LONDON: Girls are much better than boys at working together to solve problems, according to the OECD.
Some 125,000 15-year-olds in 52 countries and economies took part in the test, which analyses for the first time how well students work together as a group, their attitudes towards collaboration and the influence of factors such as gender, after-school activities and social background.
“In a world that places a growing premium on social skills, education systems need to do much better at fostering those skills systematically across the school curriculum,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. “Parents and society at large must play their part too. It takes collaboration across a community to develop better skills for better lives.”
Students who have stronger reading or maths skills tend to be better at collaborative problem-solving because managing and interpreting information, and the ability to reason, are required to solve problems. 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.
However, students in Australia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and the United States perform better in collaborative problem solving than would be expected based on their scores in science, reading and mathematics. But students in the four Chinese provinces that took part in PISA (Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Guangdong) do less well compared to their results in mathematics and science.