The Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) is sponsored by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), and is the largest, most comprehensive and ambitious comparative study of mathematics and science ever undertaken. Australia participates in the studies through the Australian Council for Educational Research. The TIMSS investigates mathematics and science achievement at three different levels of schooling: mid primary; lower secondary; and final year.
The survey is conducted in 45 countries around the world. Participants in Australia are spread over the country from a number of different schools for each population group in the study.
Previously irregular. Now planned to be collected at lower secondary level every four years. Data were collected in Australia for TIMSS-Repeat in 1998. The next collection is scheduled for 2002 in southern hemisphere countries, 2003 in northern hemisphere countries.
Results from TIMSS have been published for middle primary school and junior secondary school students for Australian States and Territories:
Lokan, J., Ford, P. & Greenwood, L. 1996, Maths and Science on the Line - Australian Junior Secondary Students' Performance in the Third International Mathematics and Science Study,
Lokan, J., Ford, P. & Greenwood, L. 1997, Maths and Science on the Line - Australian Middle Primary Students' Performance in the Third International Mathematics and Science Study
Maths and Science on the Line - Australian Year 12 Students' Performance in the Third International Mathematics and Science Study
TIMSS Australia Monograph No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, Australian Council for Educational Research, Melbourne.
International results: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 2000, Measuring Student Knowledge and Skill: The PISA 2000 Assessment of Reading, Mathematical and Scientific Literacy, OECD, Paris.
The international TIMSS data base, including the Australian data for all three TIMSS populations, can be downloaded from the Boston College TIMSS web site
International reports can also be accessed from this web site.
FREQUENCY OF DATA AVAILABILITY
Late 1994 for primary and secondary students, and 1995 for final year students. 1998 repeat for lower secondary level. Now planned to be collected at lower secondary level every four years.
Student achievement in Maths and Science as measured by tests.
Age and gender
Country of birth
Outside school activities
Self perceived ability
Attitudes to school
Age and gender
Outside school hours work
Requirements for students to do well
Familiarity with curriculum
Use of text books
Limits on teaching
Perceived social value
School levels served
Usage of time
Influence on curriculum
School environment and safety
Time spent by teachers in classrooms
Also includes a document analysis of curriculum guides and textbooks to understand the intended curriculum.
Information is available for Australia and for each State and Territory, except for Year 12 results as the sample is too small. It is also possible to compare Australia's results with the international survey results.
For information on the Knowledge-based Economy and Society see Discussion Paper Measuring a Knowledge-based Economy and Society.