Civics and Citizenship Assessment

Publication Date



This publication was edited by John Ainley , Wolfram Schulz and Tim Friedman. The study was organised by a consortium of three partner institutions: the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) in the United Kingdom, and the Laboratorio di Pedagogia sperimentale (LPS) at the Roma Tre University in Italy. These institutions worked in close cooperation with the Secretariat of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), the IEA Data Processing and Research Center (DPC), and the study’s national research coordinators.

ISBN/EAN: 9789079549207


The International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS 2009) investigated the ways in which countries prepare their young people to undertake their roles as citizens. It studied student knowledge and understanding of civics and citizenship as well as student attitudes, perceptions, and activities related to civics and citizenship. ICCS also examined differences among countries in relation to these outcomes of civic and citizenship education, and it explored how differences across countries relate to student characteristics, school and community contexts, and national characteristics. Thirty-eight countries participated in ICCS 2009. Among these were five from Asia, 26 from Europe, six from Latin America, and one from Australasia.

The ways students develop civic-related dispositions and competencies and acquire understandings with regard to their role as citizens are strongly influenced by their respective education systems and the contexts in which those systems operate. Each country’s historical background, political system, educational structure, and curriculum need to be taken into account when interpreting the results of this international assessment of civic and citizenship education. The ICCS 2009 assessment framework addressed the relevance of contextual influences at the level of education systems and countries in its Research Question 5: What aspects of schools and education systems are related to knowledge about, and attitudes to, civics and citizenship, including: a. general approach to civic and citizenship education, curriculum, and/or program content structure and delivery; b. teaching practices, such as those that encourage higher order thinking and analysis in relation to civics and citizenship; c. aspects of school organization, including opportunities to contribute to conflict resolution, participate in governance processes, and be involved in decision making. In order to address this research question with regard to national differences, ICCS 2009 developed a national contexts survey that was designed to systematically collect relevant data on the structure of each country’s education system, education policy, civic and citizenship education, teacher qualifications for civic and citizenship education, and the extent of current debates and reforms in this area. The survey also collected data on processes at the national level regarding assessment of and quality assurance in civic and citizenship education and school curriculum approaches. In addition to collecting information through the online survey, ICCS 2009 requested more detailed descriptions from the national ICCS research centres in each country of the particular characteristics that the country deemed relevant to its approach to and its implementation of civic and citizenship education. The results of this qualitatively oriented data collection are presented in this encyclopedia.