Presentation on theme: "University of Education, Winneba - Ghana"— Presentation transcript:
1 University of Education, Winneba - Ghana Comparative analysis of performance of eighth graders from six African countriesByProfessor Asabere-Ameyaw, A.Vice Chancellor, University of Education, WinnebaP. O Box 25, Winneba Ghana Tel , Fax: ,&Kofi D. Mereku (PhD)Dean, Faculty of Science Education, University of Education, WinnebaP. O Box 25, Winneba Ghana Tel (20) , Fax:
2 Areas of coverage What was TIMSS-2003? Which countries were involved? Achievement in mathematics and scienceContextual factorsConclusion & Recommendations
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.
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.
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
6 AFRICATunisiaEgyptMoroccoGhanaBotswanaSouth Africa
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 comparisonsIt 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.
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.
9 Summary of science and mathematics achievement scores by region Overall science achievementMean ScoreOverall mathematics achievementNorth African States407404Sub-Sahara African States288302African States pooled347.5353All participating States467474
10 Table 1(a). The overall mean SCIENCE ACHIEVEMENT SCORES CountryOverall Mean Science Achievement (SE)Overall Rank of country’s Science scale scoreSingapore578 (4.3)1Chinese Taipei571 (3.5)3Korea558 (1.6)2Japan552 (1.7)6England544 (4.1)**USA527 (3.1)9Malaysia510 (3.7)20International Average474 (0.6)-Egypt421 (3.9)36Tunisia404 (2.1)39Morocco396 (2.5)41Botswana365 (2.8)44Ghana255 (5.9)45South Africa244 (6.7)46*Standard error in parenthesis.**Scale scores for England were not included in the ranking
11 Table 1(b). The overall mean MATHEMATICS ACHIEVEMENT SCORES CountryOverall Mean Mathematics Achievement (SE*)Overall Rank of country’s Mathematics scale scoreSingapore605 (3.6)1Korea589 (2.2)2Chinese Taipei585 (4.6)4Japan570 (2.1)5Malaysia508 (4.1)10England498 (4.7)**USA15International Average467 (0.5)-Tunisia410 (2.2)36Egypt406 (3.5)37Morocco396 (2.5)41Botswana366 (2.6)43Ghana276 (4.7)45South Africa264 (5.5)46*Standard error in parenthesis.**Scale scores for England were not included in the ranking
12 Overview of African students’ achievement (contd.) The performance of Ghana and South Africa were the lowestEgypt 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.
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.
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, andLow International Benchmark corresponds to a scale score of 400.
15 International Average 6 25 54 78 Table Percentages of Students Reaching InternationalBenchmarks of Science AchievementCountriesPercentage of students reaching international benchmark of science achievementAdvancedHighIntermediateLowInternational Average6255478Egypt1103359Morocco1348Tunisia1252Botswana35South Africa3Ghana
16 International Average 6 24 51 75 Table Percentages of Students Reaching InternationalBenchmarks of Science AchievementCountriesPercentage of students reaching international benchmark of science achievementAdvancedHighIntermediateLowInternational Average6245175Egypt152Morocco1042Tunisia1555Botswana732South Africa2Ghana9
17 Proportion of students reaching the TIMSS 2003 International benchmarks for Science
18 Proportion of students reaching the TIMSS 2003 International benchmarks for Mathematics
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.
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.
21 Contextual factors considered in presentation In this presentation, only a few of the contextual factors are considered. These areStudents’ frequency of speaking language of test in the homeIndex of good school and class attendanceHead teachers’ reports on the percentages of students in their schools coming from Economically Disadvantaged HomesTeachers’ qualificationsDifferentiation of the curriculumExposure to national and international examsUse technology in classrooms - computer and calculator usage.
22 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)Botswana1138Egypt7542Ghana3371Morocco5379South Africa2765Tunisia6459
23 Teachers’ Qualification Percentage of Teachers whose highest educational level is INITIAL UNIVERSITY DEGREE OR BEYONDMathematicsScienceBotswana838Egypt100Ghana9Morocco734South Africa28Tunisia8398
24 Percentage of students at each level of the Index of Good School and Class Attendance in selected countriesCountryLevels of the IndexHighMediumLowInternational Averages235819Egypt473716Morocco265618Tunisia1760Botswana56233Ghana869South Africa65044
25 Participation in national and international exams CountryGrades Tested in National ExamsGrades Tested in TIMSS and PISAEgypt5, 8 10, 118Morocco124,8Tunisia9, 124,8,15Botswana7, 10, 12GhanaSouth Africa
26 Use of Technology: Computers and calculators CountryScienceMathematicsNational Curriculum Contains Policies or Statements About the Use of ComputersStudents (%) Whose Teachers Reported that Computers are not AvailableNational Curriculum Contains Policies or Statements About the Use of CalculatorsStudents (%) Whose Teachers Reported that Calculators are not AvailableBotswana95 (2.0)87 (4.5)Egypt-0 (0.0)Ghana91 (2.9)61 (5.0)Morocco86 (3.4)1 (1.1)South Africa87 (2.4)6 (1.8)Tunisia65 (4.4)44 (4.6)Singapore21 (2.2)( → No, → Yes)
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.
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.
29 Contextual factors that influenced the poor performance Teachers with no university degree or its equivalent in teaching science and mathematicsStudents learning science and mathematics in environments with low indices of good school and class attendanceLack 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.
30 Contextual factors that influenced the poor performance (contd.) Students frequently speaking languages (local) other than the language of test in the homeHead teachers’ reports on the percentages of students in their schools coming from Economically Disadvantaged HomesLow participation in public, national or international assessment exercisesLittle use of technology (i.e. computers and calculators) in the science and mathematics curricula.
31 ConclusionThe 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).
32 Provision of resources for teaching and learning science and maths; RecommendationAfrican 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.
33 To succeed Africa needs to do things differently THANK YOU