Falling Maths Standards

There are regular international comparisons between countries in Maths and Science and English. Recently the TIMSS comparison of Maths and Science achievement at year 5 and 9 were published. The results raise real concerns, and the Ministry of Education have commissioned an investigation into what might be done.

For each of the 4 categories, New Zealand is the lowest-scoring English-speaking country.  Having similar results to Kazakhstan is not a good look. We are close to the middle score across all countries. Most worrying is the downward trend over 25 years in year 9 Maths. Most New Zealanders will be concerned when they hear that the Australians are beating us on all 4 measures.

Maths and Science are very important subjects because they lead to jobs that are well paid and secure. In these days of globalisation, our students are at a disadvantage when competing with their peers from other countries.

There are no quick solutions. One of the identified issues is that our younger teachers have all come through the same system that has let the standards fall and most of them prefer to teach literacy rather than numeracy.  When a teacher has no enthusiasm for Maths, they cannot impart enthusiasm to their students.

It is noted that New Zealand has the highest uptake of technology in schools. The downward trend began before schools started using online Maths programmes, but it seems that they are not the answer either.

Many parents will not be aware how far behind their children are internationally, even if they are doing well when compared to their classmates.

In2learning Centres are a great option for lifting Maths standards. Using a variety of methods, students’ knowledge gaps are filled and they quickly gain confidence. Call Sue now on 455 2770 to find out how we can help your child to reach their potential.


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