The results released by TIMSS showed that in the past ten years, many new mathematics and science courses have been implemented worldwide. This is the longest large-scale international mathematics and science education evaluation in the world. The IEA TIMSS assessment, guided by the TIMSS&PIRLS International Study Center of Boston College, was conducted in 64 countries and eight benchmark systems in 2019.
Since 2010, approximately two-thirds of TIMSS 2019 countries have reported new or updated math and science courses, while other countries are currently revising their courses. Countries also reported that children were provided with an early foundation in mathematics and science, and in most countries, these topics were included in national early childhood curricula.
In addition, some countries reported that their policies reflected the importance of technology. Approximately four-fifths of countries reported that they have formulated national policies related to information and communication technology and digital devices in the teaching of mathematics and science, ranging from the extensive development of digital capabilities to the use of technology to support specific math and science curriculum goals.
The results of the survey were published online in the “TIMSS 2019 Encyclopedia: Mathematics and Science Education Policies and Curriculum”. Another volume of the report contained the latest global achievements, TIMSS 2019 International Mathematics and Science Achievements, was released on December 8th 2020.
The TIMSS 2019 encyclopedia presents the curve of mathematics and science education in each TIMSS 2019 country and as a benchmarking system, it is an important aspect for understanding the results of national mathematics and science performance.
Each participating country and benchmarking system has written a chapter describing its education system, primary and secondary school math and science curriculum, teacher professional development requirements and plans, methods for monitoring student progress, and special measures for math and science education.
These chapters and the comparative data on the characteristics of early childhood education, mathematics and science courses and teaching, and the preparation methods and requirements for teachers and principals provided by countries give a comprehensive introduction to the situation of mathematics and science education around the world.
Dr. Stanton EF Wortham, Dean of Boston College’s Lynch School of Education and Human Development, said: “The TIMSS 2019 Encyclopedia is an essential resource that contains comprehensive data on global mathematics and science education. “This book provides a rich source of information for researchers who are committed to understanding how countries organize math and science education and prepare young people for a changing world. “
TIMSS 2019 is the seventh cycle of TIMSS, which has been conducted every four years since 1995.
Dr. Ina Mullis, one of the executive directors of the TIMSS&PIRLS International Research Center, said: “The country is adapting to the changing needs of today’s highly interconnected and technologically advanced world.” “Policy makers and educators believe that it is important to equip students with mathematical and scientific skills. This will help students participate in a rapidly growing global community.”
Other highlights in the TIMSS 2019 encyclopedia include:
Mathematics and science are core subjects. Therefore about one-quarter to one-third of the teaching time is given to these subjects in the fourth and eighth grades in many countries. Among them, time for mathematics in the fourth grade accounts for a larger proportion, while time for science in the eighth grade accounts more.
The mathematics and science curriculum goals of various countries are largely consistent with the mathematics and science content and skills assessed by TIMSS. The differences in curriculum goals and themes addressed in primary science courses in countries are greater than those in mathematics courses.
Problem solving is an important part of the mathematics curriculum in many countries, even a core part in some cases . The development of scientific inquiry skills is crucial in science curricula in many countries.