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 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 are evaluated. Furthermore, for each student, contextual data on the learning conditions in mathematics and science are collected from the participating students, their teachers and their principals via separate questionnaires.[1]

TIMSS is one of the studies established by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) aimed at allowing educational systems to compare students' educational achievement and learn from the experiences of others in designing effective education policy. This study was first conducted in 1995, and has been performed every 4 years thereafter. In most of the cycles the study assesses 4th and 8th grade students. Therefore, some of the participating educational systems have trend data across assessments from 1995 to 2011.[2]

Another worldwide study that evaluates students’ math and science performance is the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and is conducted by OECD.

History[edit]

TIMSS was first performed in 1995 as the largest international student assessment study of its time and evaluated students in 5 grades. In the second cycle (1999) only eighth-grade students were tested. In the next cycles (2003, 2007 and 2011) both 4th and 8th grade students were assessed. The latest cycle (2011) was performed in the same year as Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), offering a comprehensive assessment of math, science and reading for the countries attended both studies. The sixth cycle will be conducted in 2015, the results will be ready in 2016 and the data set will be published in February 2017. TIMSS 2015 will include the data collected from parents for the first time.[3] Moreover, TIMSS Advanced will be conducted along with the TIMSS 2015. TIMSS Advanced, conducted in 1995 and 2008 as well, will assess final-year secondary students' achievement in advanced mathematics and physics. Policy-relevant data about curriculum emphasis, technology use, and teacher preparation and training will accompany TIMSS Advanced results.

Method, Data and Documentation[edit]

Along with the overall students’ achievement data, TIMSS comprehensive assessments include data on student performance in different 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 respectively by students, teachers, school principals and National Research Coordinators.

According to TIMSS 2011 international result in Math “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”.[4]

Due to the fact that TIMSS studies are done in 4-year cycles, it opens the opportunity for participating counties to use the results between the fourth and the 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.[5]

The collected information is presented in different formats. For example for TIMSS 2011, the results are presented in "TIMSS International Results in Science". , and "TIMSS International Results in Mathematics". . Also, "TIMSS Encyclopedia".  provides an overview of the national contexts for mathematics and science education in the participating countries. Besides, "Methods and procedures in TIMSS and PIRLS".  documents the development of the TIMSS and PIRLS assessments and questionnaires and describes the methods used. Moreover, "TIMSS user guide".  describes the content and format of the data in the TIMSS 2011 International Database. The fully documented TIMSS 2011 international database can be downloaded from the "TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center’s website". .

The IEA DPC has developed a facilitating application for working with TIMSS and other IEA's large-scale assessments called the "IEA International Database (IDB) Analyzer". . This application assists in combining data files and helps with conducting 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 in the computation of statistics and their standard errors. In addition it facilitates the estimating achievement scores and their standard errors .

Also for overviewing of the IEA study results and interpretation of information, IEA "Data Visualizer".  can come in handy.

Cycles[edit]

In TIMSS 1995 study, there were 41 educational systems in five grades (third, fourth, seventh, eighth, and the final year of secondary school).[6] In 1999, TIMSS only focused on the eighth grade in 38 educational systems. There was no study done for the fourth grade in that year. In TIMSS 2003, there were 26 educational systems in the study for the fourth grade and 48 for the eighth grade. In TIMSS 2007, 44 educational systems participated in the fourth grade and 57 educational systems in the eighth grade. TIMSS 2011 had 52 participating educational systems for the fourth grade and 45 for the eighth grade.[7]

In TIMSS 2011, nationally representative samples of students in 63 countries and 14 benchmarking entities participated in the fourth grade assessment, the eighth grade assessment, or both. And in each country, almost 4,000 students from 150–200 schools participated at each grade. In some of the participating educational systems where the assessment was too difficult for fourth and eighth grade students, the assessments were administered to 6th and 9th grade students.[8]

Cooperative Partners[edit]

TIMSS project depends on the collaboration of a large number of individuals and organizations around the world including the IEA Data Processing and Research Center, TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center at Boston College, the IEA Secretariat, Statistics Canada, and Educational Testing Service (ETS). In the United States, TIMSS is conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics of the U.S. Department of Education. Data for US students is further tracked for ethnic and racial groups. TIMSS is mainly funded by the participating countries. Also, US National Center for Education Statistics of the US Department of Education and the World Bank provide major support funding of the studies.[9]

Top 10 countries by subject and year[edit]

In TIMSS 1995 study, there were 25 participating countries for the fourth grade[10] and 41 counties for the eighth grade.[11] In 1999, TIMSS-R only focused on the eighth grade in 38 countries. There was no study done for the fourth grade in that year.[12] In TIMSS 2003, there were 25 participating countries in the study for the fourth grade and 46 countries for the eighth grade.[13][14] TIMSS 2007 had 36 participating counties for the fourth grade and 49 counties for the eighth grade.[15][16] TIMSS 2011 had 52 participating countries for the fourth grade and 45 countries for the eighth grade.[17][18]

Due to the fact that TIMSS studies are done in 4-year cycle, it opens the opportunity for participating counties to use the results between the fourth and the eight 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 are used to compare with the results of the eighth grade in TIMSS-R 1999 as fourth graders had become eighth graders in the next cycle of study.[5]

Math[edit]

Fourth grade[edit]

