Nav: Home

Graduating into profession is increasingly rigorous for teachers worldwide, report finds

October 10, 2016

Chestnut Hill, Mass. (10/10/2016) -- Across the world, requirements for becoming a teacher have become increasingly stringent and more technology is making its way into curricula and instruction, according to an education assessment of 60 countries and regions conducted by the IEA's TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center at Boston College.

Countries reported taking steps to increase professionalism among the ranks of their teaching corps as more and more countries place improving their education systems high among national priorities. Furthermore, school systems have invested in digital devices to improve mathematics and science learning, trying to equip teachers and students with technology ranging from basic tools to sophisticated systems.

The findings were published online today in the TIMSS 2015 Encyclopedia, a companion to the reports for the forthcoming results of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, the fifth installment of a global assessment of mathematics and science achievement of nearly 600,000 students at the fourth and eighth grades. The results will be released internationally on November 29, 2016.

Each participating country or region authored a chapter describing its educational system, and students and their parents, teachers, and principals completed questionnaires about the contexts of their learning and teaching.

"The countries' chapters and survey data together present a concise yet rich portrait of mathematics and science curricula and instruction around the world, and make the TIMSS 2015 Encyclopedia an indispensable resource for policy and research in comparative education," said Dr. Ina V.S. Mullis, who is Executive Director along with Dr. Michael O. Martin of the TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center.

More than one-third of the participating countries reported strengthening the requirements to become a teacher of fourth or eighth grade students. Aspiring educators face tougher admission criteria to the profession, such as increased years of university study, additional certification requirements, and minimum grade-point averages from university programs.

Technology policies in education are relatively new but now widespread. Most participating countries reported guidelines for integrating technology into the curriculum, ranging from calculator use to simulation or graphing software.

Other highlights of the TIMSS 2015 Encyclopedia include:
  • Mathematics and science are core subjects. Countries allocated about one-fourth to one-third of the instructional time in primary and lower secondary schools to both subjects combined, with some shift from more emphasis on mathematics than science in primary schools to more emphasis on science than mathematics in lower secondary schools.

  • Countries reported special initiatives that aim to increase student interest and participation in STEM subjects, including a "Science Picnic" in Poland that attracted more than 100,000 visitors, and the establishing of the LUMA Centre Finland to inspire and motivate youth in STEM education through the latest science and technology activities.

  • Throughout the 20 years of TIMSS, most countries have updated their national mathematics and science curricula--especially in mathematics, and sometimes more than once--and a number of countries based their curriculum reform on the results of TIMSS 2011.

  • Curricular guidelines that include mathematics and science are beginning to emerge in preprimary programs. Almost all TIMSS 2015 participants reported having official documents guiding the curriculum for preprimary education programs for children age 3 or older, such as kindergarten.

TIMSS has been administered every four years since 1995, and the TIMSS 2015 results will encompass 20 years of education trends for countries that have participated since the inception of the study, sponsored by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA).

The TIMSS 2015 Encyclopedia will be available at:

For additional information about the November 29 release of TIMSS 2015 results, please visit

Boston College

Related Mathematics Articles:

More democracy through mathematics
For democratic elections to be fair, voting districts must have similar sizes.
How to color a lizard: From biology to mathematics
Skin color patterns in animals arise from microscopic interactions among colored cells that obey equations discovered by Alan Turing.
Mathematics supports a new way to classify viruses based on structure
New research supports a structure-based classification system for viruses which could help in the identification and treatment of emerging viruses.
US educators awarded for exemplary teaching in mathematics
Janet Heine Barnett, Caren Diefenderfer, and Tevian Dray were named the 2017 Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award winners by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) for their teaching effectiveness and influence beyond their institutions.
Authors of year's best books in mathematics honored
Prizes for the year's best books in mathematics were awarded to Ian Stewart and Tim Chartier by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) on Jan.
The mathematics of coffee extraction: Searching for the ideal brew
Composed of over 1,800 chemical components, coffee is one of the most widely-consumed drinks in the world.
Even physicists are 'afraid' of mathematics
Physicists avoid highly mathematical work despite being trained in advanced mathematics, new research suggests.
Mathematics and music: New perspectives on the connections between these ancient arts
World-leading experts on music and mathematics present insights on the connections between these two ancient arts, especially as they relate to composition and performance, as well as creativity, education, and geometry.
Kindergarteners' mathematics success hinges on preschool skills
In a study funded by the National Science Foundation, researchers at the University of Missouri discovered that preschoolers who better process words associated with numbers and understand the quantities associated with these words are more likely to have success with math when they enter kindergarten.
First international mathematics research institute launched in Australia
World leaders in the mathematical sciences are visiting Melbourne for a series of research programs at Australia's first international research institute for mathematics and statistics.

Related Mathematics Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Failure can feel lonely and final. But can we learn from failure, even reframe it, to feel more like a temporary setback? This hour, TED speakers on changing a crushing defeat into a stepping stone. Guests include entrepreneur Leticia Gasca, psychology professor Alison Ledgerwood, astronomer Phil Plait, former professional athlete Charly Haversat, and UPS training manager Jon Bowers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#524 The Human Network
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".