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From research to practice : using the TIMSS Video Study findings to enhance Australian mathematics teaching
Mathematical Association of Victoria (MAV) (2004)
  • Hilary Hollingsworth

The findings of the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 1999 Video Study have been reported at both international and national levels, however its impact on Australian mathematics teaching has yet to be realised. How can the results of the video study inform teachers' efforts toward excellence in mathematics teaching in Australia? This paper highlights some of the findings and recommendations in the national report, 'Teaching Mathematics in Australia: Results from the TIMSS 1999 Video Study', and anticipates ways that the products of the study might be used for improving teaching and teacher development. The broad purpose of the TIMSS 1999 Video Study was to investigate and describe Year 8 mathematics and science teaching practices in a variety of countries, including several with varying cultural traditions and with relatively high achievement on TIMSS assessments. Countries participating in the mathematics component of the TIMSS 1999 Video Study were Australia, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States. One of the core findings of the TIMSS 1999 Video Study is that there is no single method for teaching mathematics across countries; different methods of teaching can lead to high achievement. This means that there are many choices to make in mathematics teaching. How can teachers position themselves to make the best choices for students in Australia? How can they get to know the range of teaching methods available to choose from, and when to choose one particular method over another? The author concludes by stating that there are at least two promising approaches currently being explored in Australia that provide opportunities for teachers to work on improving their classrooms using the TIMSS 1999 Video Study resources. One approach involves a teacher professional learning program designed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT). In that program, teachers use the TIMSS Video Study reports and public release materials as key resources when they design and undertake customised workplace learning projects based on the AAMT standards for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics in Australian Schools. Another approach involves the adaptation of the Japanese 'lesson study' model of teacher learning. Furthermore, if the lesson study process is as successful as expected, teachers will have the opportunity to use the TIMSS 1999 Video Study resources as springboards to move towards excellence in mathematics teaching, with improvements in teaching yielding improved student learning and teacher development.

  • Mathematics,
  • Mathematics teachers,
  • Teaching,
  • Professional development,
  • Student improvement,
  • Teacher improvement,
  • Teaching methods,
  • Secondary education,
  • TIMSS,
  • Videotape recordings
Publication Date
Citation Information
Hilary Hollingsworth. "From research to practice : using the TIMSS Video Study findings to enhance Australian mathematics teaching" Mathematical Association of Victoria (MAV) (2004)
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