An international perspective on civic participation in Irish post-primary schools
Results from ICCS
Ireland was one of the 38 countries/education systems that participated in the International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS) in 2009. This is the first international comparative study in this area in which Ireland has participated since 1971. The study measured the civic knowledge of 14-year-olds and their attitudes towards, and beliefs about, various civic and citizenship issues. The current paper focuses on indicators of students' and (to a lesser extent) parents' participation in school life. Although active participation in school is emphasized in, for example, the Education Act of 1998, little empirical work in Ireland has defined or examined actual levels of participation in post-primary schools, or students’ views of their opportunities to participate, and ICCS provides information on these issues in an international comparative context. Findings indicate that despite a relatively strong civic knowledge base among students in Ireland, levels of participation compare less favorably with other countries. Results are discussed in the wider context of the Irish education system.