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October 4-5, 2010

CURRICULUM IN THE 2008 TRENDS IN INTERNTIONAL MATHEMATICS AND

SCIENCE STUDY (TIMSS-Advanced)

by

Ester B. Ogena, Ph.D.

Ruby D. Laa, M.Stat., MIT

Randolf S. Sasota, MA

Authors name

Designation

Affiliation

Address

Tel. no.

Ester B. Ogena

Director

Science Education Institute-DOST

3/F, PTRI Bldg., Gen. Santos Ave., Bicutan, Taguig City

+632-8371359

ebogena@gmail.com

Co-authors names

Designation

Supervising Science Research Specialist and

Science Research Specialist II

Science Education Institute-DOST

3/F, PTRI Bldg., Gen. Santos Ave., Bicutan, Taguig City

+632-8371925

ruby_lana@yahoo.com; randolf.sasota@gmail.com

Affiliation

Address

Tel. no.

E-mail

CURRICULUM IN THE 2008 TRENDS IN INTERNATIONAL MATHEMATICS AND

SCIENCE STUDY (TIMSS-ADVANCED)

by

Ester B. Ogena, PhD

Ruby D. Laa, M.Stat., MIT

Randolf S. Sasota, MA

Science Education Institute

Department of Science and Technology

Philippines

ABSTRACT

This study aims to assess the performance of Filipino students of Science High Schools

(SHS) that participated in the 2008 TIMSS-Advanced, an international study conducted by the

International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). TIMSS-Advanced

assessed the performance of students with special preparation in advanced mathematics and

physics, who are in the final year of secondary schooling, across countries. The advanced

mathematics assessment, in which the Philippines participated, covered the content areas of

Algebra, Calculus, and Geometry. In this study, data for the Philippines was culled-out from the

international database and the performance of SHS students in advanced mathematics, as a

whole and disaggregated according to type of SHS (Philippine Science High School, S&TOriented HS, Regional Science High School and Other Science High School) was compared with

that of students from other participating countries. In-depth analysis was done to identify content

areas in mathematics and cognitive domains (Knowing, Applying and Reasoning) where Filipino

students are relatively weak or strong. Results of this study could provide inputs in determining

possible areas where improvements in the teaching of science and mathematics in SHS could be

initiated.

Introduction

Science and mathematics education has long been recognized as a major factor in

development, prompting nations to emphasize this in their national agenda. How students learn

and how to measure student performance in these areas is thus a priority concern of policy

makers and educators worldwide. One study that measures student performance in science

and mathematics which is generating increasing attention, is the Trends in Mathematics and

Science Study (TIMSS) which is being done since 1995 and every four years hence by the

International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA).

In this study, a special TIMSS conducted by IEA in 2008 among students with advanced

preparation in science and mathematics in ten (10) countries including the Philippines will be

looked into. Specifically, Filipino students studying in science high schools will be benchmarked

as a whole, and disaggregated by type of SHS, against students in other participating countries

studying in schools with similar curriculum, which is designed to lead students to scienceoriented higher education courses. From the results, a set of implications for the countrys

educational system will be provided.

Brief Background on TIMSS

Page 1 of 26

Regular TIMSS

Starting in 1995, the IEA has regularly been conducting TIMSS every four (4) years,

aimed at providing valuable information about students mathematics and science achievement

in an international context. Since then, three other studies were made in 1999, 2003 and 2007.

Participants in the assessment study were fourth and eighth (equivalent to second year high

school in the Philippines) grade students. Aside from this, data is also collected from their

schools and teachers regarding curriculum and other factors related to the teaching and

learning of science and mathematics.

2008 TIMSS (TIMSS-Advanced)

Following the same science and mathematics framework as the Regular TIMSS, TIMSS

Advanced was conducted in 2008, focusing on students who were in the final year of secondary

schooling and were studying advanced mathematics and physics. The study was done in the

context that the economic stability of a country is strongly associated with the quality of

secondary school graduates, particularly those with solid backgrounds and strong inclination

towards science, mathematics and engineering. These students are the ones expected to

pursue higher degree science-oriented courses.

Methodology

Sources of Data and Coverage

The study made use of secondary data from the 2008 TIMSS or TIMSS-Advanced which

included the following ten (10) participating countries: Armenia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Italy,

Lebanon, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Russian Federation, Slovenia and Sweden.

Although the TIMSS-Advanced also included school authorities and teachers as respondents

and covered areas such as demographic characteristics of the participating countries,

implemented curriculum, school factors and other teacher and student variables, this study

focused on the performance of the students in the assessment tests. Moreover, only the

mathematics results were presented inasmuch as the Philippines did not participate in the

science assessment. For the Philippines, a total of 4,091 students in 118 SHS were covered.

