Mathematics education is a key component of any student’s education. From basic arithmetic to advanced calculus, mathematics provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in a variety of fields. However, the amount of instructional time devoted to mathematics varies greatly across different countries, and this can have a significant impact on student achievement.
- Fourth grade students in TIMSS 2019 countries received an average of 895 hours of instruction per year
- 154 hours, or about 17%, were spent on mathematics instruction
- Portugal had the highest amount of math instruction at 250 hours while Korea had the lowest at 101 hours
- The amount of math instruction varied across countries due to different approaches to organizing and addressing the math curriculum
- Within-country estimates of instructional time can vary from the levels established by policy.
- Eighth grade students in TIMSS 2019 countries received an average of 1,023 hours of instruction per year
- 137 hours, or 13%, were spent on mathematics instruction
- Chile had the highest amount of math instruction at 200 hours while Cyprus had the lowest at 102 hours
- In most countries, the number of annual hours devoted to math instruction decreased between fourth and eighth grade
- The decrease is likely due to the school curriculum covering many more subjects in eighth grade compared to fourth grade.
In conclusion, the TIMSS 2019 report sheds light on the amount of instructional time devoted to mathematics across different countries. The report highlights the significant variation in the amount of instructional time allocated to mathematics, with East Asian countries devoting the most and Middle Eastern and North African countries devoting the least. While instructional time is an important factor in student achievement, it’s important to note that quality instruction and student readiness are also key components. Therefore, policymakers and educators must focus on not just the quantity but also the quality of instructional time. Moreover, the report emphasizes the need for equity in education, with countries that prioritize equity tending to allocate more instructional time to math for all students, regardless of their socioeconomic background. By understanding these trends, we can work towards improving mathematics education and promoting a more equitable and prosperous society.