# Changes in Grade 8 mathematics achievement in Norway and Sweden between 2007 and 2011 as a function of changes in exposure to math content

Författare och institution:

Monica Rosén (Institutionen för pedagogik och specialpedagogik); Jan-Eric Gustafsson (Institutionen för pedagogik och specialpedagogik)

Publicerad i:

2014 Annual Meeting Program of The Annual Meeting of AERA, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 3-7 2014,

ISSN:

0163-9676

Publikationstyp:

Konferensbidrag - refereegranskat abstract

Publiceringsår:

2014

Språk:

engelska

Fulltextlänk:

Sammanfattning (abstract):

Objectives and purpose
For Norway an increase of about 8 score points was observed in TIMSS 2011 mathematics achievement compared to TIMSS 2007, while in Sweden mathematics achievement decreased by 11 score points. The main purpose of the paper is to find an explanation for these differential patterns of change. The main line of investigation focuses curricular change in providing opportunity to learn mathematics.
Theoretical framework
Opportunity to learn (OTL) refers mainly to the degree to which the students have been exposed to the content of the test in school. The OTL concept may be utilized as a tool to investigate causes for differential change in achievement across countries, and in the current paper we investigate to what degree change in OTL explains the differences in change of grade 8 math achievement between 2007 and 2011 in Sweden and Norway.
Method
Two-level SEM (student and class) was used as the main analytical tool. Sampling weights, the complex option, as well as a multiple imputation model for the 5 plausible values for achievement measures was used with the Mplus software (Muthén & Muthén, 1998 - 2012). Variables representing OTL in mathematics were introduced as latent mediation variables in a path model, were Math achievement was regressed on dummy variables representing year, country and the year x country interaction. Changes in the relationship between achievement and country and year caused by the mediation variables were then interpreted in causal terms.
Data
The data was retrieved from the IEA TIMSS 2007 and TIMSS 2011 databases. The sample included the Swedish and Norwegian grade 8 samples at both occasions (N = 19277). The dependent variables selected for the study were the total math achievement score along with the domain scores for number, data, algebra and geometry. Teacher questionnaire items concerning math content coverage were used to construct OTL variables.
Result
The results indicate that almost the whole difference between Norway and Sweden could be accounted for by a relatively larger increase in OTL for algebra observed in Norway. Furthermore, the increased level of OTL for algebra seems to have positively influenced performance in all subdomains of math in Norway.
Scientific and scholarly significance
The two major findings from this study will nurture both policy and further research. The relation between algebra and the other three subdomains implies that math achievement in general benefits relatively more from the learning of algebra than from learning in other subdomains. This finding calls for further research on the role of algebra relative to other math domains. The effect of increased OTL for algebra will also stimulate further discussions about the math curriculum and its implementation in both Sweden and Norway.

Ämne (baseras på Högskoleverkets indelning av forskningsämnen):

SAMHÄLLSVETENSKAP ->

Utbildningsvetenskap ->

Pedagogik

Utbildningsvetenskap ->

Pedagogik

Nyckelord:

Grade 8 math, Timss 2007-2011, Opportunity to Learn, Nordic comparison

Postens nummer:

208076

Posten skapad:

2014-12-14 00:31