Part A: The Inquiry and Action-Planning Process

The NRC’s Global Perspectives for Local Action report is, at its core, a call to teachers, educational administrators, higher education staff, and the interested public to use the TIMSS findings to examine their own practices and the results of these practices more closely and consciously. It invites these audiences to inquire into their own curriculum, teaching, and school practices and to think about and plan actions they could take to address problems and improve student learning. Where school and district planning, accreditation, and improvement teams already exist, Module 3 can help these teams employ the TIMSS findings to plan improvements in mathematics and science curricula, instruction, and school culture.

Module 3 contains

  • Vignettes of schools that are using TIMSS to improve mathematics and science education;

  • Ideas for how to get started with action planning;

  • An eight-stage inquiry process, along with examples and forms; and

  • Planning templates for achievement, curriculum, instruction, and school support systems that include a summary of relevant TIMSS data, possible questions and data sources for inquiring into practice, and ideas for action planning.

Several school districts around the country are using TIMSS as a springboard for reflection and action to improve mathematics and science education. Lessons can be drawn from an urban school in Paterson, New Jersey, schools involved in the First in the World Consortium in Chicago’s northern suburbs, and the Lake Shore School District in Michigan. The vignettes on pgs. 393–397 from these sites offer some images of actions others around the country could take to improve their local mathematics and science education.

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