Page: 238-250 Author: Mandíková, D., Palečková, J. Key words:
The TIMSS Videostudy 1999 is apart of an international research project education in mathematics and the natural sciences in which the Czech Republic took part in 1995 and 1999.
The goal of the project was to analyse the teaching of mathematics and natural science subjects in the 8th year of compulsory schooling, andto showthe ways in which the teaching methods and the stereotypes differ in the different participating countries and where these are the same.
This article deals only with the natural sciences part of the video-study, in which 5 countries were involved in 1999: Australia, the Czech Republic, Japan, the Netherlands and the USA. Pupils in all these countries also took a written text as part of the TIMSS research project in the years 1995 and 1999.
Analyses of the lessons in natural science subjects (approximately 100 were filmed in each country) produced interesting results. In the four countries with a relatively good result in the written test (Australia, the Czech Republic, Japan and the Netherlands) a high level of content is taken for granted in natural sciences teaching and teachers make significant demands on pupils. In these countries the lessons show a unified pedagogic approach geared to getting students to absorb the material, This was in contrast to the situation in the USA where all kinds of different pedagogic techniques and themes were used in the lessons. Although the teaching of natural sciences in the four countries mentioned has certain common features, in each country teachers have a certain specific form of teaching, providing pupils with different opportunities to learn natural sciences; in particular, they have different ideas on what it means to absorb the themes of the natural sciences and truly understand them.
The TIMSS Videostudy 1999 was not intended to reveal „the best teaching methods“ that might substantially improve the knowledge and skills of pupils, but to provide specialists in the field of education with information that may help and inspire them in the training of future teachers and the creation of educational programmes.