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Complete list of publications

An extended bibliography of publications related to IEA studies is online. Many of the publications can be downloaded free of charge.

Policy Brief Series

The IEA policy briefs address issues of particular interest to policymakers based on secondary analysis of data from IEA's studies, first of all from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). Each publication in the series aims to connect study findings to recurrent and emerging questions in education policy debates at the international and national level. The briefs cover a range of themes in relation to teaching and learning in school subjects addressed by the IEA studies.

This work was funded by the National Center for Education Statistics of the US Department of Education under Contract No. ED-08-CO-0117 with the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). Mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations does not imply endorsement by the US Government.

Policy Briefs

August 2017: Too scared to learn? Understanding the importance of school safety for immigrant students

By Tamara Katsching (University of Vienna, Austria), and Dirk Hastedt (IEA, Hamburg, Germany)

TIMSS shows school safety and climate are highly correlated with educational performance, with immigrant students’ perceptions of school safety even more closely linked to achievement, and thus more strongly related to student well-being and aspirations.  Identifying and addressing the special obstacles faced by immigrant children is crucial to achieving inclusive and equitable quality education for all, and improving national educational outcomes.


May 2017: Reading performance in post-colonial contexts and the effect of instruction in a second language

By Sarah Howie (University of Pretoria, South Africa), and Megan Chamberlain (Ministry of Education, New Zealand)

Do language policies, past and present, help explain achievement differences? Evidence from PIRLS post-colonial countries supports the need to understand and improve language policies. In an increasingly diverse world, where significant migration is becoming the norm, countries are considering a greater range of language-in-education models, varying from full immersion to increasing degrees of additive bilingualism. Independent international studies, like IEA's PIRLS, provide valuable evidence to help support national policymaking.


February 2017: Exploring cross-national changes in instructional practices: evidence from four cycles of TIMSS

By Mojca Rožman, and Eckhard Klieme (German Institute for International Educational Research [DIPF], Germany)

TIMSS trends reveal there is mixed evidence for global “mega-trends” in education. Constructivist pedagogy (working in groups, applying mathematical content to daily life) was boosted on a large scale during the mid-2000s. There is only limited support for a rise in assessment-based instruction and a shift from computational practice to problem-solving in mathematics. Teaching practices seem to be shaped by national educational cultures or policies.


November 2016: Where are the immigrant girls?

By Theophania Chavatzia (UNESCO, France), Laura Engel (George Washington University, USA), and Dirk Hastedt (IEA Hamburg, Germany)

Girls are more likely to be excluded from education than boys. In several countries, TIMSS 2011 data reveals that more than 50% of immigrant girls are not enrolled in school. Unequal access threatens gender equality in educational outcomes within the immigrant population, hindering overall efforts towards the attainment of SDG4. Policymakers need to ask, “Where are the immigrant girls?


September 2016: Are teacher characteristics and teaching practices associated with student performance?

José G. Clavel and Ildefonso Méndez, University of Murcia, Spain, and Francisco Javier G. Crespo, National Institute for Educational Assessment (INEE), Spain

In this brief, data from TIMSS 2011 was used to construct indexes to analyze whether different strategies and methodologies used by 8th grade mathematics and science teachers in their day-to-day activities had an impact on the academic performance of their students. Although countries showed differing results, usually related with their economic development level, collegial practices generally exhibited positive associations with student performance. Meanwhile, passive teaching and active assessment strategies were more often negatively than positively associated with student achievement.


April 2016: Are school characteristics related to equity? The answer may depend on a country’s developmental level

Trude Nilsen and Sigrid Blömeke, University of Oslo, Norway, and Kajsa Yang Hansen and Jan-Eric Gustafsson, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

This policy brief examines how school characteristics may be associated with educational equity in terms of the relationship between students’ socioeconomic status and achievement. The findings have implications for both highly-developed and developing countries interested in supporting educational equity.


