Table of Contents
Chapter 6
© 2001 International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) 

What Are the Major Characteristics of the Intended Curriculum?Exhibit 5.15 indicates the relative emphasis given to various aspects of mathematics instruction in the intended curriculum. As might be anticipated for students at this point in their schooling, major emphasis in the comparison countries was most commonly placed on understanding mathematical concepts and mastering basic skills. Assessing student learning was also given major emphasis in most countries. “Reallife” applications of mathematics were stressed in the curriculum of most countries. In the Netherlands, for example, this approach was reported to be emphasized even more heavily than either understanding mathematics concepts or mastering basic skills. Communicating mathematically, an aspect of teaching and learning that has received increasing attention in recent years, was given major or moderate emphasis in the curriculum of most of the comparison countries. Adopting a multicultural approach, working on mathematics projects, solving nonroutine problems, deriving formal proofs, and integrating mathematics with other school subjects all received less emphasis. In general, curricular emphasis among the Benchmarking participants was very similar to that in the United States as a whole. A majority of the Benchmarking entities placed major emphasis in their curricula on mastering basic skills, understanding mathematics concepts, reallife applications of mathematics, communicating mathematically, and assessing student learning. With only one exception, all the other entities place moderate emphasis in each of these areas. It is possible that in some entities some of the approaches and processes reported as being given minor or no emphasis in the intended curriculum may receive more emphasis in the implemented curriculum. Conversely, it is also possible that some of the approaches and processes reported as being given major or moderate emphasis in the intended curriculum may receive less emphasis in the implemented curriculum.

TIMSS 1999 is a project of the International
Study Center
Boston College, Lynch School of Education