Literacy and digital problem-solving skills in the 21st century

Periodical
Teaching Education
Volume
31
Year
2020
Issue number
2
Page range
177-208
Relates to study/studies
PIAAC

Literacy and digital problem-solving skills in the 21st century

What PIAAC says about educators in the United States, Canada, Finland and Japan

Abstract

The purpose of our study is to delve into the education gap between the United States and some countries by examining the literacy and digital problem-solving skills of American educators, and comparing their performance with that of their peers from Canada, Finland, and Japan. We use PIAAC data collected by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and define educators as professionals with the highest level of qualification in the area of teacher training and education science. Our findings show that, internationally, U.S. educators are at a great disadvantage vis a vis their peers in Finland and Japan in terms of literacy, and they rank the lowest in digital problem-solving skills among the four studied countries. Other key findings include (a) in Canada and Finland, educators perform significantly higher in literacy than non-educators in their respective countries; (b) young educators in the United States (under age 35) lag far behind the same age group in Finland, Japan, and Canada; and (c) in all four countries, digital problem-solving skills of educators tend to decrease as their age increases. All statistical analyses are based on regression using sampling weights.