• TIMSS 2019: gender, performance and attitudes towards learning in mathematics and science – some implications for schools

    UCL IOE TIMSS team

    UCL IOE led the research and analysis for TIMSS 2019 and is doing so again for TIMSS 2023; as a research team we are interested in the experiences of the test takers, and central to our explorations of the TIMSS19 data was performance in the tests and how this differed according to the gender of participants. An equally important feature was exploring by gender the ‘voice’ of participating pupils articulated through survey questionnaires, and their attitudes towards learning in mathematics and science.  Like many studies, TIMSS avoids the terms sex and gender, and offers ‘Male’ or ‘Female’ (here, we use ‘girls’ and ‘boys’). 

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  • A positive press: what does TIMSS tell us that English schools do well?

    UCL IOE led the research and analysis for TIMSS 2019 and is doing so again for TIMSS 2023. Reflecting on TIMSS 2019 raised the question, ‘What do our primary and secondary schools do well, in relation to mathematics and science?’ Answers allow us to value what our young people achieve, and the professional and other support they have in achieving it. A key question for 2023 will of course be, ‘To what extent have schools maintained and perhaps extended what they do well, through the last four years that have included the pandemic?’

    The TIMSS 2019 National Report shows that young people in England performed, on average, significantly1 above the TIMSS centre point (500) in mathematics and science in both years 5 and 9, and across almost all content areas. In mathematics, both year groups were good at handling data, an area that is ever-more important in our data-saturated world. 2019 performance in year 5 mathematics improved significantly from all previous cycles. In mathematics, many more students hit the advanced, high and intermediate international benchmarks and performed well when compared to both other English- speaking countries, and those in a representative ‘comparator’ group of other European countries.

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  • Digging deeper into TIMSS data

    In 2019 England participated for the 7th time in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). Our research team at UCL Institute of Education in London are interested in how the TIMSS results relate to what we already know about pupils of a similar age – Years 6 and 11 – gleaned from the National Pupil Database and key stage 2 tests/GCSEs. We looked at the 2019 data rather than data from 2020 or 2021 for two reasons – that was the year of the TIMSS study but more importantly it was the last year unaffected by Covid-19.

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  • TIMSS 2023

    The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) is an assessment of mathematics and science performance that has been monitoring global trends in pupil attainment at Years 5 and 9 since 1995. TIMSS takes place every 4 years in over 60 countries; it provides internationally-comparable data about performance and how this relates to pupils’ attitudes, gender and background. TIMSS also includes surveys of teachers and school leaders to gather information about their views on teaching and resources for mathematics and science. 

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