09 SES 13 A, School Culture and Civic Engagement in Schools
Young people’s daily experiences in school are potential influences on their perception of school as a democratic environment (Dürr, 2004). The establishment of relationships and behaviors based on openness and mutual respect, possibilities for active contribution to school decision-making processes, and participation in formal and informal governance processes have the potential of providing students with opportunities to practice a democratic lifestyle and to begin exercising appropriate autonomy (Reilly, Niens, & McLaughlin, 2005). Research evidence suggests that more democratic forms of school governance can contribute to higher levels of political engagement among students (see, for example, Mosher, Kenny, & Garrod, 1994; Pasek, Feldman, Romer, & Jamieson, 2008) and that participation in school-based political activities tends to have a positive influence on future civic engagement as adults (Keating & Janmaat, 2015; Schulz, Ainley, & Fraillon, 2013).
The first IEA Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS 2009) asked students to report on their past and current participation in a wide range of civic-related activities at school (such as voting for school councils/parliaments, or becoming involved in student debates). The results from ICCS 2009 showed majorities of students saying they had participated in many of these activities in school and revealed positive associations between participation and civic knowledge (Schulz, Ainley, Fraillon, Kerr, & Losito, 2010).
Students’ beliefs regarding the value of participating in civic-related activities at school is another important aspect because of its close association with the more general concept of political efficacy (Campbell, Gurin, & Miller, 1954). Although younger adolescents are typically unable to vote or run for office in “adult politics,” schools provide students with an environment to learn about the collective process of trying to influence important matters (Bandura, 1997, p. 491). Results from CIVED 1999 and ICCS 2009 showed that students across participating countries tended to value student participation at school, and that females had significantly more positive attitudes to this form of participation than male students (Torney-Purta, Lehmann, Oswald, & Schulz, 2001; Schulz et al., 2010).
The theory of planned behavior links attitudes to behaviors through intentions (Ajzen, 2001; Ajzen, & Fishbein, 2000). It posits that attitudes influence actions through reasoned processes manifested as intentions. To measure students’ intentions to engage in the future not only as adults but also in their immediate school context, ICCS 2016 developed a set of items measuring students’ beliefs about their likelihood of undertaking future civic activities at school (such as voting in school elections or engaging in a public debate about school-related issues) if they had a chance to do so.
This paper uses data from the recent IEA study ICCS 2016 to explore the following research questions:
- To which extent are students engaged in civic activities at their schools across participating countries in ICCS 2016 (in terms of active participation, valuing this type of participation, and expecting future engagement)? It is expected that there are considerable differences in the likelihood of engagement depending on the type of activities as well as notable variation across education systems.
- Which effects do prior engagement and perceptions of its value have on students’ willingness to participate at school? It is expected that both prior experiences and positive attitudes are key predictors of students’ expectations to participate in the school context.
- Which are the associations between factors related to the learning context (such as acquired civic knowledge, civic learning opportunities or opportunities for engagement) and students’ willingness to participate at school? It is expected that in particular opportunities to learn and engage are related to students’ expectations to participate at school.
This paper will be based on data from 21 countries participating in ICCS 2016 (Schulz, Ainley, Fraillon, Losito, Agrusti, & Friedman, 2017), which were collected through a student test and questionnaire, as well as contextual questionnaires for schools and teachers (see Schulz, Carstens, Losito, & Fraillon, forthcoming). The analyses presented in this paper focus on student questionnaire results regarding their participation in civic activities at school, their endorsement of the value of student participation (at school), and their willingness to participate at school in the future. In addition, it makes use of student background data (such as gender or home background), students’ civic knowledge test results, school context data (students’ perceptions and reports from school principals), and information from the ICCS 2016 national contexts survey of national centers (e.g. approaches to student participation as part of civic and citizenship education). The analyses will consist of two parts. Firstly, the paper will describe the extent of students’ participation in civic activities at school, their attitudes toward this type of engagement, as well as their disposition to consider student participation in the future. These results will be discussed in reference to system-level descriptors regarding the approaches to civic and citizenship education. Secondly, the paper will include multivariate (path) models that relate the three criterion variables (past/current activities at school, valuing of student participation, and willingness to participate in the future) with each other as well as individual, home and school context variables. Consideration will be given to estimating two-level models with students nested within schools that use appropriate estimation methods (Raudenbush & Bryk, 2002). However, preliminary results have shown rather low proportions of between school level variance in the dependent variables which might limit the feasibility of estimating hierarchical models. For the reporting of any single-level analyses jackknife repeated replication will be used for the calculation of appropriate standard errors.
