The TIMSS Video Study

The Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 1999 Video Study is a follow-up and expansion of the TIMSS 1995 Video Study of mathematics teaching. Larger and more ambitious than the first, the 1999 study investigated eighth-grade science as well as mathematics, expanded the number of countries from three to seven, and included more countries with relatively high achievement on TIMSS assessments in comparison to the United States.

About the Site

The purpose of the site is to make available to the public the 53 public use video lessons that were collected as part of the TIMSS video studies. On the site you will find not only the 53 videos, but also translations of the videos into English, linked by time codes to the videos, and various resources that accompany the videos such as textbook pages and teacher commentaries. The site is intended for use by education researchers, teachers, administrators: in short, anyone interested in exploring the teaching practices of different countries.

The site was constructed - and is currently managed by - by Dr. Jim Stigler and his team at UCLA.  Contact us by email.

Purpose of the Public Use Lessons


Video examples are essential for communicating the results of video studies. All of the teachers filmed for the TIMSS 1999 Video Study were assured confidentiality, and their lessons cannot be shown publicly. However, a small group of teachers from each country was recruited who agreed to have their lessons videotaped for public use. Written permission to show these lessons publicly was obtained in each country, following the appropriate procedures in that country. Typically, permission was obtained from the teachers and from the parents of the students appearing in the videos.

Dissemination of these public use lessons serves multiple purposes.  The videos provide a concrete basis for interpreting the quantitative findings of the TIMSS 1999 Video Study. They provide illustrations of key findings that communicate more clearly than written reports or oral presentations alone. In addition, video-enhanced definitions can, over time, provide educators with a set of shared referents for commonly used descriptors, such as “making connections.” This could yield a shared language of classroom practice, an essential tool in building a widely shared professional knowledge base for teaching. Videotapes can become a compelling source of new ideas for teaching. Because these new ideas are concrete and grounded in practice, they have immediate practical potential for teachers. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, these public release videos enable teachers and researchers around the world to view samples of the kind of lessons that were analyzed as part of the TIMSS 1999 Video Study and to stimulate local and international discussions of teaching.

Collecting the Public Use Lessons


The process of collecting lessons to be considered for public use varied between countries. Two countries, Australia and Hong Kong SAR, were able to obtain permissions from teachers taped as part of the original TIMSS 1999 Video Study sample. The Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United States videotaped additional lessons. Public use videos of mathematics from Japan were collected as part of the TIMSS 1995 Video Study and no additional math lessons were collected.

It was considered very important that lesson videos to be publicly released reflect as much as possible the kinds teaching that were seen in the study sample. Selection of the tapes was conducted using a consistent approach organized by sub-committees of the math and science code development teams. The procedure began with each country being asked to provide 10-12 candidate lessons. Country teams, including code developers and coders, reviewed the lessons. They followed a standard set of guidelines to focus their reviews and identified the lessons that would be most illustrative of the key characteristics of teaching in their country as represented in the TIMSS 1999 Video Study sample. Country teams then presented their recommendations to the sub-committee of the code development team, final selection of lessons was made, and approval from each National Research Coordinator was sought.