The Nature of Problem Solving

Using Research to Inspire 21st Century Learning

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.

Published on April 11, 2017

In series:Educational Research and Innovationview more titles


Foreword and Acknowledgements
Executive summary
Problem solving: Overview of the domain4 chapters available
The development and assessment of problem solving in 21st-century schools
Analytical problem solving: Potentials and manifestations
Problem solving: Understanding complexity as uncertainty
Problem solving from a mathematical standpoint
Dynamic problem solving as a new perspective3 chapters available
The PISA 2012 assessment of problem solving
Interactive problem solving: Exploring the potential of minimal complex systems
The history of complex problem solving
Empirical results3 chapters available
Empirical study of computer-based assessment of domain-general complex problem-solving skills
Factors that influence the difficulty of problem-solving items
Assessing complex problem solving in the classroom: Meeting challenges and opportunities
New indicators3 chapters available
Log-file data as indicators for problem-solving processes
Educational process mining: New possibilities for understanding students' problem-solving skills
EcoSphere: A new paradigm for problem solving in complex systems
Future issues: Collaborative problem solving2 chapters available
Assessment of collaborative problem-solving processes
Assessing conversation quality, reasoning, and problem solving with computer agents
Finale1 chapter available
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