Cross-national achievement studies: learning from South Africa's participation in the trends in international mathematics and science study (TIMSS)

SOURCE: Compare: A Journal of Comparative Education
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2005
TITLE AUTHOR(S): V.Reddy
KEYWORDS: MATHEMATICS TEACHING, SCIENCE TEACHING
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 1941

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Abstract

This article explores the potential of cross-national achievement studies through a critical reflection upon the experience of South Africa's participation in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science study (TIMSS). There are a growing number of multi-country and international achievement studies. While recognizing the limitations of these studies, this article considers how far these studies can be an effective tool for the generation of in-country information that can usefully inform policy and practice. It is argued that improvements can be made by using a simpler methodology for the analysis and presentation of information; better ways of analyzing the influence of domestic dimensions of poverty, inequality and social stratification; and improved strategies for assessing progress over time against national baselines. The article concludes with a set of questions for systems to consider when thinking about participating in international or multi-country achievement studies.