Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study

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TIMSS 2011 8th grade average Mathematics scores
TIMSS 2011 8th grade average Science scores

The IEA's Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) is a series of international assessments of the mathematics and science knowledge of students around the world. The participating students come from a diverse set of educational systems (countries or regional jurisdictions of countries) in terms of economic development, geographical location, and population size. In each of the participating educational systems, a minimum of 4,500 to 5,000 students is evaluated. Contextual data about the conditions in which participating students learn mathematics and science are collected from the students and their teachers, their principals, and their parents via questionnaires.[1]

TIMSS is one of the studies established by IEA aimed at allowing educational systems worldwide to compare students' educational achievement and learn from the experiences of others in designing effective education policy. This assessment was first conducted in 1995, and has been administered every four years thereafter. Therefore, some of the participating educational systems have trend data across assessments from 1995 to 2015.[2] TIMSS assesses 4th and 8th grade students, while TIMSS Advanced assesses students in the final year of secondary school in advanced mathematics and physics.

History[edit]

A precursor to TIMSS was the First International Mathematics Study (FIMS) performed in 1964 in 11 countries for students aged 13 and in the final year of secondary education (FS) under the auspices of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). This was followed in 1970-71 by the First International Science Study (FISS) for students aged 10, 14, and FS. Fourteen countries tested 10-year olds; 16 countries tested the older two groups. These were replicated between 1980 and 1984.[3]

These early studies were revised and combined by the IEA to create TIMSS, which was first administered in 1995. It was the largest international student assessment study of its time and evaluated students in five grades. In the second cycle (1999) only eighth-grade students were tested. In the next cycles (2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015) both 4th and 8th grade students were assessed. The 2011 cycle was performed in the same year as the IEA's Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), offering a comprehensive assessment of mathematics, science and reading for the countries participating in both studies. The sixth cycle was conducted in 2015, and the results were released in 2016;[1] the data set was published in February 2017. TIMSS 2015 included data collected from parents for the first time.[4] TIMSS Advanced, previously conducted in 1995 and 2008, was also conducted in 2015, and assessed final-year secondary students' achievement in advanced mathematics and physics. Policy-relevant data about curriculum emphasis, technology use, and teacher preparation and training accompanies the TIMSS Advanced results.

Method, data and documentation[edit]

Along with the overall students’ achievement data, TIMSS comprehensive assessments include data on student performance in various mathematics and science domains (algebra, geometry, biology, chemistry, etc.) and on performance in the problem solving challenges in each of these contexts. In addition, TIMSS provides contextual data on crucial curricular, instructional, and resource-related factors that can impact the teaching and learning process. These data are gathered using student, teacher, school, and curriculum (national) questionnaires filled out by students, teachers, school principals and National Research Coordinators, respectively.

According to the TIMSS 2011 international results in mathematics, “The TIMSS mathematics achievement scales were established in TIMSS 1995 based on the achievement distribution across all participating countries, treating each country equally. At each grade level, the scale center point of 500 was set to correspond to the mean of the overall achievement distribution, and 100 points on the scale was set to correspond to the standard deviation. Achievement data from subsequent TIMSS assessment cycles were linked to these scales so that increases or decreases in average achievement may be monitored across assessments. TIMSS uses the scale center point as a point of reference that remains constant from assessment to assessment”.[5]

Because TIMSS is administered in four-year cycles, it enables participating counties to use the results between the fourth and eighth grades to track the changes in achievement and certain background factors from an earlier study. For example, results of the fourth grade in TIMSS 1995 can be compared with the results of the eighth grade in TIMSS 1999, as fourth graders had become eighth graders in the next cycle of study.[6]

The collected information is presented in different formats. For example, for TIMSS 2015 the results are presented as TIMSS International Results in Science TIMSS International Results in Science and TIMSS International Results in Mathematics. The TIMSS 2015 Encyclopedia provides an overview of how mathematics and science are taught in each participating country. Methods and Procedures in TIMSS 2015 documents the development of the TIMSS assessments and questionnaires, and describes the methods used. The TIMSS 2015 User Guide for the International Database describes the content and format of the data in the TIMSS 2015 International Database. The fully documented TIMSS 2015 international database can be downloaded.

