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11th National Convention on Statistics (NCS)

EDSA Shangri-La Hotel


October 4-5, 2010

PERFORMANCE OF PHILIPPINE HIGH SCHOOLS WITH SPECIAL


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

For additional information, please contact:


Authors name
Designation
Affiliation
Address
Tel. no.
E-mail

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

Ruby D. Laa and Randolf S. Sasota


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

PERFORMANCE OF PHILIPPINE HIGH SCHOOLS WITH SPECIAL SCIENCE


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
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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.

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Table 1. Measures and Indicators of Student Achievement in Advanced Mathematics


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)

High (Scale score of at least 550


but less than 625)

Intermediate (Scale score of at


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
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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).

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Table 2. Student Achievement in Advanced Mathematics by Country

Source: TIMSS Advanced 2008 International Report


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).

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Table 3. Percent of Students Reaching International Benchmark Mathematics by Country

Source: TIMSS Advanced 2008 International Report


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.

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Table 4. Distribution of Filipino Participants by Type of SHS


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
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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

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To further examine the range of performance demonstrated by Filipino students


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

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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
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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

APPENDIX I SAMPLE RELEASED ITEMS

Algebra Released Item with Lowest Correct Percent Responses


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

Algebra Released Item with Highest Correct Percent Responses


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

Calculus Released Item with Lowest Correct Percent Responses


Content Topic Area: Limits and Continuity

Item Label: Function/where not differentiable

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

Calculus Released Item with Highest Correct Percent Responses


Item label: Graphs that has properties shown
Content Topic Area: Applying Derivatives to Graphs of Functions

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
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

Geometry Released Item with Lowest Correct Percent Responses


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

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
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

Geometry Released Item with Highest Correct Percent Responses


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

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
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

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 21 of 26

Released Item in Knowing Cognitive Domain with Highest Correct Percent Responses
Cognitive Topic Area: Recognize

Item label: Shape created by rotating line

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
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

Item Label: Max and Min Points of Graph

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
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

Item Label: Possible Values for X

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
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

Item Label: Why slope at points A and B are same

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
2.4
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

Item Code: Length of PT is equal to

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
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