Gulf States’ Experiences with Eighth Grade Science and Mathematics Lessons from TIMSS-2007

Gulf States’ Experiences with Eighth Grade Science and Mathematics Lessons from TIMSS-2007

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Gulf States’ Experiences with Eighth Grade Science and Mathematics Lessons from TIMSS-2007

Globalisation is nowhere more dramatic than the swiftly developing economies of the Gulf States. The Gulf Cooperation Council of six members (GCC) 1 was established in 1981 with the aim of strengthening security, economic growth, regulatory responses, and societal development in the region (GCC, n.d). Since then, the GCC countries have reached living standards and income levels equal to anywhere in the world, however, this economic revolution relied on expatriate skills. Arab societies must produce competent leaders, managers and professionals to consolidate and diversify their economies. Education, particularly in science and mathematics, is the key to this mission.This report analyses eighth graders’, science and mathematics results from TIMSS 20072 for five Gulf States: Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia. The United Arab Emirates was omitted, as that country was part of the benchmarking process for TIMSS. This paper discusses the adverse outcomes for these countries, which were expected, and identifies common teaching practices contributing to students’, current performance levels. Recommendations to assist Gulf teaching to reach international standards are presented.

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