By William H. Schmidt
Facing the Consequences provides a viewpoint on US arithmetic and technological know-how schooling that's constructed from facts collected as a part of the 3rd foreign arithmetic and technological know-how research (TIMSS). TIMSS is the main large and far-reaching cross-national comparative research of arithmetic and technological know-how schooling ever tried. It contains evaluating reliable curricula, textbooks, instructor practices, and pupil achievements for lots of international locations (from 20 to 50 international locations, reckoning on the actual comparison). millions of reliable records and textbooks have been analyzed. hundreds of thousands of academics, principals, and different specialists replied to survey questionnaires. A pattern of arithmetic lecturers in 3 international locations had their classes videotaped. thousands of kids in nearly 50 international locations have been proven in arithmetic and technological know-how.
This document provides a more in-depth examine US arithmetic and technology schooling via cautious exam of TIMSS information. The authors think this research exhibits how misleading many frequently unquestioned assumptions approximately American schooling may be. Drawing upon many new analyses now not formerly suggested and integrating those with earlier analyses of TIMSS info, the authors enhance and illustrate the argument that what occurs to American scholars is the final result of yank ideals that form academic perform and the accretion of a myriad academic offerings made in arithmetic and technology education.
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18 from a cross-country perspective is that there is great variability in what teachers taught. For most topics, some US teachers did not teach them. Only two topics (‘environment and resource issues’ at third and fourth grade, and ‘earth features’ at fourth grade) were covered by virtually all (more than 90 percent) of the teachers. On the other hand, some time was spent on each topic when averaged over all teachers. This was true for both third and fourth grades. The time devoted by teachers to any one of the 23 topics surveyed never reached 10 percent except Chapter 2: What We Teach, Who We Teach 41 for earth features.
Framework development began with fairly encyclopedic listing of topics that were then reviewed by each of the TIMSS countries. The lists were modified but were considered too lengthy for most practical purposes. They were rearranged into ‘nested’ hierarchies of categories and sub-categories. Many individual items were combined to produce broader categories, even at the lowest, most specific levels. As a result, the mathematics framework had about 40 topics in ten major categories and science had about 80 topics in a slightly smaller number of categories.
Access to various mathematical and science contents, according to the TIMSS data, varied considerably across the US and even within schools in the same (state or local) educational system, especially for eighth grade students. This occurred most often in mathematics in the form of tracking and in science in the form of participation in specialized courses (which might also reflect tracking). Differential access seems to have resulted both from intentional and incidental factors. Variation within US fragmentation presented incidental differences in educational possibilities that resulted simply from variety in local educational decisions.
Facing the Consequences: Using TIMSS for a Closer Look at U.S. Mathematics and Science Education by William H. Schmidt