Third Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study (TERCE)
Data analysis currently in progress
TERCE is the region’s largest-scale learning achievement study, with 15 countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic and Uruguay) participating as well as the State of Nuevo Leon (Mexico). It assesses learning performance in the third and sixth grades in mathematics, reading and writing, including natural sciences for the sixth grade. Its main objective is to provide information on education quality in the region, and to guide decision-making in public education policy. In order to meet this goal, the study features tests to measure learning achievement and also context questionnaires, to have a better understanding of the circumstances under which learning takes place.
The TERCE pilot study was run in 2012, and the study’s final full implementation was set in 2013. The results will become available on december 2014. UNESCO is conducting TERCE alongside its implementation partners: the Mide UC Measurement Centre at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and the Comparative Policy Centre at the Universidad Diego Portales (Chile). These partners will not only be involved in creating the survey instruments to be sent to the countries for the testing phase, but will also provide specialised training courses to help promote capacity building and correct usage of data.
The information on learning achievement provided by TERCE will be comparable with the results obtained in the Second Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study (SERCE), allowing an evaluation of the progress made by the region’s education systems since 2006. However, TERCE also has innovations, such as “national modules” of associated factors, that allow participating countries to focus on the specific features in their national contexts that affect learning outcomes, as well as a module on the impact on education of ITC and its usage, and a focus on the link between nourishment and learning.