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1 University of Education, Winneba - Ghana Comparative analysis of performance of eighth graders from six African countries Professor Asabere-Ameyaw,

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Presentation on theme: "1 University of Education, Winneba - Ghana Comparative analysis of performance of eighth graders from six African countries Professor Asabere-Ameyaw,"— Presentation transcript:

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2 1 University of Education, Winneba - Ghana Comparative analysis of performance of eighth graders from six African countries Professor Asabere-Ameyaw, A. Vice Chancellor, University of Education, Winneba P. O Box 25, Winneba Ghana Tel , Fax: , Kofi D. Mereku (PhD) Dean, Faculty of Science Education, University of Education, Winneba P. O Box 25, Winneba Ghana Tel (20) , Fax: & By

3 2 Areas of coverage What was TIMSS-2003? Which countries were involved? Achievement in mathematics and science Contextual factors Conclusion & Recommendations

4 3 What was TIMSS-2003? TIMSS-2003 was an international study in science and mathematics achievement. Was designed to measure students achievement and trends in achievement; It also examined the contexts for learning mathematics and science.

5 4 Who carried out TIMSS-2003? A National Research Coordinator appointed by the Ministry of Education of each participating country was responsible for implementing the study in that country. Research Coordinators and their team worked with a number of foreign research organizations during the different phases of the study.

6 5 Countries participating in TIMSS-2003 Forty-six countries around the world participated in the TIMSS- 2003, with six of them from Africa. Those from Africa were - Botswana, Egypt, Ghana, Morocco, Tunisia, and South Africa

7 6 AFRICA Tunisia Egypt Morocco Ghana Botswana South Africa

8 7 What did participation in TIMSS-2003 mean to African countries? The opportunity to examine students (eighth graders) achievement in mathematics and science using an international yardstick i.e. what students know and can do. Opportunities for cross-cultural comparisons It also provided rich information on the context for the teaching and learning of mathematics and science in African schools which could be used to identify strengths and weaknesses in teaching and learning of these subjects.

9 8 Overview of African students achievement The overall performance of the students from the participating African countries on the science and mathematics tests was very low. In science, the mean country score for all the African countries was as compared to the international country mean of 467. In mathematics, the mean country score for all the African states was 353 as compared to the international country mean score of 474.

10 Summary of science and mathematics achievement scores by region 9 Overall science achievement Mean Score Overall mathematics achievement Mean Score North African States Sub-Sahara African States African States pooled All participating States

11 10 Table 1(a).The overall mean SCIENCE ACHIEVEMENT SCORES Country Overall Mean Science Achievement (SE) Overall Rank of countrys Science scale score Singapore578 (4.3)1 Chinese Taipei571 (3.5)3 Korea558 (1.6)2 Japan552 (1.7)6 England544 (4.1) ** USA527 (3.1)9 Malaysia510 (3.7)20 International Average 474 (0.6)- Egypt421 (3.9)36 Tunisia404 (2.1)39 Morocco396 (2.5)41 Botswana365 (2.8)44 Ghana255 (5.9)45 South Africa244 (6.7)46 *Standard error in parenthesis. **Scale scores for England were not included in the ranking

12 11 Table 1(b).The overall mean MATHEMATICS ACHIEVEMENT SCORES Country Overall Mean Mathematics Achievement (SE*) Overall Rank of countrys Mathematics scale score Singapore605 (3.6)1 Korea589 (2.2)2 Chinese Taipei585 (4.6)4 Japan570 (2.1)5 Malaysia508 (4.1)10 England498 (4.7) ** USA498 (4.7)15 International Average 467 (0.5)- Tunisia410 (2.2)36 Egypt406 (3.5)37 Morocco396 (2.5)41 Botswana366 (2.6)43 Ghana276 (4.7)45 South Africa264 (5.5)46 *Standard error in parenthesis. **Scale scores for England were not included in the ranking

13 12 Overview of African students achievement (contd.) The performance of Ghana and South Africa were the lowest Egypt obtained the highest mean score in science while Tunisia got the highest mean in mathematics. North African countries performed significantly better than the Sub- Saharan African countries.

14 13 Overall mean achievement of boys and girls There was no significant difference between boys and girls in Botswana, Egypt and South Africa. The 3 other countries – Ghana, Morocco and Tunisia - showed differences in favour of boys.

15 14 International Benchmarks (contd.) Four points on the mathematics and science scales were designated as International Benchmarks and defined as follows: Advanced International Benchmark corresponds to a scale score of 625, High International Benchmark corresponds to a scale score of 550, Intermediate International Benchmark corresponds to a scale score of 475, and Low International Benchmark corresponds to a scale score of 400.

