Frequently Asked Questions About the Video Study

Does the video study identify features of "good" or "exemplary" teaching?

The broad purpose of the TIMSS 1999 Video Study was to investigate and describe teaching practices in eighth-grade mathematics and science in a variety of countries. The goal of the study was not to identify the key features of "good" or "exemplary" teaching, nor was it designed to identify master teachers. Rather, it was important to capture the kind of teaching that students experience on a daily basis in their mathematics and science classes. The results of this study make it clear that an international comparison of teaching, even among mostly high achieving countries, cannot, by itself, yield a clear answer to the question of which method of teaching may be best to implement in a given country. Interpreting the results from this study requires a thoughtful and analytic approach, including follow-up analyses and research that can more precisely examine the possible effects that particular methods or approaches may have on student learning. Through these kinds of activities, the ultimate aim of a study such as this can be realized: a deeper understanding of classroom mathematics teaching and a deeper understanding of how teaching methods can be increasingly aligned with learning goals for students.

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