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Asian Students Top Latest Global Math, Science Study

Date:
December 11, 2008
Source:
Boston College
Summary:
Students from Asian countries were top performers in math and science at both the fourth and eighth grade levels, according to TIMSS 2007, the world's largest assessment of student math and science achievement, with 425,000 students surveyed across 59 countries.

Students from Asian countries were top performers in math and science at both the fourth and eighth grade levels, according to the most recent reports of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), released by the study's directors Michael O. Martin and Ina V.S. Mullis of Boston College.

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In mathematics, at the fourth grade level, Hong Kong SAR and Singapore were the top performing countries, followed by Chinese Taipei and Japan. Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, England, Latvia, and the Netherlands also performed very well. In mathematics achievement at the eighth grade, Chinese Taipei, Korea, and Singapore were followed by Hong Kong SAR and Japan. There was a substantial gap in average mathematics achievement between the five Asian countries and the next group of four similarly performing countries, including Hungary, England, the Russian Federation, and the United States.

In science, students from Singapore and Chinese Taipei were top performers at both grade levels. In science achievement at the fourth grade, Singapore was the top performing country, followed by Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong SAR. Japan, the Russian Federation, Latvia, England, the United States, Hungary, Italy, and Kazakhstan also performed very well. At the eighth grade in science, Singapore and Chinese Taipei again had the highest average achievement, followed by Japan and Korea. England, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hong Kong SAR, and the Russian Federation also performed well. Countries and scores are listed below.

TIMSS is one of the world's most influential global assessments of student achievement in math and science. With more than 60 participants and 425,000 students assessed, TIMSS 2007 also is the largest study of student math and science achievement in the world. Each country sampled approximately 4,000 students in 150 schools.

The TIMSS 2007 report also provides data at the fourth and eighth grades for those countries that also participated in TIMSS 1995, 1999 and 2003.

"One of the great strengths of TIMSS is the ability to monitor progress in educational improvement over time," said TIMSS Directors Michael O. Martin and Ina V.S. Mullis of Boston College. "Such trend information is crucial in helping policy makers understand the impact of decisions about investment in education, curricular reform, and initiatives to improve instruction."

As with previous TIMSS reports, TIMSS 2007 data provide invaluable international benchmarks that can be used to help define world-class performance in mathematics and science at the middle or lower-secondary school level. Beyond comparisons in mathematics and science test scores, they said, the reports provide a wealth of information on educational policies and practices around the world, as well as on gender performance, home environment, curriculum and instructional approaches and teacher preparation in math and science.

About TIMSS

TIMSS, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, is the largest assessment of international student achievement in the world and was the first to provide data about trends in math and science achievement over time.

TIMSS is a project of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) headquartered in Amsterdam, and is directed by the TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center at Boston College in collaboration with a worldwide network of organizations and representatives from the participating countries.

TIMSS 2007 is the fourth in a continuing cycle of international mathematics and science assessments conducted every four years. TIMSS assesses achievement in countries around the world and collects a rich array of information about the educational contexts for learning mathematics and science.

The TIMSS 2007 report involved more than 60 participants: it contains science results for 37 countries and 7 benchmarking participants at the fourth grade and for 50 countries and 7 benchmarking participants at the eighth grade. Each country sampled approximately 4,000 students in 150 schools. Trend data are provided at the fourth and eighth grades for those countries that also participated in 1995, 1999, and 2003.

To inform educational policy in the participating countries, TIMSS also routinely collects extensive background information that addresses concerns about the quantity, quality and content of instruction. TIMSS 2007 offers detailed information about mathematics and science curriculum coverage and implementation, as well as teacher preparation, resource availability and the use of technology.

TIMSS 2007 Participants

Participating countries: Algeria, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, El Salvador, England, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Republic of Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Palestinian National Authority, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Serbia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United States, Yemen. Benchmarking entities include the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec in Canada; Dubai (United Arab Emirates); Basque Country in Spain, and Massachusetts and Minnesota in the United States.

The full TIMSS 2007 reports are available on-line at timss.bc.edu TIMSS 2007 Data Exhibits Summarizing Principal Achievement Results (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study)

Mathematics Achievement at the 4th Grade

Country Average Scale Score (TIMSS Scale Average 500)

  1. Hong Kong SAR 607
  2. Singapore 599
  3. Chinese Taipei 576
  4. Japan 568
  5. Kazakhstan 549
  6. Russian Federation 544
  7. England 541
  8. Latvia 537
  9. Netherlands 535
  10. Lithuania 530
  11. United States 529
  12. Germany 525
  13. Denmark 523
  14. Australia 516
  15. Hungary 510
  16. Italy 507
  17. Austria 505
  18. Sweden 503
  19. Slovenia 502
  20. Armenia 500
  21. Slovak Republic 496
  22. Scotland 494
  23. New Zealand 492
  24. Czech Republic 486
  25. Norway 473
  26. Ukraine 469
  27. Georgia 438
  28. Iran, Islamic Rep. of 402
  29. Algeria 378
  30. Colombia 355
  31. Morocco 341
  32. El Salvador 330
  33. Tunisia 327
  34. Kuwait 316
  35. Qatar 296
  36. Yemen 224
  37. Benchmarking Participants
  38. Massachusetts, US 572
  39. Minnesota, US 554
  40. Quebec, Canada 519
  41. Ontario, Canada 512
  42. Alberta, Canada 505
  43. British Columbia, Canada 505
  44. Dubai, UAE 444

