The Slovenia Times

Slovenian teens below average in creative thinking

Science & Education
Event marking the start of the academic year in Ljubljana. Photo: Boštjan Podlogar/STA

Slovenian 15-year-olds perform below average in creative thinking, view aspects of creativity more negatively, and are less open to obtaining new knowledge and experience, according to fresh study results that have educational authorities concerned.

The PISA Global Competence survey, coordinated by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), assesses reading, mathematics and science skills, but in 2022 it assessed creative thinking among students in 64 countries for the first time.

In Slovenia the survey included 6,721 students, mostly in the first year of secondary school. They were asked to generate diverse and creative ideas, and evaluate and improve existing ideas.

They scored on average 30 points on the scale from 0 to 60, which is below the OECD average of 33 points, Slovenia's PISA coordinator Klaudija Šterman Ivančič said on 18 June.

Students Singapore (41 points), South Korea and Canada (both 38 points) had the highest scores, while in Europe Estonia and Finland performed best with 36 points.

Slovenian students scored below the OECD average in all creative thinking skills and expressed more negative views on different aspects of creativity.

They reported a lower self-efficacy in creativity and imagination than the OECD average, and said they were less open to new knowledge, art and new experiences.

This is despite them reporting participating in creative activities more often than their peers.

In general, they performed best in written expression and in tasks requiring them to produce creative ideas, but earned the lowest scores in science-related tasks and in evaluation and improvement of ideas.

While girls scored higher than boys in all countries, in Slovenia the gap was among the widest, at four points.

Slovenia's below average results in creative thinking are not surprising in light of other international surveys and national indicators, said Mojca Juriševič from the Educational Research Institute.

She believes more precise analyses will offer more explanation. In the meantime, creative thinking and learning should be systemically encouraged.

The results show that there is room for improvement in encouraging creativity, said Education Minister Darjo Felda.

Schools are currently trying to update the system of working with gifted students. Reports show that teachers often do not feel adequately equipped to work with gifted students and that frontal teaching remains dominant, he noted.


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