64 pages | 8.5 x 11
Now that the initial results of The Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) have been released, the Board on International Comparative Studies in Education (BICSE) has turned its attention to what happens next. The TIMSS data are potentially useful to researchers, policy makers, practitioners, and others interested in evidence regarding factors that influence student learning. But although the study has produced a remarkable volume of intriguing data, it is by no means complete. Scholarly review of the initial data, evaluations of claims based on the data, and follow-up secondary analysis based on the primary findings are all integral parts of a study of this magnitude, but the bulk of this very important work has not yet begun. Because of the board's serious concern that this necessary work has not been undertaken, or funded, it held a workshop on June 17 and 18, 1998, to explore different perspectives on possible next steps.
The workshop was an invaluable opportunity for the board to explore issues and questions it has addressed over the years and to solidify its thinking about many of them. Because the board is convinced of the importance of moving forward with the TIMSS data, it presents in this report both recommendations as to what ought to be done and many of the innovative specific ideas that emerged from the workshop. These recommendations reflect the board's conviction, based on its many years of involvement with and deliberations about TIMSS, that this study is an extremely rich resource for the policy, scholarly, and practice communities, and that all of these groups have a responsibility to take full advantage of it. The recommendations and discussion in this report are intended to assist both researchers and funders who are considering further work with TIMSS, and a broader audience of researchers, policy makers, practitioners, and others who have followed the TIMSS results and are eager to use them. This report is, in a sense, the culmination of many years of effort for the board.