TIMSS(1995)TIMSS2003TIMSS2007TIMSS2011
1. Malaysia625
2. Uruguay611
3. India597
4. Indonesia587
5. Netherlands577
6. Czech Republic567
7. Austria559
8. Slovenia552
9. Ireland550
10. Hungary548
1. Singapore594
2. Hong Kong575
3. Japan565
4. Taiwan564
5. Flanders (Belgium)551
6. Netherlands540
7. Latvia536
8. Lithuania534
9. Russia532
10. England (and Wales)531
1. Hong Kong607
2. Singapore599
3. Taiwan576
4. Japan568
5. Kazakhstan549
6. Russia544
7. England (and Wales)541
8. Latvia537
9. Netherlands535
10. Lithuania530
1. Singapore606
2. South Korea605
3. Hong Kong602
4. Taiwan591
5. Japan585
6. Northern Ireland562
7. Flanders (Belgium)549
8. Finland545
9. England (and Wales)542
10. Russia542

Eighth grade[edit]

TIMSS(1995)TIMSS-R(1999)TIMSS2003TIMSS2007TIMSS2011
1. Singapore643
2. South Korea607
3. Japan605
4. Hong Kong588
5. Flanders (Belgium)565
6. Czech Republic564
7. Slovakia547
8. Switzerland545
9. Netherlands541
10. Slovenia541
1. Singapore604
2. South Korea587
3. Taiwan585
4. Hong Kong582
5. Japan579
6. Flanders (Belgium)558
7. Netherlands540
8. Slovakia534
9. Hungary532
10. Canada531
1. Singapore605
2. South Korea589
3. Hong Kong586
4. Taiwan585
5. Japan570
6. Flanders (Belgium)537
7. Netherlands536
8. Estonia531
9. Hungary529
10. Malaysia508
1. Taiwan598
2. South Korea597
3. Singapore593
4. Hong Kong572
5. Japan570
6. Hungary517
7. England (and Wales)513
8. Russia512
9. United States508
10. Lithuania506
1. South Korea613
2. Singapore611
3. Taiwan609
4. Hong Kong586
5. Japan570
6. Russia539
7. Israel516
8. Finland514
9. United States509
10. England (and Wales)507

Science[edit]

Fourth grade[edit]

TIMSS(1995)TIMSS2003TIMSS2007TIMSS2011
1. Malaysia597
2. Japan574
3. United States565
4. Austria565
5. Australia562
6. Netherlands557
7. Czech Republic557
8. England551
9. Canada549
10. Singapore547
1. Singapore565
2. Taiwan551
3. Japan543
4. Hong Kong542
5. England (and Wales)540
6. United States536
7. Latvia532
8. Hungary530
9. Russia526
10. Netherlands525
1. Singapore587
2. Taiwan557
3. Hong Kong554
4. Japan548
5. Russia546
6. Latvia542
7. England (and Wales)542
8. United States539
9. Hungary536
10. Italy535
1. South Korea587
2. Singapore583
3. Finland570
4. Japan559
5. Russia552
6. Taiwan552
7. United States544
8. Czech Republic536
9. Hong Kong535
10. Hungary534

Eighth grade[edit]

TIMSS(1995)TIMSS-R(1999)TIMSS2003TIMSS2007TIMSS2011
1. Singapore607
2. Czech Republic574
3. Japan571
4. South Korea565
5. Bulgaria565
6. Netherlands560
7. Slovenia560
8. Australia558
9. Hungary554
10. England (and Wales)552
1. Taiwan569
2. Singapore568
3. Hungary552
4. Japan550
5. South Korea549
6. Netherlands545
7. Australia540
8. Czech Republic539
9. England (and Wales)538
10. Finland535
1. Singapore578
2. Taiwan571
3. South Korea558
4. Hong Kong556
5. Estonia552
6. Japan552
7. Hungary543
8. Netherlands536
9. United States527
10. Australia527
1. Singapore567
2. Taiwan561
3. Japan554
4. South Korea553
5. England (and Wales)542
6. Hungary539
7. Czech Republic539
8. Slovenia538
9. Hong Kong530
10. Russia530
1. Singapore590
2. Taiwan564
3. South Korea560
4. Japan558
5. Finland552
6. Slovenia543
7. Russia542
8. Hong Kong535
9. England (and Wales)533
10. United States525

All average country scores[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "TIMSS 2011 International Results in Mathematics". TIMSS International Study Center. p. 29. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center". Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement". Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  4. ^ "TIMSS 2011 International Results in Mathematics". TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center. p. 36. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Pursuing Excellence: Comparisons of International Eighth-Grade Mathematics and Science Achievement from a U.S. Perspective, 1995 and 1999". U.S. Department of Education. December 2000. p. 2. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement". Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  7. ^ "International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement". Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center". Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  9. ^ "International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement". Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  10. ^ "Highlights of Results - The Primary School Years". TIMSS 1995. TIMSS International Study Center. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "Highlights of Results - The Middle School Years". TIMSS 1995. TIMSS International Study Center. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  12. ^ "Third International Mathematics and Science Study Repeat – TIMSS 1999". TIMSS 1999. TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center. 
  13. ^ "TIMSS 2003 International Mathematics Report". TIMSS & PIIRLS International Study Center. pp. 15,34–35. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  14. ^ "TIMSS 2003 International Science Report". TIMSS & PIIRLS International Study Center. pp. 34,36–37. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "TIMSS 2007 International Mathematics Report". TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center. pp. 31,34–35. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "TIMSS 2007 International Science Report". TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center. pp. 31,34–35. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  17. ^ "TIMSS 2011 International Results in Mathematics". TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center. pp. 36, 40, 42. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  18. ^ "TIMSS 2011 International Results in Science". TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center. pp. 34, 38, 40. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 

External links[edit]