The IEA has developed an application for working with data from TIMSS and other IEA large-scale assessments called the "IEA International Database (IDB) Analyzer". . This application allows researchers to combine data files and facilitates some types of statistical analysis (such as computing means, percentages, percentiles, correlations, and estimating single level multiple linear regression). The application takes into account the complex sample structure of the databases when calculating the statistics and their standard errors. It also allows researchers to estimate achievement scores and their standard errors.

For an overview of the IEA study results and interpretation of information, the IEA's "Data Visualizer".  can come in handy.

Cycles[edit]

In TIMSS 1995[7], there were 41 educational systems in five grades (third, fourth, seventh, eighth, and the final year of secondary school).[4] In 1999[8], TIMSS only focused on the eighth grade in 38 educational systems; there was no study done for the fourth grade in that year.[9] In TIMSS 2003[10], there were 26 educational systems for the fourth grade and 48 for the eighth grade.[11] In TIMSS 2007[12], 44 educational systems participated in the fourth grade and 57 educational systems in the eighth grade. TIMSS 2011[13] had 52 participating educational systems for the fourth grade and 45 for the eighth grade.[4]

In TIMSS 2015[14], nationally representative samples of students in 57 countries and 7 benchmarking entities participated in the fourth grade assessment, the eighth grade assessment, or both.[15]

TIMSS 2019 will be the seventh cycle of TIMSS, reporting overall achievement as well as results according to international benchmarks, by major content domains (number, algebra, and geometry in mathematics, and earth science, biology, and chemistry in science), and by cognitive domains (knowing, applying, and reasoning). Like the previous TIMSS assessments (conducted in 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, and 2015), the study will collect detailed information about curriculum and curriculum implementation, instructional practices, and school resources. TIMSS 2019 is focusing on converting to a digital format (eTIMSS 2019). Fourth-grade students can interact with geometric shapes and patterns to demonstrate their mastery of fractions and symmetry, or arrange square flower boxes to explore the relationship between perimeter and area. Eighth-grade students can help to design a storage building by calculating its dimensions, or plan a plant growth experiment and see the results. Other tasks will assess students’ knowledge in areas covered by the TIMSS frameworks, including algebra, data and chance, physics, and chemistry[16].

eTIMSS will continue all the benefits of TIMSS, enabling countries to measure how effective they are in teaching mathematics and science.

Additional initiatives[edit]

The TIMSS 1999 Video Study[17] was a study of eighth-grade mathematics and science teaching in seven countries. The study involved videotaping and analyzing teaching practices in more than one thousand classrooms. In conjunction with the IEA, the study was conducted by the US National Center for Education Statistics, and the US Department of Education under a contract with LessonLab, Inc. of Los Angeles, California.

Cooperative partners[edit]

TIMSS depends on the collaboration of a large number of individuals and organizations around the world including the TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center at Boston College, IEA's offices in Amsterdam and Hamburg, Statistics Canada, and Educational Testing Service (ETS). In the United States, TIMSS is conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics of the US Department of Education. Data for US students is further tracked for ethnic and racial groups. TIMSS is mainly funded by the participating countries. Also, the US National Center for Education Statistics of the US Department of Education and the World Bank provide major support funding for the assessments.[4]

Top 10 countries by subject and year[edit]

Mathematics[edit]

Fourth grade[edit]

