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Ten questions for mathematics teachers ... and how PISA can help answer them

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The PISA student background questionnaire sought information about students' experiences in their mathematics classes, including their learning strategies and the teaching practices they said their teachers used. This information, coupled with students' results on the mathematics assessment, allow us to examine how certain teaching and learning strategies are related to student performance in mathematics. We can then delve deeper into the student background data to look at the relationships between other student characteristics, such as students' gender, socio-economic status, their attitudes toward mathematics and their career aspirations, to ascertain whether these characteristics might be related to teaching and learning strategies or performance. PISA data also make it possible to see how the curriculum is implemented in mathematics classes around the world, and to examine whether the way mathematics classes are structured varies depending on the kinds of students being taught or the abilities of those students. This report takes the findings from these analyses and organises them into ten questions, listed below, that discuss what we know about mathematics teaching and learning around the world - and how these data might help you in your mathematics classes right now. The questions encompass teaching strategies, student learning strategies, curriculum coverage and various student characteristics, and how they are related to student achievement in mathematics and to each other. Each question is answered by the data and related analysis and concludes with a section entitled 'What can teachers do?' that provides concrete, evidence-based suggestions to help you develop your mathematics teaching practice.

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