Panel F.01 — Comparative studies of citizenship education
Convenors Maria Magdalena Isac (KU Leuven, Belgium); Andres Sandoval-Hernandez (University of Bath, UK)
Keywords ICCS; citizenship education; citizenship competences
Societies today face multiple and complex societal challenges, including mass migration movements, the climate crisis, eroding trust in democratic processes, the surge of populist and authoritarian ideologies, the proliferation of fake news, the rise of violent conflicts, and other pressing issues. Amidst the feeling that transformative changes are needed on various political levels, the pressing demand to prepare young people as informed, responsible, and engaged citizens becomes evident. High-quality citizenship education emerges as a key solution, playing a pivotal role in cultivating the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and engagement necessary for active participation in democratic societies.
Indeed, in the past decades, citizenship education has received renewed attention in educational policies at both national and international levels. The European Union, for example, has consistently promoted citizenship education within its educational policies, recognizing active citizenship as a pivotal area warranting development across the education and training systems of Member States, with the aim to achieve the European Education Area by 2025 (Council of the European Union, 2021).
However, it is imperative to note that despite this renewed attention, citizenship education faces its own challenges. Its peripheral role in curricula, varied educational goals, and the differences in its implementation across educational systems are significant issues. As such, approaches to evaluate its efficacy and its impact on citizenship learning outcomes are diverse and perhaps less developed compared to established skills and subjects such as mathematics and reading. Thus, understanding how citizenship education is implemented, and achieved in different educational systems becomes paramount.
Comparative studies of citizenship education such as the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA)’s International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS) provide researchers with an invaluable platform for understanding the outcomes, contexts, and processes of citizenship education across diverse educational systems. Such comparative studies allow for mutual learning and identification of actionable aspects of schooling for democratic citizenship, essential for fostering engaged and active citizens.
This panel aims to gather contributions dedicated to the comparative analyses of different formal and informal educational approaches and teaching practices that contribute to young people’s citizenship learning and competences. Secondary-analyses of ICCS data are particularly welcomed. Moreover, this panel seeks to provide a forum for constructive discussions about these results, with a specific focus on implications for future research, policy, and practice.