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Competence of Mathematics of 4th Grade Students of Latvia in International Comparison

Linda Mihno, Agnese Mālere, Laima Mitenberga, Marija Rimša
University of Latvia, Latvia

Abstract. Education in Latvia currently is facing major changes. Learning content is based on a competences-based approach. The competences approach is wide spreading in the curricula of other countries, but each country has a different approach to implementing the competences. Not only in the context of the competences-based approach, but also in the education processes in general, the quality of education is emphasised. The quality of education receives increased attention, including of analyse various aspects – the students’ level of knowledge and skills, the professional competence of teachers and principals, the school infrastructure, the evaluation of the education system, etc.
In Latvia, the Education Law defines the quality of education, which is similar to the other definitions and explanations of the quality of education that also focuses on the learner acquiring the knowledge and skills, which are required to succeed in life.
In countries where the content of the competences-based approach is implemented learning areas are identified. The breakdown of the learning areas varies from country to country, but the core areas are the same: languages, science, maths and arts. This article will analyse students’ mathematics competence to find out which of the skills are better developed, and which of them need further improvement. For that Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2019 data are used, which shows that 4th grade students in Latvia are the 10th best mathematicians in the world, however that does not mean that there are no areas for more development. To become one of the best education systems in the world, it is needed to look for weaknesses and try to reduce them. This article highlights these areas. The aim of this article is to identify the weaknesses of students in Latvia in mathematics competences in TIMSS 2019 and give recommendations what could improve the mathematics competences of students in Latvia and their chances to become better mathematicians.

Keywords: Competence, Mathematics, Mathematical skills, TIMSS, 4th graders

In: Human, Technologies and Quality of Education, 2023. Proceedings of Scientific Papers = Cilvēks, tehnoloģijas un izglītības kvalitāte, 2023. Rakstu krājums
Riga, University of Latvia, 2023. 796 p. Ed. L. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-36-116-6