The United States isn’t the only country worried with its lackluster performance on international assessments. Sweden, for one, concerned about its standing in math is planning on pumping between $200 and $318 million to improve teaching in the subject in the next five years, The Local reports.
In the 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, Sweden scored 18th out of 35 countries for fourth graders and 15th out of 47 countries (The United States was 11th and 9th respectively.) Only 3 percent of Swedish fourth graders and 2 percent of eighth graders reached TIMSS advanced bench marks.
But the country’s math skills have been sliding for a decade, according to The Local. Much of the money will be devoted to helping teachers work together and access experts.
“In primary school, students are often taught maths by sitting at their desks and working out simple problems from workbooks, a method which is viewed as counterproductive,” the article said. “And one in three high school teachers have said they don’t know exactly what students should be learning, while half of middle-school teachers have been shown to lack the right credentials.”