Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)
Thinking it through Australian students’ skills in creative problem solving
Lisa De Bortoli Greg Macaskill
Australian Council for Educational Research
First published 2014 by Australian Council for Educational Research Ltd 19 Prospect Hill Road, Camberwell, Victoria, 3124, Australia www.acer.edu.au www.acer.edu.au/ozpisa/reports/ Text © Australian Council for Educational Research Ltd 2014 Design and typography © ACER Creative Services 2014 This book is copyright. All rights reserved. Except under the conditions described in the Copyright Act 1968 of Australia and subsequent amendments, and any exceptions permitted under the current statutory licence scheme administered by Copyright Agency (www.copyright.com.au), no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, broadcast or communicated in any form or by any means, optical, digital, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the written permission of the publisher. Cover design, text design and typesetting by ACER Creative Services Edited by Amanda Coleiro National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-Publication entry Author:
DeBortoli, Lisa, author.
Title: Thinking it through : Australian students’ skills in creative problem solving / Lisa DeBortoli, Greg Macaskill. ISBN:
Includes bibliographical references.
Programme for International Student Assessment. Problem-based learning--Australia Critical thinking in children--Australia Problem solving--Ability testing--Australia. Educational evaluation.
Other Authors/Contributors: Macaskill, Greg, author. Australian Council for Educational Research, issuing body. Dewey Number: 371.39 The views expressed in this report are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments.
List of figures
List of tables
CHAPTER 1 Introduction
The main goals of PISA
The importance of assessing problem solving
What participants did
Participants in PISA 2012
How results are reported
Organisation of the report
CHAPTER 2 The assessment of problem solving
How is problem solving defined in PISA?
How is problem solving assessed in PISA?
The PISA 2012 problem-solving assessment structure
CHAPTER 3 Australian students’ performance in problem solving
Australia’s problem-solving performance from an international perspective
Australia’s problem-solving performance in a national context
Variations in problem-solving performance between and within schools
Comparing students’ performance in problem solving with mathematics, science and reading
Relative performance in problem solving in Australia
CHAPTER 4 Students’ strengths and weaknesses in problem solving
Students’ strengths and weaknesses in problem-solving processes
Students’ strengths and weaknesses in the nature of the problem situation
Students’ strengths and weaknesses on the response formats
Grouping countries by their strengths and weaknesses in problem solving