Mathematics and Science Achievements and Achievement Gaps in South Africa

Mathematics and Science Achievements and Achievement Gaps in South Africa

Human Sciences Research Council Presentation to SAARMSTE 2021

Published in 2021 by Human Sciences Research Council
Authors: Vijay Reddy
Keywords: Mathematics Achievement in South Africa / Mathematics and Science / Science / Science Achievement in South Africa

Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study

TIMSS is a cross-national and trend assessment of the mathematics and science knowledge of 4/5th Grade and 8/9th Grade learners.

  • TIMSS assessments align broadly with countries mathematics and science curricula of countries. 1/3rd of TIMSS items assess knowledge and 2/3rd assess applying and reasoning skills.
  • TIMSS dataset consists of achievement data and demographic and contextual information to explain achievement.
  • South Africa and TIMSS:
    • Grade 8 in 1995, 1999 & 2003 and Grade 9 in 2003, 2011, 2015 and 2019 cycles. Only 25-year achievement dataset
    • Grade 5 in 2015 and 2019

TIMSS Methodology

  • Statistics Canada selects a representative sample of schools (learners representative of the population), with province as the explicit stratification variable.
  • TIMSS uses a matrix design to construct 14 achievement booklets. High coverage of assessment topics
  • TIMSS uses Rasch analysis, item response theory and imputations to generate five plausible achievement estimates
  • Details of methodology: TIMSS-SA, TIMSS & PIRLS Study Centre in Boston College and International Association for the Evaluation of Education Achievement.