23 SES 06 B, Focusing on Citizenship
The IEA International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS) investigates the ways in which young people in lower secondary schools are prepared to undertake their roles as citizens in a range of countries from Latin America, Europe, and the Asian-Pacific region. ICCS is the third IEA study designed to measure contexts and outcomes of civic and citizenship education (CCE) and is linked to the 1999 IEA Civic Education Study (CIVED) (Amadeo, Torney-Purta, Lehmann, Husfeldt & Nikolova, 2002; Schulz & Sibberns, 2004; Torney-Purta, Lehmann, Oswald & Schulz, 2001). A central aspect of students' preparedness to become citizens in a democracy is their disposition to actively participate in society.
This paper contains an analysis of measures of students' intentions to participate as citizens in civic life and students' current participation in civic activities in their eighth year of schooling. It describes extent of past, current, and expected civic participation and which factors are influencing students’ motivation for future active participation as citizens.
Active citizenship may be seen as one of the pillars of a democracy whose functioning relies to a great extent on contributions of its citizens to the democratic process. Political participation can be defined as "activity that has the intent or effect of influencing government action – either directly by affecting the making of implementation of public policy or indirectly by influencing the selection of people those policies" (Verba, Schlozman & Brady, 1995, p. 38).
During the seventies and eighties, protest behaviour as a form of participation became more prominent in Western democracies. Scholars have distinguished "conventional" (voting, running for office) from "unconventional (social movement)" activities (grass-root campaigns, protest activities) and among the latter legal from illegal forms of behaviour (Kaase, 1990).
Verba Schlozman and Brady (1995) identify three factors as predictors of political participation: (1) resources enabling individuals to participate (time, knowledge), (2) psychological engagement (interest, efficacy) and (3) "recruitment networks" which help to bring individuals into politics (like social movements, church groups or parties).
The ICCS assessment framework (Schulz, Fraillon, Ainley, Losito & Kerr, 2008) identifies both behavioural intentions (i.e. students' expectations of future action) as well as behaviours (i.e. current or past civic participation) as important aspects of active citizenship. Given the limitations 14-year-old students face with regard to active participation, behavioural intentions for what they expect to do in the future has emerged as being of particular importance for this age group.
The following aspects related to behavioural intentions were measured in ICCS:
• Preparedness to participate in civic forms of protest (legal and illegal forms of protest)
• Intended future political participation as adults (expected electoral and active political participation)
• Intended participation as young people (informal political participation).
Even though civic-related participation is limited for the age group survey in ICCS, several civic-related activities can be undertaken by lower secondary students. ICCS collected data related participation in civic-related activities in the community and participation in civic-related activities at school.
Amadeo, J., Torney-Purta, J., Lehmann, R., Husfeldt, V., & Nikolova, R. (2002). Civic knowledge and engagement: An IEA study of upper secondary students in sixteen countries. Amsterdam: IEA. Kaase, M. (1990). Mass participation. In M. K. Jennings, J. W. van Deth et al. (Eds.), Continuities in political action (pp.23–67). Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter. Schulz, W. & Sibberns, H. (2004). IEA Civic Education Study. Technical report. Amsterdam: IEA. Schulz, W., Fraillon, J., Ainley, J., Losito, B., & Kerr, D. (2008). International Civic and Citizenship Education Study assessment framework. Amsterdam: IEA. Torney-Purta, J., Lehmann, R., Oswald, H., & Schulz, W. (2001). Citizenship and education in twenty-eight countries: Civic knowledge and engagement at age fourteen. Amsterdam: IEA. Verba, S., Schlozman, K. L., & Brady, H. E. (1995). Voice and equality. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
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