England's teenagers are "significantly above average" in problem-solving skills


mentalfloss
#1
England's schools succeed in problem-solving test

The OECD puts England as second highest in Europe, behind Finland, in tests of how pupils can apply their knowledge.

Singapore and South Korea were top in tests taken by 15-year-olds.

These problem-solving tests were taken at the same time as the Pisa tests, which compare how well pupils perform in maths, reading and science.

Job market

Rather than testing theoretical knowledge, the problem-solving tests examined how well teenagers could use their knowledge in practical questions.

For example, it presented pupils with a range of information about different types of train tickets and asked them to work out the cheapest price for a journey.

These problem-solving tests were an optional extra following the Pisa tests taken in 2012 - and were taken by 44 out of the 65 countries and administrations in the Pisa rankings.

About 85,000 pupils took these tests, as a sample representing 19 million 15-year-olds. In England, the sample was based on 137 schools.

It found that pupils in England were much better than their performance in Pisa tests, where they failed to make the top 20 in any subject.

The OECD's Michael Davidson suggested that Asian countries were particularly strong at learning information, but it seemed that pupils in England were above average at how this information was creatively applied.

The top performers remained Asian countries and education systems - but the Chinese city of Shanghai, which had been the top performer in Pisa tests, is ranked sixth in these more practical tests.

China does not compete as a whole country, but some of its cities and regions participate separately.

England's pupils' performance puts them above countries such as Germany, the United States and Sweden.

These problem-solving skills were going to be essential for the future job chances of young people, said the OECD's Francesco Avvisati.

Across the countries and cities taking part, boys were more likely to be among the top performers. But in England, there was no significant gender difference.

There were also big regional differences. Northern Italy had some of the best results in the world, while schools in southern Italy were far below average.

Colombia, Bulgaria and Uruguay had the lowest results.

Head teachers' leader Brian Lightman described the results as "excellent news".

"Graduates need core knowledge in subjects like maths and English, but they also need to be able to apply this to tackle complex and unpredictable tasks with confidence," said Mr Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders.

"Good problem-solving skills give young people an edge in the world of work and prepare them to move into top jobs and leadership positions."

A Department for Education spokesman said the test results showed the strength in problem solving.

"But they also confirm that generally those who perform best in maths, reading and science - Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong and South Korea - are also those who do best in problem solving.

"This connection between the core subjects and problem solving underlines why we are focusing on the basics in the rigorous new primary curriculum, and why reformed GCSEs and A-levels will have open-ended questions which encourage lateral thinking."

BBC News - England's schools succeed in problem-solving test
 
Locutus
+3
#2  Top Rated Post
Good one!

April Fools.
 
mentalfloss
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by LocutusView Post

Good one!

April Fools.

 
Sal
No Party Affiliation
+1
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

England's schools succeed in problem-solving test

BBC News - England's schools succeed in problem-solving test

that should create quite the forum meltdown...wait for it....

 
darkbeaver
Republican
#5
If they were that smart they'd leave England.
 
Nuggler
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by darkbeaverView Post

If they were that smart they'd leave England.


Like the Joos in the 40's; no one will 'ave em.
 
mentalfloss
#7
Britsh education was always better than most others.
 
EagleSmack
#8
 
mentalfloss
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmackView Post

Americans have always been jealous of the Brits but Canadians are a bit more level headed.
 
Angstrom
Liberal
#10
Problem solving skills are mostly tought by the parents. This skill testing shows nothing for the school.



Way To go English parents
 
EagleSmack
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Americans have always been jealous of the Brits but Canadians are a bit more level headed.




Last edited by EagleSmack; Apr 1st, 2014 at 10:14 AM..
 
mentalfloss
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmackView Post





OECD: U.S. Schools Mediocre on Education Compared to World


Canadian students rank high in problem solving: Take the test
 
EagleSmack
#13
I've no doubt. Those inner city Democrat controlled schools really bring down the average.

