Civics and Citizenship Assessment

Publication Date




The development of the European module was coordinated by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) in Slough, the United Kingdom, in close cooperation with the following: the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) in Melbourne, Australia, and the Laboratorio di Pedagogia Sperimentale (LPS) at the Roma Tre University in Rome, Italy, as well as the IEA Secretariat, the IEA Data Processing and Research Center, and the national coordinators of the project.


The International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS) studied the ways in which countries prepare their young people to undertake their roles as citizens. ICCS was based on the premise that preparing students for citizenship involves helping them develop relevant knowledge and understanding and form positive attitudes toward being a citizen and participating in activities related to civics and citizenship. These notions were elaborated in the ICCS assessment framework (Schulz, Fraillon, Ainley, Losito, & Kerr, 2008). Regional contexts are important aspects of civic and citizenship education because they help us understand how people are differentially influenced to undertake their roles as citizens. Along with its regional module for Europe, ICCS included regional instruments for Asia and Latin America to supplement the data obtained from the international survey. This report from ICCS focuses on the 24 countries that participated in the study’s European regional module. It is based on the European ICCS student instrument that investigated specific European issues related to civic and citizenship education. The report also includes relevant data from the international student instruments that pertained to those countries. Readers should view this European report in the context of the international reports on the findings from ICCS (Schulz, Ainley, Fraillon, Kerr, & Losito, 2010a, 2010b). The European module investigated students’ civic knowledge in a European context as well as their attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors in relation to European civic issues, institutions, and policies. More specifically, it considered European citizenship and identity, intercultural relations in Europe, free movement of citizens in Europe, European policies, institutions, and participation, and European language learning. This report examines variations across European countries in these measures and the associations of these measures with selected student characteristics. The findings reported in this publication are based on data gathered from random samples of more than 75,000 students in their eighth year of schooling in more than 3,000 schools from 24 European countries. These student data were augmented, where relevant, by data from over 35,000 teachers in those schools and by further contextual data collected from school principals and the study’s national research centers.