The Nature of Problem Solving

Using Research to Inspire 21st Century Learning

image of The Nature of Problem Solving

Solving non-routine problems is a key competence in a world full of changes, uncertainty and surprise where we strive to achieve so many ambitious goals. But the world is also full of solutions because of the extraordinary competences of humans who search for and find them. We must explore the world around us in a thoughtful way, acquire knowledge about unknown situations efficiently, and apply new and existing knowledge creatively.

The Nature of Problem Solving presents the background and the main ideas behind the development of the PISA 2012 assessment of problem solving, as well as results from research collaborations that originated within the group of experts who guided the development of this assessment. It illustrates the past, present and future of problem-solving research and how this research is helping educators prepare students to navigate an increasingly uncertain, volatile and ambiguous world.



Assessing complex problem solving in the classroom: Meeting challenges and opportunities

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

Complex problem solving (CPS) is now established as a key aspect of today’s educational curricula and a central competence for international assessment frameworks. It has become clear that the educational context – particularly among general school-age students – places particular demands on the instruments used to assess CPS, such as computer-based microworlds. This chapter shows how these challenges can successfully be addressed by reviewing recent advancements in the field of complex problem solving. Using the example of the Genetics Lab, a newly developed and psychometrically sound microworld which emphasises usability and acceptance amongst students, this chapter discusses the challenges and opportunities of assessing complex problem solving in the classroom.


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