Min-Hsiung Huang and Shih-Keng Yen
Abstract: Secondary school students in Taiwan have recently experienced a decline in mathematics performance. A significant decrease was first observed in 2015. By 2018, a record low was reached. The decline is attributable to a significant decrease in the proportion of high-performing students. However, according to a large-scale international assessment, a younger Taiwanese cohort, eighth-graders in 2019, performed very well in mathematics. Not only that they bounced back from the decline, but they also performed as well as eighth-graders in Singapore and South Korea which were the top-performing countries globally in 2019. The purpose of this research is to analyze the decline, the upward trend after the decline, and several possible policy-related explanations for the U-turn trend in mathematics performance.
Keywords: mathematics performance, international assessment, trend analysis, international comparison, educational reform
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