who agreed with any of these statements, even after accounting for performance in the three core subjects, gender and students’ and schools’ socio-economic profile Items comprising the index of valuing relationships Items comprising the index of valuing teamwork
  20. 20. Taking into account others’ interests and relative performance in collaborative problem solving Figure V.5.9 -5 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Estonia NewZealand Russia Norway UnitedKingdom Belgium Spain Canada CostaRica Bulgaria Greece Italy Chile Slovenia Portugal Sweden Finland Netherlands OECDaverage SlovakRepublic CzechRepublic Luxembourg Thailand B-S-J-G(China) Japan Macao(China) Iceland Australia Montenegro Denmark Lithuania Malaysia Uruguay Tunisia Brazil Turkey France Singapore Korea UnitedArabEmirates Germany Hungary HongKong(China) Croatia Mexico Austria Latvia UnitedStates Peru ChineseTaipei Israel Colombia Score-pointdifference After accounting for gender and students' and schools' socio-economic profile Before accounting for gender and students' and schools' socio-economic profile Higher performance among students who agreed/strongly agreed that they take others’ interests into account, even after accounting for performance in science, reading and mathematics
  21. 21. Finding that teams make better decisions and relative performance in collaborative problem solving Figure V.5.10 -10 -5 0 5 10 15 Croatia Portugal NewZealand CzechRepublic Korea Norway Greece Australia Slovenia Russia Estonia Sweden Singapore Uruguay Japan CostaRica Chile B-S-J-G(China) Spain Canada SlovakRepublic UnitedStates Hungary OECDaverage Belgium Denmark Montenegro Finland Austria UnitedKingdom Malaysia Bulgaria Brazil Lithuania Colombia Mexico Macao(China) Italy France Iceland Latvia Luxembourg Thailand HongKong(China) ChineseTaipei Turkey Netherlands Germany Peru Israel UnitedArabEmirates Tunisia Score-pointdifference After accounting for gender and students' and schools' socio-economic profile Before accounting for gender and students' and schools' socio-economic profile Higher performance among students who agreed that teams make better decisions, even after accounting for performance in science, reading and mathematics
  22. 22. Learning environments can shape attitudes and outcomes in collaboration PISA asked students about how often they engage in communication- intensive activities such as explaining one’s ideas in science class; spending time in the laboratory doing practical experiments; arguing about science questions; and taking part in class debates about investigations. The results show a clear relationship between these activities and positive attitudes towards collaboration
  23. 23. -0.30 -0.20 -0.10 0.00 0.10 0.20 0.30 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Mean index All students Boys Girls Physical exercise and index of valuing relationships, by gender Figure V.6.3 -0.30 -0.20 -0.10 0.00 0.10 0.20 0.30 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Mean index Days per week of moderate physical activity Days per week of vigorous physical activity
  24. 24. -0.20 -0.10 0.00 0.10 0.20 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Mean index All students Boys Girls Physical exercise and index of valuing teamwork, by gender Figure V.6.3 -0.20 -0.10 0.00 0.10 0.20 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Mean index Days per week of moderate physical activity Days per week of vigorous physical activity
  25. 25. -0.30 -0.25 -0.20 -0.15 -0.10 -0.05 0.00 Skipping a whole day of school Skipping some classes Arriving late for school Skipping a whole day of school Skipping some classes Arriving late for school Changeinindex After accounting for gender and students' and schools' socio-economic profile Before accounting for gender and students' and schools' socio-economic profile Student truancy and attitudes towards collaboration Figure V.6.7 Index of valuing relationships Index of valuing teamwork Students who play truant are more likely to show negative attitudes towards collaboration
  26. 26. 0 1 2 3 I am a good listener I enjoy seeing my classmates be successful I take into account what others are interested in I enjoy considering different perspectives I prefer working as part of a team to working alone I find that teams make better decisions than individuals I find that teamwork raises my own efficiency I enjoy co- operating with peers Percentage-pointdifference After accounting for gender and students' and schools' socio-economic profile Before accounting for gender and students' and schools' socio-economic profile Student interaction in science class and attitudes towards collaboration Figure V.6.9 Items comprising the index of valuing relationships Items comprising the index of valuing teamwork Students who reported that more communication-intensive activities take place in science class have more positive attitudes towards collaboration Students are given opportunities to explain their ideas; students spend time in the laboratory carrying out practical experiments; students are required to argue about science questions; there is a class debate about investigations
