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Suggested Citation:"Civics Education Study." National Research Council. 1995. International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9174.
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CIVICS EDUCATION STUDY

International Organization

International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA)

Years of Data Collection

Case studies: 1995-1996

Data collection: 1997-98

PurposeIEA conducted a Civic Education Survey in 1971 as part of a Six-subject Survey of student achievement (science, reading comprehension, literature, French as a foreign language, English as a foreign language, and civics education). Ten IEA member countries participated in the civics education portion. Extensive regression analysis was conducted, with a fairly consistent finding that stress on rote learning and on patriotic ritual within the classroom tended to be negatively related to civics education outcomes, while the opportunity to express an opinion in class had a positive relationship. The socioeconomic status of the family and the type of school (academic or vocational) were controlled statistically in the regression analysis, and these findings were extremely similar across nine Western industrialized countries with different educational and political contexts.

Since 1971, many changes have taken place in schools and political systems, which raise new issues and intensify concern for old ones. Needs and opportunities for a second civics education study are:

  • Moves toward democratization around the world

  • Increasing immigration/emigration and resurgent authoritarianism and racism

  • Alienation among youth and the growth of what has been called “unconventional participation”

  • Recognition of the implicit or hidden curriculum

  • Wariness concerning discussions of civics and political

  • Women's increasing role in politics

  • Prominent environmental issues

  • Powerful mass media

In addition, there have been advances in the social sciences, educational measurement, and the methodologies and models used by IEA that provide a background for a second study.

Many differences exist around the world in the content and process of civics education. In societies undergoing rapid social and political change and democratization attempts are being made to prepare young people for a political and economic order that does not yet exist. Civics education differs from many other school subjects in the relative lack of consensus even within societies with long democratic traditions about the knowledge and attitude base, but even more in countries where individuals are wary of pleas for national unity and of courses with titles such as civics or political education. Cross-national research has a vital role in providing the research base for policy makers, those who design curricula, those who prepare teachers, and the general public.

Organization and ManagementAn international coordinating center will be designated through competitive bidding for Phase II to begin operations in mid-1996. Until then, Phase I and planning for Phase II will take place through ad hoc planning groups as part of a special project involving IEA headquarters.

Suggested Citation:"Civics Education Study." National Research Council. 1995. International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9174.
×
Design

Participants

Six-subject Survey - civics education: Finland, Germany (Federal Republic), Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, and the United States. (1971)

Civics Education Study: There is high interest in a civics education study in countries of Central and Eastern Europe and Asia, and in countries that belong to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (1994-2000)

Sample

Six-subject Survey - civics: The aims of the research were to identify those factors accounting for differences between countries, between schools, and between students. The technique used was a cross-sectional survey at three different levels, which described education as it was at the time of testing and not as it might be. Probability samples of schools and students within schools were drawn for each level within each country.

Civics Education Study:

Phase I: In some countries, structured interviews will be conducted with small samples of students.

Phase II: The survey of knowledge, attitudes, and participation or behavior will be conducted with nationally representative samples.

Procedures and Summary of Content

Six-subject Survey - civics: Three international populations were identified: Population I included all students in full-time schooling aged 10:0-10:11 years; Population II included all students in fulltime schooling aged 14:0-14:11 years; and Population IV encompassed all students in the terminal year of full-time secondary education programs that were either pre-university programs or programs of the same length. A Population III was designed for national data collection and analysis only. Tests were developed to yield a total “cognitive” score. There were survey scales to measure attitudinal outcomes as well as perceptions about “how society works.”

Civics Education Study:

Phase I. Each participating country will prepare a case study of its civics education, including reviews of previous empirical and policy studies, interviews, and analysis of curricula, to gather:

  • information about the political, educational, social, and economic context with special attention to major recent changes or reforms, including some social indicators

  • conceptions of and definitions related to civics education, including both official statements such as national curricula or assessment standards, and other major points of view

  • information about content and methods of civics education as it is practiced, centered on intended and like unintended learning outcomes of civics education and how it is envisioned that these outcomes will be achieved by students

Suggested Citation:"Civics Education Study." National Research Council. 1995. International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9174.
×
  • a perspective concerning other factors influencing the civics education process and its outcomes, such as educational policy more generally, school organization, media, parental, and family characteristics

Among the sources to be used are:

  • analysis of curriculum and policy documents in areas such as national and world history, civics, social studies, moral education, literature, as well as participation opportunities provided to students in and out of schools

  • interviews (individually or in focus groups) with policy makers, leaders in professional organizations such as teachers unions and experts in teacher training

  • in some countries structured interviews with small samples of students either individually, in focus groups, or using computer networks

  • review of existing studies conducted within the country of civics education, moral education, youth and adult attitudes, and political socialization

The national case studies will be conducted around a common framework prepared by an international committee. Each participating country will make a proposal to this international committee with respect to the types of material they intend to collect for the self-study and how it will be analyzed. The international committee will make suggestions about this material and nominate out-of-country experts to examine the resulting data and self-study report in order to give advice to the national team. The national team will retain responsibility for the report itself, and the external panel will prepare a report documenting its own views. The case studies and commentaries will be prepared for publication, and will also produce guidance for Phase II of the study, with respect to topics to be considered, aspects of formal and informal education to be surveyed, outcomes, and predictors.