16 15 Table 5 Percentages of Students Reaching International Benchmarks of Science Achievement Countries Percentage of students reaching international benchmark of science achievement AdvancedHighIntermediateLow International Average Egypt Morocco Tunisia Botswana South Africa Ghana 00313

17 16 Table 5 Percentages of Students Reaching International Benchmarks of Science Achievement Countries Percentage of students reaching international benchmark of science achievement AdvancedHighIntermediateLow International Average Egypt Morocco Tunisia Botswana South Africa Ghana 0029

18 17 Proportion of students reaching the TIMSS 2003 International benchmarks for Science

19 Proportion of students reaching the TIMSS 2003 International benchmarks for Mathematics 18

20 19 International Benchmarks (contd.) It was only in Egypt that 1% of the students reached the high or advanced international benchmarks in both science and mathematics. Generally about 75% of the students in sub-Saharan Africa and about 50% in the North African states did not reach the low international benchmark. The implication is that majority of our students do not have a good grasp of knowledge and conceptual understanding of basic mathematical principles and have poor knowledge and weak grasp of scientific concepts which are lower level cognitive competencies.

21 20 Contextual framework for learning Science and Mathematics in African countries To provide a context for interpreting the achievement results, detailed information were gathered from subject specialists national coordinators, students, teachers and head teachers on: –students backgrounds, attitudes towards science and mathematics, resources for learning in their homes, and the activities they engage in after school, –teachers background, –classroom and school characteristics.

22 21 Contextual factors considered in presentation In this presentation, only a few of the contextual factors are considered. These are –Students frequency of speaking language of test in the home –Index of good school and class attendance –Head teachers reports on the percentages of students in their schools coming from Economically Disadvantaged Homes –Teachers qualifications –Differentiation of the curriculum –Exposure to national and international exams –Use technology in classrooms - computer and calculator usage.

23 22 Speaking Language of test in the home and Speaking Language of test in the home and economically disadvantaged students Percentage of students speaking language of test at home always or almost always % of Students in Schools with more than 50% Economically Disadvantaged Students (EDS) Botswana 1138 Egypt 7542 Ghana 3371 Morocco 5379 South Africa 2765 Tunisia 6459

24 23 Teachers Qualification Percentage of Teachers whose highest educational level is INITIAL UNIVERSITY DEGREE OR BEYOND MathematicsScience Botswana838 Egypt100 Ghana89 Morocco734 South Africa3428 Tunisia8398

25 Percentage of students at each level of the Index of Good School and Class Attendance in selected countries 24 Country Levels of the Index HighMediumLow International Averages Egypt Morocco Tunisia Botswana Ghana South Africa 65044

26 Participation in national and international exams 25 Country Grades Tested in National Exams Grades Tested in TIMSS and PISA Egypt5, 8 10, 118 Morocco124,8 Tunisia9, 124,8,15 Botswana7, 10, 128 Ghana9, 128 South Africa128

27 Use of Technology: Computers and calculators 26 Country ScienceMathematics National Curriculum Contains Policies or Statements About the Use of Computers Students (%) Whose Teachers Reported that Computers are not Available National Curriculum Contains Policies or Statements About the Use of Calculators Students (%) Whose Teachers Reported that Calculators are not Available Botswana 95 (2.0) 87 (4.5) Egypt - 0 (0.0) Ghana 91 (2.9) 61 (5.0) Morocco 86 (3.4) 1 (1.1) South Africa 87 (2.4) 6 (1.8) Tunisia 65 (4.4) 44 (4.6) Singapore 21 (2.2) 0 (0.0) ( No, Yes)

28 27 Use of Technology: Computers and calculators Though the national curricula of some of the African countries contain policy statements about the use of computers and calculators in the science and mathematics curricula, over 85% of the teachers (except those in Tunisia) reported that computers were not available in their schools. African countries are among those that make the least use of the technology (i.e. calculators and computers) in their curricula.

29 28 Use of Technology: Computers and calculators (contd.) It was observed that students performance in the two subjects were high in countries which encouraged the use of the technology. Singapore, for example, where the best results were reported in both subjects, practices the use of technology.

30 Contextual factors that influenced the poor performance Teachers with no university degree or its equivalent in teaching science and mathematics Students learning science and mathematics in environments with low indices of good school and class attendance Lack of provision for differentiation of the content of the science and mathematics curricula to meet the learning needs of groups of students with different levels of abilities. 29

31 Contextual factors that influenced the poor performance (contd.) Students frequently speaking languages (local) other than the language of test in the home Head teachers reports on the percentages of students in their schools coming from Economically Disadvantaged Homes Low participation in public, national or international assessment exercises Little use of technology (i.e. computers and calculators) in the science and mathematics curricula. 30

32 31 Conclusion The foundation for training science and mathematics human resource in Africa is in general weak; African countries are among those that make the least use of technology in their science and mathematics curricula. That most students could not reach the low international benchmark implies most young students in Africa cannot apply scientific principles and systems to solve problems (advanced benchmark), In addition, they are not able to combine information and interpret data presented in tables and graphs to draw conclusions and to solve problems (high benchmark).

33 32 Recommendation African countries should examine the contexts within which teaching and learning of mathematics and science take place ( TIMSS can help ); Provision of resources for teaching and learning science and maths; NEPAD to constitute a team to monitor and support learning of these subjects at pre-tertiary level.

34 33 To succeed Africa needs to do things differently THANK YOU


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