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The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians set out two broad goals, the second of which stated that by the end of secondary schooling: All young Australians become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens. (MCEETYA, 2008) Some important attributes of ‘active and informed citizens’ are listed in the elaboration of this goal. These indicate a broad view of the student learning outcomes that are expected to be gained from civics and citizenship education, including: appreciate Australia’s social, cultural, linguistic and religious diversity, and have an understanding of Australia’s system of government, history and culture; are committed to national values of democracy, equity and justice, and participate in Australia’s civic life; are responsible global and local citizens. (MCEETYA, 2008) The articulation by the Australian Ministers of Education of these key goals between 1989 and 2008 demonstrates the value that has been placed on the development of civic knowledge and understanding, and education for active citizenship. Research in this field includes international and national large scale studies, involving surveys of students’ knowledge and attitudes to civics and citizenship education, and country case studies. It also includes the collection of qualitative data about school approaches. This digest reports on that body of research, from the late 1990s until the present. The digest draws on searches of a number of databases and bibliographic resources, including the Australian Education Index, Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), Education Research Complete, British Education Index and Scopus. A selection of relevant websites is listed, and a full reference list is provided. Links to those references for which full-text online access is freely available are also included.

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