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Lessons Learned: What International Assessments Tell Us About Math Achievement


reviewed by Elizabeth Oldham — April 07, 2009

coverTitle: Lessons Learned: What International Assessments Tell Us About Math Achievement
Author(s): Tom Loveless (Ed.)
Publisher: Brookings Institution, Washington D.C.
ISBN: 0815753349, Pages: 275, Year: 2007
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International studies of mathematics education involving assessment of student achievement have provoked discussion, and dissension, for more than forty years. On the one hand, the major cross-national studies have – in varying degrees – presented systematic accounts of curriculum and extensive data on students, teachers and schools, in addition to the student achievement scores that are their best-known feature; they provide rich data sets organized in a way that facilitates thorough analysis. On the other hand, when the results are reported chiefly in terms of the participating countries’ (or education systems’) mean assessment scores, rank ordered, shorn of context and in many ways divested of meaning, they may mislead more than they inform. Reporting of this kind provokes criticisms such as those of Keitel and Kilpatrick (1999): “International comparative studies … are cited as though the results they provide go without question…. [They] not only compare the incomparable, they rationalise... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: April 07, 2009
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15613, Date Accessed: 10/21/2017 11:52:41 AM

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About the Author
  • Elizabeth Oldham
    Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
    E-mail Author
    ELIZABETH OLDHAM is a lecturer in Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, specializing in mathematics education. For several years she also worked with the Irish National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. She has a long-standing interest in international studies of curriculum and achievement; she was a member of the Curriculum Analysis Group in the Second International Mathematics Study, and is now on the National Advisory Committee for the Irish component of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Recent publications deal with Irish performance in PISA and with projects on technology in mathematics and in teacher education.
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