Civics and Citizenship Assessment

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Citizenship participation, Citizenship education, Student attitudes, Democratic values, Political attitudes, Civics, Social values, Comparative analysis, International programs, International comparisons, International surveys


ISBN/EAN: 978-90-79549-09-2

The Latin American module was coordinated by a team directed by Dr Wolfram Schulz from the ICCS International Study Center at the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) in Melbourne, Australia, in cooperation with other members of the ICCS consortium: the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) in Slough, the United Kingdom; the Laboratorio di Pedagogia Sperimentale (LPS) at the Roma Tre University in Rome, Italy; the IEA Secretariat; the IEA Data Processing and Research Center; and the national coordinators of the project. Members of the ICCS Project Advisory Committee along with other consultants helped move the study through its successive stages.


The International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS) focused on the ways in which young people are prepared to undertake their roles as citizens. Preparing students for citizenship involves developing relevant knowledge and understanding as well as encouraging the formation of positive attitudes toward being a citizen. Descriptions of the conceptual background for and the design of ICCS appear in the publication detailing the ICCS assessment framework (Schulz, Fraillon, Ainley, Losito, & Kerr, 2008). Regional contexts are important for civic and citizenship education because they shape how people undertake their roles as citizens. ICCS included, in addition to the core international survey, regional modules in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. This report from ICCS focuses on the six countries that participated in the study’s Latin American regional module. It is based on a regional student survey and an assessment of knowledge specific to the region as well as on data from the international student and school instruments. We recommend viewing this Latin American report within the context of the international reports on the findings from ICCS (Schulz, Ainley, Fraillon, Kerr & Losito, 2010a, 2010b). The results reported in this publication are based on data gathered from random samples of almost 30,000 students in their eighth year of schooling in more than 1,000 schools from the six ICCS Latin American countries. The regional module for Latin America was connected to a broader initiative known as the Regional System for the Development and Evaluation of Citizenship Competencies (SREDECC), the aim of which is to establish a common regional framework for citizenship competencies, basic criteria for effective citizenship education, and a system for evaluating the outcomes of this area of education. The Latin American module of ICCS investigated variations in civic knowledge across the ICCS Latin American countries as well as region-specific aspects of civic knowledge. It generated information about students’ perceptions of public institutions, forms of government, corrupt practices, and obedience to the law. The data gathered also gave insight into students’ dispositions with respect to peaceful coexistence. This body of data included information on students’ attitudes toward their country and the Latin American region, sense of empathy, tolerance toward minorities, and attitudes toward use of violence. Data also allowed exploration of the contexts for learning about citizenship, namely, home, school, and community. The report also profiles the particular context for civic and citizenship education evident in each of the six countries. Common themes across all six ICCS Latin American countries in relation to the curricular agenda for citizenship included the following: violent conflict, democracy, general interest in sustainable development and the environment, issues related to globalization, tolerance, and plurality, and the social and political inclusion of large, formerly excluded segments of society. The countries deemed civic and citizenship education important. In three of the six countries, this area of education had been the focus of public debate. Most of the countries had seen a broadening of civic and citizenship education toward the inclusion of democratic values and participatory skills. However, the data also show that evaluation and assessment of civic and citizenship content were not common practice. The countries participating in this study were: Mexico, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Columbia, Paraguay and Chile.

Place of Publication

Amsterdam, The Netherlands


International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA)



Geographic Subject

Latin America, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay


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