Latin-American countries rank poorly in PISA’s collaborative problem-solving test

Latin-American countries rank poorly in PISA collaborative problem-solving test

PISA test examines students’ ability to work in groups to solve problems. Latin-American ranks are low.

We always think Japan, Korea, and even the United States are individualist nations. We envision people from countries like Colombia, Brazil or Mexico working together to solve their problems. But in the 2015 PISA test, which analyzed collaborative problem-solving skills on high school students in more than 50 countries, data showed most Latin-American nations fell behind on that subject.

PISA measures 15-year-old high school students performance in mathematics, reading and science. Last week, PISA released the results of a test that examines students’ ability to work in groups to solve problems. Also, it explores the role of education in building this social skill. Latin-American ranks are low.

The overall results showed all Latin-American countries studied are below the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) average. Chile ranks 38th, Uruguay 41st, Costa Rica 42nd, Mexico 45th, Colombia 46th, Peru 48th, and Brazil 50th. It sounds discouraging, though it can be fixed. But how?

Mexico, Colombia, Brazil among countries that rank poorly in PISA test

The test revealed that students who reported more positive relationships with their peers scored higher in collaborative problem-solving. Also, attendance at pre-primary school is associated with more positive attitudes towards collaboration later on. Socio-economic status is associated with differences in students’ attitudes towards collaboration. Students who reported positive relationships with their parents scored higher. Furthermore, girls and boys differ what to value when collaborating with others.

As stated in PISA’s report, today’s workplaces demand collaborative problem-solving skills. Latin-American non-collaborative school attitude can be improved analyzing these results and taking immediate action. Efforts need to be made inside and outside the school.