TIMSS(1995) TIMSS(2003) TIMSS(2007) TIMSS(2011) TIMSS(2015)
1.  Singapore 625
2.  South Korea 611
3.  Japan 597
4.  Hong Kong 587
5.  Netherlands 577
6.  Czech Republic 567
7.  Austria 559
8.  Slovenia 552
9.  Ireland 550
10.  Hungary 548
1.  Singapore 594
2.  Hong Kong 575
3.  Japan 565
4.  Taiwan 564
5.  Flanders (Belgium) 551
6.  Netherlands 540
7.  Latvia 536
8.  Lithuania 534
9.  Russia 532
10.  England (and Wales) 531
1.  Hong Kong 607
2.  Singapore 599
3.  Taiwan 576
4.  Japan 568
5.  Kazakhstan 549
6.  Russia 544
7.  England (and Wales) 541
8.  Latvia 537
9.  Netherlands 535
10.  Lithuania 530
1.  Singapore 606
2.  South Korea 605
3.  Hong Kong 602
4.  Taiwan 591
5.  Japan 585
6.  Northern Ireland 562
7.  Flanders (Belgium) 549
8.  Finland 545
9.  England (and Wales) 542
10.  Russia 542
1.  Singapore 618
2.  Hong Kong 615
3.  South Korea 608
4.  Taiwan 597
5.  Japan 593
6.  Northern Ireland 570
7.  Russia 564
8.  Norway 549
9.  Ireland 547
10.  England 546

Eighth grade[edit]

TIMSS(1995) TIMSS-R(1999) TIMSS(2003) TIMSS(2007) TIMSS(2011) TIMSS(2015)
1.  Singapore 643
2.  South Korea 607
3.  Japan 605
4.  Hong Kong 588
5.  Flanders (Belgium) 565
6.  Czech Republic 564
7.  Slovakia 547
8.   Switzerland 545
9.  Netherlands 541
10.  Slovenia 541
1.  India 604
2.  South Korea 587
3.  Taiwan 585
4.  Hong Kong 582
5.  Japan 579
6.  Flanders (Belgium) 558
7.  Netherlands 540
8.  Slovakia 534
9.  Hungary 532
10.  Canada 531
1.  Singapore 605
2.  South Korea 589
3.  Hong Kong 586
4.  Taiwan 585
5.  Japan 570
6.  Flanders (Belgium) 537
7.  Netherlands 536
8.  Estonia 531
9.  Hungary 529
10.  Malaysia 508
1.  Taiwan 598
2.  South Korea 597
3.  Singapore 593
4.  Hong Kong 572
5.  Japan 570
6.  Hungary 517
7.  England (and Wales) 513
8.  Russia 512
9.  United States 508
10.  Lithuania 506
1.  South Korea 613
2.  Singapore 611
3.  Taiwan 609
4.  Hong Kong 586
5.  Japan 570
6.  Russia 539
7.  Israel 516
8.  Finland 514
9.  United States 509
10.  England (and Wales) 507
1.  Singapore 621
2.  South Korea 606
3.  Taiwan 599
4.  Hong Kong 594
5.  Japan 586
6.  Russia 538
7.  Kazakhstan 528
8.  Canada 527
9.  Ireland 523
10.  United States 518
10.  England 518

Science[edit]

Fourth grade[edit]

TIMSS(1995) TIMSS(2003) TIMSS(2007) TIMSS(2011) TIMSS(2015)
1.  South Korea 597
2.  Japan 574
3.  United States 565
4.  Austria 565
5.  Australia 562
6.  Netherlands 557
7.  Czech Republic 557
8.  England 551
9.  Canada 549
10.  Singapore 547
1.  Singapore 565
2.  Taiwan 551
3.  Japan 543
4.  Hong Kong 542
5.  England (and Wales) 540
6.  United States 536
7.  Latvia 532
8.  Hungary 530
9.  Russia 526
10.  Netherlands 525
1.  Singapore 587
2.  Taiwan 557
3.  Hong Kong 554
4.  Japan 548
5.  Russia 546
6.  Latvia 542
7.  England (and Wales) 542
8.  United States 539
9.  Hungary 536
10.  Italy 535
1.  South Korea 587
2.  Singapore 583
3.  Finland 570
4.  Japan 559
5.  Russia 552
6.  Taiwan 552
7.  United States 544
8.  Czech Republic 536
9.  Hong Kong 535
10.  Hungary 534
1.  Singapore 590
2.  South Korea 589
3.  Japan 569
4.  Russia 567
5.  Hong Kong 557
6.  Taiwan 555
7.  Finland 554
8.  Kazakhstan 550
9.  Poland 547
10.  United States 546

