International comparative studies in mathematics: lessons for improving students' learning
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Comparative studies provide information on students' achievement as examined in the context of the world's varied educational institutions, and they also help identify effective aspects of educational practice. Postlethwaite (1988) identified four objectives of comparative studies:
1. Identifying what is happening in different countries that might help improve education systems and outcomes;
2. Describing similarities and differences in educational phenomena between systems of education and interpreting why these exist;
3. Estimating the relative effects of variables that are thought to be determinants of educational outcomes (both within and between systems of education); and
4. Identifying general principles concerning educational effects.