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Solving Problems in Math and Science Education Article by: Rebecca Jones Presented by: Elizabeth Tollefson ELED 415- Dr. Barrett TIMSS -Third International Mathematics and Science Study Interviews, surveys, classroom tapes, and test results Students studied from over 40 countries

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solving problems in math and science education

Solving Problems in Math and Science Education

Article by: Rebecca Jones

Presented by: Elizabeth Tollefson

ELED 415- Dr. Barrett

timss third international mathematics and science study
TIMSS-Third International Mathematics and Science Study
  • Interviews, surveys, classroom tapes, and test results
  • Students studied from over 40 countries
  • Students studied are at same grade level & academic levels
u s students timss results
U.S. Students TIMSS Results
  • 4th graders scored above the international average in both math & science
  • 8th graders slipping in both subjects
  • 12th graders scoring near the bottom of the study
how could this be
How Could This Be?

The (U.S.) students’ performance was the inevitable result of “an incoherent, unfocused, repetitive curriculum” that fails to challenge students.

William Schmidt-

U.S. Research Coordinator for TIMSS

timss solutions to u s education system
TIMSS Solutions to U.S. Education System

1. Expect more of students

2. Focus on what students should know

3. Put better-prepared teachers in the classroom

4. Insist on better textbooks

5. Make time for math & science

6. Encourage teachers to combine direct instruction with inquiry-based learning

expect more of students
Expect More of Students

1. Have higher expectations of the quality of your student’s work

2. Demand more in-depth, conceptual knowledge from students

3. Do not focus your curriculum to much on reviewing material

focus on what students should know
Focus on What Students Should Know
  • We add topics every year, but never drop anything off
  • What information do students really need to know most?
  • Sort material, find the most valuable info, and avoid redundancy
slide8
FACT:

The typical U.S. 8th grade math curriculum covers more than 35 topics, while the Japanese curriculum at the same grade level focuses on just 5 to 10 topics.

put better prepared teachers in the classroom
Put Better-Prepared Teachers in the Classroom
  • Large shortage of qualified math & science teachers
  • Problem is worse because of emergency credentials being given out
  • Offer higher salaries, give teachers more time to plan, and offer additional teacher education
teachers academy for mathematics and science in chicago
Teachers Academy for Mathematics and Science in Chicago
  • Located at Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Works with 76 of the city’s “worst” schools in terms of poverty to teach math & science instructional techniques
  • State achievement test results: Students that had been scoring 50 or 100 in math are now 200 or higher (out of a possible 500)
insist on better textbooks
Insist on Better Textbooks
  • Most U.S. textbooks are double the size than other countries textbooks
  • Unfocused, highly repetitive, bias, and incoherent
  • Insist upon research-backed materials
make time for math science
Make Time for Math & Science
  • 20% of U.S. 8th graders spend fewer than 30 minutes a day in a math class
  • AVOID interruptions- 38% of the time in US classes were wasted on interruptions, 8% in German, and 4% in Japanese
encourage teachers to combine direct instruction with inquiry based learning
Encourage Teachers to Combine Direct Instruction with Inquiry-Based Learning
  • U.S. offers a “GIVE and TELL” teaching method while in Japan teachers use an “Inquiry-Based” teaching method
  • Important to keep a balance
  • Offer exciting and intriguing problems
minnesota highest timss test scores
Minnesota: Highest TIMSS Test Scores
  • Use inquiry –based approach
  • Concentrate on 4-5 science topics each year
  • Use “out-of-the-classroom science experiences”

( ex.weather patterns & geological features)

resources
Resources
  • Jones, R. (1998). Solving Problems in Math and Science Education. American School Board Journal,185( 7),16-20.
  • Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study ( http://nces.ed.gov/timss/ )