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International Civic and Citizenship Education Study in Austria (2006-2010)

How are students aged between 13 and 14 years in schools in different countries being prepared to assume their role as (active) citizens? This is the main question of the “International Civic and Citizenship Education Study” which 39 countries from all parts of the world participate in.

The scope of the “International Civic and Citizenship Education Study” (ICCS) acquires and analyses knowledge and conceptual understanding on the one hand and attitudes, values, behaviour and competencies on the other.

Austria and the EU relevance

In addition to instruments – used in all 39 countries – that, owing to comprehensive quality controls, are internationally comparable, the scope of this survey will also include a European and an Austrian module. “The European module acquires knowledge and attitudes in respect of the EU and Europe”, says Steve Schwarzer, a SORA expert. The Austrian module involves the following subject matters:

  • implementation of political education in schools,
  • school democracy,
  • student participation,
  • attitudes towards politics and politicians as well as  
  • the development of competencies for active citizenship within the school context and beyond.

SORA (coordination) carries out the International Civic and Citizenship Education Study in Austria together with the Institute for Educational Science of the University of Innsbruck and the Institute for Conflict Research. The commissioner is the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture (BM:UKK).

Field and main study

The ICCS study involves two principal project steps. In preparation for the main study, a field study that tested the survey instruments and the quality controls on a small scale first, was conducted in all participating countries in 2007. In Austria 27 schools and app. 500 students participated in the field study. The findings from this project step will be used to conduct the main study with 150 schools and 3,000 students, their teachers as well as directors participating in it.

Assessing civic education

The ICCS study will also assess, for the first time in Austria, the teaching principle of Civic Education. Furthermore, the distinctive feature of this study is that it combines surveys of students, teachers and directors.