National Assessment of Civics and Citizenship Education

Read Solving some Civics and Citizenship Education Conundrums by Suzanne Mellor

One of the National Goals for Schooling in the Twenty-first Century, agreed by all Ministers of Education in Australia, is that students, when they leave school, should 'be active and informed citizens with an understanding and appreciation of Australia's system of government and civic life' (Goal 1.4). Ministers also agreed to the development of performance measures in Civics and Citizenship Education (CCE).

Work on the development of these measures has proceeded through the Performance Monitoring and Reporting Taskforce of the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs.

CCE will be the fourth area to be tested (after literacy, numeracy and science). Assessment will be through a representative national sample survey of Year 6 and Year 10 students. This means that any school could be selected for the assessment. The first survey will be held in 2004. Subsequent surveys will be held at three-year intervals.

Following a consultation process and agreement between all education systems and sectors, two key performance measures (KPMs) have been developed for CCE:

  • the first to focus on civic knowledge and understanding;
  • the second to focus on citizenship participation skills and civic values.

The assessment survey will consist of three parts:

  • assessment of civic knowledge and understanding (KPM1);
  • assessment of skills and values for active citizenship participation (KPM2); and
  • an indication of opportunities and examples of citizenship participation by students together with relevant contextual information.

Assessment items are being trialled in 2003 before the first national survey. The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) has been selected to conduct the trialling of the assessment items and will consult with all systems and sectors. Further information on the trial is available from Suzanne Mellor at ACER (tel: 03 9277 5555; fax: 03 9277 5500; email: mellor@acer.edu.au).