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Making sense of TIMSS 2019 New Zealand Year 9 Science study: Item analysis of students’ performance

Maurice M. W. Cheng

Much of the focus of international comparative studies of students’ achievement has been on New Zealand students’ falling standards. Using the most recent findings from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), and, in particular, Year 9 New Zealand students’ performance in specific items, this article suggests that there is much more we can learn from this large-scale assessment. For example, in what ways are students’ achievements changing over the years? How has our students’ higher order thinking in science changed? What have we done well and not so well? By highlighting the values of the TIMSS Science Study, it is hoped that teachers and schools will be more likely to consider and use the findings to plan curriculum and to design assessment.

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