I am not sure which StackExchange to ask this question but I am interested in the relative underperformance of Western countries such as Australia, US, UK compared to other higher performing countries in the world. More specifically whether there are specific areas of mathematics of underperformance that have been discussed or highlighted before.

The PISA testing results that I have found online are very broad and generic but does not break down into the usual specific areas of maths for example, like this report from the OECD.

I am aware that another test TIMSS is problematic when comparing the "West" versus the rest but I wonder if there are specific subjects areas that are linked to underperformance rather than a general pedagogical approach issue.

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    $\begingroup$ Mathematics in primary education or on more advanced level? $\endgroup$
    – Tommi
    Mar 10 '21 at 9:02
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    $\begingroup$ Personally, I think it's less a problem of pedagogy and more a problem of how individuals view education. I'd be interested in survey's which probe into how education is viewed in countries where it is not automatic that everyone can go to school and college. $\endgroup$ Mar 10 '21 at 15:36
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    $\begingroup$ Concerning the US it pays to note that Massachusetts has a PISA score inline with Korea, Finland, etc. Given that states like Idaho have teacher shortages, arguably the US scores are lower than expected due to factors not related to the teaching per se. $\endgroup$ Mar 10 '21 at 17:17
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    $\begingroup$ In this article Gavin argues that "Measurement and geometry are areas of particular concern. U.S. student performance has been consistently low in these areas and at times has been the lowest among all participating countries (Mullis et al., 2004; Gonzales et al., 2008)" - jstor.org/stable/10.5951/jresematheduc.44.3.0478 $\endgroup$
    – Poidah
    Mar 11 '21 at 0:44
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    $\begingroup$ The problem is worsening disparity compounded by maths underperformance contributing to widening inequality in disadvantaged groups in those "Western" countries - ucl.ac.uk/news/2018/apr/… $\endgroup$
    – Poidah
    Mar 11 '21 at 22:51

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