December 2015: Is reading contagious? Examining parents’ and children’s reading attitudes and behaviors

Maria Stephens, Ebru Erberber, Yemurai Tsokodayi, Teresa Kroeger and Sharlyn Ferguson, The American Institutes for Research, Washington DC, USA

This brief explores whether parents’ positive reading attitudes and behaviors are “contagious,” providing a valuable descriptive picture across numerous and diverse education systems, of the extent to which children’s reading attitudes and behaviors mirror those of their parents. Such understanding can inform efforts by policymakers to craft interventions designed to motivate children to read.


Research clearly demonstrates the importance of students’ reading behaviors for predicting students’ short- and long-term outcomes. While teachers’ instruction might affect these reading behaviors (and therefore indirectly affect achievement), little is known about the association of in-school teacher practices with students’ out-of-school behaviors. This report analyses PIRLS data, and addresses implications for policymakers, teachers, parents, and researchers.


While every country strives for its students to have advanced achievement in some form, competence is often a higher policy priority than excellence, and shrinking minimum competency gaps is a higher priority than closing excellence gaps. In this brief, educational excellence is defined as the percent of students who meet or exceed the TIMSS advanced benchmark. Policy implications are highlighted, along with recommendations for further research into excellence gaps.


VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL

Digital information and communication technologies (ICT) have made the acquisition of computer and information literacy (CIL) a leading factor in creating an engaged and employable citizenry. Are young people developing the necessary CIL skills?


March 2015: Socioeconomically disadvantaged students who are academically successful: examining academic resilience cross-nationally

Ebru Erberber, Maria Stephens, Saida Mamedova, Sharlyn Ferguson & Teresa Kroeger, American Institutes for Research

VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL

This brief uses 2011 eighth-grade data from TIMSS to explore (1) how prevalent academically resilient students are across education systems and (2) what factors are associated with academic resilience.


January 2015: Is teacher experience associated with mathematics achievement?

Andrés Sandoval-Hernández & Katrin Jaschinski, IEA Hamburg, Germany, & Pablo Fraser & Sakiko Ikoma, Pennsylvania State University, USA

VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL

Teacher experience is thought to exert a key role in student achievement. International comparative data is used to assess: (1) is teacher experience associated with the mathematics achievement of 4th graders; and (2) do other teacher characteristics have an influence?


VERSION IN ARABIC
Many countries promote reforms to improve access to and the quality of early childhood education. Data from eight Arab education systems that participated in PIRLS 2011 showed a positive relationship between participation in preprimary education, its duration, and student-reading achievement at primary school.


VERSION IN ARABIC
Emphasis on the use of computer software for instruction may influence student achievement in mathematics and science. This brief examines whether associations can be made between computer training, support and professional development for teachers, and student outcomes.


March 2014: Parental involvement in school activities and reading literacy: findings and implications from PIRLS 2011 data

Plamen Mirazchiyski, IEA Hamburg, Germany & Eva Klemenčič, Educational Research Institute, Slovenia

VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL

Students in schools with higher parental involvement tend to have higher reading achievement. Analysis also showed a positive association between level of parental involvement in school and level of parental education. Promoting parental involvement may be an effective strategy for increasing reading achievement; this could be particularly relevant for schools with students whose parents have lower levels of education.


December 2013: Is participation in preschool education associated with higher student achievement?

Andres Sandoval-Hernandez & Parisa Aghakasiri, IEA Hamburg, Germany, & Kyoko Taniguchi, Hiroshima University, Japan

VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL

Countries and supranational organizations have promoted reforms aimed at preparing children for school entry, and preschool coverage rates have steadily increased in recent decades. This policy brief examines the relationship between preschool education and mathematics achievement at Grade 4. 


September 2013: Does increasing hours of schooling lead to improvements in student learning?

Andres Sandoval-Hernandez & Parisa Aghakasiri, IEA Hamburg, Germany, & Justin Wild & David Rutkowski, Indiana University, USA

VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL

The time students spend in the classroom is not always positively related to their academic achievement. Effective teaching time is most likely to have a positive impact on student achievement. Policies influencing how time at school is allocated can be a good way to improve educational outcomes.


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