09 SES 05 B, Findings from International Comparative Achievement Studies: Relationships in Civic and Citizenship Education
Parallel Paper Session
Citizenship competencies refer to the individual's capacity to act successfully in democratic society and consist of the sociopolitical knowledge, attitudes and skills. The adolescents develop them through direct engagement in social activity and also indirectly in the family and formal education. Citizenship education in the school encompasses the instructions on socio-political concepts as well as the formation of attitudes and values and giving the students opportunities for practicing participation in democratic processes in school and class (Eurydice, 2005). The aim of citizenship education is to prepare young people for active and responsible citizenship in the adulthood. The effectiveness of citizenship education in different counties has been the focus of the IEA International Civic and Citizenship Education Study. In this contribution we present the study that aimed to explore the impact of students’ political interest and political efficacy on their civic knowledge in relation to the changing learning environment in the European schools in the past decade. The study based on the data gathered among eight-graders in several European countries that participated in the first and the last cycle of International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (CIVED 1999 and ICCS 2009).
The school develops students’ civic competencies through direct teaching of socio-political contents, promoting the active learning methods and establishing the classroom climate of trust and interpersonal acceptance, as well as through involving the students in decision-making processes at school (Hahn, 1998). The importance of informal curricula (e.g.the interpersonal relationships among teachers and students in the school, the open discussions in the class) for developing civic competencies are reflected in the students’ democratic attitudes and values (Torney-Purta et al., 2001), social responsibility (Flanagan et al. 1998; Torney-Purta, 2009), social trust (Flanagan et al., 2010; Battistich, Solomon, Watson and Schaps, 1997), and the sense of belonging to the school community (Vieno, Perkins, Smith, Santinello, 2005). The later is related to the adolescents' civic engagement in the East and West Europe (Flanagen et al., 1998; Torney-Purta, 2009). The experiences of group decision-making are important for developing social and political efficacy in the adolescents as well as for their readiness for civic engagement (Torney-Purta et al., 2001). The political efficacy refers to the individual believe in oneself to accomplish political acts (Bandura, 1997). In order to develop political efficacy the young people need to have an influence on adult’s behaviour in the institutions where they are engaged (e.g. in the school or community organizations). The political efficacy is one of the precursors of the future civic engagement and political participation (Pasek, Feldman, Romer and Jamieson, 2008; Gril, 2009). Based on these assumptions we hypothesized that better civic knowledge would be achieved in students with higher degree of political efficacy and more political interest and those who are engaged in the schools with more inclusive climate and more opportunities for open discussions in the class (that could be changed in the past ten years).
Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The excercise of control. New York: Freeman. Battistich, V., Solomon, D., Watson, M. and Schaps, E. (1997). Caring school communities. Educational psychologist, 32, 137–151. Eurydice (2005). Citizenship Education at School in Europe. Brussels: Eurydice European Unit. Flanagan, C. A., Jonsson, B., Botcheva, L., Csapo, B., Bowes, J. and Macek, P. (1998). Adolescents and the »social contract«: Developmental roots of citizenship in seven countries. In M. Yates in J. Youniss (Eds.), International perspectives on community service and civic engagement in youth (pp. 135–155). New York: Cambridge University press. Flanagan, C. A., Stoppa, T., Syvertsen, A. K. and Stout, M. (2010). Schools and social trust. In L. R. Sherrod, J. Torney-Purta in C. A. Flanagan (Eds.), Handbook of research on civic engagement in youth (pp. 249 – 329). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Gril, A., Klemenčič, E., and Autor, S.(2009). Udejstvovanje mladih v družbi [Participation of youth in society]. Ljubljana: Pedagoški inštitut. Hahn, C. L. (1998). Becoming Political: Comparative Perspectives on Citizenship Education. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. Pasek, J., Feldman, L., Romer, D. and Jamieson, K. H. (2008). Schools as incubators of democratic participation: Building long-term political efficacy with civic education. Applied developmental science, 12, 1, 26–37. Torney-Purta, J. (2009). International psychological research that matters policy and practice. American Psychologist, 64, 822–837. Torney-Purta, J., Lehmann, R. Oswald, H. and Schulz, W. (2001). Citizenship and Education in Twenty-Eight Countries: Civic Knowledge and Engagement at Age Fourteen. International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement. Vieno, A., Perkins, D. D., Smith, T. M. and Santinello, M. (2005). Democratic school climate and sense of community in school: a multilevel analysis. American Journal of community psychology, 36, 3/4, 327–341.
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