Research Developments


This article outlines the key findings from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study 2007 and identifies some areas where Australia could do better. With more than 60 participating countries and 425,000 students assessed, TIMSS 2007 also was the largest study of student maths and science achievement in the world. In Australia, a nationally representative sample of more than 8,000 students in 457 schools participated in the main sample of the TIMSS assessments in late 2006. In addition, an extra sample of Indigenous students in all participating schools was collected to provide a more detailed examination of the achievements of Australia’s Indigenous students. The release of findings from each cycle of TIMSS is eagerly anticipated and the release of the Australian national report by ACER in December 2008 was no exception. The results show that while Australian students’ results in Year 4 mathematics improved since 2003, achievement levels remained essentially static in Year 8 mathematics and Year 4 science, and declined significantly in Year 8 science.