PISA in Focus

PISA in Focus is a series of monthly education policy-oriented notes designed to describe a PISA topic in a concise, user-friendly way.

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How does PISA measure students’ ability to collaborate?

Solving unfamiliar problems on one’s own is important, but in today’s increasingly interconnected world, people are often required to collaborate in order to achieve their goals. Teamwork has numerous benefits, from a diverse range of opinions to synergies among team members, and assigning tasks to those who are best suited to them.

Collaboration can also be fraught with difficulties. Instead of dividing tasks effectively, one team member might reproduce another’s work. Interpersonal tension and poor communication might also prevent the team from achieving its full potential. Working with others is a skill that might not be natural to everyone, but it can be developed with time and practice.

Every three years, PISA measures students’ ability to apply their knowledge in three core subjects – science, reading and mathematics – to familiar settings. These competencies, however, are not sufficient to thrive in life. Hence, PISA 2015 – for the first time ever in any international assessment – measures students’ ability to solve problems collaboratively in 52 education systems around the world.

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