TIMSS 2018/19: Mathematics Year 5 Publications
This report describes the mathematics achievement of Year 5 students in TIMSS 2018/19. Analyses of achievement by sub-groupings (such as gender and ethnicity) and background information are also presented and comparisons are made with New Zealand across cycles and also with other countries. Characteristics of teachers, including their preparedness to teach mathematics, teaching activities that took place within mathematics lessons, resources, and teacher attitudes and perceptions, as well as the school climate for learning, are explored.
Author(s): Educational Measurement and Assessment, Ministry of Education
Date Published: December 2020
Mathematics achievement of New Zealand Year 5 students since 1994 - 24 years of trends
- The average (mean) mathematics achievement of New Zealand Year 5 students in 2018 was similar to 2014 and higher than that of the students 24 years ago in 1994.
- New Zealand Year 5 students' mean mathematics achievement in 2019 was significantly1 higher than 15 countries, but lower than the mean score of 38 countries.
Classifying New Zealand Year 5 students as low to advanced performers
- Six percent of New Zealand Year 5 students were classified as advanced performers (reached the advanced benchmark), while 17 percent of students were classified as below low performers who did not perform simple mathematics tasks.
- New Zealand's proportion of Year 5 advanced performers was about the same as the international median. The New Zealand proportion of those not reaching the low benchmark was higher than the international median. The top five high-performing countries had at least one third of their students classified as advanced performers, and one percent or fewer classified as below low performers.
- The proportion of Year 5 students reaching each benchmark was about the same as 2014 and the proportions were higher than for 1994 for the advanced, high and low benchmarks.
Strengths and weaknesses of New Zealand Year 5 students within mathematics
- New Zealand Year 5 students showed greatest strength in Data compared to Number or Measurement and Geometry. The average scores for all content domains (including Number) are about the same as 2014.
- New Zealand Year 5 students did significantly better at reasoning, compared to knowing in mathematics. The average score for Applying was similar to the overall mathematics score and was the only cognitive domain to have a significantly lower average compared to 2014.
TIMSS and the New Zealand mathematics curriculum
- Many New Zealand Year 5 students were working at level 2 of the curriculum by the end of the year, rather than level 3. Not surprisingly, those students in classes working at higher levels had higher mathematics achievement.
- When the TIMSS test was compared to curriculum expectations for New Zealand Year 5 students, there were questions considered more advanced than our curriculum. More advanced questions help to identify advanced achievers. However, when the test was reduced to contain only those appropriate to New Zealand Year 5 students, the average score was similar to the average for all questions and New Zealand’s position relative to other countries remained the very similar.
Mathematics achievement of Year 5 boys and girls
- Year 5 boys and girls had the same mathematics achievement as each other, on average, but boys had a wider range than girls.
- In 2019 boys achieved higher on Measurement and Geometry, with no significant gender difference on Number and Data. Boys also had a higher average score in Knowing with no significant difference in the cognitive domain areas of applying and reasoning.
Mathematics achievement and socio-economic status of Year 5 students
- Students in homes with many resources for learning had higher mathematics achievement, on average, than those whose homes had fewer resources.
- Mathematics achievement was higher, on average, for students in schools with more affluent students than those in schools with more economically disadvantaged students. The difference in mathematics achievement between these two groupings within New Zealand was a lot higher than the international average.
- The word 'significant' is used to describe statistical significance. Statistical tests show that these results are 95% certain.
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