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.



Assessment of collaborative problem-solving processes

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

This chapter presents a framework for understanding collaborative problem solving, including both the cognitive and social perspectives, and identifies the construct’s theoretical underpinnings, structure and elements. It describes the circumstances under which collaborative problem solving might best be used, with consequences for the design of tasks to assess the component skills. It highlights the characteristics of problemsolving tasks, interdependence between problem solvers and the asymmetry of stimulus and response, through a focus on task design. The chapter then outlines approaches to measuring collaborative problem solving and illustrate them with examples.


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