  27. 27. -8 -6 -4 -2 0 2 4 6 8 I take into account what others are interested in I enjoy considering different perspectives I am a good listener I enjoy seeing my classmates be successful I find that teamwork raises my own efficiency I prefer working as part of a team to working alone I find that teams make better decisions than individuals I enjoy co- operating with peers Percentage-pointdifference (adv.minusdisadv.)Disadvantaged students see the value of teamwork often more clearly than their advantaged peers Figure V.5.6 Items comprising the index of valuing relationships Items comprising the index of valuing teamwork Advantaged students are more likely to value relationships Disadvantaged students are more likely to value teamwork
  28. 28. -4 -2 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 Sweden Chile NewZealand Singapore Spain CzechRepublic Estonia Netherlands Belgium Slovenia France Australia Japan Latvia Greece Luxembourg Denmark Macao(China) Montenegro Portugal OECDaverage Thailand HongKong(China) B-S-J-G(China) ChineseTaipei Lithuania Mexico UnitedStates Uruguay Finland Tunisia Iceland Norway Austria Germany CostaRica UnitedKingdom Hungary Turkey Russia Brazil UnitedArabEmirates Croatia Peru SlovakRepublic Colombia Korea Bulgaria Score-pointdifference At the school level At the student level Teachers' discipline and relative performance in collaborative problem solving Figure V.7.8 In no country do students score significantly lower when they reported that their teachers never or almost never discipline them more harshly Change in score after accounting for performance in science, reading and mathematics
  29. 29. -5 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Luxembourg Greece Singapore UnitedStates Norway Macao(China) Spain Canada NewZealand Denmark ChineseTaipei HongKong(China) CzechRepublic Finland Estonia UnitedArabEmirates Australia Portugal B-S-J-G(China) Thailand Sweden OECDaverage Slovenia Peru Iceland Latvia Chile SlovakRepublic Brazil Montenegro Austria Colombia Croatia Japan Bulgaria Lithuania UnitedKingdom Uruguay Russia Belgium Netherlands Hungary Mexico Turkey Germany Tunisia France CostaRica Korea Score-pointdifference At the school level At the student level Students being threatened by other students and performance in collaborative problem solving Figure V.7.3 In most countries, students score higher when they reported not being threatened by other students Change in score after accounting for students' and schools' socio-economic profile
  30. 30. Diversity in classrooms Exposure to diversity in the classroom can be associated with better collaboration skills
  31. 31. Difference in relative performance in collaborative problem solving between the top and bottom quarters of the concentration of immigrant students in school Table V.4.22 -10 0 10 20 30 40 50 Israel233 UnitedArabEmirates362 Russia015 UnitedStates141 Sweden131 Luxembourg2567 Portugal017 Italy017 Germany133 Canada151 Spain025 Macao(China)4076 Croatia121 Austria234 NewZealand544 OECDaverage123 HongKong(China)1351 France028 Australia043 Slovenia018 Singapore729 Netherlands023 Greece022 CostaRica019 Belgium134 Norway123 Denmark021 UnitedKingdom032 Estonia024 Score-pointdifference After accounting for gender, and students' and schools' socio-economic profile Before accounting for gender, and students' and schools' socio-economic profile Non-immigrant students attending schools with more immigrant students perform better in collaborative problem solving, even after accounting for performance in science, reading and mathematics Topquarter(%) Bottomquarter(%)
  32. 32. Looking beyond school walls Only a quarter of the performance variation in collaborative problem-solving skills lies between schools, much less than is the case in the school disciplines
  33. 33. Schools differ less in their performance on collaborative problem- solving than in performance in academic disciplines Figure V.4.1 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 20 40 60 Israel122 Bulgaria106 Hungary100 B-S-J-G(China)104 UnitedArabEmirates99 Netherlands103 Belgium107 Austria107 Germany113 Slovenia95 Italy102 SlovakRepublic95 Peru77 Turkey67 Luxembourg110 CzechRepublic91 Thailand77 Brazil84 Uruguay91 Lithuania91 Greece94 Croatia84 Singapore103 OECDaverage100 ChineseTaipei90 Colombia76 Japan79 Chile78 HongKong(China)90 Australia126 UnitedKingdom117 UnitedStates129 Mexico69 Russia94 Macao(China)88 Portugal92 Canada120 NewZealand124 Korea78 Estonia90 CostaRica67 Sweden107 Montenegro69 Tunisia38 Denmark90 Latvia89 Spain86 Norway97 Finland114 Iceland99 % Between-school variation Within-school variation Total variation as a proportion of the OECD average OECD average 75% OECD average 24%
