OECD Education Working Papers

1993-9019 (online)
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This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected studies drawing on the work of the OECD Directorate for Education. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language (English or French) with a short summary available in the other.

Adaptive problem solving

Moving towards a new assessment domain in the second cycle of PIAAC You or your institution have access to this content

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Samuel Greiff1, Katharina Scheiter2, Ronny Scherer3, Francesca Borgonovi4, Ann Britt5, Art Graesser6, Muneo Kitajima7, Jean-François Rouet8
Author Affiliations
  • 1: University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg

  • 2: Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien, Germany

  • 3: Centre for Educational Measurement, Norway

  • 4: OECD, France

  • 5: Northern Illinois University, United States

  • 6: University of Memphis, United States

  • 7: Nagaoka University of Technology, Japan

  • 8: Université de Poitiers, France

07 June 2017
Bibliographic information

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The set of skills that is required to be a successful citizen in the 21st century is rapidly evolving. New technologies and social systems grow increasingly complex and require individuals to quickly and flexibly adapt to new and changing circumstances. This paper outlines the key features of the domain of adaptive problem solving that is proposed to be assessed in the 2nd cycle of the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) in addition to the domains of numeracy and literacy. Adaptive problem solving is considered to be a crucial 21st century skill that combines cognitive and meta-cognitive processes. The paper develops a definition of adaptive problem solving building on relevant work in cognitive psychology and cognitive science, introduces its covariates and preconditions, discusses relevant assessment principles, and provides insights on the relevance of adaptive problem solving for labour markets and social integration.
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