ICCS 2016 results show that students’ participation in civic activities varied considerably across countries as well as across the different types of activities that were measured. While three quarters of lower-secondary students reported to have voted in school elections, more active participation was less frequent. Most students endorsed positive statements regarding the value of student participation at school, and in a number of countries there were significant increases since 2009. Students’ with higher levels of civic knowledge, females and those with more interest in political and social issues were more likely to value students participation within the school context. When asked about their willingness to consider engaging in civic activities in the future, majorities among lower-secondary students tended to indicate likely voting in school elections, joining campaigns or becoming involved in discussions at (informal) school assemblies, while less than half reported an expectation of standing as candidates or writing for school journals or websites. Students with interest in civic issues as well as females were more likely to expect engagement in civic activities at school. Associations with civic knowledge were positive in more than half of the countries but generally less consistent than for gender and student interest. While the international report on ICCS 2016 provides insights into the general extent and variation as well as some associations with background variables, using multivariate analysis methods this paper will give a more detailed insight into the relationships with school context factors as well as set analysis results into the broader context of differences between the education systems that participated in this study.
Ajzen, I. (2001). Nature and operation of attitudes. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 27-58. Ajzen, I. & Fishbein, M. (2000). Attitudes and the attitude-behavior relation: Reasoned and automatic processes. European Review of Social Psychology, 11(1), 1–33. Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York, NY, USA: W. H. Freeman and Company. Campbell, A., Gurin, G., & Miller, W. E. (1954). The voter decides. Evanston, IL: Row, Peterson and Company. Dürr, K. H. (2004). The school: A democratic learning community. Strasbourg, France: Council of Europe. Keating, A., & Janmaat, J. G. (2015). Education through citizenship at school: Do school activities have a lasting impact on youth political engagement? Parliamentary Affairs, 1–21. Khoo, S. K., & Ainley, J. (2005). Attitudes, intentions and participation. LSAY Report No. 45. Melbourne, Australia: ACER. Mosher, R., Kenny, R. A., & Garrod, A. (1994). Preparing for citizenship: Teaching youth to live democratically. Westport, CT, USA/London, UK: Praeger. Pasek, J., Feldman, L., Romer, D., & Jamieson, K. (2008). Schools as incubators of democratic participation: Building long-term political efficacy with civic education. Applied Developmental Science, 12(1), 236−237. Raudenbush, S. W., & Bryk, A. S. (2002). Hierarchical linear models: Applications and data analysis methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Reilly, J., Niens, U., & McLaughlin, R. (2005). Education for a Bill of Rights in Northern Ireland. In A. Osler (Ed.), Teachers, human rights and diversity: Educating citizens in multicultural societies (pp. 53−72). Stoke-on-Trent, UK: Trentham. Schulz, W., Ainley, J. & Fraillon, J. (2013). Student participation at school and future civic engagement: Results from ICCS 2009. Paper prepared for the 5th IEA International Research Conference in Singapore, 26-28 June. Schulz, W., Ainley, J., Fraillon, J., Kerr, D. & Losito, B. (2010). ICCS 2009 International Report. Civic knowledge, attitudes and engagement among lower secondary school students in thirty-eight countries. Amsterdam: IEA. Schulz, W., Ainley, J., Fraillon, J., Losito, B., Agrusti, G., & Friedman, T. (2017). Becoming citizens in a changing world. The International Civic and Citizenship Education Study 2016 International Report. Amsterdam: IEA. Schulz, W., Carstens, R., Losito, B., & Fraillon, J. (Eds.) (forthcoming). ICCS 2016 technical report. Amsterdam: IEA. Torney-Purta, J., Lehmann, R., Oswald, H., & Schulz, W. (2001). Citizenship and education in twenty-eight countries. Amsterdam: IEA.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.