New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 12

Accepted Abstracts

Dispositions towards Science and Science Achievement in TIMSS 2011: A Comparison of Eighth Graders in Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Korea, and Singapore

Yoon Fah Lay, Associate Professor (Science Education) Faculty of Psychology and Education Universiti Malaysia Sabah (Malaysia)

Shaljan Areepattamannil, Emirates College for Advanced Education, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (United Arab Emirates)

Khar Thoe Ng, Specialist Research & Development Division, SEAMEO RECSAM, Penang, Malaysia (Malaysia)

Chwee Hoon Khoo, Senior Lecturer Teacher Education Institute- Kent Campus, Sabah, Malaysia (Malaysia)


East Asian countries consistently outperformed their counterparts in each and every cycle of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) since its inception in 1995. Korea and Singapore were the top-performing countries in science in TIMSS 2011 at the fourth grade, followed by Finland, Japan, Russian Federation, and Chinese Taipei. At the eighth grade, Singapore had the highest average science achievement. The next highest-performing-countries- Korea, Chinese Taipei, and Japan- had the highest science achievement than all other countries except Singapore. This study explored the predictive effects of eighth-graders' dispositions toward science on science achievement in five high-performing education systems: Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Korea, and Singapore, who participated in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) in 2011. The results of the study indicated that eighth-graders' liking and valuing of learning science, and confidence in learning science were positively associated with their science achievement in these five education systems, except students' liking of science in Japan. Implications of the findings for educational policy and practice are discussed.

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