RESEARCH PROPOSAL FOR PH.D 2017-2018
A STUDY OF TIMSS’ MATHEMATICS OF FOURTH GRADE:
A COMPARATIVE STUDY BETWEEN IRAN AND OMAN
Prof. AHRAR HUSAIN ALIASGHAR RAHMAN DOUST
PROF.JESSY ABRHAM DR.JASIM AHMAD
“It is widely recognized that education is essential for economic and social development of a country as well as for personal development of its citizens. It is more commonly accepted (though some disagree) that regular assessment of students’ achievement is important to make decisions and improve educational systems. Nowadays conducting comparison researches are important and known debates to compare and assess between countries in various subjects. To evaluate of educational subjects also we can mention one of the more important center that it’s “association for the evaluation of educational achievement.” this center was formed for first time in Sweden in 1950s.” The IEA issued its 1st report in 1959 which was from a pilot review of a examination which enclosed reading comprehension, science, geography, mathematics and non-verbal skill. “Meanwhile its 1st assessment, there have been 33 subsequent international educations of academic success, 29 of this have even been supported by the IEA” (Heyneman, 2004′ Heyeman&Lykins, 2008).
One of the most important international evaluation and assessing the test (TIMSS) which is called” trend international mathematics and science study. TIMSS also includes information about key instructional, curricular and resource related variables with reference to the teaching-learning process in Mathematics and Science. The stated aims of TIMSS are to progress training and learning of Math and Sciences around the world. It provides important information to aid the strategy progress, to adoptive the community responsibility and to also identify parts of development or decline in achievement with a view to addressing the concerns for equity.
The aim of the TIMSS studies is to evaluate students’ performance, improve learning processes and more mathematical and science learning and providing information about students’ academic achievement and communication with different types of curriculum, educational measures and school environment on student performance. (Mullis, martin, Gonzales and chrostowski, 2004).
One of the important topics that have been considered in the TIMSS-R study is mathematics and valuation; there has been progress in this lesson. Mutual trend international mathematics and science study tested and collected contextual documents for more than half a million schoolchildren. The TIMSS outcomes stayed then unconfined in 1966 and 1977 with a resolved of providing the educational policy makers and the specialists worthy data about math’s and science directions. “By an International agreement the TIMSS tests have been evaluated and measured by science and mathematics experts to approve their accuracy” (Joahan, 2008).
The study of the TIMMS in different periods has always been based on three questions.
1. Expected from the students what they should learn (intended program)
2. Who, with what conditions and facilities and with what type of organization offer these tutorials (performed program)
3. How much taught students which has expected (gained program).
Analysis of each of these ingredients can have effective contribution in process of teaching-learning of students in various stages and countries will be able to evaluate their qualifications and abilities in various dimensions, (Kiamanesh and Kheyrieh. 1999).
??The TIMSS study shows the clear and real picture of performance of educational systems of countries in intended curriculum framework , performed curriculum and gained curriculum in teaching mathematics and science, fourth and eighth , analysis of each of these ingredients can specify effective contribution in the process of teaching-learning of students in Various stages. Intended curriculum depends on collection of aims in educational framework guidelines, textbooks (input), overseeing the (performed programs) tests and other determined, (Karimi, bakhshalizadeh and kabiri, 2012).
There are several statistical models in the field of educational measurement in order to infer about tests and subjects. Formulations have become. Exams are important in determine the ability of students in a subject or specific content area to have data with three characteristics. First, these statistical models have hidden variables (ability, talent, or attribute).
THE STATUS OF USIN ICT AND AVAILABLITY OF INFRASTRUCTURES IN SCHOOLS IN IRAN
It is a well-known fact that school basic structures is a necessary level of schools for realizing the process of teaching and learning. It is also known that the availability of infrastructure facilities in the schools have a huge impact on its environment and is also one of the important factors in assessing whether the schools are able to provide a conducive teaching learning environment for children or not. A school’s bad infrastructure can also create irritation and friction where as a planned infrastructure will create a satisfactory center of learning. The infrastructure of schools are explained as a set of inter-woven structural elements that provides a structure which supports the whole basic of improvement. An appropriate school basic systems contains a construction in a proper form which includes a sufficient number of well-planned classes, enough desks, benches, chairs, blackboards, notice boards and place in classrooms, sanitation facilities, water facilities, power. Airing and energy, fire leavings and first aid kits, medical care, counselors, canteen, recreational activities spaces computer services and study room. And IT etc. (Lohan, 2015).
THE STATUS OF USIN ICT AND AVAILABLITY OF INFRASTRUCTURES IN SCHOOLS IN OMAN
ICT is viewed by the Omani government as essential to improving the quality of education. The Ministry of Education (MOE) employs a comprehensive set of recommendations for technology-assisted instruction across the entire national curriculum at all grades and levels of education.
