Gender differences in Collaborative Problem Solving: the Italian case

  • Giorgio Asquini
  • Margherita Emiletti


The aim of the present paper is to analyze gender gap in Italian students’ Collaborative Problem Solving - CPS performance in OECD PISA 2015. Italian students scored high in PISA 2012 individual Problem Solving but this positive result has not been confirmed in the following cycle that included the collaborative dimension. This drop in performance is mainly due to boys’ weaken results in all countries and particularly noticeable in Italy. To understand this change, results from the two PISA cycles are first compared, presenting gender differences both in scores and levels of competence.
Differences among macro areas and study programs, as well as the impact of socioeconomic factors, are also examined. Secondly, gender differences are verified according to CPS theoretical construct, so to understand their respective strengths and weaknesses. Finally, possible teaching implications related to the results of the CPS are discussed.