Variables and Indicators

In comparing the performance in mathematics of the ten (10) participating countries,

TIMSS assessment results are presented in terms of scale scores, percent correct responses

and scale scores compared against the TIMSS Advanced benchmarks. The scale was

constructed in such a way that the score measures breadth of content in advanced mathematics

subjects and a range of cognitive processes in the different domains. The measures, indicators,

concepts used and definitions are shown in Table 1.

Page 2 of 26

Measures/Indicators/Concepts Used

o Mathematics Achievement Scale

Score

o Percent Correct

o Content Domains

Algebra

Geometry

Calculus

o Cognitive Domains

Knowing

Applying

Reasoning

o Benchmark levels

Advanced (Scale score of at

least 625)

but less than 625)

least 475 but less than 550)

Definition/Scope

Score of the student in the advanced

mathematics assessment exam based on the

scale constructed by IEA for TIMSS

Ratio of correct responses to the total number

of items

Subject matter to be assessed in mathematics

Includes much of the algebra and functions

content that provides the foundation for

mathematics at the college or university level

The TIMSS items relate to four strands:

Euclidean geometry, analytic geometry,

trigonometry and vectors. Applications of

geometry are tied directly to the solution of

many real-world problems and are used

extensively in the sciences.

Focus is on understanding limits and finding

the limit of a function, differentiation and

integration of a range of functions.

Domains or thinking processes to be

assessed

Covers the facts, procedures and concepts

students need to know

Focuses on the ability of students to make

use of this knowledge to select or create

models and solve problems

Encompass the ability to use analytical skills,

generalize and apply mathematics to

unfamiliar or complex context

Represent the range of performance shown

by students internationally

Students demonstrate their understanding of

concepts, mastery of procedures, and

mathematical reasoning skills in algebra,

trigonometry, geometry, and differential and

integral calculus to solve problems in complex

contexts

Students can use their knowledge of

mathematical concepts and procedures in

algebra, calculus, and geometry and

trigonometry to analyze and solve multi-step

problems set in routine and non-routine

contexts

Students demonstrate knowledge of concepts

and procedures in algebra, calculus, and

geometry to solve routine problems

Page 3 of 26

Methods of Analysis

Achievement scores and other indicators used in comparing performance of the

participating countries were quoted from the TIMSS Advanced 2008 International Report, while

for the Philippines, further analysis was made to be able to make comparisons by type of SHS.

Mean scale scores were calculated and compared against the benchmark level cut-offs to

determine the percentage and which types of SHS reached the Advanced and High levels.

Percent correct responses for each of the released items in mathematics by content domain and

cognitive domain were computed per SHS classification to determine the areas where each type

of SHS was strong or weak. Performance of the SHS in selected released items was also

examined. Data processing was done using PASW Statistics 18 and descriptive statistics was

used to analyze the data.

Brief Review of TIMSS-Advanced Results

Results of the TIMSS-Advanced showed that among the ten (10) countries that

participated in the study, Russian Federation, got the highest average scale score at 561, while

the Philippines ranked 10th, with an average scale score of 355. Compared with the other

countries, the Philippines had the least number of years of formal schooling and had the

youngest students at the time of the assessment. Coverage index, which is the estimate of the

ratio of population of students enrolled in schools with special curriculum to the population size

of the entire corresponding age cohort, was also lowest in the Philippines, indicating that only a

small percentage (0.7%) of the population makes it to the SHS. The most liberal in the selection

process for admission to schools offering special curriculum in mathematics was Slovenia,

which had a coverage index of 40.5% (Table 2).

Page 4 of 26

To give meaning to the scale scores, benchmark levels were identified, which provide

descriptions of the achievement of the students in mathematics, in relation to their performance

in the test items (For the description of the benchmark levels, refer to Table 2). Russian

Federation, which had the highest mean scale score, also had the highest percentage of

students that reached the Advanced International Benchmark at 24%, while Norway, Sweden

and Philippines had the lowest percentages at 1% each (Table 3).

Page 5 of 26

Results and Discussion

The following discussion focuses on the results of the analysis done for the Philippine

data, in which disaggregation was made by type of SHS. Comparisons on the performance of

the students, in terms of percent correct responses and benchmark levels, among the different

types of SHS and with other countries were made.

