Author ORCID Identifier


Date of Award

Fall 12-21-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Middle and Secondary Education

First Advisor

Iman Chahine, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Audrey J. Leroux, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Natalie King, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Pier Junor Clarke, Ph.D.


Mathematics proficiency and achievement relate to a country’s future economy in many aspects. The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) serves as an international evaluation and comparison among the countries and nations around the globe. The mission of TIMSS is to provide comparative data on mathematics and science achievement on fourth- and eighth-grade students of participating countries and a collection of information in terms of students’ school, teachers, and homes (Snyder, de Brey, & Dillow, 2016). While many Asian countries remain as top performers, other Asian countries perform well below the international average. Furthermore, a review of relevant and current literature on TIMSS assessments revealed that a small number of participating countries would be further included in future studies (George et al., 2016) to determine how student related, teacher and classroom related variables influence student mathematics achievement on these international assessments. The purpose of this study was to examine how student and teacher/classroom related variables influence eighth-grade mathematics scores from TIMSS 2015 data reports. Guided by several educational theoretical frameworks, the researcher rationalized and developd a conceptual framework to answer a sub-set of research questions such as to what extent do student, and teacher/classroom background variables influence eighth-grade mathematics scores across the seven Asian countries. This study examined the variances within and between classrooms using several different predictor variables for seven countries in the region, known as ASEAN Plus Three (APT). The sample comprised of 42,221 eight grade students from APT countries, which include Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Thailand. By utilizing multilevel modeling, several HLM models were constructed to answer whether or not predictor variables had any influences on student mathematics achievement. The study findings provided strong evidence to support the perspectives that different countries have different educational models that may work for one country but not the other.