Eighth grade[edit]

TIMSS(1995) TIMSS-R(1999) TIMSS(2003) TIMSS(2007) TIMSS(2011) TIMSS(2015)
1.  Singapore 607
2.  Czech Republic 574
3.  Japan 571
4.  South Korea 565
5.  Bulgaria 565
6.  Netherlands 560
7.  Slovenia 560
8.  Australia 558
9.  Hungary 554
10.  England (and Wales) 552
1.  Taiwan 569
2.  Singapore 568
3.  Hungary 552
4.  Japan 550
5.  South Korea 549
6.  Netherlands 545
7.  Australia 540
8.  Czech Republic 539
9.  England (and Wales) 538
10.  Finland 535
1.  Singapore 578
2.  Taiwan 571
3.  South Korea 558
4.  Hong Kong 556
5.  Estonia 552
6.  Japan 552
7.  Hungary 543
8.  Netherlands 536
9.  United States 527
10.  Australia 527
1.  Singapore 567
2.  Taiwan 561
3.  Japan 554
4.  South Korea 553
5.  England (and Wales) 542
6.  Hungary 539
7.  Czech Republic 539
8.  Slovenia 538
9.  Hong Kong 530
10.  Russia 530
1.  Singapore 590
2.  Taiwan 564
3.  South Korea 560
4.  Japan 558
5.  Finland 552
6.  Slovenia 543
7.  Russia 542
8.  Hong Kong 535
9.  England (and Wales) 533
10.  United States 525
1.  Singapore 597
2.  Japan 571
3.  Taiwan 569
4.  South Korea 556
5.  Slovenia 551
6.  Hong Kong 546
7.  Russia 544
8.  England 537
9.  Kazakhstan 533
10.  Ireland 530
10.  United States 530

All average country scores[edit]

TIMSS and other international math and science studies[edit]

Hanushek and Woessman[18] developed a methodology to rescale 14 different international comparisons of math and / or science achievement to make them comparable. This includes the FIMS, FISS, and PISA, mentioned above, with TIMSS.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "TIMSS 2015 and TIMSS Advanced 2015 International Results". TIMSS International Study Center. Retrieved 15 December 2016. 
  2. ^ "TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center". Retrieved 15 December 2016. 
  3. ^ Hanushek and Woessman (2015, Table 2.1, p. 18).
  4. ^ a b c d "TIMSS 2011 Participating Countries". Retrieved 21 Nov 2016. 
  5. ^ "TIMSS 2011 International Results in Mathematics" (PDF). TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center. p. 36. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "Pursuing Excellence: Comparisons of International Eighth-Grade Mathematics and Science Achievement from a U.S. Perspective, 1995 and 1999" (PDF). U.S. Department of Education. December 2000. p. 2. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  7. ^ http://www.iea.nl/timss-1995
  8. ^ http://www.iea.nl/timss-1999
  9. ^ "TIMSS 1999 Participants". timssandpirls.bc.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-21. 
  10. ^ http://www.iea.nl/timss-2003
  11. ^ center, international study. "TIMSS 2003 Countries Participating". timssandpirls.bc.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-21. 
  12. ^ http://www.iea.nl/timss-2007
  13. ^ http://www.iea.nl/timss-2011
  14. ^ http://www.iea.nl/timss-2015
  15. ^ "About TIMSS 2015 – TIMSS 2015 and TIMSS Advanced 2015 International Results". timssandpirls.bc.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-21. 
  16. ^ http://www.iea.nl/sites/default/files/studies/T2019_eTIMSS_BROCHURE.pdf
  17. ^ http://www.timssvideo.com/timss-video-study
  18. ^ Hanushek and Woessman (2015, esp. Table 2.1 and Appendix 2A, pp. 18, 29-37)

References[edit]

  • Hanushek, Eric A.; Woessmann, Ludger (2015), The knowledge capital of nations, CESifo, ISBN 978-0-262-02917-9 .

External links[edit]