Conclusions About Using TIMSS and TIMSS Advanced Data to Explore Student Misconceptions, Errors, and Misunderstandings in Physics and Mathematics [chapter]

Teresa Neidorf, Alka Arora, Ebru Erberber, Yemurai Tsokodayi, Thanh Mai
2019 IEA Research for Education  
Assessment items from twenty years of TIMSS and TIMSS Advanced assessments enabled the identification of specific types of student misconceptions, errors, and misunderstandings related to two core concepts (gravity in physics and linear equations in mathematics). Results across grade levels, genders, and assessment years for five countries (Italy, Norway, the Russian Federation, Slovenia, and the United States) were compared. In physics, misconceptions and misunderstandings related to gravity
more » ... re common across all five countries; for most misconceptions at each grade level, at least 25% of students demonstrated the misconception, and, in some countries, >50% of students demonstrated certain misconceptions. Errors and misunderstandings related to linear equations were extremely common across all five countries; on average >50% of students demonstrated errors at each grade level. Gender differences were found at all three grade levels, but to a greater extent in physics than in mathematics. Classroom teachers who are aware of the misconceptions or types of errors students may make will be able to plan for and provide additional support to their students when they are teaching these concepts. TIMSS resources can provide in-depth information about students' level of understanding, and their misconceptions and errors, across a range of core mathematics and science concepts. Access to released assessment items, scoring rationales, and actual student responses may allow researchers to undertake even richer secondary data analysis. This report illustrates how item-level diagnostic data from TIMSS and TIMSS Advanced can be used to provide in-depth information about students' level of understanding, and specific types of misconceptions, errors, and misunderstandings, related to core physics and mathematics concepts across grade levels (specifically © International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) 2020 T. Neidorf et al., Student Misconceptions and Errors in Physics and Mathematics, IEA Research for Education 9, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-30188-0_5 133 gravity and linear equations in this study). We (1) summarize the results across both physics and mathematics; (2) discuss limitations and further applications of our methodology; (3) consider implications related to instruction in physics and mathematics; and (4) describe some implications for future TIMSS assessment design and reporting. Summary of Results Across Physics and Mathematics The frequency of specific types of student misconceptions, errors, and misunderstandings related to gravity and linear equations at each grade level varied across the five countries included in the study: Italy, Norway, the Russian Federation, Slovenia, and the United States. We compare misconceptions, errors, and misunderstandings for both physics and mathematics by: (1) patterns in misconceptions, errors, and misunderstandings across countries and grade levels; (2) gender differences in misconceptions, errors, and misunderstandings; and (3) trends in misconceptions, errors, and misunderstandings over time (see Tables 4.1 and 4.21 for the specific codes used to refer to misconceptions, errors, and misunderstandings related to gravity and linear equations). 1
doi:10.1007/978-3-030-30188-0_5 fatcat:lznhgatxwbhjzhd3hptj2d5z64