Problem-Solving Attitudes and Gender as Predictors of Academic Achievement in Mathematics and Science for Canadian and Finnish Students in the PISA 2012 Assessment
Abstract: This study aims to understand the predictive role of attitudes towards problem solving, such as perseverance and openness for problem solving, as well as of gender and country for Canadian and Finnish students’ academic achievement in mathematics and science. We examined the data of students from Canada (n = 21,544) and Finland (n = 8,829) who participated in the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that openness for problem solving and perseverance were positively related to mathematics and science scores in PISA 2012. In mathematics, Canadian females were outperformed by Canadian males and by Finnish females and males. In science, females outperformed males and Finnish students outperformed Canadian students. Results imply that interventions on attitudes towards problem solving could reduce the academic achievement gender gap in mathematics and science.