Science Achievement at the 4th Grade

Country Average Scale Score (TIMSS Scale Average 500)

  1. Singapore 587
  2. Chinese Taipei 557
  3. Hong Kong SAR 554
  4. Japan 548
  5. Russian Federation 546
  6. Latvia 542
  7. England 542
  8. United States 539
  9. Hungary 536
  10. Italy 535
  11. Kazakhstan 533
  12. Germany 528
  13. Australia 527
  14. Slovak Republic 526
  15. Austria 526
  16. Sweden 525
  17. Netherlands 523
  18. Slovenia 518
  19. Denmark 517
  20. Czech Republic 515
  21. Lithuania 514
  22. New Zealand 504
  23. Scotland 500
  24. Armenia 484
  25. Norway 477
  26. Ukraine 474
  27. Iran, Islamic Rep. of 436
  28. Georgia 418
  29. Colombia 400
  30. El Salvador 390
  31. Algeria 354
  32. Kuwait 348
  33. Tunisia 318
  34. Morocco 297
  35. Qatar 294
  36. Yemen 197

Benchmarking Participants

  1. Massachusetts, US 571
  2. Minnesota, US 551
  3. Alberta, Canada 543
  4. British Columbia, Canada 537
  5. Ontario, Canada 536
  6. Quebec, Canada 517
  7. Dubai, UAE 460

Mathematics Achievement at the 8th Grade

Country Average Scale Score (TIMSS Scale Average 500)

  1. Chinese Taipei 598
  2. Korea, Rep. of 597
  3. Singapore 593
  4. Hong Kong SAR 572
  5. Japan 570
  6. Hungary 517
  7. England 513
  8. Russian Federation 512
  9. United States 508
  10. Lithuania 506
  11. Czech Republic 504
  12. Slovenia 501
  13. Armenia 499
  14. Australia 496
  15. Sweden 491
  16. Malta 488
  17. Scotland 487
  18. Serbia 486
  19. Italy 480
  20. Malaysia 474
  21. Norway 469
  22. Cyprus 465
  23. Bulgaria 464
  24. Israel 463
  25. Ukraine 462
  26. Romania 461
  27. Bosnia and Herzegovina 456
  28. Lebanon 449
  29. Thailand 441
  30. Turkey 432
  31. Jordan 427
  32. Tunisia 420
  33. Georgia 410
  34. Iran, Islamic Rep. of 403
  35. Bahrain 398
  36. Indonesia 397
  37. Syrian Arab Republic 395
  38. Egypt 391
  39. Algeria 387
  40. Colombia 380
  41. Oman 372
  42. Palestinian Nat'l Auth. 367
  43. Botswana 364
  44. Kuwait 354
  45. El Salvador 340
  46. Saudi Arabia 329
  47. Ghana 309
  48. Qatar 307
  49. Morocco 381

Benchmarking Participants

  1. Massachusetts, US 547
  2. Minnesota, US 532
  3. Quebec, Canada 528
  4. Ontario, Canada 517
  5. British Columbia, Canada 509
  6. Basque Country, Spain 499
  7. Dubai, UAE 461

Science Achievement at the 8th Grade

Country Average Scale Score (TIMSS Scale Average 500)

  1. Singapore 567
  2. Chinese Taipei 561
  3. Japan 554
  4. Korea, Rep. of 553
  5. England 542
  6. Hungary 539
  7. Czech Republic 539
  8. Slovenia 538
  9. Hong Kong SAR 530
  10. Russian Federation 530
  11. United States 520
  12. Lithuania 519
  13. Australia 515
  14. Sweden 511
  15. Scotland 496
  16. Italy 495
  17. Armenia 488
  18. Norway 487
  19. Ukraine 485
  20. Jordan 482
  21. Malaysia 471
  22. Thailand 471
  23. Serbia 470
  24. Bulgaria 470
  25. Israel 468
  26. Bahrain 467
  27. Bosnia and Herzegovina 466
  28. Romania 462
  29. Iran, Islamic Rep. of 459
  30. Malta 457
  31. Turkey 454
  32. Syrian Arab Republic 452
  33. Cyprus 452
  34. Tunisia 445
  35. Indonesia 427
  36. Oman 423
  37. Georgia 421
  38. Kuwait 418
  39. Colombia 417
  40. Lebanon 414
  41. Egypt 408
  42. Algeria 408
  43. Palestinian Nat'l Auth. 404
  44. Saudi Arabia 403
  45. El Salvador 387
  46. Botswana 355
  47. Qatar 319
  48. Ghana 303
  49. Morocco 402

Benchmarking Participants

  1. Massachusetts, US 556
  2. Minnesota, US 539
  3. Ontario, Canada 526
  4. British Columbia, Canada 526
  5. Quebec, Canada 507
  6. Basque Country, Spain 498
  7. Dubai, UAE 489

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston College. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Boston College. "Asian Students Top Latest Global Math, Science Study." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081210171906.htm>.
Boston College. (2008, December 11). Asian Students Top Latest Global Math, Science Study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081210171906.htm
Boston College. "Asian Students Top Latest Global Math, Science Study." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081210171906.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

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