NZ students excelling internationally

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has welcomed the results of an international study showing New Zealand students are among the best in the world at collaborative problem solving.

 

The 2015 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study assessed the skills of 15 year olds in 52 countries in collaborative problem solving.

 

New Zealand students ranked in the top nine countries for ability in collaborative problem solving and New Zealand ranked second, just behind Singapore, as having one of the largest proportions of students who scored at the highest level of collaborative problem solving proficiency.

 

“New Zealand’s high ranking is testament to our forward-thinking teachers and school leaders, who deliver a future-focused curriculum, equipping their students with the skills and knowledge to be globally competitive,” Mr Hipkins says.

 

“Historically considered soft skills, collaborative problem solving skills are increasingly seen as essential by employers who are competing in a globally connected and technology savvy world. Increasingly, employers say they require employees to be able to collaborate not only with the person seated beside them but also with others around the world,” he says.

 

“One of my priorities as Education Minister is to lead an evolution of our education system to ensure our students develop these and other transferable skills and attitudes such as resilience, creativity, adaptability and interpersonal skills.”

 

This is the first time that an international assessment has attempted to measure students’ ability to solve problems by requiring students to develop a shared understanding of a problem and come to a solution. The research focused on competence in and attitude towards communications, managing conflict, organising teams, building consensus and managing progress. 

 

“We will be looking closely at the findings to see how we can continue to build our performance in this area and how it might better support all students to reach their full potential, particularly the lower socio-economic groups who performed less well,” says Mr Hipkins.

 

Link to NZ country report on PISA:

https://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications/series/2543/pisa-2015/pisa-2015-collaborative-problem-solving