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Topic: U.S.: TIMSS Case Study Findings
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 15,669
Registered: 12/3/04
U.S.: TIMSS Case Study Findings
Posted: Mar 16, 1999 12:19 PM
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[Note: From the TIMSS-Forum list ... ]


[See ]

National Institute on Student Achievement,
Curriculum, and Assessment

Office of Educational Research and Improvement

U.S. Department of Education


The Case Study Project is a component of the Third International
Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), and this volume - The
Educational System in the United States: Case Study Findings - is
one of five publications in the Case Study Project. The Project was
designed to provide in-depth information on education in three
nations: Germany, Japan, and the United States. The four research
topics which were the focus of the case studies in each of these
countries were selected by the U.S. Department of Education in an
effort to collect qualitative data which would complement and
amplify the quantitative information obtained through the main Third
International Mathematics and Science Study. The topics investigated
in the Case Study Project were: education standards, dealing with
differences in ability, the place of school in adolescents' lives,
and the training and working conditions of teachers.

The purpose in conducting the case studies was to describe the
education processes that exist in a sample of cities in each of the
three countries. The goal was to select research sites that were as
comparable as possible among the three countries in terms of such
factors as size, geographic distribution, and economic base. The
primary sites where most of the data were collected were large
metropolitan areas with populations of several million persons,
while the secondary sites had populations of at least several
hundred thousand. Within each site an effort was made to select a
range of primary and secondary schools that represented successful,
average, and less successful schools, in terms of such indices as
scores on achievement tests, scores on college or high school
entrance tests, and percentages of students entering colleges or
universities. In the United States, researchers conducted over 542
hours of interviews with 271 persons.

The landscape of education in the United States is characterized by
diversity. This includes diversity in the socioeconomic backgrounds
of students, curricula, types of programs, size of classes, and
resources available to schools. Diversity was evident in the actual
practices and resources among the schools in the three locations.

The authors try in this volume not to concentrate on these types of
diversity but to focus on typical public schools in the United
States at three levels: elementary, junior high, and senior high.
The challenge has been to provide a composite profile of typical
schools. The findings that emerged from the interviews and
observations allow the authors to attempt to draw such profiles.

The Educational System in the United States: Case Study Findings is
now available online in portable document format (PDF) at

Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610 USA
Fax: (618)453-4244
Phone: (618)453-4241 (office)

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