Another dot in the blogosphere?

No April Fool

Posted on: April 2, 2014

This tweet was not an April Fools joke.

Being Number 1 in problem-solving is something to be proud of. The problem with that is 1) some people do not understand that there are different kinds of problems and problem-solving, and 2) the report brushes aside important details in favour of the numbers game.

The problems featured and tested in the report were the academic sort. They were certainly made more realistic, but they do not measure complete problem-solving ability.

For example, try providing neat responses to:

  • How do I stop this bully?
  • Should I marry this person?
  • How am I going to get by this month?
  • Why should I (not) leave this game guild?
  • How do we get newspapers to report more thoroughly?

I was privileged to hear Andreas Schleicher present in greater detail the comparative problem-solving abilities of 15-year-olds around the world. I Storified some quick notes here.

I reshare a photo I took about the sample of Singapore kids’ ability to solve “interactive” problems. Schleicher used the word “dynamic” when he presented. We are not Number 1 in this aspect.

One might argue that situations where the variables keep changing all the time are harder problems to solve. These also mirror life more accurately.

Let’s not sit on our laurels. Let’s not be fooled by a headline.

On a separate and unrelated note, I really enjoyed Mojang’s juvenile but funny April Fools prank. They replaced the usual Minecraft startup music with the Game of Thrones theme song.

Video source

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