General Description of SHS-Participants

Six (6) types of Philippine high schools with special curriculum in science and

mathematics were identified and included in the conduct of the TIMSS-Advanced, and these

were: (1) Philippine Science High School (PSHS) System, (2) Regional Science High School,

(3) S&T Oriented High School, (4) University Rural High School/Laboratory Schools, (5) Other

Public Science High School and (6) Other High Schools (Private). Compared with the regular

high schools, the curriculum being followed in these schools were loaded with more advanced

science and mathematics subjects, although the length of time devoted to the subjects and

specific subjects vary by type. The curriculum for the PSHS System was prepared by the

Department of Science and Technology (DOST), while that of the S&T Oriented High School

was customized by the Science Education Institute (SEI-DOST) in consultation with the

Department of Education (DepEd). Table 4 shows the profile of the Filipino participants to the

TIMSS-Advanced.

Page 6 of 26

Type of SHS

Philippine Science High School

System

Regional Science High School

S&T Oriented High School

University Rural HS/Laboratory

Schools

Other Science HS (Public)

Other High Schools (Private)

Total

Number of

Schools

Number of

Students

153

11

75

12

316

2,739

410

8

6

256

410

118

4,091

Comparison of Performance by Type of Schools in the Philippines and with other Participating

Countries

The TIMSS advanced mathematics assessment was organized around two dimensions:

content dimension pertaining to the subject matter or area to be assessed in mathematics and a

cognitive dimension pertaining to the thinking processes that students were deemed likely to

use as they engaged with the content. Each item in the mathematics assessment consists of

one content domain and one cognitive domain, providing for both content-based and cognitiveoriented perspectives on student achievement in mathematics.

To assess the performance of Filipino students of SHS that participated in the 2008

TIMSS-Advanced it is important to examine the performance of students by content areas and

cognitive domains and make comparison across types of schools in the Philippines and with

other participating countries. This section presents average percent correct responses in the

three content areas of the advanced mathematics framework: algebra, calculus, and geometry,

compared by SHS types in the Philippines and with other countries. Average percent correct

responses for each item in the three cognitive domains (i.e. knowing, applying, and reasoning)

is likewise presented. Knowing pertains to the students faculty understanding of mathematical

facts, concepts, tools, and procedures. Applying refers to the students ability to make use of

knowledge and conceptual understanding through problem solving situation. Reasoning goes

beyond the solution of routine problems to cover unfamiliar situations, complex contexts, and

multi-step problems.

Students performance across the three content areas and the three cognitive domains

is summarized in Table 5. The table shows the average percent correct responses for all the

advanced mathematics items for each high school type in the Philippines and for each country

as well as within content areas and domains.

Filipino students performed relatively better in geometry than they did overall and

relatively less well in calculus. This achievement pattern is true and consistent across all types

of SHS. In the cognitive domains, Philippines in general demonstrated relative strength in

knowing and relative weakness in applying. Weak performance in Applying is consistent to all

Page 7 of 26

types of SHS. Strong performance, however, could be noted among students both in Philippine

Science High School (PSHS) and Regional Science High School which did relatively better in

Reasoning than they did overall, whereas students from S&T Oriented HS and University Rural

and Laboratory HS did relatively better in Knowing than they did overall. Students from Other

Public SHS and Other Private HS did better not only in the Knowing domain but also in the

Reasoning domain.

Comparing across type of SHS in the Philippines, students from PSHS performed far

better than other schools, overall and in all content areas and cognitive domains. On the other

hand, students from University Rural and Laboratory High Schools demonstrated relatively poor

performance, overall and specific. Aside from PSHS, Regional Science HS, Other Public SHS,

and other Private HS with special curriculum scored higher than the average Philippine

achievement in general and in all content areas and domains.

Compared to other countries, performance of students from the Philippines in general is

relatively less well, be it in general or in specific content area or domain. However, looking at the

types of Philippine HS vis-a-vis other participating countries, PSHS seems to be competitive

internationally, demonstrating higher achievement rating in terms of average percent correct

responses than other countries, namely, Armenia, Iran, Italy, Norway, Slovenia, and Sweden in

overall advanced mathematics rating. PSHS had consistent performance across content areas.

In the cognitive domains, PSHS also seemingly outperformed other countries particularly in the

Applying and Reasoning domains, in which its performance rating surpasses almost all

countries except Russian Federation and the Netherlands.

