New Zealand students excel at collaborative problem solving

The OECD PISA 2015 Collaborative Problem Solving report has assessed NZ students as some of the best in the world at collaborative problem solving – a set of skills never tested before but increasingly sought after by employers here and globally.

The study assessed 125,000 15 year-olds in 52 countries.  The research focused on competence in and attitude towards communications, managing conflict, organising teams, building consensus and managing progress towards shared goals.   Historically considered soft skills, these are more and more being seen as essential by employers who are competing in a globally connected and technology savvy world.

New Zealand’s high ranking in collaborative problem solving is testament to New Zealand’s forward-thinking teachers and school leaders, who deliver a future-focused curriculum into their classrooms, equipping their students with the skills and knowledge to be globally competitive.

Students with collaborative problem solving skills and competencies will be well placed to take advantage of the many opportunities they will be faced with in an evolving work environment, and an increasingly global digital world.

Increasingly, workplace opportunities will require New Zealand students to be able to collaborate not only with the person seated beside them but also with others around the world.   The ability to work productively, drive engagement and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual team has been identified as a key skill for the future workforce.   The good results from PISA 2015 collaborative problem solving suggests our students are well placed to take advantage of such opportunities.

We will be looking more closely at these findings and our international equivalents to see how we can continue to build New Zealand students’ performance in this area. 

Download the OECD PISA 2015 Collaborative Problem Solving report

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