The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) is an independent, international cooperative of national research institutions and governmental research agencies. It conducts large-scale comparative studies of educational achievement and other aspects of education, with the aim of gaining in-depth understanding of the effects of policies and practices within and across systems of education.
Since its founding in 1958, IEA has conducted more than 30 research studies of cross-national achievement. IEA studies focus on subjects of particular interest to IEA members. These include mathematics, science, reading, civic and citizenship education, computer and information literacy, and teacher education, among others.
With international study centers located on four continents, representatives from almost 70 member country institutions, and nearly 100 countries participating in its projects, IEA has, over the past 50 years, built a strong global network of scholars, researchers, policy analysts, and technical experts in the field of large-scale educational research. Every two or three years, IEA organizes a conference of researchers working with IEA data to foster the exchange of information on critical educational issues. IEA also offers two annual awards to recognize high-quality empirical research that makes use of IEA data.
The IEA Secretariat and Data Processing and Research Center, together with the association's membership, carry out comparative research studies in education. Through its comparative research and assessment projects, IEA aims to:
- provide international benchmarks to assist policy-makers in identifying the relative strengths and weaknesses of their education systems
- provide high-quality data to increase policy-makers' understanding of key school- and non-school-based factors that influence teaching and learning
- provide high-quality data that will serve as a resource for identifying areas of concern and action, and for preparing and evaluating educational reforms
- develop and improve the capacity of education systems to engage in national strategies for educational monitoring and improvement
- contribute to the development of a worldwide community of researchers in educational evaluation.