Civics and Citizenship Assessment

Publication Date



Lower secondary years, Student attitudes, Civics


Papers about ICCS presented at the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) in Dublin (23 - 26 August 2016)


The European Union is a region with high levels of migration, both from outside the EU as well as between member countries (OECD, 2012). The movement of people into some European countries from former colonies, as well the recent increased movement of people between countries in Europe, is leading to more multicultural communities in many European countries. Recent events resulting from the Syrian refugee crisis have highlighted the challenges that results from having to balance the rights, cultures and traditions of diverse groups in society. Education plays an important role in facilitating cohesion in society (Ajegbo, Kiwan, & Sharma, 2007; Osler & Starkey, 2005) while at the same time education systems are facing new challenges when dealing with students with an immigrant background (Olson, 2013). These changes resulting from migration from outside Europe and between European countries have had an impact on educational policies and school curricula which have begun to put more emphasis on diversity, social cohesion and European issues (Eurydice, 2009, 2012). The recent increase in refugees coming into Europe is originating proposals to reintroduce of border controls and to calls for limiting the freedom of movement across EU member countries. Using survey data from 2009, this paper investigates factors that influence European lower secondary students’ attitudes towards migration. Based on a conceptual framework that posits students’ dispositions toward civic issues as influenced by contextual factors related to the home and peer context, to the school and classroom environments, as well as to the wider community (see Schulz, Fraillon, Ainley, Losito, & Kerr, 2008), it reviews the associations of students’ attitudes toward migration with factors related to students’ background (gender, home context, immigration background), students’ civic knowledge, European identity as well as school-related contexts (such as reports on opportunities to learn about Europe). The findings provide comparative evidence across a range of European countries and with regard to the influence of possible context factors and related perceptions or beliefs on how lower secondary students viewed migration issues in 2009.


English, English

Geographic Subject



Article Location