TIMSS 2007 – How are we all doing in math?
[15 Jan 2009]
The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2007 was released recently.
Students in Grade 4 (from 36 countries) and Grade 8 (48 countries) sit for math and science tests to determine how each country is performing. Singapore and other Asian countries have done well in the TIMSS since its inception in 1995.
The math portion of the TIMMS tests the following concepts (with percent of the test shown for grade 8):
Data and chance 19%
At grade 8 level, the top 8 performing countries were: Chinese Taipei, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Hungary, the Russian Federation and USA.
Compared to the 1995 TIMSS, Singapore’s average math score has dropped 16 points, while the USA’s has improved by 16 points. (The highest score is around 600 and the average is 500).
Singapore is top dog at grade 4 level math, followed by Hong Kong SAR, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Kazakhstan, England, Russian Federation, and USA.
There is an interesting section in the report about gender differences in each country that participated. In some countries, males performed significantly better than females (Colombia, Italy, Austria, Germany in Grade 4 and Columbia, Ghana, Australia in Grade 8), while in other countries, females performed better (the most notable being Egypt, Singapore, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Kuwait, Bahrain, Thailand — some surprises in this list…).
There’s also a breakdown by ethnic groups in the US.
Here’s the link to the full report: TIMSS 2007 (PDF).
Anayze the Data Yourself
The TIMSS site has an interesting interactive data analyzer for the TIMSS, by AIR Lighthouse.
AIR Lighthouse empowers the users to ask their own questions of complex datasets without specialized research or statistical skills. Users can create custom-run tables, graphs and other statistics over the Internet. This product is designed to integrate multiple complex surveys, assessments, or other data collections.
You can select information by country, by grade, by student attitude, computer access and many other variables. You can draw graphs and tables for the selections that you make.