Problem solving skills greater than ‘mathematical’

April 18, 2017 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

OECD has published a monograph titled The Nature of Problem Solving: Using Research to Inspire 21st Century Learning  [read online option]*

The OECD web page describes it:  “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.”

From Education and Skills Today blog (April 12, 2107) titled Does the world need people who understand problems, or who can solve them? by Dirk Van Damme

“The book clearly demonstrates that excellent problem-solving skills very much depend on deep levels of knowledge and outstanding analytical capabilities. But while cognitive and analytical capabilities help in interpreting and understanding problems, effective problem solving requires an additional element of decision making, implementation and communication. The combination of these capabilities is what makes problem-solving skills unique.”

If you haven’t figured this out – this book is not for the faint of heart. If you like headlines and articles, I would not go here. But what it does show is the need for critical and real world problem solving skills and they can be complex.

*Citation: Csapó, B. and J. Funke (eds.) (2017), The Nature of Problem Solving: Using Research to Inspire 21st Century Learning, OECD Publishing, Paris.DOI:

Entry filed under: OECD. Tags: , , .

Education Week is May 1-5 2017 (theme-Ontario 150) Think positive – new books

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