ICCS 2009 Framework

Assessment or survey framework

The ICCS assessment framework was organized around three domains:

Content domains – Specified the subject matters that were assessed and included:

  • Civic society and systems
    • Explanation: The formal and informal mechanisms and organizations that underpin both
      • The civic contracts that citizens have with their societies
      • The functioning of the societies themselves
    • Sub-domains:
      • Citizens
      • State institutions
      • Civil institutions
  • Civic principles
    • Explanation:
      • The shared ethical foundations of civic societies
      • Support, protection, and promotion of these principles were regarded as civic responsibilities and frequently occurring motivations for civic participation by individuals and groups
    • Sub-domains
      • Equity
      • Freedom
      • Social cohesion
  • Civic participation
    • Explanation:
      • The manifestations of individuals’ actions in their communities
      • From awareness through engagement to influence
    • Sub-domains:
      • Decision making
      • Influencing
      • Community participation
  • Civic identities
    • Explanation:
      • The individual’s civic roles and perceptions of these roles
      • The framework asserted and assumed that individuals have multiple articulated identities rather than a single-faceted civic identity
    • Sub-domains:
      • Civic self-image
      • Civic connectedness


Affective-behavioral domains – Described the types of student perceptions and activities that were measured and included:

  • Value beliefs
    • Explanation: Beliefs about fundamental concepts or ideas (freedom, equity, social cohesion)
    • Types of value beliefs:
      • Beliefs in democratic values
      • Beliefs in citizenship values
  • Attitudes
    • Explanation: States of mind or feelings about ideas, persons, objects, events, situations, and/or relationships
    • Types of attitudes:
      • Self-cognition related to civics and citizenship
      • Attitudes toward rights and responsibilities
      • Attitudes toward institutions
  • Behavioral intentions
    • Explanation: Student expectations of future civic action
    • Types of behavioral intentions:
      • Preparedness to participate in forms of civic protest
      • Intentions regarding future political participation as adults
      • Intentions regarding future participation in citizenship activities
  • Behaviors:
    • Explanation: Civic-related behaviors that can occur among 14-year-olds
    • Types of behaviors:
      • Civic-related activities in the community
      • Civic-related activities at school


Cognitive domains – Described the thinking processes that were assessed and included:

  • Knowing
    • Explanation: The learned civic and citizenship information that students use when engaging in the more complex cognitive tasks that help them make sense of their civic worlds
    • Encompassed:
      • Recalling or recognizing definitions, descriptions, and the key properties of civic and citizenship concepts and content
      • Illustrating these with examples
  • Reasoning and analyzing
    • Explanation: The ways in which students use civic and citizenship information to reach conclusions that are broader than the contents of any single concept
    • Range:
      • From the direct application of knowledge and understanding to reach conclusions about familiar concrete situations
      • Through to the selection and assimilation of knowledge and understanding of multiple concepts
Contextual or background framework

The contextual framework distinguished the following levels:

The wider community

  • The local community in which students’ schools and home environments are sited, including:
    • Urbanization (antecedent)
    • Resources for citizenship learning in the local area (antecedent)
    • The existence of civic-related activities to promote civic engagement in the context of the local community (process)
  • The broader realm of regional, national, and possibly supra-national contexts within which students’ schools and homes are embedded. The national context included:
    • Structure of the education system 
    • Education policy and civic and citizenship education
    • Teacher qualifications for civic and citizenship education 
    • The extent of current debates and reforms in this area


Schools and classrooms

  • School questionnaire
    • Principals’ characteristics
    • School characteristics and resources
    • School management
    • School climate
    • Teacher, parent, and student participation at school
    • Implementation of civic and citizenship education at school
  • Teacher questionnaire
    • Teacher characteristics
    • Teachers’ participation in school governance
    • Teachers’ views of student influence on school-based decisions
    • Teachers’ confidence in teaching methods
    • Teachers’ perception of school climate
    • Teaching practices in the classroom
    • Teachers’ perception of classroom climate and discipline
  • Student questionnaire
    • Classroom climate for civic and citizenship education
    • Students’ views of their influence on decision making at school
    • Students’ perceptions of school climate


Home environment

  • Peer-group interactions
  • Educational resources in the home
  • Culture, religion, values, language use
  • Relationship status young people have within their respective families
  • Parental education, incomes, and employment levels
  • Access to different kinds of media
  • The quality of the school–home connections
  • Civic-related opportunities out of school that the young people can access


The individual student

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Expected educational qualifications
  • Leisure time activities
  • Active civic participation at school and in the community