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Abstract

The results of Australia’s first national Civics and Citizenship Assessment program revealed surprising gaps in students’ knowledge of key historical events and concepts of democracy and citizenship. Suzanne Mellor describes the assessment and suggests that more targeted teaching of civics and citizenship is required. In December 2006 the results from the National Assessment Program – Civics and Citizenship for years 6 and 10, prepared by ACER for the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training, and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA), was released into a storm of media controversy when it was revealed most students could not answer questions about key democratic events in Australian history. Further, while students seemed to appreciate their democracy, their level of knowledge and understanding of civics and citizenship was considerably less than was expected by practitioner experts who contributed to the study.

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