First-cycle and second-cycle basic education – grades 1-4 and 5-10, respectively – incorporate high levels of integration of technology-assisted instruction supported by infrastructure, including basic hardware and internet connectivity. Learner-to-computer ratios are relatively low in Oman, at roughly 9:1, indicating that few children share a computer in primary and secondary school. Internet connectivity and access follow a similar pattern.
In higher education, schools have introduced blended learning and virtual classrooms as resource add-ons to traditional learning techniques. Students use electronic databases and take advantage of proprietary platforms offered by schools or institute affiliates to access additional resources, submit assignments and engage in telecollaboration.
In support of these objectives, the government and private school systems are increasingly turning to tablets as learning aids. In March 2016 the MoE signed a memorandum of understanding with Omantel to provide 3500 Huawei tablet devices for distribution to a number of schools across Oman. Private schools have also explored the option of providing tablets to students, and have occasionally met with public resistance from parents unwilling to pay annual fees charged for software and hardware upgrades, (The Report: Oman 2017: Education & Training).
THE EFFECT OF ICT IN THE SCHOOLS ON STUDENTS PERFORMANCE
One of the major infrastructures in schools can be called classrooms and smart schools. ICT is one of the main concerns of today’s world that has many aspects of life, including educational systems, (mohajeran, ghalheei, hamzehrobati, 2013).
The lack of trained human resources and the lack of financial and physical resources for equipping smart schools as well as the essential requirements are the problems in developing schools in Iran.
The lack of enough computers, the lack of teachers’ knowledge and skills, the integration of technology with the training process, the lack of technical staff and supervision, the cost and lack of hardware and software, lack of training, lack of time and curriculum pressure, lack of funding in The implementation of information technology in education is one of the obstacles and challenges of school development in Iran, (mohajeran, ghalheei, hamzehrobati, 2013).
CULTURAL DIFFERENCESAND SELF-CONFIDENCE AND ACHIVEMENT IN MATHEMATIC
International comparative researches like TIMSS has recently obtained a significant consideration. But, the difficulties linked with TIMSS reports comes from the truth that population targeted have specials school structures, cultures and also cognitive process. Theories based on these researches are the results of cultures from West, without the fact that “self” is a cultural structure which is very different from culture to another, and we must, based on the cultural structure of Iran Check this out.
TIMSS motivational concepts are largely separated into self-assurance a detailed kind of self-idea which is often mentioned to as ability certainty, constructive affect that is inherent inspiration: student like learning mathematics, and task value-including importance that is extrinsic motivation: students value for mathematics. (Ryan and DEci 2000).
Student-Background factor: the measures for this factor will be parents’ educational level. Parents can affect their children’s achievement in several ways and making opportunities for them to learn (hiring tutors).Parents are social factors that make a lot of networks which able set up students’ education, and perhaps have an important effect on childhood learning process later. The level of parents’ education and their understanding of education can have an impact on the progress of the children, (Bofah and Hannula, 2015).
COGNITIVE DIAGNOSTIC MODEL
In recently the educational study was categorized by a heightening call for complicated data on learner’s accomplishment. This can be instigated due to a developing attention of explaining the outcome of international comparative investigations such as TIMSS study. Moreover it can be studied by a strong requirement describe the public and racial differences identified in such researches.
Cognitive diagnostic assessment (CDA) is a comparatively new method in education as well as language assessment to help in furnishing finely corned diagnostic data about participants degree of dominate of various defined sub skills.(Lee & Sawaki, 2009). Although the development of Cognitive diagnostic assessment has mainly been moved by the requirement for a fresh formative valuation method, the technique has been recently furnished to norm-cited tests. Cognitive diagnostic assessment is a new & advanced perspective in assessment which combines cognitive psychology and educational assessment and try to discover underlying test skills and provides more information on weaknesses and strength of tests. The objective of this respective is assessment for learning, it is seen as a learning process not only measuring results of learning & assessment but also it tries to measure skills by putting them in a continuous scale of skills and make them distinct from each other. In prevalent measurement methods presentation of one dimension of skills is enough but in cognitive diagnostic model multidimensional presentation of skills is intended. Cognitive diagnostic assessment provides information about weaknesses and strengths of examinees in knowledge and processing skills in such a way that examinees can discover reasons of their success or failure and improve their future performance, (Jang, 2005, 2008).
Using CDA methods in assessment confers some benefits that other models do not. First and foremost, the majority of item response theory (IRT) and Rash models assume or require the statistical unidimensionality of data sets as a precondition for item calibration and parameter estimation. Although multidimensional Rash models lack this requirement, in most other models unidimensionality is considered requisite to locate test takers along a hypothetical continuum. A great asset of CDA is that it does not require unidimensionality. The unidimensionality precondition seems particularly problematic in the language assessment field because most measurement models drive the test information to be one-dimensional approximate, whiles study displays that language and educational valuation instrument typically tap into a collection of features or sub-abilities, each of which could make a statistically dissociable measurement (Aryadoust, Akbarzadeh, &kbarzadeh, 2011; Buck, 1994).
