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«SE 062 649 ED 431 621 Stigler, James W.; Gonzales, Patrick; Kwanaka, Takako; AUTHOR Knoll, Steffen; Serrano, Ana The TIMSS Videotape Classroom Study: ...»

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TEACHER TALK/DEMONSTRATION was coded when the teacher talked about concepts, ideas, solution strategies or methods, lesson goals, or demonstrated solution steps. This segment was limited to situations where the teacher was transmitting lesson-relevant information to the students, and the students' role was to listen. Students could ask questions of the teacher, and the teacher could ask questions if his/her primary purpose was to maintain the students' attention. For example, if the teacher lectured but paused every 5 minutes to say, "OK, got it?" this would still be coded as TEACHER TALK/DEMONSTRATION, provided the responses were limited to a simple nodding of heads or murmuring of "Uh huhs." If the teacher elicited responses from the students the segment was coded as WORKING ON TASK/SITUATION. Instances where the teacher sets up a task and situation or comments on students' solution methods in the form of a presentation do not fall into this category but into WORKING ON or SHARING.

Finally, OTHER was coded if the content of the segment was not related to the mathematical content of the lesson. These segments may include instances when the teacher checks off that students completed their homework, small talk, housekeeping, or discipline. If a segment contained two or more types of activity occurring simultaneously, we coded it as MIXED.

The resulting 12 categories of activity segments are listed in figure 43.

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SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Third International Mathematics and Science Study, Videotape Classroom Study, 1994-95.

As can be seen in figure 44, Japanese lessons contained significantly more activity segments on average than lessons in Germany. Thus, the more frequent changing from classwork to seatwork in Japan is accompanied by a more frequent changing from one activity to another.

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SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Third International Mathematics and Science Study, Videotape Classroom Study, 1994-95.

We turn now to a discussion of the time devoted to different activities within each culture. Three of the codesWORKING ON TEST, WORKING ON MULTIPLE ACTIVITIES, and MIXEDeach accounted for less than one-half percent of lesson time. Thus, we will not present any further data concerning these codes. On the other hand, some interesting differences emerged when we examined the distribution of the various activity types across cultures. We will present some of these differences next.

Time Spent in Other Activity We start by looking at the time devoted to OTHER activities during the mathematics lesson. OTHER was coded whenever the activity was unrelated to mathematics or to the current lesson. For example, a teacher might pause during the lesson to discuss a recent field trip or sporting event of interest to the students.

This kind of unrelated activity was more common in the United States than in either of the other two countries. In figure 45 we show two different measures of OTHER: as a percentage of total time (panel a) and as a percentage of lessons in which OTHER was coded (panel b). Using percentage of total time as the measure, U.S. lessons devoted significantly more time to unrelated activities during the lesson than did either German or Japanese teachers. Similarly, a significantly higher percentage of U.S.

lessons contained such activities than did German lessons. Although the total percentage of time devoted to unrelated activities during the lesson is small in all countries, even a brief diversion of this sort may break the flow of the lesson. Thus, it may be important that nearly 25 percent of the U.S. lessons included this kind of activity.

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SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Third International Mathematics and Science Study, Videotape Classroom Study, 1994-95.

Homework During the Lesson There is a great deal of interest in the United States in the topic of homework: Many Americans believe that more homework will translate into higher achievement for students. In fact, our observations confirm that homework plays a more prominent role in eighth-grade mathematics classrooms in the United States than it does in Japan, and somewhat more prominent than in Germany.

In figure 46 we show the percentage of lessons in which students actually work on or share homework. Japanese students were never observed to work on the next day's homework during class, and were relatively rarely observed to share homework results. Both German and U.S. students share homework in class frequently, but only U.S. students spend significant amounts of time in class actually working on the next day's homework. When we look at total percentage of time during the lesson devoted to assigning, working on, or sharing homework, we get a similar result: Two percent of lesson time in Japan involves homework in any way which is significantly less than the 8 percent of lesson time in Germany and 11 percent in the United States.' 1 Standard errors for Germany, Japan, and the United States were 1.75, 0.46, and 1.89, respectively.

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SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Third International Mathematics and Science Study, Videotape Classroom Study, 1994-95.





In our teacher questionnaire we asked whether or not they had previously assigned homework that was due on the day of the videotaped lesson. The countries differed in the proportion that had done so. In 55 percent of both the U.S. lessons and the German lessons, the teachers said that they had assigned such homework, compared to 14 percent of Japanese teachers who responded in this way.' Teacher Talk/Demonstration TEACHER TALK/DEMONSTRATION was coded when teachers engaged in lecturing. Here teachers would simply talk, with or without objects, presenting lesson-relevant information to students.

As can be seen in figure 47, there was more TEACHER TALK/DEMONSTRATION in Japan than in the other two countries. As with OTHER, the overall percentage of time devoted to this activity was not large (see panel a), but more Japanese lessons included at least some TEACHER TALK/DEMONSTRATION than did those in either Germany or the United States (panel b).

Standard errors for Germany, Japan, and the United States were 4.86, 5.46, and 7.12, respectively.

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SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Third International Mathematics and Science Study, Videotape Classroom Study, 1994-95.

Working On Tasks and Situations Much of the instructional time in all countries occurs during three types of segments: SETTING UP tasks and situations, WORKING ON tasks and situations, and SHARING of tasks and situations. SETTING UP and SHARING occur during classwork; WORKING ON tasks and situations can occur during either classwork or seatwork.

