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The Emperor’s new clothes: PISA, TIMSS and Finnish mathematics
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics and Science Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3679-9187
2014 (English)In: Spaces for learning: past, present and future: Proceedings of the FMSERA 30th annual symposium in Vaasa, November 6-8, 2013 / [ed] Ann-Sofi Röj-Lindberg, Lars Burman, Berit Kurtén-Finnäs, Karin Linnanmäki, Åbo Akademi University , 2014, 43-65 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

For nearly fifteen years, due to repeated successes on the Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA), Finnish education in general and mathematics education in particular have been construed internationally as benchmarks. In what is essentially a review paper I consider how the Finns explain their students’ repeated PISA successes before contrasting these explanations with observational evidence indicating that typical classroom practice is unlikely to account for such successes. In addition, I examine the relative failure of Finnish students on the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), particularly with respect to algebra and geometry, and highlight the extent to which Finnish students may be inadequately prepared for higher study of mathematics. I close by indicating that continued interest in Finland as a source of excellence in mathematics teaching may be misguided and that other European systems, like Flanders, may provide better warranted research locations for those interested in transferable insights.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Åbo Akademi University , 2014. 43-65 p.
Report from the Faculty of Education, Åbo Akademi University, ISSN 1458-7777 ; 36
Keyword [en]
PISA, TIMSS, Finnish mathematics teaching
National Category
Other Mathematics
Research subject
Mathematics Education
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-111627ISBN: 978-952-12-3129-2 (print)OAI: diva2:776005
Available from: 2015-01-06 Created: 2015-01-06 Last updated: 2016-12-15Bibliographically approved

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