  34. 34. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 Macao(China) Iceland Norway Finland Canada HongKong(China) Denmark Spain Estonia Latvia Australia UnitedStates NewZealand UnitedKingdom Korea Sweden Russia Portugal Montenegro Japan UnitedArabEmirates CostaRica OECDaverage Singapore Greece Tunisia ChineseTaipei Lithuania Brazil Italy Mexico Thailand Chile Croatia Germany Uruguay Austria CzechRepublic SlovakRepublic Turkey Israel Colombia Luxembourg Netherlands Slovenia France Belgium B-S-J-G(China) Peru Bulgaria Hungary CPS Science Reading Mathematics Percentage of variation in performance explained by socio-economic status Social background influences collaborative problem-solving less than performance in academic disciplines Figure V.4.7
  35. 35. Looking beyond school walls Technology
  36. 36. -40 -30 -20 -10 0 10 Playing video games Meeting friends/talking to friends on the phone Working in the household or taking care of other family members Accessing the Internet/chat/social networks Score-pointdifference After accounting for performance in the three core PISA subjects, gender, and students' and schools' socio-economic profile Before accounting for performance in the three core PISA subjects, gender, and students' and schools' socio-economic profile Activities before and after school, and performance in collaborative problem solving Figure V.6.5 Students who access the internet/chat/use social networks score higher in collaborative problem solving Students who play video games score lower in collaborative problem solving
  37. 37. 400 440 480 520 560 600 Mexico Brazil-24 Colombia-16 Peru-33 CostaRica-19 Thailand-29 Uruguay-47 Chile-36 SlovakRepublic-35 Bulgaria-65 Lithuania-53 Croatia-38 Greece-68 Hungary-48 Israel-60 Russia-40 Italy-40 Spain France-19 Belgium-12 Latvia-51 Iceland-25 Slovenia-28 Luxembourg-46 OECDaverage-29 B-S-J-G(China)-33 Portugal-50 Austria-30 Netherlands-24 CzechRepublic-46 ChineseTaipei Australia14 UnitedKingdom-14 Macao(China) Sweden-39 Denmark-21 Finland-29 Germany-22 Estonia-42 NewZealand-29 Korea-24 HongKong(China)-34 Japan14 Singapore-18 Mean score Top quarter Third quarter Second quarter Bottom quarter Index of ICT use at school: Using ICT and digital devices at school and performance in collaborative problem solving Figure V.3.12 Performance difference between top and bottom quarters of the index of ICT use at school
  38. 38. Looking beyond school walls Parents have a major role to play
  39. 39. -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Norway Iceland Sweden Luxembourg Portugal Japan Australia Latvia Finland Israel Greece UnitedStates Estonia Spain Lithuania Singapore Bulgaria Italy Canada OECDaverage NewZealand Croatia Turkey SlovakRepublic CzechRepublic Denmark Netherlands CostaRica ChineseTaipei Korea Macao(China) Germany UnitedArabEmirates Uruguay Montenegro Russia UnitedKingdom HongKong(China) Thailand Brazil Austria France Belgium Slovenia Mexico Hungary Chile Peru Colombia B-S-J-G(China) Tunisia Score-pointdifference At the school level At the student level Talking to parents after school and performance in collaborative problem solving Figure V.7.10 In most countries, students score higher when they reported talking to their parents after school Change in score after accounting for students' and schools' socio-economic profile
  40. 40. • Strong academic skills do not automatically translate into strong social skills • Some countries do much better in collaborative problem-solving than their science, math and reading performance predicts • Only 8% of students can solve tasks with fairly high collaboration complexity (and even in top performer Singapore it is only 21%) • While boys did better in individual problem-solving, girls do better in collaborative problem-solving in every country, and gender differences in collaborative problem- solving are mirrored in attitudes towards collaboration • Learning environments relate to attitudes in collaboration and collaborative skills • Disadvantaged students see the value of teamwork often more clearly than their advantaged peers and exposure to diversity tends to be positively related with collaboration skills • Frequent playing of video games relates negatively to collaborative problem-solving, but internet use, chatting and social networks do not Some key findings
  41. 41. • Use the whole range of the curriculum to foster collaboration • Foster more positive relationships at school and designing learning environments that benefit students’ collaborative problem-solving skills and their attitudes towards collaboration. • Give students ownership over the time, place, path, pace and interactions of their learning • Enhance social activities that foster constructive relationships and school attachment, teacher training on classroom management, a whole-of-school approach to prevent and address bullying • Foster parental engagement Some policy implications
  42. 42. 74 74 Thank you Find out more about our work at www.oecd.org – All publications – The complete micro-level database Email: Andreas.Schleicher@OECD.org Twitter: SchleicherEDU and remember:

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