Table 5. Average Percent Correct in the Advanced Mathematics Content Areas

and Cognitive Domains by Country and Type of SHS

Country/SHS Type

Philippines

S&T Oriented HS

PSHS

Reg'l Science HS

Other SHS (Public)

Other HS (Private)

Univ. Rural HS &

Lab Schools

Armenia

Iran, Islamic Rep. of

Italy

Lebanon

Netherlands

Norway

Russian Federation

Slovenia

Sweden

Overall

24

23

47

28

29

32

21

32

43

35

53

54

33

57

36

31

Content Areas

Algebr Calcul Geome

a

us

try

24

19

31

23

16

31

52

43

52

26

24

35

28

22

37

35

23

38

19

37

45

33

51

55

33

62

38

32

16

27

41

36

53

53

30

53

32

28

30

33

44

36

55

53

37

56

38

32

Cognitive Domains

Knowin Applyin Reaso

g

g

ning

28

21

24

25

21

24

47

45

53

30

24

31

32

25

32

34

30

34

24

39

52

40

65

51

34

59

41

32

18

27

36

31

43

51

33

56

34

28

22

31

42

33

51

63

32

56

33

34

Page 8 of 26

internationally, it is important to look at the TIMSS Advanced benchmarks developed to interpret

the achievement results in meaningful ways. As a way of interpreting the scaled results,

International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) identified three

points as international benchmarks and developed descriptions of student achievement at those

benchmarks in relation to students performance on the test items. The three international

benchmarks are: Advanced International Benchmark, High International Benchmark, and

Intermediate International Benchmark, with at least 625, 550, and 475 scale scores respectively.

Students who reached the Advanced International Benchmark are assessed to have

demonstrated their understanding of concepts, mastery of procedures, and mathematical

reasoning skill in algebra, trigonometry, geometry, and differential and integral calculus to solve

problems in complex contexts. Students at the High International Benchmark utilized their

knowledge of mathematical concepts and procedures in algebra, calculus, and geometry and

trigonometry to analyze and solve multi-step problems set in routine and non-routine contexts.

Those at the Intermediate International Benchmark demonstrated knowledge of concepts and

procedures in algebra, calculus, and geometry.

Table 6 displays the percent of advanced mathematics students in each type of HS in

the Philippines and each country that reached each of the three international benchmarks. The

figures shown are cumulative, that is, students whose scale scores fall within the advanced

benchmark are also included in the high and intermediate Benchmark levels.

Table 6. Percent of Students Reaching the TIMSS Advanced 2008 International

Benchmarks of Mathematics Achievement by Country and Type of SHS

Percent of Students Reaching the International

Benchmarks

Country/HS Type

Advanced

High

Intermediate

Benchmark

Benchmark

Benchmark

(625)

(550)

(475)

Philippines

1

4

13

S&T Oriented HS

*

1

5

PSHS

6

28

68

Reg'l Science HS

*

3

16

Other Science HS (Public)

0

3

10

Other HS (Private)

1

8

24

Univ. Rural HS & Lab Schools

0

0

2

Armenia

2

13

33

Iran, Islamic Rep. of

11

29

56

Italy

3

14

41

Lebanon

9

47

88

Netherlands

6

52

95

Norway

1

9

35

Russian Federation

24

55

83

Slovenia

3

14

41

Sweden

1

4

13

*Less than 0.5% of the students reached the benchmark level

Page 9 of 26

In general, very few students in the Philippines reached the international benchmarks

compared to other participating countries like Russian Federation and Islamic Republic of Iran.

Only 1 percent or 15 out of 4091 students reached the advanced benchmark; 4 percent made it

to high benchmark; and only 13% got it at least to intermediate benchmark.

Among the types of HS, PSHS got the highest percent (6%) reaching the advanced

international benchmarks. More than half of the students (68%) from PSHS made it at least at

the intermediate benchmark. Interestingly, PSHS can compete internationally having higher

percentage (28%) of students reaching high international benchmarks than 5 participating

countries, namely, Armenia, Italy, Norway, Slovenia, and Sweden. On the other hand, students

from University Rural HS & Lab. Schools demonstrated weak performance with only 2 percent

reaching at least the intermediate benchmark.

It is also noteworthy to look closely at the types and names of schools reaching the

advanced and high international benchmark. Of the fifteen (15) students who reached the

advanced international benchmark, ten (10) came from PSHS, two (2) from S&T Oriented HS,

another two (2) from other Private HS with special curriculum, and one (1) from Regional

Science HS. Among the ten (10) students from PSHS, majority (8) came from the main campus,

1 from Eastern Visayas Campus, and 1 from Cagayan Valley Campus. The two (2) students

from S&T Oriented HS all came from Quezon City Science HS. The other two (2) students from

other Private HS students were from Ateneo de Manila University-High School Department, and

one (1) student from Regional Science HS was from Cordillera Regional Science High School.

