Australian students have achieved improved results in international mathematics and science tests released this week.
According to the 2019 Trends in Mathematics and Science Study, which tests the science and maths knowledge from a sample population of Year 4 and Year 8 students every four years, Australian students have improved in four key areas.
Australians were 14th out of 58 countries for Year 4 science, which is a significant improvement of 11 places.
Nearly 15,000 Aussie students took part
They were also 9th out of 39 countries for Year 8 science (up eight places), 10th out of 39 countries for Year 8 mathematics (up by seven spots), and 27th out of 58 countries for Year 4 mathematics (up one place).
More than 580,000 students from 64 countries and eight benchmarking systems participated in the 2019 study. This included 14,950 students from 571 Australian schools.
Students are evaluated on their knowledge of curriculum content, as well as how they apply reading, maths and science skills to situations.
These are fundamental building blocks
The Federal Minister for Education, Dan Tehan, congratulated the students and schools that took part in the 2019 tests.
“Our Government is focused on improving the literacy and numeracy skills of Australian students because they are the fundamental building blocks of a successful education,” he said.
“These results suggest our education system is moving in the right direction. But, as the PISA [real-world mathematics literacy test] results last year demonstrated, we all must maintain our focus on student outcomes and achieving the highest standards.”
Implementation of important reforms
Tehan said the Federal government was providing record school funding of $314.7-billion, which is linked to state and territory governments implementing reforms to improve student outcomes.
“We have also implemented important reforms to teacher training to ensure that graduate teachers have the skills to succeed in the classroom and to deliver a world-leading education,” the minister stated.
Among those reforms are a fast-tracked review of the entire Australian curriculum with an initial focus on maths and science. There is also an increased focus on literacy and numeracy learning progressions, while $25-million has been allocated to fund a national evidence institute to undertake educational research.