Phase II. The second phase will be a survey of knowledge, attitudes, and participation or behavior in nationally representative samples. It will be designed around issues and processes and programs currently in place and questions of high interest and relevance in participating countries. A conceptual framework for Phase II will emerge from the Phase I case studies.

Data Collection and Analyses

Under development as part of Phase II planning.

Timetable

1993

A paper outlining needs and opportunities of a civics education study was presented to the General Assembly (September).

1994

An international group of experts met to discuss and formulate aims and design of the study.

A proposal was drafted for approval at IEA General Assembly in August. General Assembly approved the study with Phase I to be identified as the IEA Civics Education Project.

1995-1999

 

The two-phased study will be conducted.

1995-1996

 

Phase I will be conducted -- National Case Study Profiles and plan for Phase II.

Suggested Citation:"Civics Education Study." National Research Council. 1995. International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9174.
×

1997-1999

 

Phase II will be conducted -- large-scale survey, probably of 14-year-olds.

1998

Phase II data will be collected.

Publications

Civics Education Study Phase I: National case study profiles of nations and systems will be assembled in a publication; curriculum analysis, multi-media analysis (e.g. interactive interviews with students, videos) may be included.

Civics Education Study Phase II: Large-scale survey design, methodology, sampling; questionnaires; and multi-media reports will be produced.

FundingIn Phase I The National Center for Education Statistics will contribute a modest amount of funding for the international costs; most of the funding for international costs is expected to come from outside the United States.

Information Sources

International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) Secretariat c/o SVO

Sweelinckplein 14

2517 GK The Hague THE NETHERLANDS

telephone:

31-70-346-96-79

facsimile:

31-70-360-99-51

e-mail: iea@svo.nl

Judith Torney-Purta, Ph.D., International Project Coordinator of Phase I and Planning Committee Chair

Professor of Human Development

Benjamin Building 3304, University of Maryland

College Park, Maryland 20742

telephone:

301/

405-2806

facsimile:

301/

405-2891

electronic mail: JT22@umail.umd.edu

Gordon M. Ambach, Liaison to IEA

Council of Chief State School Officers

One Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Suite 700

Washington, D.C. 20001-1431

telephone:

202/

408-5505

facsimile:

202/

408-8072

e-mail: gambach@nas.edu

Ambach, Gordon M.

1994 Civics Education project. Memo to William Loxley, IEA headquarters. March 21.

International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement

1993 Activities, Institutions, and People: Iea Guidebook 1993-1994. IEA, The Hague, The Netherlands.

Suggested Citation:"Civics Education Study." National Research Council. 1995. International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9174.
×

Torney-Purta, Judith V.

1993 Civic Education:Need and Opportunities for a Second IEA Study. Paper prepared at the request of the IEA Headquarters for presentation at the IEA General Assembly. Madrid. September.

1994 Needed Cross National Research on the Role of Civic Education in Democratization. Paper prepared for consultation session. April. American Educational Research Association.

1994 IEA-Civics Education Study design. Presentations to Board on International Comparative Studies in Education. February and May.

Torney, J.V., A.N. Oppenheim, and R.F. Farnen

1976 Civic Education in Ten Countries: An Empirical Study. International Studies in Evaluation Volume 6. Stockholm: Almquist and Wiksell. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Torney-Purta, J., and J. Schwille

1986 Civic values learned in school: Policy and practice in industrialized countries. Comparative Education Review. 30:30-49

******

NOTE: This study summary was reviewed and edited by William Loxley at the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement in The Hague on June 9, 1994, and by Judith Torney-Purta and Gordon Ambach in Washington, D.C. on October 3, 1994.

Suggested Citation:"Civics Education Study." National Research Council. 1995. International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9174.
×
Page 7
Suggested Citation:"Civics Education Study." National Research Council. 1995. International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9174.
×
Page 8
Suggested Citation:"Civics Education Study." National Research Council. 1995. International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9174.
×
Page 9
Suggested Citation:"Civics Education Study." National Research Council. 1995. International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9174.
×
Page 10
Suggested Citation:"Civics Education Study." National Research Council. 1995. International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9174.
×
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