None from Other Public Science HS and University Rural HS & Lab. School made it to the

advanced and high international benchmarks.

In addition to the types and names of schools mentioned reaching the advanced

international benchmark, noteworthy to mention as well are the schools with significant

proportion reaching the high international benchmark. They are the following: Quezon City

Science High School-S&T Oriented HS (15 students); PSHS-Main Campus (11 students); Bicol

Regional Science HS (4 students); Marikina Science High School-Other Public Science HS (5

students); and Ateneo de Manila HS Campus-Other Private HS (16 students).

Analysis of Released Items

The IEA had released 40 items in the TIMSS Advanced User Guide Report. It is

interesting to identify and examine which particular question among the released items Filipino

students performed better and least. This section presents the performance of the SHS in

selected released items.

Appendix I shows sample released items with the lowest and highest correct percent

responses of Filipino SHS students for each content area and cognitive domain. For each

sample released item, a table is displayed showing percent of students who got the correct

answer by country and type of SHS in the Philippines.

By Content Areas

Among the Algebra released items, the question with lowest correct percent responses

obtained by Filipino SHS students is about Numeric and Algebraic Series, particularly regarding

Steps for Mathematical Induction (See Appendix 1). Only less than 1% of students from the

Page 10 of 26

Philippines in general got the answer to the question correctly. Even PSHS students (1.3%)

barely got the answer to the question correctly. The performance of the Philippines in this

particular item is quite low as compared to the Islamic Republic of Iran with more than half of

students (58.9%) correctly answering the question.

As to Algebra released item with highest percent correct answer among Filipino SHS

students, the question is regarding Signs and Values of Functions. Specifically, the topic is

about Composite Function. Almost half of Filipino students got it correctly. Notably, students

from PSHS outstandingly answered the item with only 8% of them not getting the correct

answer, outperforming almost all other participating countries except Lebanon.

For Calculus released items, the question with the lowest correct responses from the

Philippines is on Limits and Continuity with specific topic about Function/Where Not

Differentiable, while the highest percent correct response item is in Applying Derivatives to

Graphs of Functions. Only 2.5% of Filipino students got the correct answer in Limits and

Continuity, with the performance of students from S&T Oriented HS lower (1.5%) than this. The

PSHS students got a bit higher percent correct (9%) in same question. Nevertheless, PSHS

performance is still quite distant from that of Islamic Republic of Iran (36.7%) as well as of

Russian Federation (15.9%). In Applying Derivatives, the question was correctly answered by a

significant number (38.8%) of Filipino students in general. Remarkably, PSHS had the highest

percent correct (76.3%) surpassing not only other SHS type but also all the other participating

countries.

Of the released items in Geometry, the item with the lowest percent correct (4.5%) is on

the Area of Properties of Geometric Figures particularly about Reflection, whereas the item with

the highest percent correct responses (69%) is also on Properties of Geometric Figures but

particularly about Shape Created by Rotating Line. The lowest percent among type of SHS is

from S&T Oriented HS as well as University Rural HS/Laboratory School (2.4% for both).

Compared to other countries like the Netherlands (36.9%) and Russian Federation (33.1%),

Philippines had a quite low performance. As to the item with the highest percent correct in

Geometry, it is interesting to note that this particular question is also the highest percent correct

for all released items across all Content areas. In this particular question, Other Public SHS

outperformed other SHS type, including PSHS.

By Cognitive Domains

Among the released items in the Knowing domain, the identified item with the least

percent correct obtained by Filipino SHS students examined the Recall Thinking Process of

students. The particular question is actually the same as that of algebras least percent correct.

On the other hand, the cognitive topic area of released item in Knowing is Recognition, in which

item is the same as that of geometrys highest percent correct response.

Of the released items classified as Applying cognitive domain, the test item least

answered correctly by Filipino students assessed Representation Capability of the students. It is

about Maximum and Minimum Points of Graphs. Very few (3%) of the Filipino SHS students got

the correct answer for the particular question. The performance is even lower for students from

S&T Oriented HS. Actually, Philippines in general got the lowest percent correct in this particular

question among the participating countries. However, more than a quarter (15.8%) of PSHS

students answered correctly the question. On the positive side, the identified released item in

applying domain with the highest correct percent responses (40.6%) tests the students thinking

Page 11 of 26

process on Solving Routine Problems. Outstandingly, PSHS got the highest percentage (84.2%)

of students who got the correct answer not only among SHS types but also among the

participating countries.

