Compass Brief: The data makes the difference. How Chinese Taipei used TIMSS data to reform mathematics education

Chinese Taipei has used successive cycles of TIMSS data as a guide for formulating educational policies, and an evidence base for evaluating their effects.

Although Taiwanese students have performed well in TIMSS, the percentage of students reporting low confidence in and low enjoyment of mathematics is significantly greater than the international average.

Trends in students’ achievements and attitudes toward mathematics were used to design the After Class Support project, introduced in 2006, and subsequent TIMSS data inspired the Just Do Math program, a new approach to mathematics teaching and learning introduced in 2014.

Both teachers and students are enthusiastic about the new methods, and reactions have inspired national discussion on curriculum change. Educators and policymakers will use TIMSS 2019 to evaluate the true success of the program.