RESULTS OF TIMSS and TIMSS Advanced 2015 in Slovenia
Slovene population in TIMSS Advanced Mathematics shows the largest coverage index of 34,4. The TIMSS Advanced student population consists of 25 % of students from pre-university general secondary schools (gymnasia) who decide (during their grade 13) to take the compulsory final exam from mathematics at high level (mostly entering STEM university studies) and 75 % of students who decide to take the final exam from mathematics at basic level (mostly entering non-STEM university studies). All of them follow the same mathematics course in schools. Their results are reported nationally.
The overview of the secondary school Advanced Mathematics and Physics in Slovenia
General secondary school: grades 10 to 13
Coverage index: 34 %, follow the National Curriculum with standards of knowledge for each subject
Curriculum for grades 10 to 12:
Compulsory mathematics (includes algebra, calculus, geometry, trigonometry, probability), 4h/week + compulsory physics, 2h/week (1 h = 45 min)
Curriculum for grade 13:
Compulsory mathematics + preparation course for the final examination, 5h/week
Advanced physics course (if chosen by a student as one of 2 optional subjects at final examination) (4h/week +)
Final Matura examination at the end of grade 13, with 5 compulsory exams:
- mathematics /optional basic level (Coverage Index 26.2) or high level (Coverage Index 8.2);
- Mother & 1st foreign language, and 2 optional subjects, can be physics (CI 7.6)
- Syllabi & Examination standards of knowledge for each subject, available to students
The important findings of TIMSS 2015 are increasing trends in mathematics and science, grade 4 and 8, and the increase in mathematics score among secondary school students taking high level of the final exam from mathematics. Gender gap in Advanced Mathematics and Physics is relatively large. The decrease in Physics average score is observed among girls only.
In Slovenia, math and science curriculum and standards of knowledge are well aligned with national assessments and Curriculum Based External Examination System. Passing the Matura exam with compulsory math proves the general ability for any academic course. The math score is even more important for applicants for most prestigious university studies with entrance limitations. These students should take math at the high level and many of them should prove excellence by taking physics or chemistry or biology or two of them as additional Matura subjects. With well-educated math and science teachers and hard work a large percentage of students can achieve high standards. For effectiveness and improvement issues teachers and school leaders have access to School Performance Feedback System, Assessment for/of Learning Analytic Tool, for confidential analysis of long-term students’ achievement.
Dr. Darko Zupanc, Director of the National Examinations Centre
Reason for good results are also relatively high homogeneity of Slovenian population (in all respects: economical, ethnic, religious) and high level of subject knowledge of math and physics teachers. In Slovenia, it is required by law that high-school math and physics teachers are single subject teachers that have to have major in the subject they teach. In addition there are only two universities that prepare future math and physics teachers and both of them are committed to high level standards in teacher preparation.
Dr. Gorazd Planinšič, Faculty for Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana
Slovenian students show good results, but trust in educational system remains low
Slovenia has reached above average, and very high results in proficiency in elementary school mathematics and natural science subjects, and mathematics and physics in grammar schools, reported the Educational Research Institute, yet the trust in educational system still remains remarkably low.
Slovenia makes headway in TIMSS study
STA, Ljubljana, 29 November – Slovenian students performed well in the latest TIMSS study of mathematics and science proficiency, improving performance compared to four years ago across all segments, show results released on Tuesday.