Lastly, for Reasoning released items, the identified item with the least percent correct

answer (2.4%) assesses how student Justify a Mathematical Problem. None from Other Public

SHS and University Rural HS & Laboratory Schools got the question correctly. Better

performance is demonstrated by students from PSHS (18.4%), which, however, is still lower

than that of other countries like the Netherlands (52.9%), Lebanon (47.5%), and Islamic

Republic of Iran (44.7%). As to the item with the highest percent correct responses, the

identified question examines students Analytical Capability. A little less than half (46.5%) of the

Filipino students got the item correctly. The performance of PSHS students (71.4%) in this

particular item surpasses those of other countries like Italy (64.6%), Armenia (60.4%), and

Norway (48.5%).

Conclusions

Indeed, science and mathematics education (SME) is an essential factor for

development recognized by most countries. Thus, evaluation of SME through international

assessment tests are conducted to help countries examine how students perform and identify

educational areas for improvement. TIMSS-advanced is the latest international assessment

conducted by IEA focusing on schools with special curriculum in science. This is in addition to

the regular TIMSS that IEA conducts every four years since 1995.

TIMSS advanced results showed that, in general, Philippines performed least among ten

(10) participating countries in mathematics overall and as well as in specific content areas and

cognitive domains in terms of average scale score and percent correct responses. Comparing

the scale scores of the students with the benchmark levels, only 1% of the Filipino students

reached the Advanced level.

Disaggregating by type of high school, however, presented a different picture: students

from PSHS seem to be able to compete internationally, surpassing students from some

countries. Aside from PSHS, Regional Science High School, Other Public SHS, and other

Private HS performed higher than the average Philippine achievement.

Filipino students did relatively better in Geometry than they did overall and relatively less

well in Calculus. All types of science high schools demonstrated better performance in

Geometry but weak performance in Calculus. On the cognitive domains, while Philippines in

general performed well in Knowing, it is worth noting that by type of SHS, PSHS and Regional

Science High School did well also in Reasoning.

In all the content domains of advanced mathematics, namely, Algebra, Geometry and

Calculus and across all cognitive domains (Knowing, Applying and Reasoning), the PSHS did

remarkably better than the other type of SHS, even outperforming some of the other

participating countries. The one percent (1%) over-all from the Philippines that reached the

Advanced benchmark level mostly came from PSHS, with a few coming from the Other Private

HS. Moreover, majority of the PSHS students reached the Intermediate benchmark level, which

Page 12 of 26

is about mid-level among the participating countries. This reaffirms that the PSHS System is

indeed a model in science educational system in the country that can compete internationally.

Recommendations

The association between S&T and economic development cannot be denied, thus,

efforts on improving the Filipino students competence in science and mathematics, which are at

the backbone of research and innovation, need to be accelerated if the country wants to be

competitive.

Results of the study have shown that PSHS lived up to its reputation as the premier

secondary school in the country. The interplay of its unique and best practices, such as the

stringent selection of its students through a competitive examination, allowing teachers with

undergraduate preparation in the mathematics and sciences, not only those who passed the

national examination for teachers, to teach and its customized curriculum is the major factor

behind the current status of PSHS.

In view of this, there may be a need to revisit the implementation of curriculum in other

science schools, which generally performed far behind the PSHS. Periodic evaluation of the

effectiveness of the special curriculum being followed in the other SHS may be done in order to

determine the improvement that would have to be done in SHS that have gone nominal

(Science High School in name only, but not in essence). These schools may also look into the

curriculum and practices of PSHS and the schools teaching advanced mathematics in other

countries or them to improve their performance. In particular, policy-makers in education may

consider the drafting of a special provision for SHS, specifically an exemption from its existing

hiring policy that will allow BS graduates of specialized courses in science and mathematics to

teach at the secondary level, such that basic content in engineering, for example, will be taught

at high school in the proper context.

The TIMSS Advanced databases, which are publicly available, are a rich source of data

on science and math education that may be used in future in-depth studies. Since types of

schools with special curriculum in science and mathematics are considered in the sampling

frame, TIMSS-advanced Philippine data can be further utilized for other comparative studies,

which may look into the other dimensions included in TIMSS such as school, teacher and

student factors.

Page 13 of 26

References

International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Attainment (IEA). Trends in

International Mathematics and Science Study - Advanced (Data Sets). Retrieved August

5, 2010 from http://rms.iea-dpc.org/#.

Mullis, I. V.S, Martin, M. O., Robitaille D. F., & Foy P. (2009). TIMSS Advanced 2008

International Report, United States: TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center, Lynch

School of Education, Boston College.