By far the most frequent and time-consuming type of activity segment in all countries is WORKING ON TASK/SITUATION. As can be seen in panel (a) of figure 48, classrooms in all countries spent 60 percent or more of lesson time in WORKING ON TASK/SITUATION segments. German classrooms, however, spent more time this way than Japan. Consistent with our findings on classwork and seatwork, Japanese WORKING ON TASK/SITUATION segments were significantly shorter in duration on average than were such segments in Germany and the United States (panel b).

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15.0 100.0 11.8 11.7 12.0 80.0 73.5 67.0 61.4 9.0 60.0 7.1 40.0 6.0 3.0 20.0

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SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Third International Mathematics and Science Study, Videotape Classroom Study, 1994-95.

A more detailed picture emerges when we break down WORKING ON TASK/SITUATION according to whether it occurs during classwork or during seatwork. As seen in figure 49, German classes spend more time WORKING ON tasks and situations during classwork than during seatwork; Japanese classes spend more time WORKING ON tasks and situations during seatwork than during classwork. U.S. classes spend roughly equal time WORKING ON tasks and situations during classwork as they do during seatwork. Moreover, German classes spend more time WORKING ON tasks and situations during classwork than either their Japanese or U.S. counterparts.

–  –  –

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Third International Mathematics and Science Study, Videotape Classroom Study, 1994-95.

Setting Up and Sharing Tasks and Situations Finally, although Japanese classes spend relatively less time WORKING ON tasks and situations during classwork, they spend more time SETTING UP and SHARING tasks and situations than do both German and U.S. classes, as seen in figure 50.

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10.9 10.4 9.2 5.7 5.4

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SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Third International Mathematics and Science Study, Videotape Classroom Study, 1994-95.

We have examined the content of the lessons and the ways that teachers in the three countries organize their lessons. We now present some preliminary analyses of the processes that go on as lessons unfold.

1:( Chapter 5. Processes of Instruction Both the content and organization of lessons are generally planned in advance; they represent conscious decisions on the teacher's part. But not all that happens in classrooms is planned. Some processes only become evident as instruction unfolds and sometimes only through detailed analyses. In this chapter we present some additional analyses that describe, more fully, the nature of instruction in these three countries. Again, we remind the reader that these analyses are preliminary; much remains to be done.

DEVELOPING CONCEPTS AND METHODS

Earlier we distinguished two ways of including concepts in a lesson: A concept might simply be stated by the teacher or students, but not explained or derived; or, it might be developed (i.e., derived and/or explained) by the teacher or the teacher and students collaboratively in order to increase students' understanding of the concept. Our analyses indicated that development of concepts occurs more often in Germany and Japan than in the United States. Further analysis reveals, however, that there are some significant differences in the way in which concepts are developed in Germany and Japan. Development happens primarily during classwork in Germany, with most of the work being done by the teacher. In Japan, on the other hand, seatwork segments play a more critical role in the development of mathematical concepts, consistent with a strategy of giving students themselves more responsibility for the process.

Evidence for this conclusion is presented in figure 51. Recall that concepts were coded as "developed" if they were derived or explained by the teacher and/or the students in order to increase students' understanding. For each topic within each lesson, we first determined whether or not development of concepts was included. If it was, we next coded whether or not there were any seatwork segments within the topic/lesson. In panel (a) we show the average percentage of these topics within each lesson that included any seatwork at all. By this loose definition, the Japanese development segments included significantly more seatwork than did the German segments. Of course, the seatwork may not have been the part of the segment in which the development actually occurred. If we tighten the definition, as we have done in panel (b), we get a similar result. Here, we show only those topics for which development actually occurred during seatwork. The percentage in Japan was significantly higher than in either of the other two countries.

–  –  –

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Third International Mathematics and Science Study, Videotape Classroom Study, 1994-95.

THE USE OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS

We observed a wide variety of tools and materials being used in our samples of eighth-grade mathematics classrooms. The most commonly used instructional tools were the chalkboard and the overhead projector. Indeed, four lessons in Germany, none in Japan, and three in the United States used neither of these tools.' The percentage of lessons in each country in which the chalkboard and overhead projector were used is displayed in figure 52. (In some lessons, teachers used both.) The German and Japanese teachers used the chalkboard significantly more often than teachers in the United States. In contrast, U.S. teachers used the overhead projector more often than teachers in Japan or Germany, and German teachers used the overhead more than teachers in Japan.

' These lessons were GR-16, GR-21, GR-34, GR-84, US-9, U5-16, and US-42.

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The percentage of lessons in which other kinds of materials were used is shown in figure 53. Most of the categories used are self-explanatory. The term "Manipulatives" refers to any concrete materials used to represent quantitative situations, such as paper circles, plastic triangles, unit blocks, or geoboards.

Posters, used mostly in Japan, refer to prepared paper materials that are brought out and attached to the board during the lesson. Mathematics tools include objects specifically designed for use in solving mathematical problems. Examples of this category include rulers and graph paper.

–  –  –

^ SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Third International Mathematics and Science Study, Videotape Classroom Study, 1994-95.

A number of cross-national differences emerged. Worksheets were significantly more common in Japan and the United States than in Germany. Textbooks, on the other hand, were seldom used in Japan but were rather common in Germany and the United States. Calculators were used primarily in the United States and rarely or never in the other two countries. Japanese teachers used significantly more mathematical tools and posters than did German and U.S. teachers.



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