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ERIC Number: ED530362
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 148
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 15
National Assessment Program--Civics and Citizenship Years 6 & 10 Report, 2004
Mellor, Suzanne; Ainley, John; Fraillon, Julian; Wernert, Nicole
Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (NJ1)
The National Assessment Program--Civics and Citizenship assessment measures the civic knowledge and understanding and the citizenship participation skills and civic values of Year 6 and Year 10 students in schools across Australia. It reports on student achievement using proficiency levels on a common civics and citizenship assessment scale, and against an agreed standard of proficiency for each of Years 6 and 10. It also reports on achievement according to selected background characteristics of students--sex, parental occupation, language background, school location and Indigenous status. This report is the second to be published as part of the National Assessment Program (NAP), which includes a cyclical three-yearly program of sample assessments of student outcomes in three critical learning areas. This report concludes that student achievement at both year levels was below that expected by the experts who participated in the proficiency standards setting exercise, by the State and Territory officers who participated in the marker training and by the experts who marked the open-ended responses. The concepts and understandings with which students appeared to have the greatest difficulty were of two types: (1) concepts such as "the common good" or strategies that refer to how individuals can influence systems for the benefit of society; and (2) so-called "iconic knowledge" of key information about national events and nationally-representative symbols. It seems that more targeted teaching is required if students are to learn about these things. Despite the concerns about the relatively low levels of achievement, one of the most encouraging aspects was the fact that some students were able to achieve at higher levels than had been expected. Eight per cent of Year 6 students were able to perform at Level 3 and 5 per cent of Year 10 students at Level 4. It is not possible to know whether this performance was a result of particular teaching or life experiences, but the specificity of knowledge and complexity of response required (as demonstrated by the item response descriptors) suggests that well-taught students can indeed achieve well beyond the expected proficiency in civics and citizenship. The data collected in the National Civics and Citizenship Sample Assessment in Civics are taken to be the base from which future measurement of growth in student achievement in this area will be constructed. Subsequent National Civics and Citizenship Sample Assessments may show an improvement in student performance if students receive more consistent instruction in civics and citizenship and if teachers receive quality professional development to assist them to maximise the value of curriculum support programs such as "Discovering Democracy". This assessment program and the implementation of, for example, the National Statements of Learning at the level of school-based curriculum may also lead to positive changes in civics and citizenship curriculum delivery and student performance. Appended are: (1) Assessment Domain; (2) Student Background Survey (including Assessment of Civics and Citizenship Opportunities); (3) Civics and Citizenship Sub-scales; (4) Percentage Correct by Score Code for Sample Items in Chapter 3; and (5) Example School Reports and Explanatory Material. (Contains 51 tables, 31 figures, 5 text boxes and 8 footnotes.)
Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs. P.O. Box 202 Carlton South Victoria, 3053, Australia. Tel: +61-39-639-0588; Fax: +61-39-639-1790; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 10; Grade 6; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs (MCEECDYA)
Identifiers - Location: Australia