Garden, R. A., Lie S., Robitaille D. F., Angell C., Martin M. O., . . . Arora A. (2006). TIMSS

Advanced 2008 Assessment Framework, United States: TIMSS & PIRLS International

Study Center, Lynch School of Education, Boston College.

Foy, P., & Arora A. (Eds.). (2009). TIMSS Advanced 2008 User Guide for the International

Database: Released Items for Advanced Mathematics, United States: TIMSS & PIRLS

International Study Center, Lynch School of Education, Boston College.

Arora A., Foy, P., Martin M.O. & Mullis I.V.S. (Eds.). (2009). TIMSS Advanced 2008 Technical

Report, United States: TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center, Lynch School of

Education, Boston College.

Garden R.A., Lie S., Robitaille D.F., Angell C., Martin, M. O., Mullis, I. V.S, Foy P. & Arora A.

(2009). TIMSS Advanced 2008 Assessment Frameworks, United States: TIMSS &

PIRLS International Study Center, Lynch School of Education, Boston College.

Page 14 of 26

Content Topic Area: Numeric and Algebraic Series Item Label: Steps for Mathematical

Induction

Country/HS Type

Philippines

S&T Oriented HS

PSHS

Reg'l Science HS

Other Science

HS

(Public)

Other HS

(Private)

Univ. Rural HS &

Lab Schools

Armenia

Iran, Islamic Rep.

of

Italy

Lebanon

Netherlands

Norway

Russian Federation

Slovenia

Sweden

% of Students

who Got the

Correct

Answer

0.8

0.2

1.3

0.6

1.5

1.9

0.5

22.8

58.9

1.3

21.4

2.4

0.1

12.1

10.0

2.0

Page 15 of 26

Content Topic Area: Signs and Values of Functions Item Label: Composite Function

Country/HS Type

Philippines

S&T Oriented HS

PSHS

Reg'l Science HS

Other Science

HS

(Public)

Other HS

(Private)

Univ. Rural HS &

Lab Schools

Armenia

Iran, Islamic Rep.

of

Italy

Lebanon

Netherlands

Norway

Russian Federation

Slovenia

Sweden

% of Students

who Got the

Correct

Answer

49.9

43.0

92.2

49.0

50.4

71.0

36.1

60.4

91.4

50.0

93.6

76.3

28.9

80.0

67.6

43.8

Page 16 of 26

Content Topic Area: Limits and Continuity

Country/HS Type

Philippines

S&T Oriented HS

PSHS

Reg'l Science HS

Other Science

HS

(Public)

Other HS

(Private)

Univ. Rural HS &

Lab Schools

Armenia

Iran, Islamic Rep.

of

Italy

Lebanon

Netherlands

Norway

Russian Federation

Slovenia

Sweden

% of Students

who Got the

Correct

Answer

2.5

1.5

9.1

3.8

2.3

3.7

1.0

6.1

36.7

8.2

14.1

7.7

1.6

15.9

3.3

3.4

Page 17 of 26

Item label: Graphs that has properties shown

Content Topic Area: Applying Derivatives to Graphs of Functions

Philippines

S&T Oriented HS

PSHS

Reg'l Science HS

Other Science

HS

(Public)

Other HS

(Private)

Univ. Rural HS &

Lab Schools

Armenia

Iran, Islamic Rep.

of

Italy

Lebanon

Netherlands

Norway

Russian Federation

Slovenia

Sweden

% of Students

who Got the

Correct

Answer

38.8

34.8

76.3

50.6

46.8

44.6

33.0

29.8

48.3

40.4

63.0

60.5

30.9

60.0

47.1

36.2

Page 18 of 26

Content Topic Area: Properties of Geometric Figures Item Label: Triangle abc/Reflection

Philippines

S&T Oriented HS

PSHS

Reg'l Science HS

Other Science

HS

(Public)

Other HS

(Private)

Univ. Rural HS &

Lab Schools

Armenia

Iran, Islamic Rep.

of

Italy

Lebanon

Netherlands

Norway

Russian Federation

Slovenia

Sweden

% of Students

who Got the

Correct

Answer

4.5

2.4

20.8

4.4

6.9

7.4

2.4

1.5

13.5

14.7

29.5

36.9

14.9

33.1

9.7

9.7

Page 19 of 26

Content Topic Area: Properties of Geometric Figures Item label: Shape created by rotating line

Philippines

S&T Oriented HS

PSHS

Reg'l Science HS

Other Science

HS

(Public)

