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Orbis scholae is an academic journal published by Charles University, Prague. It features articles on school education in the wider socio-cultural context. It aims to contribute to our understanding and the development of school education, and to the reflection of teaching practice and educational policy.

ORBIS SCHOLAE, Vol 8 No 2 (2014), 43–60

Classroom Teaching and Learning Resources: International Comparisons from TIMSS − A Preliminary Review

Mike Horsley, Zuzana Sikorová

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14712/23363177.2015.65
published online: 01. 04. 2015


This paper explores international comparisons of data collected on classroom teaching and learning resources from TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) in Mathematics and Science. Since its commencement in 1995, TIMSS has collected data from students, teachers, and principals using questionnaires on the perceptions of classroom teaching and learning resources. The paper examines what classroom teaching and learning resources teachers use in different countries, and explores the extent to which the textbook is still being used as the ‘basis’ of instruction, or as a ‘supplementary’ resource in the classrooms. It also explores continuity and change in the way teachers report they provided resources from 2003 to 2007, and 2011. The paper briefly reports on the range of studies using TIMSS data to explore the links between school and classroom factors and student achievement. This current research endeavour and its conceptual frameworks have largely ignored the role of classroom teaching and learning materials. The paper proposes a theoretical framework for considering how classroom teaching and learning materials may afford student achievement and learning. It shows that textbooks are the basis of instruction in an international context. However, it also shows that across countries, teachers value different classroom teaching and learning resources differently. The paper concludes with suggestions for further research to examine the relationship between use of different types of classroom teaching and learning materials, and student achievement based on multi-level analysis, but reminds of the need to reconsider the traditional input − output framework.

keywords: teaching and learning resources; textbooks; sociocultural approach; TIMSS

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