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Women are better at collaborative work than men

The findings of the study, as with any piece of gender-related research, are likely to be controversial. Putting the gender issue aside temporarily, in the world of business global problem solvers are in high demand. This fits in with the so-termed ‘reimagining of education’ paradigm and this is signaled by a plethora of conferences and events focused on what learning matters to ensure individuals have the skills to think like entrepreneurs and collaborate with people from all backgrounds.

A new study has looked at how 15 year-old girls and boys perform when they are required to work together. The outcome of the study was that teams of girls outperformed boys in collaborative problem solving. What’s more interesting is that this tendency appears global, at least based on the study, for the same results were repeated in every country around the world. The full study outcomes are published in the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment.

The study is described as the first ever assessment of collaborative problem solving skills, as described by CMRubinWorld, it aims to help countries and economies see where their students stand in relation to their peers in other education systems. For the exercise, students in 52 countries completed this test in addition to the main OECD PISA 2015 Survey on Science, Mathematics and Reading.

The study was conducted by the OECD. Commenting on the research, Andreas Schleicher, Director for the Directorate of Education and Skills at the OECD, noted to C. M. Rubin in an interview: “Girls show more positive attitudes towards relationships, meaning that they tend to be more interested in others’ opinions and want others to succeed.”

Schleicher added further that: “strong academic skills will not automatically also lead to strong social skills. Part of the answer lies in giving students more ownership over the time, place, path, pace, and interactions of their learning. Another part of the answer can lie in fostering more positive relationships at school and designing learning environments that benefit students’ collaborative problem-solving skills and their attitudes towards collaboration.”

The inference from the study is that the results can be extrapolated to the modern business world. This is not to say that men are unsuited, more so that different approaches to work and personal interactions may be required to suit the modern landscape.

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Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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