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Highlights From the TIMSS 1999 Video Study of Eighth-Grade Mathematics Teaching

Similarities Across Countries

Differences Across Countries



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What Are the Major Findings From the TIMSS 1999 Video Study of Eighth-Grade Mathematics Teaching?

Based on the coding and analysis of the eighth-grade mathematics lessons videotaped for this study, the following points can be made.

Eighth-grade mathematics teaching in all seven countries shared some general features.

The comparative nature of this study tends to draw attention to the ways in which the seven countries differed in the teaching of eighth-grade mathematics. But it is important to remember that both differences and similarities are expected in cross-country and cross-cultural comparisons. When a wide-angle lens is employed across countries, it is clear that all seven countries shared common ways of teaching eighth-grade mathematics. Viewed from this perspective, some similarities are striking.

  • In all of the countries, eighth-grade mathematics was often taught through solving problems; at least 80 percent of lesson time, on average, was devoted to solving mathematics problems.

  • Eighth-grade mathematics lessons in all seven countries were organized to include some public, whole-class work and some private, individual or small-group work. During the time that students worked privately, the most common pattern across the countries was for students to work individually, rather than in pairs or groups.

  • On average, lessons in all of the countries included some review of previous content as well as some attention to new content.

  • At least 90 percent of lessons in all the countries made use of a textbook or worksheet of some kind.

  • Teachers in all of the countries talked more than students, at a ratio of at least 8:1 words, respectively.

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