The main objective in this research is showing how cognitive diagnostic assessment application of the most versatile models for examine of characteristics, and comparison cultural differences, degree of parents’ education, ICT role in student’s performance, self-confidence and success in mathematics of students in mathematics in the TIMSS test.
REVIWE OF LITERATURE
“A research was carried out by Buabeng, Acheaw and DansoNtowin (2014) on the subject of “TIMSS 2011 knowledge evaluation outcomes: A Review of Ghana’s Performance” and the results are as follows: First review, outcomes on the 8 grade learning content success in biology, physics, chemistry, and earth science for Ghana, Morocco and Tunisia were compared with each other. The second review compared how Ghana prepares its teachers to Finland and Singapore which were among the first 5 performing countries on the TIMSS 2011 assessment. Some mismatches were recognized in terms of instructor training and students’ attainment in the case of Ghana. Ghanaian trainers graded comparatively great on most of the concepts that were evaluated by report of the TIMSS under trainer construction but these were not considered in the learners’ success” (Bubeng, acheaw and Danso Natwin, 2015).
According to Afzali and teammate study (2014), the use of cognitive diagnostic models in determining the nature of the difference in performance of males and females students in the 1st grade high school in mathematics was carried out. This result showed that between male and female students’ mathematical performance based on Dina’s model there are cognitive diagnostic models that exist in the measured parameters. Also, male and female students had the same performance in math skills, but female students had a higher mastery of math concepts than boys, and boy students had the skills to intermediate mathematics operations and use their learning in real world issues. They have a significant superiority over girls.
In a study by Aryadoust (2011), Cognitive diagnostic assessment was investigated as an alternative measurement model. The objective of this research was to examine the potential that CDA modeling has in language assessment. The research describes the principles of CDA representations in a overall and the fusion representation (FM) mainly.
An investigation was conducted by Swapna ; Lahon (2015), whose findings showed that school facilities are not satisfactory. Also the government departments are getting more assistances in order to better their arrangement readiness’s, for instance enough numbers of teaching space, services of drinking water, hygiene toilet services, and facilities designed for games, sports and music.
THE STATUS OF IRANIAN STUDENTS IN THE TIMSS TEST
In each educational system, the academic achievement level of students is one of the indicators of success in scientific activities. Existence of academic achievement is a topic that is currently being considered by the education system of every country. The aim of the TIMSS studies is to evaluate the performance of students, to develop training and learning procedures in math and knowledge, and provide information on students’ academic success with respect to diverse types of syllabuses, educational measures and school atmospheres on student performance, (Mullis, Martin, Gonzales and Chrostowski, 2004).
Governments that participate in this test, rank of the TIMSS test is as weaknesses or strengths of their training programs. A country such as Norway is so close to this test that the poor result of Norwegian students led to deposal of the country’s education minister.
Iran has participated in the TIMSS test since 1999 till now. The last period of TIMSS was in 2015 and next of that is in 2018.In all TIMSS studies, the rank of Iranian students in the mathematics test, which is based on the average total score, has been very low. The amount of academic failure is one of the main problems of Iranian students in all educational grades. The findings of international studies, including the World Summit Study, have shown the poor performance of Iranian students in different fields, (Saramdi, Saif, Talebi and Abedi, 2011).
THE STATUS OF OMANI STUDENTS IN THE TIMSS
The Sultanate of Oman took part in TIMSS 2007, TIMSS 2011, and TIMSS 2015, with the objective to develop and to improve the educational system.
By following the publications of the results and the international reports by IEA, Oman formed two teams, one for science and the other for mathematics, which consisted of math and science courses officers, local administrators and the evaluation officers. These teams studied the Universal reports on math and knowledge prior to submitting the recommendations to the decision authorities of the Ministry of Education. Most of the recommendations which were enlisted were associated with the variables which were involved in the research tools i.e. inquiry forms, as well as how to link these variables with the levels of student attainment in the TIMSS 2007 and 2011 cycles. Both cycles had a direct impact on curricula and assessment in the Omani educational system.
Omani students have not performed very well in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science study. Many countries and instructive organizations have been using TIMSS results as an important indicator to compare science and mathematics achievement around the globe. ( Al- Balushi, Ambusaidi, Al-Mherzi, Al-Harthi, Al-Saadi and Al-Balushi, 2016).
The indicators received from the last TIMSS 2015 report showed -though not what was aimed for – a slight improvement in the international ranking of Oman compared to the previous one. Studies have showed an “Improved performance” of Omani students in TIMSS 2015. It was with some relief, therefore, that the MOE was able to report that in 2015, in mathematics and at both grades 4 and 8, student performance showed a significant improvement on the 2011 results, (Oman Mathematics Committee, 2018).