However Common Core is coming! Another US liberal government push to make our scores go higher so our dummies don't appear as dumb as they really are. The tests will be easier and more points will be given and our scores will be higher than the rest of the world! And the Democrats will say "SEE! See what Common Core does!"

 
Goober
Free Thinker
#14
Brits do well at finding the cheap train trip.
Everything else taught in schools they are at sub standard.
Perhaps some teachers from the Colonies would help.
 
Spade
Free Thinker
#15
It has been proven that deep-fried Mars bars are brain changing.
 
Twila
#16
yay humans!!!! Way to get smarter. We need smart people on this planet. We need problem solvers. We need DIVERSITY.
 
Blackleaf
+1
#17
Britain has the second-best education in Europe and the sixth-best in the world.

In Europe only Finland ranks higher than Britain, and Britain is ranked ahead of countries such as France, Germany, USA, Canada and Australia.

The rankings include higher education as well as international school tests - which boosted the UK's position.

UK education sixth-best in world


By Sean Coughlan BBC News education correspondent
8 May 2014


South Korea is in top place in this global education league table

The UK is in second place among European countries and sixth overall in a global education league table.

South Korea is top, with three other Asian countries and Finland making up the top five, in rankings from education and publishing firm, Pearson.

The rankings include higher education as well as international school tests - which boosted the UK's position.

Pearson chief executive John Fallon highlighted the economic importance of improving education and skills.

These latest international comparisons, compiled for Pearson by the Economist Intelligence Unit, emphasise the success of Asian education systems, with South Korea, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong in China rated as the highest performing.

But it shows a strong performance from the UK, which is ranked sixth, behind only Finland in Europe and ahead of countries such as Germany, France and the United States.

Finns no longer flying

Finland, which was previously in first place, has slumped to fifth, and there has been a wider downward trend for a number of Scandinavian countries.

It also records the rise of Poland, which has been hailed for reforming its post-Communist education system, and sits in the top 10.


TOP 20 EDUCATION SYSTEMS


1. South Korea
2. Japan
3. Singapore
4. Hong Kong
5. Finland
6. UK
7. Canada
8. Netherlands
9. Ireland
10. Poland
11. Denmark
12. Germany
13. Russia
14. United States
15. Australia
16. New Zealand
17. Israel
18. Belgium
19. Czech Republic
20. Switzerland

Source: Pearson/ Economist Intelligence Unit


These rankings are based upon an amalgamation of international tests and education data - including the OECD's Pisa tests, and two major US-based studies, Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (Timss) and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (Pirls).

They also include higher-education graduation rates, which helped the UK to a much higher position than in Pisa tests, which saw the UK failing to make the top 20.

A Learning Curve report accompanying the ranking says that the success of top-performing Asian countries reflects a culture in which teachers and schools are highly respected and "teachers, students and parents all take responsibility for education".

Students in South Korea, with the strongest test results, will have had to memorise 60 to 100 pages of facts, says the report, raising questions about the long-term value of such rote learning.

The report also notes that highly-prized skills such as being creative and problem solving are much harder to measure and put into such rankings.

The lowest-ranked European country is Greece, with a group of emerging economies at the bottom of the table, including Indonesia, Mexico and Brazil.

Global lessons

John Fallon, chief executive of Pearson, says the report shows a strong link between improving levels of education and training and economic growth.

And the international comparisons, such as with the top Asian education systems, show the potential for what could be achieved in other countries.

Healthcare has benefited from a globalised approach, he says, such as developing and testing medicines.

And education systems around the world could learn more from each other, he argues, when many face the same challenge of raising standards while facing financial constraints.


The University of Bolton, near Manchester

BBC News - UK 'second best education in Europe'





 
Tecumsehsbones
+1
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmackView Post

However Common Core is coming! Another US liberal government push to make our scores go higher so our dummies don't appear as dumb as they really are.

I agree. The education of kids in an increasingly mobile, high-tech world should be decided by some 80-year-old fundamentalist preacher and his pet school board in Left Buttock County, Nebraska.
 
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