Other HS

(Private)

Univ. Rural HS &

Lab Schools

Armenia

Iran, Islamic Rep.

of

Italy

Lebanon

Netherlands

Norway

Russian Federation

Slovenia

Sweden

% of Students

who Got the

Correct

Answer

69.0

67.9

74.0

72.3

75.4

65.7

69.8

55.2

55.7

69.8

47.3

80.1

67.0

76.5

54.3

74.0

Page 20 of 26

Released Item in Knowing Cognitive Domain with Lowest Correct Percent Responses

Cognitive Topic Area: Recall Item Label: Steps for Mathematical Induction

Philippines

S&T Oriented HS

PSHS

Reg'l Science HS

Other Science

HS

(Public)

Other HS

(Private)

Univ. Rural HS &

Lab Schools

Armenia

Iran, Islamic Rep.

of

Italy

Lebanon

Netherlands

Norway

Russian Federation

Slovenia

Sweden

% of Students

who Got the

Correct

Answer

0.8

0.2

1.3

0.6

1.5

1.9

0.5

22.8

58.9

1.3

21.4

2.4

0.1

12.1

10.0

2.0

Page 21 of 26

Released Item in Knowing Cognitive Domain with Highest Correct Percent Responses

Cognitive Topic Area: Recognize

Philippines

S&T Oriented HS

PSHS

Reg'l Science HS

Other Science

HS

(Public)

Other HS

(Private)

Univ. Rural HS &

Lab Schools

Armenia

Iran, Islamic Rep.

of

Italy

Lebanon

Netherlands

Norway

Russian Federation

Slovenia

Sweden

% of Students

who Got the

Correct

Answer

69.0

67.9

74.0

72.3

75.4

65.7

69.8

55.2

55.7

69.8

47.3

80.1

67.0

76.5

54.3

74.0

Page 22 of 26

Released Item in Applying Cognitive Domain with Lowest Correct Percent Responses

Cognitive Topic Area: Represent

Philippines

S&T Oriented HS

PSHS

Reg'l Science HS

Other Science

HS

(Public)

Other HS

(Private)

Univ. Rural HS &

Lab Schools

Armenia

Iran, Islamic Rep.

of

Italy

Lebanon

Netherlands

Norway

Russian Federation

Slovenia

Sweden

% of Students

who Got the

Correct

Answer

3.1

1.2

15.8

5.1

3.2

1.8

0.0

13.0

10.8

12.1

20.8

34.4

26.2

47.1

10.9

6.7

Page 23 of 26

Released Item in Applying Cognitive Domain with Highest Correct Percent Responses

Cognitive Topic Area: Solve Routine Problems

Philippines

S&T Oriented HS

PSHS

Reg'l Science HS

Other Science

HS

(Public)

Other HS

(Private)

Univ. Rural HS &

Lab Schools

Armenia

Iran, Islamic Rep.

of

Italy

Lebanon

Netherlands

Norway

Russian Federation

Slovenia

Sweden

% of Students

who Got the

Correct

Answer

40.6

32.6

84.2

50.6

58.1

55.4

37.9

29.9

40.5

28.9

61.9

40.0

35.1

63.5

36.6

34.0

Page 24 of 26

Released Item in Reasoning Cognitive Domain with Lowest Correct Percent Responses

Cognitive Topic Area: Justify

Philippines

S&T Oriented HS

PSHS

Reg'l Science HS

Other Science

HS

(Public)

Other HS

(Private)

Univ. Rural HS &

Lab Schools

Armenia

Iran, Islamic Rep.

of

Italy

Lebanon

Netherlands

Norway

Russian Federation

Slovenia

Sweden

% of Students

who Got the

Correct

Answer

2.4

0.4

18.4

1.3

0.0

11.3

0.0

18.0

44.7

18.7

47.5

52.9

8.5

39.2

10.0

21.6

Page 25 of 26

Released Item in Reasoning Cognitive Domain with Highest Correct Percent Responses

Cognitive Topic Area: Analyze

Philippines

S&T Oriented HS

PSHS

Reg'l Science HS

Other Science

HS

(Public)

Other HS

(Private)

Univ. Rural HS &

Lab Schools

Armenia

Iran, Islamic Rep.

of

Italy

Lebanon

Netherlands

Norway

Russian Federation

Slovenia

Sweden

% of Students

who Got the

Correct

Answer

46.5

43.5

71.4

45.9

53.5

49.5

39.0

60.4

73.7

64.6

89.7

78.8

48.5

87.4

63.4

41.1

Page 26 of 26

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