Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2011
12 Dec 2012
Project Leader & Chairman of Hong Kong Centre for IEA Studies:
Professor Frederick K S Leung
Project Co-leader: Dr. Alice S L Wong
Project Team Members: Dr. Benny H W Yung, Dr. Ida A C Mok
(I) HONG KONG CONTINUES TO BE IN THE TOP POSITION OF INTERNATIONAL MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCE ASSESSMENT
The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2011 press conference, scheduled today (12 Dec 2012) at LG06 Hui Oi Chow Science Building, HKU, informed the public about the achievement in and attitudes towards mathematics and science of Primary 4 and Secondary 2 students from Hong Kong and over 60 other countries/regions.
TIMSS 2011, being the fifth cycle of the international assessment, tested more than 588,000 students worldwide. The Hong Kong component of TIMSS 2011 involved 3,957 Primary 4 students and 4,015 Secondary 2 students from 136 primary and 117 secondary schools, respectively.
The Chairman of Hong Kong Centre for IEA Studies, Professor Frederick Leung, announced the findings of TIMSS 2011 at the press conference after the official international press release in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on December 11, 2012. Professor Leung said, “This is the fifth time Hong Kong participated in TIMSS since 1995. Students in Hong Kong, and also in many of the East Asian countries, continue to do very well in mathematics and science in this cycle of the study. TIMSS not only informs us about the prevailing standings of different countries’ mathematics and science achievement, but also the changes in achievement across time.”
In mathematics, Singapore, Korea and Hong Kong are the top-performing countries/regions in the Primary 4 sample. Their students’ mathematics results are significantly higher than the rest of the participating countries/regions. Performance of Chinese Taipei and Japan immediately follow after. At Secondary 2, the top performing countries/regions are Korea, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong and Japan. Students in these East Asian countries/regions outperformed their counterparts in other participating countries/regions as in the previous cycles of TIMSS.
In science, the performance of Primary 4 students in Korea and Singapore is significantly better than other countries/regions in the sample. Students in Finland, Japan, Russian Federation, Chinese Taipei, United States, Czech Republic and Hong Kong also performed well in the study. At Secondary 2, the science achievement of students in Singapore is significantly higher than the rest of the participating countries/regions. Other well-performing countries/regions include Chinese Taipei, Korea, Japan, Finland, Slovenia, Russian Federation and Hong Kong.
(II) Other Key Findings for Hong Kong:
1. Trends in Achievement
In the past 16 years, the mathematics achievement in Hong Kong has been very consistent across all waves of TIMSS. At Primary 4, the 2011 result is significantly higher than the results in 2003 and 1995. At Secondary 2, the 2011 mathematics achievement is not significantly higher than those identified in many of the previous cycles (2007, 2003 and 1999), except for TIMSS 1995, where students performed significantly lower than the students in this cycle.
For science at Primary 4, the 2011 achievement is significantly lower than that in 2007. However, the performance in the latest study is still significantly better than the performance in 1995. At Secondary 2, the 2011 achievement is not significantly different from the results in 2007 and 1999, and it is significantly higher than the achievement in 1995. The science performance in 2003 was highest among all cycles.
2. International “Advanced” Benchmarks
Hong Kong has nearly two-fifths of the Primary 4 students reaching the “advanced” benchmark of mathematics. Almost all (99 percent) of our students have passed the lowest benchmark. At Secondary 2, over one-third of Hong Kong students have reached the “advanced” benchmark. For science, there are 9 percent of students at both Primary 4 and Secondary 2 reaching the “advanced” benchmark.
3. Gender and Achievement
In the current study, there is a significant difference in mathematics and science achievement between boys and girls at Primary 4, with boys performing better than girls in both subjects. A similar pattern on gender difference in achievement has not been found among the students in the Secondary 2 sample.
This is the first time for Hong Kong to have significant difference in mathematics achievement between the two genders. For Primary 4 science, unlike the two previous cycles where difference in achievement between boys and girls were negligible, boys have shown to have better performance this time. At Secondary 2, boys and girls do not differ in their performance in mathematics and science.
4. Attitudinal Results
It is interesting to note that although Hong Kong and many other East Asian students do very well in their mathematics and science achievement, they are less likely to have positive attitudes towards mathematics and science when compared to students in other parts of the world, especially to students in Africa and the Middle East. Hong Kong students, as well as students in Japan, Chinese Taipei and Korea, are lower than the international averages on their appreciation, values and confidence in learning mathematics and science.
TIMSS 2011 Participants
The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2011 is conducted under the auspices of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). The participating countries/regions include Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belgium (Flemish), Botswana, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Honduras, Hong Kong SAR, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Morocco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Oman, Palestinian National Authority, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States, and Yemen (plus 14 benchmarking participants from Canada, United Arab Emirates and United States, including Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota and North Carolina).
The international reports of TIMSS 2011 can be downloaded at http://timss.bc.edu.
For media enquiries, please contact:
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For enquiries concerning TIMSS 2011, please contact:
1. Professor Frederick Leung 2. Dr Alice Wong
Chairman of Hong Kong Centre for IEA Studies Project Co-Leader
Faculty of Education, HKU Faculty of Education, HKU
2859-2355 (Tel) 2859-1958 (Tel)
2858-5649 (Fax) 2858-5649 (Fax)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Email) email@example.com (Email)
3. Miss Connie Leung
Faculty of Education, HKU