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The acquisition of problem solving competence : evidence from 41 countries that math and science education matters.

Scherer, R. and Beckmann, J.F. (2014) 'The acquisition of problem solving competence : evidence from 41 countries that math and science education matters.', Large-scale assessments in education., 2 . p. 10.

Abstract

Background: On the basis of a ‘problem solving as an educational outcome’ point of view, we analyse the contribution of math and science competence to analytical problem-solving competence and link the acquisition of problem solving competence to the coherence between math and science education. We propose the concept of math-science coherence and explore whether society-, curriculum-, and school-related factors confound with its relation to problem solving. Methods: By using the PISA 2003 data set of 41 countries, we apply multilevel regression and confounder analyses to investigate these effects for each country. Results: Our results show that (1) math and science competence significantly contribute to problem solving across countries; (2) math-science coherence is significantly related to problem solving competence; (3) country-specific characteristics confound this relation; (4) math-science coherence is linked to capability under-utilisation based on science performance but less on math performance. Conclusions: In sum, low problem solving scores seem a result of an impeded transfer of subjectspecific knowledge and skills (i.e., under-utilisation of science capabilities in the acquisition of problem solving competence), which is characterised by low levels of math-science coherence.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Capability under-utilisation, Math-science coherence, Math education, Problem solving competence, Science education.
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1186/s40536-014-0010-7
Publisher statement:© Scherer and Beckmann; licensee Springer. 2014 This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited.
Record Created:07 Jul 2015 17:05
Last Modified:07 Mar 2017 10:51

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