Monday, December 17, 2012

International evaluation data on Science and Reading (TIMSS and PIRLS)

This international benchmarking data becomes available in 4 and 5 year cycles presenting participants’ achievement results in mathematics, science and reading.
For the past 20 years, TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) has measured trends in mathematics and science achievement at the fourth and eighth grades. For the past 15 years PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) has measured trends in reading comprehension at the fourth grade. 
The results are presented as videos on YouTube, too, otherwise, the reports are available here.

A few pointers highlighted by my colleagues:
  • An early start is critical: if parents before the start of primary school engage their children in literacy and numeracy activities (at home or at pre-primary schools) children had better scores in those subjects in the 4th grades. 
  •  Fourth grade students with access to computers for instruction had higher average science achievement than those students with no access to computers for instruction (Page 235 TIMSS International Results in Science)