secondary school who had studied advanced mathematics and physics. IEA
first assessed such students in 1995, and, thus, the 2008 assessment
provides trends between 1995 and 2008 for several countries. Ten
countries participated in TIMSS Advanced 2008, including Armenia, Italy,
Iran, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Norway, the Philippines, the Russian
Federation, Slovenia, and Sweden.
The TIMSS Advanced 2008 report provides extensive data on contexts for
learning collected from students, their teachers and schools, and from
the participating countries. Much of the value of TIMSS Advanced 2008
resides in considering the achievement results in relation to key
contextual variables, such as aspects of the countries educational
programs and students’ educational experiences.
The students assessed in TIMSS Advanced 2008 represent carefully defined
populations of students taking courses in advanced mathematics and/or
physics in their final year of secondary school. The percentages of
students having received the most elite mathematics education in each of
the participating countries ranged from nearly half the students in
Slovenia—40.5 percent—to 1.4 percent in the Russian Federation and just
about 1 percent in the Philippines. In physics, these percentages are
more comparable across countries, ranging from 11 percent in Sweden to
2.6 percent in the Russian Federation.
The participating countries’ mathematics and physics programs varied
considerably in duration and intensity. Across countries duration of
these programs ranges from a minimum of two to a maximum of five years.
Number of hours of instruction varies from 760 hours to 200 hours spread
over the duration of the program. In most countries students had fewer
instructional hours in physics than in mathematics.
The 10 countries participating in the advanced mathematics assessment
had considerable differences in their average achievement. The Russian
Federation, the Netherlands, and Lebanon had average achievement higher
than the international scale average of 500. Iran was close to the scale
average (497), and the rest of the participating countries all had
average achievement significantly below the scale average.
The Netherlands was the top-performing country in physics, by nearly 50
score points. The next highest achieving countries, Slovenia and Norway,
had very similar average achievement. These three countries, together
with the Russian Federation, performed above the scale average. Sweden
and Armenia had average achievement very close to the average, and Iran,
Lebanon, and Italy had average achievement below the scale average. With
the exception of the Netherlands, most countries had a wide range
between the highest and lowest achieving students.
In most countries, the majority of students taking advanced courses in
mathematics and physics were males, and males generally had higher
average achievement in these subjects.
See more of: Education
See more of: Symposia