The mount of academic failure of Iranian and Omani students in international tests and the presence of Iran and Oman in the lower rankings of the TIMSS test illustrates the importance of this issue. In order to understand the causes and roots of this failure, studies should be carried out at a macro and micro level, and should focus on cultural aspects and related factors such as parental educations, schools infrastructures, the role of ICT, educational programs, teaching-learning methods, gender and self-confidence, in math success. The existence of a high degree of research on the predictors of students’ academic achievement in the TIMSS test reveals many determinants in the academic achievement of students. So we set out to analyze the mathematical questions of the 2015 TIMSS test based on cognitive diagnostic model.
SIGNIFICANE OF THE STUDY
Mathematics is one of the most valuable achievements by humans that is nowadays considered as an industrial and technical tool. In other words, mathematics is the main nutritionist of industry and technology in the 21st century and is a means of mentoring. It has now been proved that mathematics fosters thought, reasoning, inference, and logical conclusion.
Another more important part of this research that can be used is the application of a new method for analyzing of questions that provides more information about the performance of students, it call CDM (cognitive diagnostic model). Since using the cognitive diagnostic model for analyzing mathematical questions, in addition to estimating the individual’s ability to measure in structures, TIMSS provides an indicator for each person who has his or her mastery or lack of mastery in a set of basic skills or cognitive microstructures predetermined to answer questions.
The TIMSS test is one of the most important tests in the world of mathematics and science, and it will show students’ abilities in each country. Mathematics and mastery is one of the important topics for development and development in the field of technology, both for students in order to achieve a significant position and occupation, as well as for the specialists and planners of that country. Therefore, by knowing students’ abilities and important factors affecting their failure or success and mastery or non-mastery in defined skills in this test, we can also recognize the positive points and negative points of the learners and develop a new educational programs and using ICT to improve the weaknesses or increase efficiency in later stages, (minaei, delavar, falsafinezhad, kiamanesh and mahajer, 2014).
To determine attributes and skills, through methods like: content analysis theory question and loud thinking and opinion of mathematics experts i.e., schools teachers and mathematics teacher educators.
To compare the weaknesses and strengths of Iranian and Omani students in TIMSS 2015in fourth grade with CDM.
To compare between boys and girls performance in TIMSS 2015 in fourth grade between Iran and Oman.
To study the status of ICT between Iran and Oman’s schools and its effect on students’ performance in TIMSS 2015.
To study teaching-learning process of mathematics curriculum in Iran and Oman relate it with the performance of Iranian and Omani students in the TIMSS 2015.
To study the relation between students’ performance with their parents’ education in TIMSS in fourth grade.
To compare schools’ infrastructures with achievement rates of students in Iran and Oman with the expected goals in the TIMSS test.
To study teachers and parents’ attitude about using of ICT in teaching learning process.
METHODOLOGY OF THE STUDY
Research method in this study is descriptive-comparative (secondary data).
The first step of this research is to determine skills and attributes of mathematics questions in TIMSS test. This step is as a qualitative method.
For defining and determining of attributes and skills we can use some methods like: content analysis theory, question content analysis, loudly thinking and the opinion of mathematics experts.
We will define and determine these skills and attributes by mathematics expert’s opinion.
For doing this aim we will ask TIMSS questions. And we will record their answers and we will show them to mathematics experts. Also we can do these steps in same time.
After defining and determining attributes and skills we design Q Matrix. It is a model for showing number of questions and skills and attributes those determined by mathematics experts, according to student’s answers.
Q Matrix shows number of questions and attributes and skills that students need to them for answering to questions.
It has number of rows and columns. In rows we will put questions and in columns we will put attributes and skills. The main aim is to determine this aim that for answering any question how many and which skills and attributes selected by students. (Selected skills and attributes will be shown with 1 and unselected with 0).
In this step we will put Iranian student’s answerers in TIMSS 2015 in CDM and SPSSS statistic software for analyzing research questions.
The tools of research in this study will be applied TIMSS mathematics questions of fourth grade of 2015 and some questionnaires and survey method for assessing of teachers and parents attitude about using of ICT in teaching-learning process.
Statistical population includes all Iranian and Omani students who have participated in the TIMSS test of 2015.In the year 2015, 300 schools that have participated in the TIMSS from Oman and in Iran 248 were participated in the same year.
According to the type of research that is an international test and a large number of students have participated in this test, the best method of sampling is, randomized cluster sampling. For survey we can use convenience sampling.
For data analysis in this study we use CDM and SPSS statistical software.
USABLE RESULTS FROM THIS RESEARCH
By analyzing the performance of their students in the TIMSS test , we can detect the positive points and negative points of the learners, educational system and the curriculum in question, and act in a manner consistent with global standards in order to reform them.
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